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Presenter: Today, we’re lucky to have an interview with Samuel Jeffery, a long-term traveler, expat and English teacher. Welcome Samuel.
Samuel: Good afternoon!
Presenter: So, what’s it like teaching English abroad?
Samuel: I’ve said it many times before. Teaching English abroad is a great way to see the world. Having a secure income, an employer that helps you get set up in a foreign country takes away most of the risks and expense of moving abroad. Personally, I’ve used teaching English in Korea as a spring wake-up call to get new ideas about living abroad for six years and traveling the world.
Presenter: How was teaching English in Korea?
Samuel: When I was tutoring English in university, the majority of my students were from South Korea. They encouraged me to consider trying teaching English after I finish my degree, and the idea really grew on me over time. In hindsight, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. I’ve had really good experiences in Korea, and I now consider it my home away from home. I’ve found over time that my skills as a teacher have improved, and I’ve always found students to be a joy to teach. Korea has a lot to offer in terms of culture, food, and interesting destinations to explore.
Presenter: What is the quality of life of an English teacher in Korea?
Samuel: The quality of life for an English teacher is generally very high, provided they’ve secured a reputable job. A typical contract includes return airfare, a free apartment, severance bonuses and a low tax rate. A teacher is typically left with a lot of disposable income after payday. If a teacher is frugal, and lives like a local, there’s a potential to save fifty to seventy-five percent of their salary each month. Overall, in larger cities there is a vibrant expat community with plenty of opportunities to enjoy a variety of different activities. One of the true highlight of living in Korea is the diverse cuisine. Some of my favorite dishes are as spicy as I’ve ever tried in Asia.
Presenter: What are the typical salaries for English teachers in Korea, in US dollars?
Samuel: The average salary for a starting teacher would be anywhere between seventeen hundred to two thousand-two hundred dollars per month, with a free apartment, depending on experience, qualifications, and the level which one is teaching – private, public, university. For more experienced teachers, the average salary would be between twenty-one hundred and twenty-five hundred dollars. Finally, those who are working at prestigious universities, large companies, or are doing research or development, the sky is the limit. I’ve heard of individuals pulling in between five thousand and ten thousand dollars. But, this is very rare and only for those who have advanced qualifications, such as a Master’s degree and lots of experience teaching in Korea.
Presenter: Would you teach English again?
Samuel: I would. I would definitely teach English overseas again. I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to experience a new culture, travel, and save money. Unlike backpacking, it offers one the opportunity to feel as though they are part of the local community. The one tip I would suggest is to carefully research your potential school before signing any contract. Although there are excellent schools, the ESL industry is also rife with dodgy operators who have little concern for the welfare of their teachers or students.
Presenter: Thank you very much, Samuel.
3. Samuel Jeffrey is NOT introduced by the presenter as …
3) a patriot.
4. Samuel Jeffery considers teaching abroad to be …
1) a way of getting to know the world.
5. What encouraged Samuel Jeffrey to start teaching English?
3) His work with Korean students.
6. Which of the following is TRUE about Samuel Jeffrey’s teaching English in Korea?
3) It left him time for other activities.
7. Which of the following does Samuel Jeffrey NOT mention as something the teacher’s salary depends on?
2) Teacher’s age.
8. According to Samuel Jeffrey, what advantage is unique to teaching abroad and not found by simply traveling?
3) Feeling of belonging in a local community.
9. What advice does Samuel Jeffrey give to those wishing to teach English abroad?
1) Try to learn everything there is to about the prospective school.