Meet Magda Kapuscik, an English teacher in South Korea. Magda is a biology graduate from Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario in Canada. She decided to embark on the Teach in South Korea experience to travel and explore the eastern world as well as to get a feel for teaching and to determine whether it was a career she wished to pursue in future years to come.
Going abroad to live and work is something quite daunting to some and is an experience that many miss out on because of this fear. Going abroad to live and teach English in South Korea poses even greater challenges as one is moving to a country where the culture and language spoken is completely different to that of the Western world. Magda expresses to us in the above video however that despite being nervous and wary of packing her bags and flying across the world to begin a year of teaching in a country where she knows no-one, it was overcoming all of these fears and breaking out of her comfort zone that has made teaching in South Korea one of her best life decisions yet.
Overcoming previous fears and growing self-confidence
As she mentions, she has always been nervous and somewhat shy when it comes to public speaking and faced with the task of having to do this on a daily basis when teaching English to South Korean children, this experience has helped her overcome this fear and she now presents lesson plans to friendly South Korean faces with utter confidence and ease.
The friendly and helpful attitudes of the local people
Growing one’s comfort zone and overcoming various challenges promotes such personal growth and is one incredible benefit about this gap-year opportunity. Magda, among many other English teachers in South Korea, quickly settled into her role as an English teacher in this foreign land and found it incredibly easy to settle into her new living environment with the many expats and local South Koreans’ friendly and helpful attitudes allowing her to feel like she was a part of the local community – and as such South Korea became a home away from home.
Magda also found that the school she works at was rather significant in helping to ease her nerves and assisting her to settle in more easily as they offered a great deal of help when needed. The children she teaches English to have also made it that much easier as they are very co-operative and easy to teach – much like every other school in South Korea.
Work schedule and free time
When Magda is not teaching at school, she is given some time to plan her lessons for future days to come and catch up on some marking. Luckily for her, this all falls into the time she spends at school between the hours of 1 and 9 pm so the rest of her spare time can be spent doing whatever she feels like.
What have you found most challenging?
What Magda has found the most challenging in her Teach Abroad experience in South Korea is the aspect of living alone. Teachers in South Korea are all provided with free accommodation in a 1-person apartment and she goes on to explain how it is quite a step up from being back home and constantly being surrounded by family or friends when at home to living completely by oneself. Thankfully the South Korean people and expats living in the neighbourhood where Magda teaches are extremely nice and friendly so this has forced her to branch out and overtime become used to the fact of living alone and enjoying her own company.
Magda’s message to everyone about to go teach English in South Korea
“If you have never taught, don’t worry about it. Everyone here is really excited to meet new teachers. They’re always really welcoming and it’s just fantastic how they’re so accepting of you which makes it a lot easier. I wish I didn’t worry as much as I did. I’ve managed, I think it’s a great experience, it really pushes your boundaries and I think if you have the chance, it’s a fantastic opportunity to try and learn new things”.