I passed!

The melody played; the results came in.

And it’s done. I’ve done it. I have passed my EPIK interview and found out almost immediately I received the email thanks to my ingenious (or foolish) idea to put a custom ringtone on my coordinator’s phone contact information.

But it’s happening. I’m finally on a track in my life that I can confidently tell people. I am a teacher. I am in the Korean government’s EPIK program. I am going to Korea to teach. I am making a certain point when I say that I can confidently tell people though; I didn’t say proudly or happily. Why? Because prior to this, during my time off, my break from life, my vacation away from my time off… I was proud of who I am. I was happy with where I was in life. Even if others judged me for my decisions, I wasn’t regretting my decision to take time off. You know how people generally take a year off of things? I barely got a few months before I got judged. A few months — and the plan was always a few months as I applied to my next step in life. It wasn’t even about partying or acting foolishly young. It was time off to plan and prepare for the next step. So, here we are – preparing for the next step.

And my next step is going to be in Korea. I am so excited even though there are still so many things to take care of in order to get that final placement. I mean, even if I send in my documents in a few days… it’ll still take weeks before I know which Korean province will accept me (Seoul, please). At which point, the contract will be here around late-December. School itself may not even be decided until I arrive in February. But that is okay because I knew about the lengthy process. The point is… I passed the interview! I haven’t been so happy seeing the word “Congratulations” since I got accepted into the Concurrent Education program at YorkU four years ago.

Also, the star locket melody from Sailor Moon has now become my favourite melody.


EPIK Interview

Completed the interview.
And I survived.

I am pretty sure I did okay. The coordinator seemed to like my credentials and she smiled and laughed at my semi-jokes. I controlled the speed of my talking, which can get pretty fast when I get anxious or excited. I gave the questions some consideration before answering them to make sure I was articulate and answered with consideration. I confirmed details in my application.

She seemed to like my personal essay and lesson plan; already telling me how it would be great for my class in Korea. She made it sound like I’m already working with the students. I also seem to have a chance at a position in Seoul – which means I’d have to get into EPIK in the first place.

Basically, I have reasons to believe that the email to indicate my acceptance (or not) would be good news. But they could be telling everyone the same information before letting me down softly.

I will get in. I will make this happen. I will pursue this professional path no matter what the result is.

Now, we just have to wait 2-3 days for the results.


Initial Screening, Pass

It is around 7am here in Vancouver on this wonderful Friday morning when I woke up and decided to check my email. I have strange waking patterns. Nevertheless, I have been too excited and nervous to fall back asleep so I may as well share the latest news.

I have just received an email from EPIK that states that I “have passed the first selection phase” and that the next step would be “an interview via Skype (webcam).” I’m really glad I got my application in when I did because I’m also able to get an interview time that is relatively soon – just two nights after I return from my Vancouver trip. Of course it means that I only have two days to prepare for the interview but that’s more than enough time. Besides, I work pretty well under pressure.

I can’t even explain how relieved and grateful I am just to pass the initial screening process. I wasn’t too worried since I do meet all the qualifications but I was still anxious. This is an important next part of my life I’m trying to make happen here. Well, as always, stick around for my epic (EPIK, get it?) tales of this application process. I’ll be back in Toronto soon, ready to share my Vancouver stories and photos.

Attach, and send.

It’s not enough just to have an idea to do something. Nor is it enough to gather information, write a few things down, and fill out the applications. To me, it finally felt more “official” tonight when I attached those applications, letters of recommendation, and passport photo. And hit send.

It’s strange how the hours I spent putting my application together means less than the one minute I took to send out the email.

So now the email is sitting in that inbox – and if things go smoothly, I’ll pass the initial screening process and be offered an interview.

For now, I’m going to pack and get ready for a week on the Canadian west coast.

Getting My Application Together

I have been working towards the goal of teaching in Korea for the past two years. And to be quite honest, the process of putting this application and documents together is a little daunting. There are many details to take care of, fees to be paid, and people to see and make a request about a recommendation letter. But all in all, I think that I’m doing okay. I’ve had my moments of discouragement but I always pull through because I’m reminded by myself of how much I really want this. So what do I do? I make checklists for what I need to follow up with. I make notes on what details are needed to be addressed. I Google what may come up later in the process. I check to see what my best options are.

I’m putting pressure on myself to get this done by Friday because I am going away for a week on Saturday with the best friend. In the past 24 hours I’ve managed to check off most of these items.

To do:

[  ] Complete electronic copy of EPIK application
[X] Complete electronic copy of EPIK-SMOE application
[X] Cover letter
[X] Resume
[X] Personal Essay
[X] Lesson plan
[X] Go to fingerprinting agency for RCMP criminal check
[  ] Apply online for EPIK

Of course, it was a wonderful feeling when I finished the cover letter and resume only to realize that the application I was working on that required those may no longer be an option I’m going with. But it’s always better to have those updated and ready.

The EPIK application is making its way there — I’m just missing the last time when and for what reason I went to see the physician. This application is very thorough in its questioning, but I like that they do consider everything that may be a factor in the teaching and living experience in Korea.

I can feel it. There’s a feeling of completion. Of course, this is just the beginning. I still have documents to prepare and get notarized. I still have to get interviewed. I may have to make modifications to my lesson plan and personal essay. But those things will happen as I slowly work towards them.

I’m excited and nervous. Mostly excited, all over again.