28 Responses

  1. Ivy
    Ivy Published |

    Glad you are getting settled. I can imagine it being overwhelming. I’d be lost with out my cell phone..

  2. Daniel Tatum
    Daniel Tatum Published |

    Haven’t heard from you yet, so decided that this might be the place to get a reply. Give me an email when you get a chance. Just want to know how it’s going. Ya know… sights, smells, sounds, housepet delicacies, etc… Have fun and take it all in man. Talk to you later.

  3. Justin
    Justin Published |

    Thanks for the replies. I’ve just been really busy lately. Plus, I’ve had some problems with the computer that I’ll explain the next time I blog.

    Danny, I’m glad you’re at least trying to keep in touch. And nope, I haven’t tried any housepet delicacies just yet. I’ll send you an e-mail soon.

  4. Sarah
    Sarah Published |

    Hi. I stumbled across your blog while I was looking for something.. and I have to tell you, your post on the rules for dating your best friend is genius! You’re a very talented writer, and honestly, I can’t stop reading your posts!

    If you don’t mind, could I link you to my blog? I think my friends need to read your stuff.

    And.. as an Asian, I say welcome to Asia! South Korea is a great place, and I’m sure you’ll have fun. If you can, come and visit Malaysia yeah! =)

  5. Justin
    Justin Published |

    Thanks for stopping by Sarah. You’re always welcome to link to my blog. And thank you for the compliments on my writing.

    Thus far, Korea has been fun. I’ve always wanted to see what eastern culture is like, and I’m enjoying it.

  6. Becky
    Becky Published |


    I just came across your blog while researching G’Day Korea as a valid organization. As a blogger myself, I was relieved to see that G’Day Korea did bring you to S. Korea. (Some of their communication tactics are a little awkward for being a recruiting service.)Anyhow, I would be working for a month in S. Korea in a camp for kids learning English! Do you have any comments about your job as a teacher, G’Day Korea, your University, or even the culture shock?

    And, if I do go, perhaps we could meet!



  7. Justin
    Justin Published |

    Actually, G’Day didn’t bring me to Korea. My school, Avalon English, did. The more I talk to others doing this, the more I realize how crappy G’Day Korea is. They’re definitely a valid organization, but as you said, “their communication tactics are a little awkward.” There are definitely better agencies out there. But, I may not have had the best recruiter either. Yours may be better.

    Make sure you find out every little detail before you go. I was just kind of thrust out here with no clear direction on what to do or anything.

    As far as teaching goes, I think everyone’s experience is different. Thus far, it’s been fairly easy. I teach at an English academy for elementary school kids 7 hours a day, get paid well, and have free rent.

    Check up on your school or organization before you go. If you can, search the South Korean message boards on Facebook for your school. I’ve found that a lot of the people using Facebook in that network are Americans and Canadians teaching English. I have met people that have had bad experiences because of their school.

    The culture shock isn’t too bad. I think it has to do with where you are staying too. I live near Seoul, and it’s the most liberal area in Korea. Some of the older people tend to be a little racist sometimes, but it won’t bother you much.

    My advice is ask about everything. Check on everything. G’Day will get you a job, but it’s their job to get you a job. My school pays $2,000 for every teacher G’Day brings in. Your recruiter’s job is to get paid for placing you somewhere. Remember that. Ask to talk to another foreigner that is doing what you will be doing. Get the details from them if possible.

    I also hope you’re not a cheeseburger or milk fanatic because it’s hard to find good burgers or milk in Korea. 🙂

    Make sure your school is paying your rent and airfare both ways. You should also make at least 2 million won a month. Anything less than this, isn’t the right job. These things are fairly standard.

    I hope this helps in at least some small way. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. We can definitely meet if you decide to come out.

  8. Carla
    Carla Published |

    Hey there! I came across your site doing research on G’Day Korea. I noticed you said there are better agencies, would your recommend PlanetESL? I have been talking to both G’Day Korea as well as PlanetESL. Are there any other companies I should look into as well.

    I hope you are getting settled and things are going well. I am planning on heading over to South Korea in Jan 2008. Any other tips?

    Thanks so much for you help! As well as your blog! It has def been helpful on what to expect!!

  9. Matt
    Matt Published |

    Hi Justin.
    I’m doing some reading up on G’day Korea and people’s experiences. Glad there is someone with a blog to read through.
    I’m guessing that this is your first out of country job right? Have you looked at any of the other web resources on ESL teaching in general or other countries? I only ask because I recently ran across GaijinPot and there seemed to be a lot of negativity over there.
    Anyway, my real question is just about teaching in general. I did a bit of teaching English over the summer while I was in Japan and I found it to be pretty intimidating. Are your students motivated to learn? I found some of my kids were more interested in goofing off. What sort of training did you get? Was it through G’Day or your school?
    Is this a contract position with something similar to a Japanese Eikaiwa or a public school?

    Sorry to bombard you with so many questions, and I should really read the rest of your blog, but if you could let me know some of the details I’d appreciate it.
    If I decide to jump aboard I might buy you a beer or something when I get there in February.

  10. Jamison
    Jamison Published |

    Hi, I am looking for a job through G’Day Korea and like you said, their recruiting has been awkward. Could you tell me a little about where you are, the good and bad about the country and the school? I was in Japan and I got burned by Nova. I was left homeless and stranded and I’m starting to worry that it might be similar in Korea. Any info you could give me would really help me out. Thanks a lot.

  11. Justin
    Justin Published |

    Carla, Matt, and Jamison
    I just recently wrote a post covering some of the questions you’ve asked: So, you wanna teach English in South Korea? If you don’t mind, read through that. If you have any more questions afterward, ask them on that post.

    This is my first job out here, and I get a lot of emails about it, so I decided to write a post on the process and what to expect when you arrive.

  12. Jon
    Jon Published |

    Hey…my girlfriend and I are considering coming to S. Korea to teach English. I’m all for it but naturally she has a lot of questions…health care? Class size? Age of students? Certifications required? If you have time just shoot me an email..thanks and I hope all is well.

  13. Justin
    Justin Published |

    I’ve written a post called So, you wanna teach English in South Korea? I think this may help answer some of your questions. I’ve been trying to redirect everyone to that post, so that we can keep an ongoing discussion there. Maybe it’ll be a good resource for everyone that stumbles upon this site.

  14. Linda
    Linda Published |

    Hi Justin. I came across your blog when searching for Avalon English. I am considering a position with them in SUNAE as well. Could u email me asap and we can talk specifics? Thanks.

  15. Phil Sieve
    Phil Sieve Published |

    What are good questions to ask elementary school students and middle-school students? I have to think of questions, but I find it’s difficult because I do not know how to frame it for their context as Korean students and the context for different age groups (such as, middle schoolers would find some different things to be more fun than elementary students and vice versa). I wish I could find a first person recounting of their life in each age group. Some games come and go, but the psychology is there. A good psychological guide for their culture and the problems and idea of fun, rewards and punishment would be good as well.
    Kids are very playful here too. How they got from humorless and stiff in Confucian classes days to more playful in class than even troublemakers in American schools, I have to wonder. One good thing about middle schoolers is, they sit down; the bad thing is, they are more shy and less likely to talk to you than sleep, talk to each other in Korean or play computer games.


  16. Lisa
    Lisa Published |

    Hi Justin!
    I’m thinking about teaching English in South Korea as well.
    Could you email me so that I can get some more details about it from you?
    Thanks a bunch.

  17. Eric
    Eric Published |

    The following link returns a 404. Please email me with a link so I may read up. Thank you 🙂


  18. Deanna
    Deanna Published |

    Hi Justin,

    I am filling out my paperwork to teach over in Korea. I should be there in a few weeks. Email me at deannamhall@hotmail.com so we can talk.

    Thanks for everything!

  19. jane tweedie
    jane tweedie Published |

    just wondered if you are still out there working for avalon, im planning to do the same this nqovember. have you any gossip?

  20. john baptiste
    john baptiste Published |

    hey i’m thinking about teaching at avalon school. any advice on that and how it is with social life. its a year contract. i can deal with missing my family and stuff i need to get away.

  21. kg
    kg Published |

    Hello Justin. I enjoyed reading your blog. I am in the process of trying to obtain a teaching position in South Korea. I would love to speak to you one-on-one to learn a little more about your experience and such. Please e-mail me so we can talk!!
    Talk to you later..
    P.S. I would definitely be lost without my cell phone, too!!

  22. Amy
    Amy Published |

    Hello all….I was just offered a position at Avalon in Bundang, South Korea. I have not accepted yet. I was wondering if anyone had insight on this location/program for me. I am really nervous and want to make the right decision.

  23. matt
    matt Published |

    Hi Justin,

    I realize that this comment is extremely old compared to your original blog post, but I have a potential job with Avalon English and was wondering if you wouldn’t mind sharing your experiences with me? Thanks

  24. Katie
    Katie Published |


    I’ve just been offered a job with Avalon in Bucheon and was wondering if you’ve able to give details of what it’s like. On the contract it says weekends are optional. Did you find that to be the case? Also, did you have to attend a training weekend? My employer says that this is mandatory.

    Thanks for your help!

  25. Samantha
    Samantha Published |


    I have been offered a job with Avalon Suwon. I was just wondering if you would be able to provide me with some information in regards to the area, and the way Avalon works. You seem to have had a good experience with Avalon. Would you strongly suggest Avalon?
    Also what is the best advice you could give me or any other person seeking a job with Avalon?

    Thank 🙂

  26. Kirsten
    Kirsten Published |

    Hi Justin! I too have been offered a job with Avalon and would be leaving in the next month. I just got my work contract and would like to speak with someone who has been through the process. Your advice would be a alot of help for me. Feel free to e-mail me back. I hope to hear from you.



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