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Learn about Korean prepositions!

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This week we have a new lesson in the "Learn Korean" video series - "Prepositions."

"What is a preposition?" They're useful in English for describing the location of one noun to another. For example, we can say "The cat is under the desk," or "The book is on the floor." There are many prepositions that you can learn, and this video will cover a few of the most important ones. (Note: in Korean these are actually called 'postpositions').

Remember to also check out the free PDF version of this lesson, with extra information and examples, on the YouTube PDFs page (link at top).

Check out this week's new video right here!

Learn Korean Ep. 62: Prepositions

And are you just starting to learn Korean, or want a solid review of the basics? My new book "Korean Made Simple: A beginner's guide to learning the Korean language" is the book for you!

You can check the book out on my site here, or find it directly through Amazon and most online retailers.


 Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean





RTBC Day Eight: What’s in your wallet?

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Reflective Teaching Blog Challenge – Day Eight: What’s in your desk drawer and what can you infer from it?

Ok, you got me. This post isn’t about my wallet. Here’s what you’d find in my desk drawer(s) if you were to open it(them) at the moment:


Unused binder clips – Tells you I don’t like clipping things together, apparently.

Keys – Tells you I find the contents of my desk to be very precious, or at least worth locking away each night.

Tooth brush and tooth paste – Tells you Koreans take dental hygene very seriously (they brush their teeth after EVERY meal).

Tax exemption forms – Tells you I’m trying to keep Uncle Sam’s share of my earnings in South Korea for myself.

Plastic plates – These actually go with two suction cup/sticky balls I’ve used in class. Tells you I like to play games in class!

A keychain from Atlanta – Tells you my vice principal likes to give me trinkets from time to time.

Dry erase markers – Tells you I like to keep my kids actively involved during the lesson.

Paper cups – Tells you I worked on the Cup Song with my students! Or I hoard supplies from the coffee station.

Unused magnets – Tells you I tried to use them as game pieces, but the magnets themselves were so strong that they clung together too hard.

A brochure about the local community arts center, in Korean – Tells you I’m artsy and my co-workers know it.

Unused folders/organizers – Tells you …nothing really. Lol.

To view the original post and other great content, visit Korealizations at:

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List of Required Documents for Applying to EPIK

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Before you submit your documents to EPIK, make sure you have the following.

  1. Completed and signed EPIK Application
  2. Notarized and apostilled copy of college diploma
  3. Apostilled FBI Criminal Background Check
  4. Sealed university transcripts (4 copies)
  5. Passport photos (at least 6)
  6. Photocopy of passport (first page only)
  7. Additional documents as they apply to you:
    • Proof of Teaching Experience Letter
    • Birth Certificate, if you’re UK or Australian (see why here)
    • TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate
    • Declaration of intended completion for: TEFL, TESOL, CELTA, College diploma if you don’t have it yet
    • Teaching  certificate copy
    • Marriage certificate copy
    • Tattoo and Piercing Sworn Declaration

The above is based on my experience applying to work for EPIK and is supplemented by information found on the Reach to Teach Recruiting website. While it is possible to apply to, and be accepted by, EPIK without the aid of a recruiter, I highly recommend working with one, as they know the in’s and out’s of the process best and will provide invaluable assistance to make sure nothing goes wrong along the way!



College Transcripts FAQs

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sealWhat do they mean by “sealed?” A stamp or sticker over the back of the envelope, issued exclusively by your school.

Can/should I open my transcripts? Noooooooo! Don’t do it! EPIK won’t accept college transcripts with broken seals.

How many do I need? While I ordered four copies from my university, I only ever wound up using one (when I submitted all my documents in the final application stages). However, sometimes during the diploma apostille or visa issuance process they ask for them, apparently. ‘Didn’t happen to me, though.

I went to more than once school to complete my degree…help! That’s okay. You only need transcripts from the school where you actually got your degree (as long as you attended that school for the final two years of college and all transfer credits are noted on that institution’s transcript).

What if I studied abroad? That’s nice, but they don’t need to see those transcripts!


The above is based on my experience applying to EPIK and is supplemented by information found on Reach to Teach Recruiting‘s website.

Criminal Background Check FAQs

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fbibackgroundcheck1What’s the deal with this CRC/criminal background check? If you are an American citizen applying to EPIK, part of your application must include an apostilled FBI background check (also known as a Criminal Record Check, CRC, for non-Americans). Basically they want to make sure they’re not letting a crazy outlaw loose on the future of their country.

Worried about a traffic ticket ruining your application? Don’t stress. The only offenses that will get you denied are those related to drugs, drinking, stealing, assault, etc. All you really have to be concerned with is that the background check/CRC is issued within 6 months of your E2 Visa application date.

How do I make sure my CRC is within the 6-month range? It normally takes anywhere from 6-8 weeks for the CRC to be processed and returned to you, so it’s important to order in advance/at the right time. *As of September 2014, the FBI is saying processing time is closer 12 weeks, due to an IT upate. But who knows how long that will last.* If you are applying for the fall intake, you should order your background check in mid-January so it has an issue date of February 15th or later (of the same year). Similarly, spring intake applicants’ background checks should have an issue date of August 15th or later, so orders should be made in early mid-July. *These dates are based on the 6-8 week processing timeframe.*

Is a state-level CRC okay? Nope. It’s gotta be from the national level.

Can I put a rush on it? Yes, it’s possible. If you’re a little late to the application party, you can talk to your recruiter to see if they work with/know of a private service that can do that. Generally, CRCs conducted by third parties or private services are not accepted. Korean immigration wants the document to come right from Uncle Sam’s desk. But there are recruiters out there who say they can speed things up for you.

What do I need to have to order my FBI background check? To order your background check, fill out the form in step one of this page, obtain at least two copies of finger print sets, complete a money order for $18.00 made out to the Treasury of the United States, the Checklist found in step four of the same page, and an envelope addressed to:

FBI CJIS Division – Summary Request
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, WV 26306

What’s a money order? Basically it’s the same as a personal check, but your bank issues it for you. By having the bank write the check instead of you personally, it’s essentially proof that you do in fact have the money you claim to have. To get a money order, go to your nearest bank branch and ask for one in the amount needed. They’ll type in the recipient for you too.

How do I get my finger print sets? I first checked with my local law enforcement office, and they directed me to the County Sheriff’s Office, where I had a finger print technician take my prints. You can have as many sets made as you like, and they only cost $5 or so (you can’t have just one done and then make copies of it). I got three sets.

How do I order my FBI background check? Follow the steps outlined on this page.

What’s an apostille and how do I get one? An apostille is a fancy way of proving that a document is legit so that the Korean government will accept it. I used US Authentication Services, but US Legalization is $10 cheaper per document. I sent them my CRC and a copy of my college diploma at the same time, killing two birds with one stone. Both of these services will notarize the college diploma copy for you as well, in addition to apostilling both documents. The CRC is already notarized when it first arrives in your mailbox, so it only needs to be apostilled. The whole process of sending the documents, having them processed, and receiving them took about a week and a half.


The above is based on my experience applying for the EPIK program and is supplemented by information found on the Reach to Teach Recruiting website.

College Diploma FAQs

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apostille-exampleWhy do I need to include a copy of my diploma in the application? Having a college degree is one of the elligibility requirements for the EPIK program. Please note, though, that you should ultimately send EPIK a copy of your diploma and not the original, as it will no tbe returned to you.

Does the copy have to be in color? No, black and white is fine.

My diploma’s in Latin. Does that matter? Yes. Ask your university registrar for a copy of the English translation. Obtain that copy and staple it to the copy of your Latin diploma?

What does “notarized” mean? When a document is “notarized,” it means it is validated as a legit copy of its original version. Basically someone (a public notary) needs to put a stamp on it.

What’s an “apostille” and how do I get one? An apostille is a fancy way of proving that a document is legit so that the Korean government will accept it. I used US Authentication Services, but US Legalization is $10 cheaper per document. I sent them my CRC and a copy of my college diploma at the same time, killing two birds with one stone. And if you don’t want the hassle of getting the diploma copy notarized yoruself, both of these services will do that for you too, in addition to apostilling both documents. The whole process of sending the documents, having them processed, and receiving them took about a week and a half for me.


The above is based on my experience applying for the EPIK program and is supplemented by information found on the Reach to Teach Recruiting website.

How to Prepare Your EPIK Application Documents

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FBI Criminal Background Check (or, Criminal Record Check):

  1. Obtain at least two sets of original finger print cards
  2. Complete this order form
  3. Obtain a money order in the amount of $18.00, made payable to the Treasury of the United States
  4. Complete this review checklist and this website to make sure you didn’t miss anything
  5. Mail the finger print card (just one is necessary, unless you’re concerned about the quality of the finger prints), the order form, and the money order to: CJIS Division – Summary Request, 1000 Custer Hollow Road, Clarksburg, WV 26306
  6. Receive your CRC in the mail 6-8 weeks later. Send it out to get apostilled., ideally along with your college diploma copy, for ease/efficiency/expediency.
  7. Receive it again about 10 days later, this time with the apostille.
  8. Still have questions? Check out FBI Criminal Background Check FAQs.

College Diploma:

  1. Obtain your original college diploma or, if you don’t have it yet, a letter from your university stating that you will soon.
  2. Make a copy of your diploma.
  3. Visit a public notary  (at the Secretary of State or some FedEx locations) to have your diploma notarized. Then send the notarized copy to get apostilled (along with your CRC).
  4. OR, send your diploma to an authentication agency where it can get notarized and apostilled all at once (along with your CRC).
  5. Receive it back in the mail 10 days later, with it notarized and apostilled.
  6. Still have questions? Check out College Diploma FAQs.

College Transcripts:

  1. Contact the Office of the Registrar at your university and ask for 4 sealed copies to be mailed to you.
  2. Don’t open any of them. Ever.
  3. Include one sealed copy with your application materials and save the rest in case you randomly need them again later.
  4. Still have questions? Check out College Transcripts FAQs.

Proof of Teaching Experience Letter:

  1. Write the letter based on these guidelines.

Passport Photos:

  1. Visit a CVS or Walgreens and ask to have your photo taken.
  2. Purchase at least 6 pictures. I bought 10, just to be safe.
  3. Send/use pictures as needed (2 to your recruiter when they submit your final application following the EPIK interview, 2 for your E2 vica application, 2 when you arrive in Korea for your Alien Registration Card and school ID).
  4. Visit this site for any remaining FAQs regarding passport photos.

Copy of first page in your passport:

  1. Make sure your passport is good for at least 18 months after your potential start date in Korea
  2. Make a copy of your passport (black-and-white or color, it doesn’t matter)


The above is based on my experience applying to EPIK and is supplemented by information found on the Reach to Teach Recruiting website.




GQ Come Back Club Party

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On Saturday, October 18th, GQ Bar is having a comeback party. Until twelve o'clock, they will provide unlimited tequila shots. Shudder....

Entrance (10000 won) includes one free drink. (Do you really need a drink with all of that tequila?) 

To get to GQ, take exit 5 of Jongno 3 ga (종로 3 가) and walk straight. Take your second left (at a phone store) and GQ will be on your left up a flight of stairs. Look for their sign.

RTBC Day Seven: My Co-Teacher

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Reflective Teacher Blog Challenge – Day Seven: Who is your most inspirational colleague? Why?

Me and my co-teacher!

Me and my co-teacher!

That’s easy! My co-teacher! She inspires me both as a teacher and as a person in general. Her mastery of English motivates me to learn as much Korean as I can while I’m here. Sure, she’s been learning English since she was in grade school, so she’s got a few more years of experience studying English than I have with Korean. But a waygook (foreigner) can always aspire to be fluent, right? Her understanding of English at both the conversational and technical level makes her an invaluable asset to the students and the school. She’s kind, patient and encouraging with the kids. She cares about them, and wants them to succeed. And she is familiar with the students’ individual language abilities, so she knows how hard to push each of them. With me, she communicates in a timely and clear way. She’s positive, flexible, and she knows how to think ahead during a lesson. Furthermore, she goes out of her way to help me whenever possible and she’s always willing to try new things in class.  She (and all of my other colleagues) are incredibly hardworking, too. After eating dinner at school every night, you’d think it’d be time to call it a day (I sure do). But all of my coworkers, including my co-teacher, continue to work sometimes until 10 pm, only to be back at school by no later than 8 am the next day!

By exuding all of these great qualities, my co-teacher inspires me to be the best educator and person I can be. She might be small in size, but she’s having a big impact on me!

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