Sunday, January 31, 2010

the adventure begins...

After months of preparation, my adventure is official.  My documents have arrived in South Korea to begin the Visa process (not without some annoyances, which I will eleaborate upon later), the plane tickets for my horrendously long flight (I leave at 6:20 am on February 14 and don't get to Yeosu until 8:30 pm on the 15) have been purchased, and I am moving back in with my parents tomorrow for the last two weeks before I leave.  I am getting really excited, but, also, incredibly nervous.  This whole thing, from start to this point now, has been total chaos. 

You never realize the amount of pressure involved in deciding which job offer you're going to take until you have three different recruiters breathing down your neck, waiting for you to make a decision.  And how can you really make a completely informed decision about a place you've never been to before?  How do you choose which city you've never visited in a country you've never been to, is the right city for you?  It's a terrifying decision to make!  What if you make the wrong one?  But, eventually you have to suck it up and decide... here's hoping I picked a good one! 

Arranging the contract and Visa info is yet another unpleasant experience.  It's nerve wracking not really being involved in negotiations that dictate the entire year ahead of you!  You're just expected to read the contract over that they decide is appropriate and then sign it, hoping you've made yet another good decision.  Luckily I landed a job with a public school, so at least the position will be stable.  And the recruiter who is handling the arrangements for me is really helpful... for the most part.  Even though he speaks English really well, there is always a slight language barrier, and miscommunications happen... like telling me I only need one passport sized photo to send with my visa documents, and that it doesn't need to be professional, only to ask me later why I sent only one photo and why was it taken with a digital camera.

The months after you decide to take a position are filled with trying to do as much research as possible on the area you have decided to live in.  Night after night spent googling and googling, hoping something new--and written in English--comes up to give you some important insight.  Information is limited, leaving you truly wondering what your first day is going to be like.

Needless to say, I have quite the adventure ahead of me, and I am really looking forward to the experience... aside from being utterly terrified.  I've never left Canada before, so it should be interesting.