In this podcast, Ryan talks about why he decided to teach English in South Korea, his favorite memories from South Korea, the friends he made while teaching English abroad, and the extensive travel opportunities teaching English abroad provided for him.
Listen to Ryan talk about teaching English in South Korea
Hi, my name is Ryan and I taught overseas in South Korea. In particular I was in Jeju Province in a small town called Seogwipo, which has about 40,000 to 50,000 people. It was a beautiful little town, a fishing town. It was an incredible experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I think the reason that I wanted to go overseas initially was because of all the beautiful pictures of Korea, China, and Japan that I saw on social media in my fourth year of my undergraduate degree that really encouraged me and motivated me to go overseas and explore another culture.
I would say that my favorite experience over there was probably Christmas with other foreigners. It was an incredible time to spend with other foreigners from multiple different countries and get to know them and really fill that void of not having family around during that time. I’d say to date it’s definitely one of the highlights of my experience there and also Christmas in general.
I would say that truly learning what it meant to be an outsider was an important lesson that I took away from my time in South Korea because I couldn’t speak the local language at the beginning and I couldn’t necessarily understand a lot of what was happening, so whenever a local person would really take the time to help me out, whether it was helping me get on the right bus or perhaps pointing me in the right direction, it really was something that I appreciated and something that I try to do when I can for other foreigners now.
I met some amazing people while I was over in South Korea and these friendships are ones that I think will last for a lifetime. I still communicate with a lot of my friends from the time that I spent there and I think that will continue for years to come.
I did get the chance to travel to many countries: I went to Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines. So that was a great opportunity to see South Korea and what it had to offer but also to see a lot of the neighboring countries and explore the cultures that they had to offer as well. I would say that one of the main things I took away from it that future employers would like was my ability to go outside of my comfort zone and to really explore and appreciate all opportunities that come my way.