Newtown High School 2008 graduate Shannon Seaman has landed safely in South Korea as of this week, and will be starting a new adventure in her post-college life: educating South Korean youth.
Shannon graduated from Roger Williams University with a bachelor of arts degree in creative writing, and learned about English Programming In Korea (EPIK) while looking into options for what she could do post-graduation.
At the time Shannon said she wanted to pursue something that would allow her to travel.
According to EPIK, which is affiliated with the Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, it was established in 1995 with the mission to improve the English speaking abilities of students and teachers in Korea, to develop cultural exchanges, and to reform English teaching methodologies in Korea.
When Shannon learned EPIK was looking for English speaking persons to teach in South Korea, she pursued and earned a certificate that would allow her to teach overseas.
“I knew I always wanted to teach,” said Shannon, who was originally attended college to pursue a career as a secondary education history teacher.
To earn her teaching certificate, Shannon said she had to complete a 120-hour course, which took her about two months.
In order to work with EPIK, Shannon said she applied to a recruiter, who helped oversee her application process, gather documents and more.
“I’m really looking forward to being totally emerged in a new culture,” said Shannon, before leaving for the program.
Shannon began her orientation for her position on February 20, and will be working with a Korean co-teacher while there.
While preparing to work with EPIK, Shannon said she had to consider what to pack, but, luckily, the organization provided a list of suggested items, like shoes and other things that may be hard to come by in South Korea. Shannon said shoes could be difficult to find by the standard sizes Americans are used to.
“I’ve also been trying to learn at least a little bit of Korean,” said Shannon.
She also did some research into the culture of South Korea before departing for her new job. EPIK, Shannon said, offers cultural emersion programs, including taekwondo classes.