I just got my E-2 Korean visa this past week – whoop! Looking at it, the fruit of my efforts and travel goals begin sinking in… I feel nervous, weird, most definitely excited and I even begin to feel like I might be a bit Korean! Most of all, this visa stands for the achievement of a goal.
When I applied for this ESL teaching position 5 months ago, I thought it was going to be a breeze- like filling out a long form/questionaire, writing an essay and flashing my passport. Afterall, it’s a popular work-travel choice for many traveler’s and graduate students looking for an expat experience. What I eventually realized was that this process required so much more…
An example of the application process for the position of an English teacher in South Korea:
Application packet #1:
Application packet #2:
-8 page form
1st Interview w/ Recruiter
Application packet #3 (2 copies required):
-Application form #2
-2 letters of reference
-Official copies of school transcripts
-Official documents (certified & apostilled criminal background check + college diploma).
Additional copies of official documents and transcripts
(*Optional* extension of the teaching term or future decision to teach in another country)
2nd Interview w/ Ministry of Education (EPIK)
Apply for E-2 Visa :
*Required: Copy of signed work contract, Employer’s Notice of Appointment, Passport, 1 Passport photo)
Book my OW flight
Total expense: Approx $200 (dependent upon your state’s fees and not inclusive of flight)
Applying for your GRRR in Self-Belief:
In gaining an E-2 work visa abroad, the most vital ingredient was faith and self-belief. Finding the will and courage to believe in your own abilities to accomplish what you want is 75% of the up-hill battle.
The choices and decisions we make towards creating a satisfactory life is like playing at our own personal stock market. Life is only a gamble, when you don’t know what paths are available to you and you base your decision upon a coin toss. Behind Door #1: Continue upon a known road, which is feeling lifeless and stagnant (a 50% gamble but you know the odds of its answer) Behind Door #2: Following one’s heart into the unknown and trust it to move us forward. Hmmm… vague, right? Nevertheless, it IS an advance forward from stagnant, and the dark can enlighten one unto many things. For instance, it may present a better solution, outlook or life, that had not been considered. If nothing else, for me, this choice would produce a well-needed break from my career, a new perspective on life and a means to travel and enjoy photography. This remaining 50% of my gamble offered a 100% of potential. The odds in gambling were pretty good, but this is only part of the winning edge…
The 6 month goal:
Can large dreams be achieved in a short amount of time? I have no doubt there are people who might be able to manage this goal in lesser time. For me, six is my turn-around number. It’s approximately the number of months that activated my last life altering decision: Get into an MFA program and move to NYC… (Ready, set, go!) Whenever you discover a goal to define your life by (even if temporarily), life immediately becomes clear. In order to win the odds in your favor, your stakes and GRRR energies must be raised 100% to focus on moving towards your challenge. If you’re on a short timeline, you may need to raise your energies to 110%… 120% or 140%.
Back in August, when I launched my goal to move my life abroad by February 2010 (Ready, set, go!), I didn’t have a clue whether it was possible. I researched work options in my field and secondary jobs abroad… my eyes nearly imploded with all the internet research I was doing. My only known plan in the transition would be to move home to Hawaii by December (to spend the holidays with my family) and then launch from there. Where? Who knew. Doing what? Something that would give me a work visa. There was no backup plan. But, I commited 110% of myself to building a bridge between trust in myself and my desire, expecting I would eventually arrive at a solution.
By actively taking steps towards my goal each day, I increased the probability of my achievement. I’m nearing the end of my 5th month and I have a Korean work visa and flight ticket in hand. In mid February, I will be starting my new life in Korea. My 6 month trajectory is right on target,… and with several days to spare.