On Tuesday, my NOA (Notice of Appointment) and contract arrived in the mail. I was excited to finally have my paperwork. I
felt like for the first time through this whole process with EPIK, I could say it is official… I am hired. I knew I passed my interview in November and on Christmas Day I found out that I was placed in Gangwon Province (강원도). But the reality is until the contract and NOA were in my hands it meant nothing. So even though I knew that I was going to teach English in Korea, it had not hit me that I was leaving.
Looking around my room at the things that need to be packed, organized, donated, and sorted, I have a lot to do. And unfortunately time is ticking away. The realization that I am leaving in 4 weeks has not set in. Receiving the NOA and contract has definitely made leaving seem more real. So the next step in this whole process is to go to the Korean Consulate in Boston to get my visa. I hope that I can obtain a multi-entry visa so that I can travel easy while I am living in South Korea. I will be going to the consulate on Tuesday with a few other ladies who are also in the EPIK program. So it will be nice to do lunch after getting the visa. I shall let everyone know how it goes~
I will be on a plane in 5 weeks to South Korea. I was thinking back to every time I have gone back and visited. Of all the times I have been, I grew the most during my study abroad summer program with Yonsei University in 2006. It was my second time to Seoul and I was ready to learn and travel. The feeling of being able to walk around in a different country, order myself a meal and take public transportation without help was amazing. I learned that I am a very independent person and opportunities like this truly open doors and the mind. Sitting here reflecting back on that time I realize the person who I was then was more confident, happier, and willing to take what the world had to give. I was even willing to make an ass out of myself by running down the street from 번대기 (fried silkworm pupae) on a toothpick. I didn’t want to eat it so I ran yelling, “I’m not eating that!” down a street in Seoul. Oh, the things we do when we are young. Trying 생낙지 (live octopus) was daunting the first time. I cried watching it move on the plate in front of me. Eventually my ex put it in my mouth to eat and I realized it wasn’t so bad. So from here on out I’m looking to find that old inner confidence of mine on this new journey and try new food, visit new places, make mistakes while learning Korean, and slowly working my way through each day teaching.