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Happy 2010! We expect you’ve all had a relaxing holiday season filled with stockings hung by the fireplace, kisses snuck under the mistletoe, and quality time spent with friends and family. We hope you didn’t overdo it with all that turkey and stuffing, but we’re sure you’re all still diligently keeping your New Year’s resolutions… you know, the one where you’re supposed to go to the gym everyday… Right?!

If you’re having a hard time keeping your resolutions and are feeling those post-holiday blues, we’ve got something to cheer you up: January’s issue of the Teach Away Telegram! With a new year, comes a whole lot of new job opportunities, so get out those newly revised resumes and start the job hunt here with us! The Teach Away Team will be happy to help find you an overseas teaching position that matches your qualifications and experience.

To Do List

We wish you a healthy and prosperous 2010.

Happy Job Hunting! -The Teach Away Team

In this issue:

Making the EPIK Move to Korea

Christmas Stories from Around the Globe

Hot Jobs, Literally

Making the EPIK Move to Korea

Before any big move, it is always best to make sure you are prepared. But how do you prepare yourself when you aren’t sure of what to expect? How can you be sure you’ve packed all the essentials for life in acountry where the language, rules, and customs are so different from your own? Our advice: Don’t PANIC, or PROCRASTINATE – instead PREPARE for the adventures and challenges to come.

For those of you feeling overwhelmed at the thought of your upcoming move overseas, and for others considering a teaching position in Korea in the future, we recommend reading over our checklist to see how ready you really are. If you can answer yes to the following 10 questions before you board the long flight next month (… or next year!), you’ll find your first few weeks in Korea a smooth transition rather than a roller coaster of ups and downs.

  • Has your passport been recently renewed, and is it valid six months beyond your planned return date? Otherwise, you may have difficulties boarding your flight.
  • Have you spoken with your bank and credit card companies to let them know you’ll be living overseas? You don’t want to arrive in Korea only to find your credit card has been frozen due to “irregular activity.”
  • Have you made note of all of your home country banking information? You will need this if you plan to wire money home.
  • Have you taken your original diploma off the wall and safely packed it in your luggage? You will need it in order to register for an alien registration card.
  • Have you changed your dollars into Korean Won? Korea is a cash-based society, and it is much simpler to carry cash rather than to rely on cards.
  • Have you bought some adapters to take along with you? In Korea, plugs are three-pronged and thick, and outlets are usually 220 volts / 60 hertz, so you won’t be able to plug in your trusty hairdryer or laptop without one.
  • Have you acquired a nice set of business casual clothes for the workplace? Men should be prepared to wear dress pants, a nice shirt, and dress shoes. Women should bring along dress pants and/or skirts, blouses, and dress shoes. Remember: never wear clothing that is unprofessional, offensive, or too revealing.
  • Have you researched the location of your country’s embassy in Korea? It is advised to register with your Embassy soon after you arrive in case of emergency.
  • Have you researched the phenomenon called Culture Shock? Be aware that you will experience both ups and downs while adjusting to Korea. As long as you stay calm, get involved in your community, take part in Korean culture, and keep an open mind, it will pass. More on this subject in next month’s telegram, so stay tuned!
  • Have you joined Teach Away’s Online Community? This will help you meet other teachers in your area, post and read stories from teachers abroad, and keep in touch with all of us here at Teach Away! (


Christmas Stories by Teach Away Teachers Around the Globe

Home Away from Home for Christmas – by Nicole Phillips (Abu Dhabi, UAE)

December 2009

As Christmas was nearing, I thought it would be very difficult. However, over a few months of being together, the other expats and I had formed our own UAE family. After running into a fellow expat, who had just been recently hired by ADEC, we took him in during the holidays like he was one of our own. Abu Dhabi Christmas We had a huge sleepover in my friend’s apartment and dragged 3 extra mattresses into her living room. It might have been the worst sleep ever–with 14 people cramped on to 4 mattresses—but none of us woke up alone on Christmas morning.

We made it our own “home away from home Christmas.” We organized a Secret Santa weeks prior to the arrival of old Saint Nick, so everyone had presents to open on Christmas morning. Later that evening, we had a potluck dinner at another friends’ house. Our Christmas may not have been white, and we may not have been bombarded with Christmas jingles in the malls, but we sure were able to make it one of a kind.

I am looking forward to many more adventures that this journey will bring me. I’m definitely looking forward to Rihanna for New Years!

Santa Claus Comes to Andeok – by Jessica Lee (Korea)

December 2009

For the 2009 holiday season, Ken and I decided to give back to our humble community. Despite living in one of the smallest towns in Korea, we made up our minds to bring a little Christmas spirit to our tinyvillage of Andeok. The retirement community, hardworking shop owners, and small children were deserving of a little Christmas cheer.

Christmas in Korea

Donning a stunning Santa suit, trimmed in feathery white cotton and completed with a complementary hat and beard, Ken stuffed the belly of his costume with the largest pillow he could find, held together merely by a simple red ribbon. With wrapped chocolate bars and assorted candies, both of us headed out to our village’s only main road – Ken carrying the bag of sugary goodies, and me videotaping the entire episode.

We stopped to visit the retirement recreation center, its members competitively playing Korean cricket against each other; the busy construction workers, never taking a breath to rest; the local convenience store, the owners, now our cherished friends; the bus station, its passengers waiting in the frigid cold; and the many middle school and high school students of Andeok, who sprinted to meet the strange jolly man. We didn’t forget to reach our loving landlord, the grumpy pharmacist, the town’s many generous restaurant owners, and many other town residents, who were curiously peering out of their windows to take a gander at the ‘HO HO HO!’ commotion.

With festive shouts of ‘Merry Christmas!’ to all around, we turned in, satisfied that we had spread a little Christmas joy throughout our quiet Koreantown.

To glimpse the video of our holiday escapade, visit our blog at:

Christmas Bliss in Bali – by Madeleine Adamson (Vietnam)

January 2010

A Native Torontonian, I have been teaching ESL at a government run language School in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam since March 2009. It has been the longest period of time I’ve spent away from home, and this was my first Christmas abroad. The thought of spending Christmas in Saigon, dreaming about snow, pine needles and shortbread cookies seemed like it would be a recipe for disaster. My boyfriend convinced me that we had to get away, and embrace a Christmas wholly different from the ones we were used to. In our case, that meant Christmas Day on the beach in Bali.

I finished my last shift of teaching on Wednesday night (December 23rd), then hurried home excitedly to pack and open a few small Christmas presents. At 6 am the next morning, we were up and ready to head off to the airport! After a slight fiasco (we missed our connecting flight in Kuala Lumpur and had to catch the next flight) and many hours of reading and power-napping, we finally arrived in Denpasar, Bali at 10 pm on Christmas Eve. Exhausted and famished after the long flight, we checked into our hotel (at bustling Kuta Beach) and headed to a local reggae bar. We downed a whole pizza and local Bintang beer – a far cry from cozy turkey dinner with my family and Nat King Cole crooning in the background. Yet, as the Bintangs kept flowing, and the energy of the “Santa Rasta” party increased, strangers at the bar started coming up and talking to us. I realized that the Christmas spirit was still alive and well, even if it was not what I was used to traditionally. White Water Rafting Christmas

The next four days were spent lounging by the serene hotel pool, catching some waves at the beach (and having my first boogie-boarding experience!), white water rafting, sipping cocktails in the afternoon and shopping for the rest of our Christmas presents – a bikini, board shorts and beachy jewelry. I also managed to see one of the most stunning sunsets of my life (forget Northern Ontario – watching the one on Kuta Beach was an out-of-body experience).

We returned to Saigon on the 29th, rested and fulfilled. I have to say that among the countless perks involved with working abroad – exploring a different culture, making international friends, learning new things about myself daily – the opportunity to travel to other countries so cheaply and easily is perhaps one of the most valuable.

Hot Jobs (That Are Literally Hot)

There’s nothing worse than then experiencing the winter blues – except experiencing the winter blues jobless! For teachers seeking employment and looking to escape dreary grey skies and endless bad weather, we currently have positions available in warm, tropical environments… ASAP!! Isn’t it great how these things tend to happen at just the right time of year?

Please ensure your qualifications meet the minimum requirements before you apply.

If you possess an undergraduate degree, a valid teaching license, have a couple of years of teaching experience under your belt and are a pro when it comes to classroom management…

Licensed elementary and secondary school teachers who have experience managing large class sizes might find the high standards of living and tax free salaries in sunny Abu Dhabi ideal. If you thrive on challenges and are interested in taking part in the education reform currently taking place in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, apply now!

Click here to read more about teaching jobs in Abu Dhabi public schools

*A minimal number of advisor positions in Abu Dhabi are also available for licensed teachers with at least five years of experience teaching one of the following subjects. Managerial/department head experience is also a requirement for these positions.

(1) Female English Teaching Advisors

(2) ESL Teaching Advisors

(3) Female ICT Advisors

(4) Female Math Advisors

(5) Special Education Advisors

(6) Science Advisors

If you possess an undergraduate degree and a valid teaching license…

Licensed teachers looking to live and work in a Mandarin-speaking country with a tropical climate may want to consider work as an elementary school teacher at a public school in Taiwan’s capital city. If you have taught at the elementary level for at least two years, than Taipei might be the place for you!

Click here to apply for teaching jobs in Taipei.

If you possess an undergraduate degree and a certification in Early Childhood Education…

If you are a Foundation Stage 1 teacher (Kindergarten, Gr 1, and Gr 2) who specializes in primary education, and have an interest in curriculum development, you may want to consider teaching at a private school in Brunei. If you have taught 3 to 4 year olds for at least two years, and have at least 1 year of experience teaching curriculum, why not make use of your expertise on an island located in close proximity to the equator?

Read more about teaching jobs in Brunei.

If you possess an undergraduate degree, and a TESL/TEFL certificate…

Teach in Vietnam

Was your TESL/TEFL certification course in-class? Over 100 hours? Did it include a practicumcomponent? If you answered yes to all of the above, you might want to consider a teaching position with a governmental organization in a tropical region like Vietnam. Over and above teaching responsibilities, you will also contribute to areas such as student counselling and curriculum development.

Learn more about teaching jobs in Vietnam.

If you possess an undergraduate degree…

Are you just out of university, looking for a career but hoping to travel before you settle down? Are you faced with the dilemma of the jobless: All the time in the world to travel, but no money? Are you still looking for hands-on job experience? Imagine if you could afford to escape the winter cold and spend the rest of the winter in Thailand? We are currently looking for two ESL instructors to work at a leading private language school in Bangkok. Although positions in Thailand offer relatively lower salaries than other Asian countries, the benefits far exceed any disadvantages. Working in a country with an easy going environment that Thailand offers and a lower than average cost of living, teachers in Bangkok generally appreciate the slower pace of life here. As intensive teacher training is provided and paid for, teachers with little experience will be prepared to teach in front of a classroom.

Click to learn more about ESL teaching jobs in Bangkok.

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