An experience in Korea – What if no one is there to pick you up?

[tab: Find your way as a new teacher in Korea]

You have applied, you have gotten the job and now you are ready for Korea. You are excited, nervous and outright scared. But at the same time, you are ready for the adventure.

Now imagine this situation. You arrive at the airport and even though you arranged everything with your recruiter and school, no one is there to pick you up. What will you do? Really, what if no one is there to pick you up?

I am not writing this to scare you. It has happened to a few teachers and it happened to me when I arrived in Incheon. I had no idea where to go or what to do and I want to share that experience in Korea and help you prepare for the worst possible scenario while hoping for the best for you.

An experience in Korea I will never forget

So here is what to do.

Before you even leave your home country, make sure you have all the contact information from the school you are going to. Have them assign a contact person, get the school’s address from them and write it down. Also, know the name of the city where the school is located. It’s also a good idea to have your school or contact person write the name in Korean and email it to you.

Get their phone number and the contact person’s phone number. Get his or her email address and email them your flight information so that they know precisely when you will be arriving.

There are phone booths at the airport where you can call someone. That’s why it’s important that you write down phone numbers.

If you are teaching in Seoul, you will want to take the subway. If you are outside of Seoul, you can get to the express bus terminal by subway as well as the bus. All the information you will need is available at the airport so don’t hesitate to ask.

Don’t panic, yes, it’s an unfortunate experience in Korea, but you can get through it. Others have experienced this, in fact, I went through this when I first came to Korea. I had to find my way to a town called Pyeongtaek. If I did it, someone who had never been to an Asian country before and did not speak the language, you can do it too. You just have to have the confidence to walk up to people and ask for directions.

Good to Read: Teaching English in Korea: A note to new teachers

Koreans will go above and beyond to help you. This is something I have experienced many times. Of course, there are some that are busy and not willing to help but that’s a given anywhere.

From my experience, younger people were the once more than willing to help and also the ones that spoke English well enough to help me. So if you are lost, ask for help.

Cheers.