If you are wondering what the English Program in Korea is, it is a program that sends native English speakers from specific countries to teach in public schools in South Korea. I spent eight days at my orientation with other EPIK teachers to prepare me for my time in Korea. Here are 10 things to expect during your English program in Korea orientation.
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1. Expect to make friends
This will be an new adventure for you. You are in a new country, in a new environment with new people about to start a new job. Expect to make friends and acquaintances at your orientation. Try to get to know people and even if you are shy, try to speak at least one new person every day.
2. Expect to begin to understand what co-teaching is
If you have never taught before expect to start understanding what co-teaching is! I didn’t really understand the concept until I arrived in Korea. Co-teaching exists in many forms. Expect to start understanding what they are and how they play out in real life. Co-teaching is different to teaching alone and you have to learn to work as a team regardless of each others differences. Are you ready?
3. Expect to learn how to use chopsticks
I did not know how to use chop sticks before I left for Korea but at orientation I learnt! From what I can remember there are spoons but if you want to be prepared for life in Korea try and use chopsticks at orientation. It will benefit you greatly!
4. Expect to have fun
Orientation is a lot of fun! Expect to enjoy yourself! Your schedule will be tight but trust me you will love it! You will meet a lot of people and always have something to do.
5. Expect to be a little nervous about your medical test
I remember not knowing exactly what would be tested for my medical test, We then found out we had to do a urine sample. Normally the advice is to drink as much as possible before a urine sample is needed but we were not given any information about it. I also did a colour eye test and found out that I am partially colour blind!
All in all, it is straight forward and to be honest there is no need to be nervous. If you do need to take prescribed medication I would recommend checking if you will need a doctors note for it.
6. Expect to be overwhelmed with information
You will be very busy and have a lot of information thrown at you, Just try to take in what you can and the rest you will learn along the way. Remember Rome was not built in a day. The English program in Korea orientation can take a lot out of you so pace yourself!
7.Expect to learn about Korean culture
You will learn a lot about Korean traditions and cultures at your orientation. You will also have some Korean language lessons and potentially even take part in Taekwondo. Make the most of it and enjoy it!
8. Expect to present a teaching demo lesson
Remember although you are in another country this is not just one extended holiday, you are there to teach. You will have a session where you will get into pairs or groups then plan and present a demo lesson in front of the rest of your fellow EPIKers who are in your room. Some people have more experience than others and some don’t. Don’t worry about it and just do your best!
9. Expect to have a room mate
In case you didn’t know for the orientation you will have room mate. Americans may find this easy to wrap their heads around but my fellow Brits maybe not so much. At university in the England we don’t have to share rooms. In fact standard university rooms in England rooms are single occupant rooms. I loved my roomie she was super nice and considerate, hopefully you will have someone just like that too! If not don’t worry it is only for a short while. Endure and do lots of things outside of your room.
10. Expect a high possibility that there will be little to no toilet roll your bathroom
From what I can remember during my orientation my roomie and I were always down to the last piece and it would not get replenish until maybe two days later even if the room was cleaned. We had to ask at the reception desk when we really needed some. You could also ask your next door neighbor for some if you guys are friendly with each other.
Overall, the English program in Korea orientation is a lot of fun but at the same time a little exhausting and could be a little overwhelming for some. Have fun and but also pace yourself!
OTHER USEFUL INFO
Maybe you just read this blog post and are wondering what is EPIK!? Let me fill you in!
Now you may be wondering why someone would want to move to Korea? Here is why I moved to Korea and maybe why you should too!
Have you found out that you have been accepted on to the EPIK program but are wondering what to do while you wait to here about where you will be located? Let me give you some ideas with “10 things to do while you wait for your EPIK placement”
Travel Insurance is important, make sure you have it for wherever you travel. I recommend World Nomads, since I use them too!
Want to know what life is like living in Korea? Here is my Life in Korea Playlist to ease your mind about living in Korea.