Since we’re well into June, I thought it would be a good time for an update on life in Korea. It’s summertime here and it’s getting pretty humid. In addition, the rainy season is approaching us. That means lots of humid, wet, days. For the most part, things are going very well for us.
We have about 5 weeks left in the first semester. We’ve both been busy with regular classes. At the end of the semester, there are summer camps — just like the winter camps. My school has no budget for summer camps this year so it’s my understanding that I will be lesson planning and such. Nick will have a 2 week summer camp which he and his co-teacher will be planning.
After his camps, we’re headed to Japan! We’re both really excited for this trip — especially Nick, as he’s wanted to visit Japan for a very long time. We will be spending time in Osaka, Kyoto, and Tokyo. It’ll be great to try new foods and see the differences in each city. We will also be visiting our first Universal Studios — woot!! 🙂 Once we get back from our trip and into the next semester, we will only have 2 months left in our contract. Crazy! We also have a short trip planned for Vietnam, which will be at the end of September. It’s really nice to have these things to look forward to!
I try to focus mostly on the positive, as we’re both very appreciative of the opportunity that we have and are enjoying most of our experiences. But, things haven’t been perfect here. Since March 1st (the start of the school year) we’ve had a lot of budget issues in our county specifically. In March, everyone’s pay was late and mine was paid a whole month later than it should have been. Since then, my pay has always been at least 2 weeks late. I finally just got my May pay today, almost 4 weeks later than it should have been paid. This has been stressful and frustrating, as we never seem to get an answer as to when we will get paid. One of the reasons we chose a public school job in Korea was to avoid issues like this. While it’s stressful and frustrating, we know that since we choose a public job we will eventually get our pay — no matter what. We’ve tried to stay positive through this. We recently filled out paperwork to sign another year-long contract, but we chose to transfer to a new area, specifically because of these budget concerns. Our current schools will likely not take any more foreign teachers in anymore anyway, due to money problems. It will be exciting to get to know a new area.
Because of the cuts, many Korean teachers are losing their job. My co-teacher will be leaving in a couple weeks because they can’t afford her. In addition, she hasn’t been paid in almost 3 months. I can’t imagine working for 3 months without pay! I am very sad to lose my co-teacher because she has been an amazing co-worker and friend. She helped make adjusting to Korean life a lot easier and more fun for both Nick and I. Many Korean teachers in this area are being let go in July and won’t be able to work the next semester. I feel badly for the so many people who will lose their job.
We’ve both been keeping very busy with our classes and normal routine. We’ve also been spending a lot of time outdoors. I’m over halfway through my child psychology course that I’ve been working on. I’m hoping to get a few credits under my belt while in Korea so that I can eventually get certified at home. I’ve also been doing my after-school kindergarten classes twice a week — I think I will be done with those when my co-teacher leaves the area. I really enjoyed teaching these classes with her and love the students I’ve met, but it will be nice to have more evenings free.
Well, that’s all for now! 🙂 As always, thanks for reading.