Day One: a new opportunity

I am excited to announce that Adventure Teaching accepted me to their program. That means they will be helping me find a teaching position in South Korea, communicating with me constantly about the visa process, and making sure that all the steps for getting to and living in Korea go smoothly.

Adventure Teaching is essentially (from what I can tell) an overly involved recruitment agency. I had a phone interview with Sarah (a Biola Alumni! how fabulous), who told me that Adventure Teaching would love to work with me. Now, I am waiting for an e-mail from my placement coordinator. That should happen in the next day or two. As for right now, I am following the necessary steps to complete a Criminal Record Check. Gotta get my finger prints taken and send in a request to the FBI. Do you think my driving record’s going to show up on there? Yikes. I hope not.

I’ve started this blog with the intent of keeping myself organized, keeping you up to date, and to detail out information for future applicants. For instance, I’ll record the time it takes to get things done, the problems that may arise, and etc. Some of it may be boring, so feel free to stop reading at any time.

Right now, I haven’t received my diplomas from Biola (even though I graduated nearly 2 years ago) because I finished with outstanding units. Biola told me they don’t just confer diplomas all willy-nilly (awesome.) So, even though I am nearly done with my final units (taking ASL online) and can get my transcripts to Biola in the next few weeks, I won’t be able to get my diplomas until May, with the other graduates. Hopefully that doesn’t put too much of a damper on the situation at hand.

Currently, I’m about to head over to the Orange County Sherriff’s office get my prints taken. I already have a filled out application form from the FBI’s website, a credit card sheet (I’m requesting 2 copies of my CRC so they are going to charge me $18×2, $36), and a word document with my contact information and a request to have the CRC’s authenticated by Kimberly Del Greco (apparently this is an important step). Adventure Teaching recommends you get 2 copies of your Diploma and two copies of your CRC because sometimes the school requests a second copy of each of those things.  So I’m going to try and be on top of that even if it costs a little more. I don’t want to run into problems right before I’m supposed to leave or anything. Also, the FBI can take up to 3 months to complete the CRC. That’s forever! That’s why it’s important to get this done immediately. I was accepted into Adventure Teaching yesterday and sent a step-by-step guide to the visa process last night. So I’m literally starting as soon as possible.

To update you on a few things happening in my life… I quit my job in October knowing I wanted to apply to Adventure Teaching. However, I didn’t want to apply with those final units hanging over my head, especially since a diploma is required in order to get a job teaching English. So I spent the last few months taking ASL 3 and developing my personal photography business and website. Also, I’ve been tying up a lot of loose ends, getting things done that I’ve intended to do since graduating, but never had time for.

The reason I’ve made the decision to go to South Korea is not because I can’t find a job elsewhere, or because I’m not ambitious in the business world, or because I want to run away from my life (all reasons people assume when I tell them about this). The reason I’m going to teach English in Korea is because I’ve always wanted to live and work abroad, because I love kids, and because the decisions I’ve made in life (like going to Biola and majoring in Intercultural Studies) were centered on my desire to live and work in a foreign country and (try to) make a positive impact on people’s lives outside of the US.

If you know me, you know that traveling and living abroad have always been exceedingly important to me. But why wouldn’t you go to Paris, or Germany, or Africa you ask me? Korea specifically is a great opportunity because getting a job teaching English is easier than getting a paid position somewhere in Europe, because they pay for my rent and airfare, and because I’ll have a chance to save a lot of money. That means, when I complete my 1 year contract, I’ll have an opportunity to travel/backpack through Europe with my saved funds, if I so desire. I’ve researched positions in Africa and other third world countries- often, these are missionary or volunteer jobs that would require me to ask for support from people like you. I don’t want to ask for financial support (though I wouldn’t put up a fuss if you offered). Even though people say “It’s an opportunity for others to bless you” “It’s a time you can really rely on God to provide” etc. I believe people can bless me with prayers and communication, I believe I can really rely on God through the other challenges that come with living abroad. Finances (or lack thereof) do not have to define whether or not I’m trusting God or being blessed by my friends and family.

And now for that last little thing, my boyfriend. OK, that’s a HUGE thing. I’m deserting him. I’m the WORST PERSON IN EXISTENCE, I know. But to be fair, he knew what he was getting himself into from day one when I specifically told him, “You know, I want to travel the world, live abroad for a short time, and have those awesome experiences I’m so passionate about after I graduate.” He said “ok” and signed on to my pretty inconsistent lifestyle. God bless him. He’s the most enduring person I know and I couldn’t imagine loosing him. Unfortunately for me, he does not feel the same passions for a life abroad, and that’s awesome because he knows what he wants. I wouldn’t want to be with a pushover who just does whatever I want him to do, because that would be pretty unhealthy. So he’s going to continue developing a name for himself as a bomb diggity graphic designer in California (or wherever God opens doors for him) and I’m going to be in Korea, for a year. Thank the Lord for Skype. The last time I was away from him for more than a week was when I went to the Dominican Republic. This happened to be at the very beginning of our relationship- which made it really really hard to be away from each other. Now that we’ve been together for nearly three years (it’s hard to believe I haven’t traveled in three whole years), we think we’re ready to be separated for this time. We are committed enough to know everything is going to be ok and we trust each other like bread trusts butter to make it taste better.

WOW. This post is getting long and I still need to go down to the station. Ha! I’ve always wanted to say that.

 

Check back soon for more updates on this visa process.

Peace and blessings,

 

Ashley

 

 

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