So you have passed your interview. You have submitted your documents. Your documents have been confirmed and now all you have to do is wait for EPIK to get back to you about placement information so that you can join the English Program in Korea.
I have been there before, checking my emails multiple times a day so see a wonderful email appear in my inbox. While you wait for that email, here are some things you can do to pass the time.
1. Join the official EPIK facebook group for your intake
This is where you will start to make connections with people that will be moving to Korea at the same time as you. You can make friends and talk about your fears, worries and excitements. This is also where the EPIK coordinators will be posting and where you can ask questions and it will be answered directly by EPIK.
2. Learn some Korean
I would recommend to at LEAST learn Hangul and basic phrases. It will benefit you greatly when you move there! You don’t have to but it will be of great help to you in Korea. I recommend checking out www.talktomeinkorean.com and www.koreanclass101.com . I learnt my basic phrases from Talk to me in Korean and my hangul from Korean101.
3. Try some Korean food
Take some friends and go to a Korean restaurant. It would be nice to try some level of Korean before you get there. It may not be exactly how it is in Korea BUT it will still be a nice experience. You will be able to learn some names of foods and have a nice day out with friends. What a nice way to take your mind off checking emails every 5 minutes!
4. Lesson Planning
Look over activities online that can be used for a range of ages. Check out waygook.org to see what sort of lessons people are currently using in Korea. Use some time to just look over stuff. If you have never taught before don’t worry orientation will teach you everything you need to know so don’t stress if you don’t have time for this.
5. Get rid of stuff
This is a great time to do some spring cleaning. Throw stuff out, give stuff to charity/to a friend or sell stuff on Ebay and make some money. Just get rid of stuff you don’t actually use! I got rid of so much stuff that I did not wear or need and sold it on Ebay. I sold clothes, shoes and hair products. I was able to make some money and put it towards the costs of moving to Korea.
6. Try to make some Korean friends
I know you may not be in Korea yet but you can still connect with some Koreans. Before I moved to Korea I signed up to italki.com and mylanguagexchange.com. In exchange for speaking your language you can practice speaking Korean with a native Korean.
I made a Korean friend in England who I met up with multiple times before leaving. I also made some friends in Korea before moving and added them to my Kakao account which was very nice. It means you can meet up when you get there! It puts your mind at ease knowing you know someone.
For example when the MERS outbreak happened just before I was meant to move, I messaged one of my friends and asked what was up and they gave me real time information!
7. Go Out
Go out with friends to a non related Korean place and the rule is that no one is allowed to mention or talk about the fact that you are moving to Korea. No questions like, where will you be living? or are you excited? Not until you actually know your placement information. Basically what I am saying is try to forget EPIK.
I know this is almost impossible but it is for a couple of hours. Maybe go bowling, go and watch a movie or go to a theme park. Do stuff that will keep you excited and make you forget for a couple of hours. It’s nice to forget your emails and you will be surprised when you do finally see one!
8. Do things that have you wanted to do for a while.
When I was waiting for my placement information. I started up my blog. started Youtube, started learning the guitar and started making body creams. You can see I really needed to fill my time lol! I don’t like being anxious or worried so I occupied my time. It helps to keep your mind off things.
9. Have Fun
I was waiting for my placement during the summer of 2015 and I am from England where the majority of the year is grim and wet. I was not going to waste my summer worrying and always checking my phone. I would suggest you enjoy your summer or winter depending on what intake you are applying to. Worrying or being anxious is not going to make EPIK send you an email any quicker.
10. Pray (for any christians)
I prayed that I would actually get placed, that I would enjoy the school and the area I am placed in. I got placed in Ulsan, my area and school was great which I am very thankful for.
This a test of patience that will help you throughout your entire stay in Korea. I hope you try to do a few of these things to turn your focus elsewhere and I hope that these tips have helped you.