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Mudfest Tix and T-Shirt Contest

May 11th, 2010
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Hello Mudfesters,

If you are a hagwon teacher, chances are you got paid on Monday…so now that you have a bit of cash in your account, what better time to confirm your Mudfest trip?

(scan to the bottom if you are interested in the T-shirt design contest)

Update as of May 12th: We are 2 months away from departure and are well over half-way full on everything.

1. We are extending our second round of Early-Bird pricing for as long as we can for the rooms that we have already booked as we know what the prices are. Once those are full, if we do another round, we are not sure what the price will go up to (closer we get, the higher the price the motels want)

2. Accommodations are in motels with a max of 4 per room. You create your own group. You must submit as a group as you are paying for a room, not just an individual trip. If you are only 3 in your group, it costs more per person, and 2 per group is just too expensive, so get a couple of friends to go together.

3. If you don’t have a group, or need one or two extra, just post on the Wall of our Facebook group. We are not getting involved in any matching. It’s up to you to post “need 2 people to share with,” “need one more member for our group” or “solo, looking for group” or whatever.

Note: Yes, it is ok to have different departures for your group. So, if you are in Bundang, you can team up with some in Gwangju or wherever.

4. Payment must be made at one time, not separately. Assign a group leader and that’s the person who will communicate with us, make the payment, confirm the payment etc…

5. We are leaving on Friday to get the most out of the weekend. Depending on departure, everyone will be arriving pretty late Friday, but then you wake up at the beach and don’t need to worry about catching a bus early Saturday morning.

What you get:

-Transportation to and from the beach

-Two nights of accommodation in a motel

-Max of 4 people per room

-Absolute best locations…closest to the action and the beach. Can’t get any closer than where we are to everything.

-Free special edition Mudfest T-shirt

-Travel Insurance Coverage

-Staff on call from morning till night

Please visit this link for all of the pricing info and sign-up info. Please read through everything thoroughly before taking any action and before emailing any questions! If you read it 3 times, you’ll get the answer to 9.9 out of 10 questions.

Ready? Go:

http://bit.ly/a06ycQ

List of Departure Locations:

Gangnam Seoul 9pm

Hongdae Seoul 9pm

Gangnam Seoul Midnight

Busan 8pm

Busan 11pm

Anyang 9pm

Bundang 9pm

Incheon 9pm

Suwon 9pm

Changwon 8pm

Daegu 9pm

Gwangju 9pm

Ulsan 10:30pm

Is your location not listed? If you can get a minimum of 35 and up to 45 people together, we will get you your own bus for your own group at the departure time of your choice.

Please use the Facebook Group to start a discussion such as “Let’s Get a Bus from Cheongju” etc… There are already a couple of those going, so check those out and rally your troops. If you can get the people, we can organize it for you.

Homepage/Blog:

http://www.boryeongmudfest.com

T-Shirt Contest Update:

Still looking!

This is a message for anyone out there that considers themselves to be creative or artistic. We need a design for this year’s Mudfest T-shirt that we’ll be giving to everyone.

Here’s how it works:

1. The winner of the contest gets 100,000 won and gets to have their work printed up on 800+ t-shirts.

2. Send your ideas with the subject “Contest” to boryeong.mudfest@gmail.com

3. Let us know if you’ll be able to submit your work in AI format (Adobe Illustrator) The file eventually needs to be an AI file in order to be used for the t-shirt and if you do your work with AI, that is helpful. (But, feel free to send even if you don’t)

4. Include your name and phone number in the email, along with whatever you think would convince us that your idea is best.

5. Deadline will be extended to Monday May 17th.

Q&A

Can you submit multiple entries?

Yes.

Can you use copyrighted stuff?

No.

What kind of design do you like?

Ummm…can be funny, can be clever, can be serious. You can use a tag line or no tag line.

Can it be really complicated?

Remember, it’s going on a t-shirt, so better to keep it one color if possible.

Can I enter even if I’m not going to Mudfest?

Ahh, I guess…but why aren’t you going?

Can I post my design on the Fbook group and try to get a whole bunch of people to say that my design is the coolest in order to sway your decision? Ummm, sure, if you want.

OK…have a great weekend! Supposed to be warm and sunny. Maybe we’ll have to have our first BBQ of the year! Anyone in the Bundang/Jukjeon area feel free to friend me and I’ll post on Fbook if we are firing it up.

Jason

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Free Kizomba Lesson Saturday, May 8, 1:30-30 pm. in Yangjae, Seoul

May 4th, 2010
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One of our teachers, Art Williams, is also a dancer and dance teacher and he’s
been learning a new dance called Kizomba.  It’s very popular in the UK and
European salsa clubs right now and is just now getting to the US market.

Art describes the dance as a melding of tango, bachata and West Coast Swing and
he says it’s also very danceable to lots of raggaeton and lots of the progressive club
music you hear in international dance clubs nowadays.  Art says he thinks it’s going
to be the next ‘big thing’ in the the dance community.

He’s been doing free lessons, every other week, over at a very nice studio in Yangjae
just a short 5 minute walk from the subway station.  Directions to the studio are at
www.salsaseoul.com.

Art asked me to let you know you’re all invited.  And remember….it’s totally free.
You can see what “Kizmba” looks like at www.kizmbadancer.com or also just
by going over to YouTube and searching “Kizomba dance”.

You can reach Art at 010 5822 2277

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Mudfest Early-Bird Round 2

April 20th, 2010
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Hello Mudfesters,

So, our early-bird filled up in 30 hours last time.  We had overflow and had to send people messages to tell them to stop sending money. We’ve since received lots of questions about when you can get your tickets, so we are going to do a final “not-so-early-early-bird special.” We are opening this one up to a max of 100 groups.  I would estimate that it will be sold-out by the end of the weekend.

1. Early-Bird pricing limited to 100 groups (max 4 per group) Deadline is April 28th, but we expect the early bird seats to be sold out by the weekend. You’ll be saving your group about 80,000 won if you get the early-bird, so it’s significant.

2. Accommodations are in motels with a max of 4 per room. You create your own group. You must submit as a group as you are paying for a room, not just an individual trip. If you are only 3 in your group, it costs more per person, and 2 per group is just too expensive, so get a couple of friends to go together.

3. If you don’t have a group, or need one or two extra, just post on the Wall of our Facebook group. We are not getting involved in any matching. It’s up to you to post “need 2 people to share with,” “need one more member for our group” or “solo, looking for group” or whatever.

Note: Yes, it is ok to have different departures for your group. So, if you are in Bundang, you can team up with some in Gwangju or wherever.

4. Payment must be made at one time, not separately. Assign a group leader and that’s the person who will communicate with us, make the payment, confirm the payment etc…

5. We are leaving on Friday to get the most out of the weekend. Depending on departure, everyone will be arriving pretty late Friday, but then you wake up at the beach and don’t need to worry about catching a bus early Saturday morning.

The early-bird pricing we are doing is comparable to what some groups ask for a one-night trip, without the free t-shirt and insurance. So, you’ll want to jump on this. First-paid, first served.

Please visit this link for all of the pricing info and sign-up info. Please read through everything thoroughly before taking any action and before emailing any questions! If you read it 3 times, you’ll get the answer to 9.9 out of 10 questions.

Ready? Go:

http://bit.ly/a06ycQ

List of Departure Locations:

Gangnam Seoul 9pm

Hongdae Seoul 9pm

Gangnam Seoul Midnight

Busan 8pm

Busan 11pm

Anyang 9pm

Bundang 9pm

Incheon 9pm

Suwon 9pm

Changwon 8pm

Daegu 9pm

Gwangju 9pm

Ulsan 10:30pm

Is your location not listed? If you can get a minimum of 35 and up to 45 people together, we will get you your own bus for your own group at the departure time of your choice.

Please use the Facebook Group to start a discussion such as “Let’s Get a Bus from Cheongju” etc… There are already a couple of those going, so check those out and rally your troops. If you can get the people, we can organize it for you.

Homepage/Blog:

http://www.boryeongmudfest.com

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Free Live Video Streaming Info Session on EPIK jobs for Seoul/Busan/Daegu…

April 3rd, 2010
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Invitation to Live Video Streaming EPIK Information Session

This Fall, EPIK will be hiring over 900 public school teachers for positions throughout Korea in cities such as Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Incheon, Jeju, and provinces such as Gangwon, Gyeongbuk, and others.

ASK Now-ETO is an official EPIK recruiter and we will be hosting a live streaming video information session on Monday, April 5th at 9pm EST. Anyone with internet access can watch and listen as we discuss the following:

-The benefits of applying to EPIK and what jobs are available

-How to properly fill out your application form to ensure the best results

-What pitfalls to watch out for when submitting your application

-What jobs will be available and what EPIK is looking for in a candidate

-What things will result in your application being disqualified

-What deadlines you must meet

-Documentation requirements

If time permits, we will also take your questions live via chat and answer them for you on the spot.

With this unique session, you will be able to watch and listen as we discuss in native English what you need to do if you want to get one of the most sought after teaching positions in Korea.

Don’t miss this opportunity to get the edge in obtaining a great public school position.

In order to get access to the event, you just have to sign up in advance with your name and email address. You will them be automatically emailed the link for the event.  Here is where to sign up and where you can get started on your EPIK application:

Here is the link: http://www.asknow.ca/epik.aspx

Looking forward to helping you. Please note, this event is open to anyone, not just those who have applied with us already. If you have applied with a different company, please feel free to attend the session.

Jason Cresswell and the ASK Now-ETO Team

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Update on 19 year old Korean that needs your help.

April 2nd, 2010
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Here is an update on the situation of the young man that needs donations of B Negative Blood.
If you can donate or spread the word, please do so after having a look at the Facebook group:
Subject: Today’s update:
Dear Friends,

I have received an update from YooWoon’s father, and wanted to share it with you.

마리
Dear Marie

YooWoon still hasn’t made any progress.
유운이의 상태가 아직까지는 호전되지 않네요..

Numerical value of platelets still stay 5000~6000, which is only 2% of normal person’s. If he didn’t get transfusion it drops to around 3000.

혈소판 수치도 여전히 5,000~6000/ml 정도이구요.. 정상인 수치(300,000/ml) 의 2% 정도예요.. 그나마 혈소판 맞지 않는 날은 3,000까지 떨어지구요..

Three days ago, he got a nose bleed and it kept bleeding for 2 days.

3일전에는 코에 출혈이 있었는데, 2일간이나 멎지 않더라구요..

The doctor said he needs to keep receiving transfusions until he is able to produce white blood cells by himself. If possible, 2 packs a day. But there was only one day so far where he recieved 2 packs. It’s really hard to tell how long it will take to get an appropriate number of donors.

주치의사도 유운이가 혈액에서 자체 생산하는 능력을 자질 때까지, 당분간 혈 소판을 계속 수혈받아야 한대요.. 가능하면 하루에 두개씩..
그런데 아직까지 두개 맞은 적은 하루밖에는 안되요..
얼마나 오래 되어야 할 지는 아직 예측이 안되네요..

In just 2 weeks YooWoon will start his second anti-cancer treatment, this time much stronger than the first. His condition must improve at least a little bit before then because the white blood cell count will decrease dramatically when the treatment starts. At this time his white blood cell count, platelets and hemoglobin are so low that we always have to sanitize our hands and cover our mouth when we are with him.

2주뒤에는 2차 항암치료를 좀 더 강하게 한대요.. 항암치료를 하면 혈액내의 모든 수치가 급격하게 떨어져요.. 2차 항암치료전 유운이가 어느정도 차도를 보여야 하는데.. 지금은 백혈구, 혈소판, 헤모글로빈 등 모든 피수치가 낮아 유운이 옆에서 간호할때도 수시로 손 소독하고, 마스크 하고 지내요..

Normally with lymphoma after 1 week after treatment you can see improvement, but YooWoon’s Lymphoma has turned out to be a severe case.

일반적인 Lymphoma의 경우 1주일 정도 지나면 약간 차도를 보인다고 하는데, 유운이는 Lymphoma 중에서도 Worst case거든요..

However, thanks to the efforts of Marie and the foreign community, these days he gets a shot at least once a day. Our family is greatly appreciative.

그래도 마리 덕분에 유운이가 최근에는 하루에 최소한 한개씩 혈소판을 맞고 있어서 그나마 다행이예요.. 마리때문에 우리 가족이 얼마나 힘을 얻고 사는 지 몰라요..

We will keep you updated on his progress and greatly appreciate your support.

유운이가 조금이라도 상황이 호전되면 마리에게 바로 알려드릴께요.. 아직까 지는 정확히 상황을 예측할 수는 없네요..

The news isn’t great, but I think if we keep spreading the word and donating, we should be able to turn this thing around. We are starting to get some attention from the press and various groups in Seoul. I can feel things picking up steam!

I also started to think… Does anyone know anything about writing press releases? There must be other ways we could help the family out. If you have any ideas, please let me know!

Marie

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Oh, the Frustration!

March 31st, 2010
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This is an email that I just received from one of our teachers and my reply to her. I thought it would be helpful to share here as I’m sure many people have had similar situations at their schools and have felt similar frustrations.

Dave is a quiet thoughtful child who has attended one of my classes since I began at the hagwon. He did not attend over the Christmas holiday period, but has returned as of the new school year in a different class. Always keen and interested, Dave regularly participates willingly in all activities and is a joy to have in the classroom. However, since his return I have noticed a gradual increase in nervousness and the beginnings of a tic. This has become more pronounced over the past fortnight when the tics have escalated into head movements and grunting sounds. A cruel comment made by another boy at the end of my class on Tuesday resulted in a fight between him and Dave which I managed to stop. I immediately removed Dave who was by this time so distressed he was almost hyperventilating and his head movements and grunting sounds had become chronic. I sat with and comforted him for sometime after until he was calm.
This class is a handful. 10 boys, 2 or 3 are particularly rowdy. However I’m very fond of them, but not convinced this is the best environment for Dave at this time. His previous class was smaller and had more girls than boys which suited better in my opinion.
The new woman’s response to my concerns were that Dave has a problem so, if he distracts the other students, he may not be allowed to attend in the future.
The next morning en route to Kindergarten school, I delicately broached the subject and learned from my director that Dave’s parents have recently separated. He is desperately missing his mother. My director agreed that Dave needs us more than ever, I have offered to teach Dave individually if necessary. Access to my director is limited and it seems his wife (the Vice Principal) has overall authority of the running of the school, clearly now influenced by this awful woman.
Immediately after graduating from my teaching degree I spent 2 years working with children with special needs, learning difficulties and behavioural disorders. I’ve been very interested in the area of child psychology for many years and research the subject constantly. I recognise the signs of severe distress and trauma when I see them. I cannot and will not ignore the signs of a child in distress no matter which country or continent I find myself in.
My dilemma is this….. my director is the good guy if my fridge breaks down or my internet doesn’t work etc. His scary (non English speaking) wife deals with my hours, wages and runs the school, now assisted by Hitler’s sister. Personal inconveniences I can take a ridiculous amount of but when bad things start happening to good people, my patience runs out.
I’m really frustrated and angry and I apologise for this rant but I have no other direction in which to turn and at this time feel very alone and uncertain of my situation. I suppose I’m just seeking a kind, reassuring word from someone who knows the score here better than me. Thanks for listening.
I’ve lost count of the beers I owe you.
And my reply to this teacher (who is one of the nicest ladies we’ve placed here in Korea)
So, as for the situation with Dave, you have come across what perhaps 9 out of 10 English teachers in Korea have been frustrated by. That is: school is a business more than a school.  If there are 2 top complaints that we hear over the years, it is that the communication between staff and management is horrible (last-minute changes, don’t listen to advice etc..) and that the school is run like a business and not a school.
So, the situation with Dave falls under the second item.  It is really frustrating, but I can tell you what is going on is that the school doesn’t want to rock the boat for a multitude of Korean reasons:
-They don’t want to lose the student (and income that comes along with the student)
-They don’t want to put the parents in an embarrassing situation (”your child has a problem”)
-They don’t want other parents to hear that they got involved in something personal
-Any type of psychological issues are still very much a source of being ostracized in this culture
-If someone were passed out in the middle of the sidewalk, the majority of people would just walk by. There have even been reports of people being hit by cars and being on the street and some people just driving around while others run over the person like roadkill. This is an extreme example, but the moral of the story is Koreans are usually “head down, mind your own business.”
There are probably several other factors at play here, but the above are likely very accurate.  Your example is a strong one because it sounds like the student really could use some attention and special care, but it won’t come from the school. The only real way of doing anything would be for you to go out of your way to make him feel cared about whenever you can.  But, expecting the school to step in is probably not really realistic, regardless of how right it would be.
You are certainly not alone in feeling these frustrations. Hundreds of teachers everyday here in Korea are feeling some version of the same thing. Even on a smaller scale, I feel it every time I see a baby in a car with no car seat or seatbelt dancing around the back seat or sticking their head out the window.  There are a lot of great things about Korea, but there are some things that still seem to lag.
I’m not sure if that is helpful or not, but I hope it is to some extent.
Boy, I’m going to be really drunk by the time we are done hanging out!
Jason
Well, I hope that helps some of you see that you are perhaps not alone in your frustration over some things that go on in Korea. All we can do is do our best to influence the students that you are in contact with on a daily basis.  It may not change the whole system, but it does change things for that student.

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Private Party and St. Patrick’s Day Parade Invite

March 15th, 2010
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Hello Everyone!

This is an invitation to a pre-parade private party and then an after-party. Here are the details:

1. We have a private party for people on our guestlist only at Beer O’Clock in Shinchon. They are giving us their St. Patrick’s Day party specials (discounted Irish shots, discounted Guinness, and discounted green draft beer!)
This starts at 12pm and will be a great chance to meet some new people. The whole bar will just be closed for our people. They also have great food, so if you want to grab lunch there, you won’t be disappointed.

2. Shortly before 2pm, we will make our way to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. It is a few subway stops from where we will be, so we’ll all move together as a group.

3. After that, we’ll head to The Wolfhound Pub in Itaewon for their legendary St. Patrick’s Day party. (Note: working on another possible party location on top of this too, so I’ll update as that becomes available).

This event is going to be a great way for people new to the country to get to know new people and also for the veterans to just get together and have a great St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Remember, everyone is Irish on St. Paddy’s day! Be sure to wear your green!

How to get on the guestlist:

Just sign up at http://www.asknow.ca/events.aspx

You have to be on the list for the pre-party and be part of our group. Yes, you can invite non-ASK Now people as well. Just have them sign up on the guestlist as well.

How to get there:

We will meet you at Shinchon Station, Exit 1 at 11:50am and walk over there together. Please be sure to go to Shinchon Station on Line 2, north of the Han River, near Hongdae/Ewha Women’s University and NOT the place of a similar name down near Jamsil.

If you don’t get there on time to walk over with us, you can follow the instructions here:

http://www.beeroclock.ca/

Note: Please try to get there on time. I know it’s early to get started, but it’s the best way to get to know people and make new friends. It’s also St. Patrick’s Day, so what more reason do you need? We’ll only be at Beer O’Clock for a fairly short time before heading to the parade. Once we get to the parade, it will be too late to really find who is in our group. So, be sure to get to the subway station by that time and enjoy the party with us all day!

Go ahead and sign up: http://www.asknow.ca/events.aspx

Looking forward to seeing you Saturday! Feel free to go to the ASK Now Facebook group to introduce yourself to others that are coming.

Deadline: Wednesday at 10pm for guestlist sign-up.

Jason Cresswell
ASK Now-ETO
twitter.com/jasoncresswell

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Feeling Good or Why I Like South Africans

March 8th, 2010
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Yesterday was a very nice day because of what we received in the mail.  In this age of email, Facebook, and other digital media, there are rarely times when real mail comes.

Well, yesterday, we received a real delivery from Jody and Janice, two South African teachers that we placed in the Pyeongtaek area last year who are coming to the end of their contract.  Jody and Janice had a fairly long road to Korea as many people do.  But, with their dedication to the process and our team working together with them, they finally made it.

We have met them at several of our events and they are the nicest couple you could ever hope to meet.  We’ve also stayed in touch via email throughout their year.  They have been very thankful for our help in getting them here and both emphasize how much they have learned and enjoyed over the past 12 months.  That in itself is exactly why I enjoy doing what we do.  It is great being able to help people create a unique experience in their lives.

Jody and Janice went the extra step and sent a really nice letter along with some South African souvenirs that I have included pics of below.  Talk about making us all feel great!  I just wanted to with them all the best and hopefully we’ll see them back here.  Also, the South African friends we’ve made throughout the years here have proven to be some of the friendliest and most appreciative people we’ve met. If you are representatives of your country, then I should like to visit sometime soon.  Good luck with South Africa 2010 and continue enjoying things wherever life takes you!

Jason

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Introduction to Kizomba Class

March 8th, 2010
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So, one of our long-time clients and good friends is involved in dance classes in Korea (Salsa, Casino Rueda etc…) and he is hosting an introduction to a new style and new class this weekend.  I think he can explain it better than me…here is the message that Art sent:

Saturday I’m offereing a free class that I think you’d enjoy and I would appreciate if you could announce to your Seoul and Seoul area list.  It’s a great chance for people to learn what, I think, is going to be the next big dance thing in the US.  It’s already big in Europe and starting to grow in the US.
Here’s the details:
Introduction to Kizomba Class at Candela Dance Studio in Yangjae.  Here’s a URL with a map.  It’s a very nice studio and they’re good friends of mine.  Class will be from 2-3 pm.  Total dance beginners are OK but be ready to learn.
You’d like it too Jason.  Kizomba is soooo cool.  It’s known also as ‘African Tango’ and it’s amazingly easy to do.  It’s not done in Korea yet but it’s just now getting to the US and it’s very popular in the UK and Europe.  If you want to see what it looks like you can search ‘Kizomba’ on YouTube or look at my other blog where I’ve already put several nice videos…. at www.kizombadancer.com .
Appreciate your help.
Best regards,
Art
So, there you have it! Check out the site and check out Art’s blog: http://wanderingsalsero.typepad.com/
Jason

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Got a voice? Use it to get a job!

March 8th, 2010
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Things are tight in the job market right now.  What is something that you can do to help?  Send us a recording of your voice so that we can send it along with your photo and resume.

When presenting our teachers to schools, the more senses we can engage, the better. There is an easy way for us to engage the sense of hearing now.  If you can get a school to listen to your voice, you have a much better chance of securing an interview. So, we are now set up to allow our teachers to record a sample by just making a quick phone call. The sample comes to us in .mp3 format and we send that to the school so that they can hear your wonderful voice for themselves at their own leisure and then decide if they want to interview you or not.

From now on, we will be getting all of our new applicants to complete this step.  However, if you applied a while ago and are still waiting for a position, then I would suggest doing the audio recording so that we can add it to your file.

Here’s how:

We have all of our applicants do a brief phone recording as a self-introduction. You just have to call our phone number and leave a message. The message is then
automatically converted to MP3 and sent to us. Then, when it comes time to introduce you to schools, your brief audio recording is sent along with your resume and photo.
We have found that this helps a lot in getting our applicants interviews with schools. The school gets to hear your voice and they are then more likely to request a follow-up
interview. Remember, speak clearly, not too quickly, and show a positive attitude and enthusiasm. That is what schools are looking for.

Just call this number and read off the script below, adding your information. You can call anytime day or night and it will take you less than one minute, so please call right away:

Toll Free: 1-888-335-0986
International: 1-212-313-9566


Script Starts:
———

Hello,

My name is ________________________. My first name is spelled _____________ and my last name is spelled _________________________.

I am a/an ______________________ citizen and I am ___________ years old. I graduated from _________________ college/university with a BA/BSc/MA etc… in ___________________.

I am currently living in _____________________.

I am available to come to Korea anytime after (month) (day).

In my free time, I enjoy _______________________.

I think I would make a good teacher because I am _( 3 qualities/relevant experience)____.

Thank you for listening to my self-introduction. I look forward to having the opportunity to speak with you on the phone. Please feel free to coordinate an interview time with my recruiter, ASK Now-ETO. Thank you.

—————-
Script Ends

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