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Teaching Chic Abroad

Teaching Chic Abroad
Leaving behind the comforts of home for a teaching gig overseas is a move unfit for anyone but the bold. One local lady takes this leap to make a difference in the lives of students in Korea.

081610SOCIAL.jpgAfter graduating college last spring, Addie Ellsperman found herself in a situation typical of young adults today: prepared with a degree and ready to conquer the world, but without any real plan of how to do it.

 

Ellsperman finished school at Xavier University with a degree in early childhood education. She considered searching for teaching jobs in her hometown of Chicago and locally in Cincinnati before having some conversations that would lead to a huge opportunity.

 

"I knew that I wanted to teach, but I just thought it would be fun to go somewhere and start a new adventure," Ellsperman says. As it turns out, some of her former schoolmates had a background teaching in foreign countries. After discussing their experiences with them, Ellsperman's own interest in teaching abroad — once just a fleeting consideration — was validated.

 

 "I started doing my own research and realized I had this burning desire in me that wanted to teach abroad," she says. Once she began putting this desire into a plan of action, Ellsperman grew fond of South 061410VALLEYVIEW.GIFKorea as a teaching location. Although she originally thought of beginning her career in Europe, Ellsperman chose Korea because it is very Westernized and has a high need for teachers.

 

Before landing an official instructing gig in Korea, Ellsperman went through a long, intimidating list of checkpoints. Her first step was to apply for a position through Footprints Recruiting, an online recruiting agency for teachers in countries like Japan, Thailand and South Korea. After the initial application, Ellsperman was required to have her degree notarized, complete a background check, go through a series of interviews and create a lesson plan, among several other steps.

 

Along with her big dream, Ellsperman set her sights on the big city. She placed Seoul, Korea's largest city, as the number one location on her preferences list. "I felt like I wanted to teach in a really big city," she says. "I've heard great things about Seoul and that a lot of people had a great time there."

 

Unfortunately, Ellsperman still doesn't have the answer to one of the most exciting questions for budding teachers: who she will be teaching. Ellsperman will not know the age group she is instructing or which school she will work at until her actual orientation in Seoul.

 

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She expects, however, that she will instruct children at least 10 years old, as South Korean students begin full immersion into the English language at that age.

 

Even though she can't plan for the age of her students, Ellsperman has taken other preparatory steps for saying "Bon Voyage!" to America. Knowing the Korean language is not required to teach in the country, but Ellsperman plans to learn the basics using a Rosetta Stone course.

 

She also has kept busy reading about the Korean culture and taking an optional six-month course for teaching English as a foreign language. Ellsperman has learned the most about what to expect, however, through talking with others who have been to the country. "Talking about it with other people is the most helpful," she says. "The more I talk about it, I realize there's more people who've actually been to Korea than you would think."

 

While Ellsperman may not always have visualized herself taking her first teaching job overseas, she is confident now that it is an essential experience. "I knew that in order for me to be really motivated and excited about what I wanted to do, I had to find something that really struck my interest," she says.



PHOTO CREDITS
Photo courtesy of Addie Ellsperman 

Brenna Sullivan -

Brenna Sullivan is Cincy Chic's multi media intern. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>


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