Our grads share stories from teaching ESL in China & Korea
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Our grads share stories from teaching ESL in China & South Korea

Two Oxford Seminars grads, Amanda and Chelsea, share their stories and review their experiences teaching ESL abroad. Amanda taught English in China, while Chelsea taught ESL in South Korea.

Amanda – Teaching English in China

Amanda Teaching ESL in China

Amanda taught ESL in Chongqing, China after completing her TESOL/TESL/TEFL Certification.

“Even for a seasoned traveler like myself, it’s always a scary thing to travel half-way around the world to begin anew. Fortunately, when I found myself in Chongqing, China, I was greeted with open arms and warm hotpot hearts.”

Amanda Teaching ESL in China

It’s more than just a job. Teaching ESL abroad lets you travel and explore the world.

“While I would argue that no amount of preparation can prepare you for becoming a first-time ESL teacher, Oxford Seminars gave me the foundation I needed to discover, explore and share my love for teaching. Along the way, I have made plenty of friends, all of us family in this home away from home.”

Amanda Teaching ESL in China

Just enjoying the view.

“On days when I’m not teaching my incredible students, I’m scaling mountains at 5,200 feet and learning languages I never knew existed. While I worry that the people of China have taught me more than I have taught them, I am reminded by my talented and wise students: ‘学至于行之而止矣’ (to experience is to learn). As a result of the support I have received from my family, coworkers and friends abroad, I have had incredible opportunities that include, but are not limited to:

  • Climbing to the highest peak on the Great Wall
  • Eating dinner with Buddhist monks in Lhasa, Tibet
  • Touring a Chongqing Hotpot Factory
  • Being featured on CCTV [China Central Television]
  • Waking up to Mount Everest at Everest Base Camp
  • Winning “Teacher of the Year”
  • Participating in the school musical production of ‘Mamma Mia’
  • Cuddling pandas in the Chengdu Panda Reservation”

“Despite my extraordinary time spent in China, once again, I find myself wanting to travel half-way around the word to start anew as an ESL teacher. While I may not know where I will go next or when I will arrive, I know that Oxford Seminars will always be there to help me figure out the next step of my grand adventure.”

Chelsea – Teaching English in South Korea

“My experience in South Korea was one that was filled with the desire to try new things. I wanted to explore new niches and understand the country in which I began to live in. South Korea was the first Asian country that I had been to in my life, and I was excited to begin a new life within this country. South Korea provided me with unique experiences in food, culture, and in nature.”

Chelsea teaching ESL in South Korea

One of Chelsea’s photos from South Korea. Teaching ESL is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture.

“I truly enjoyed the food culture within South Korea, I quickly adjusted to the differences in food and began my exploration of the many wonderful dishes within the country. I found many favorites that still stand out in my mind. The food was exceptional, and the way every dish was presented was marked with tradition and the flavor that I have now associated with South Korea. The usage of spices and the array of side dishes was something that I would never forget.”

“The South Korean culture wasn’t hard to adjust to. I had found many parallels in the United States and in South Korea. Due to these parallels, I was able to avoid culture shock and be able to enjoy my time fully. The difference in language was the most difficult part about living in South Korea. Even though I lived in the sixth largest city in South Korea, the number of people who could confidently speak English was few. I had to learn some basic language skills to be able to communicate on a day to day basis with people. This wasn’t hard to do, due to being immersed in the culture.”

Chelsea teaching ESL in South Korea

Enjoying Gwangju’s beautiful surrounding countryside in Spring.

“My favorite time of year was spring. Spring time in South Korea was beautiful and marked with cherry blossoms. They didn’t have much of a scent, but the aesthetic of the flowers framing the roads was especially magical to me. Gwangju (where I lived), was surround by mountains which provided a lot of opportunities to go hiking and enjoy the weather. Where I lived also had tea fields and a lake right outside of the city. It was all worth the short ride to view these places.”

“I truly enjoyed my time in South Korea and would recommend people who are willing to learn a bit of the language and try new food to make a journey to South Korea. The experiences could not be replaced and are definitely unique to the country.”

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