ESL Teacher Testimonials
Below are the experiences of some of our teachers. Teaching English abroad is certainly a challenge, however you can always rely on Reach To Teach for support. You are welcome to submit an application and join our great group of teachers.
ESL Teachers in Korea
Making the decision to come to Korea to teach was a good one. I knew the opportunity to work in another country would give me the experiences of being a teacher, learning new culture and language. I had never traveled outside of the United States before and knew I wanted to experience something exciting and challenging. Reach to Teach provided the steps to make teaching in Korea a reality.
I came to Korea in August 2009 and am currently employed under EPIK (English Program in Korea). Last semester I taught grades four through six in elementary school. This semester I teach grades five and six. So far it has been a great experience. Teaching is most rewarding when you see the student understands the information given and is able to use it while communicating. There’s never a class that isn’t filled with laughter. It’s my opinion that being a teacher gives you the chance to also be a student. I’m amazed at what types of things I learn every day.
Korea is a great place to work. Not only are you able to live within your means, you’re able to send money home, save money and travel in and outside the country without worry.
I’ve been in the city of Gwangju for seven months and I love my job. How many twenty-two year olds can say that? In less than five months I knew that Korea was the place for me and that I’d be staying another year. Because of that decision, I’ve signed up for an online TEFL so that I can learn more about what it is that I do. I must say that I’m very happy here. I have good friends, places to go, things to do and not much to worry about. I call that living the life.
My decision to move overseas was completely spontaneous. I had just graduated from university, and was having a hard time finding a job at home. In a moment of intense frustration at the job market, I decided that I would move to Asia. I spent a brief period of time looking for teaching jobs online, and then I stumbled across Reach To Teach. From the moment I applied, I felt confident that I was making the right choice.
Of course, I had a million questions about living in Korea, about teaching English, and about the application process. Mike was able to answer all of my questions flawlessly. I was also in a rush to get started in Korea. With Reach To Teach, I was encouraged to go forward with the move at whatever pace I decided was best for me. And Reach To Teach offered me ongoing support throughout the application process and after the move.
Now that I live here, I am frequently reminded of how glad I am that I chose to find a job through Reach To Teach. I have heard first hand so many horror stories about bad schools or living arrangements or contracts. Because of Reach To Teach, I work in a great school, I have very supportive co-workers, and I live in a great area. There have been some challenges, and moving to Asia is a huge adjustment, but I feel totally safe knowing that the Reach To Teach staff are always available to help me with any problems that I have.
I have had some amazing experiences in Asia. I have been able to travel and see parts of the world that may never have been available to me otherwise; I have made great friends, and I truly enjoy my job and my life. I recommend Reach To Teach whole-heartedly to anyone who wants to have the experience of a lifetime in Asia!
- Nichelle Reed
I was a teaching elementary school for the four years before I got involved with Reach To Teach. I was watching my friends go off, travel the world, and return home with incredible lessons and stories, and it struck a chord with me. It got to a point where I was just going to take a year off to travel, come back, and start things anew, when a friend suggested I teach abroad. Having that thought never cross my mind, I began the process of weeding through the web sites and information. I ended up interviewing with several different schools and agencies, but it was Reach To Teach that provided the comfort level and support system I wanted in order to take on the leap of faith that living and working abroad truly is.
At last count, I had one million and fourteen questions regarding living in a foreign country, teaching ESL, something even I was a bit uncomfortable with, and navigating the proper paperwork so that I’m legal. Both Mike and Mitch expected and anticipated that, and were far too wonderful, and quick, returning emails answering everything I could throw at them. Never at any point did I feel under prepared taking the next step of the process.
My appreciation of Reach To Teach grew once I was in Korea for a while and heard some nightmare stories of schools, situations, and placements. Struggling with the enormity of the change, it was always comforting to know there is a kind of safety-net underneath you to help if things did go awry. Because of their diligent work, my transition to culture and life in Korea was flawless.
- Jon Wick & Cassie Weightman
For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to experience living in Asia. Coupled with my love for working with children, I thought that teaching would be a very ideal path to take. I came across the Reach To Teach web site when I was performing initial research on teaching English overseas. After reading through the web site, I decided to apply and was immediately contacted to set up an interview. I had the pleasure of speaking with Mike, who was able to answer all my questions and eliminate any sort of hesitation I had been feeling about moving half way across the world to teach English. I was provided with a great deal of information about Korea and after the interview, I was extremely excited to proceed.
Now that I’ve passed my 4 month mark in Korea, I can honestly say that I am extremely happy that I went through Reach To Teach. I have met other teachers here who have either found schools on their own or used other recruitment companies and many of them have had very negative experiences.
Overall, I am tremendously satisfied with how things worked out. It’s a very scary experience to move half way across the world, and it was nice to know that Reach To Teach was there the entire time to help guide me.
- Terry Gee
Being a recent college graduate, I was very unsure of myself. I had several friends who were about to being their adventures’ on the other side of the world teaching English in Asia. They were so enthusiastic and open-minded about what their lives’ would be like as foreigners that I became jealous. Having been adopted from South Korea I have always wanted to visit my home country, but had never gone. Now my friends were going to beat me to it!
I started to research my options and decided I would take the first leap and apply to Reach To Teach. I was pleasantly surprised. A lot of ESL recruiters are very lucrative and are only out to make money. Not Reach To Teach. The quality and commitment of Reach To Teach became clearly apparent during my interview. The staff is very efficient, and is always in communication with their applicants and current teachers. They are there for you every step of the way.
Reach To Teach genuinely wants to help you get to where you want to be. They are always thinking of you when they make decisions. I had a somewhat specific location in mind of where I wanted to teach in Korea and Reach To Teach made it happen. Mitch, my recruiter, was very informative, efficient, patient, and caring. He substantially alleviated the stresses and anxieties of the general process.
With Reach To Teach you get the complete package. Reach To Teach only deals with respectable Hagwans, and wants you to have the time of your life. As for now, all I can say is “One year is not enough!” I was very happy working with Reach To Teach to become an ESL teacher in Korea. Without hesitation I recommend Reach To Teach to anyone who is seeking his or her dreams in Asia.
- Dustin Smith
To be honest when i started thinking about coming to teach English in South Korea, it made me very nervous. That coupled with some unfortunate family issues prior to my leaving almost made me decide not to come. Looking back, that would have been a terrible decision. With a lot of patience and help from Reach To Teach, in particular, Gillian Benjamin,who was very understanding and sympathetic,I made it here, and I am so happy. This past year in Korea has been one of the best years of my life!
I came to Korea in March 2010 and I am currently employed through EPIK(English Program In Korea). My apartment is nice for one person, and it is a 5 minute walk from my school. I teach at Hagik Elementary school in Incheon. My school is great. I have 3 co-teachers all with their own unique styles of teaching. I have not had any problems co-teaching with them. All of the other teachers at the school are really nice. They all go out of their way to make me feel welcome. Most importantly, the students are great..most days. They love me so much, and they are really cute, it really makes me feel great to walk in there and be so appreciated. I have heard some horror stories about bad schools, so I am thankful to Reach to Teach for placing me in a good one.
Life out here is usually low stress, work is good, nightlife is good, the foods good, there is always a sense of adventure, Koreans are really nice, and Korean girls are beautiful, I even managed to find myself a Korean girlfriend. Get out here and have an amazing experience you’ll never forget!
- Brian Gorenstein
I found out about Reach To Teach through a friend who was recruited to work in Taiwan. I have known that I wanted to teach in Korea since my sophomore year of college, but I didn’t know how to get started. It was the end of my senior year, and I was getting nervous about finding work, and my friend directed me to their web site. Reach To Teach was great. I got a response within two weeks, and an interview was set up. Mike, my interviewer, answered all my questions and made me feel at ease with the huge decision I was making. Mitch Gordon was extremely helpful and supportive through the entire process. I emailed him all the time with all types of questions, and he responded right away.
As for teaching in Korea, it’s great. (I work at a private after school institute or hakgwon.) I’m Korean American, so I can speak and understand the language. My school and I decided to hide this from the students. Now that I’ve been given more work, I had to tell the students the truth. I was worried that my relationship with my students would be ruined, but our relationship has gotten better! They come to me after class and try to talk to me in English, and if it gets hard, they’ll say sorry and speak in Korean. It’s uncanny how much I came to love the students within six months!
I’m glad I went with Reach To Teach. I have a friend who found a school on his own, and he ended up quitting because of how badly the school treated him. Thanks to Reach To Teach, I’m having such a great time with both my coworkers and students! They were able to find a school that was perfect for me! I see that they’ve expanded in Korea, so after my year is up, I’ll turn to them to help me find another position in a public school
- Ahsa Yoo
ESL Teachers in Taiwan
I had done a fair amount of research before I actually started looking for places to work in Taiwan. Everything I read told me not to go with recruitment agencies or to accept jobs with chain schools, yet when I stumbled upon the Reach To Teach web site, I realized that this place was different. After doing some more searches, I realized that this wasn’t like other agencies and that there would be no safer way to come to Taiwan as a new teacher with no experience.
I understood upon arriving in Taiwan that I had made the right choice. Even having a Taiwanese girlfriend to guide me and translate for me, there is only so far a native can go to help someone making the transition from his or her country to one as different as Taiwan.
For example, have you ever been asked where the best hotel is in your hometown? It’s kind of the same thing. You might, at best, be able to give the name of a hotel, but you don’t know which one is the best. Since you’ve likely never stayed in a hotel in the city where you live, you don’t know which one has the best price, the best ambience, etc. It’s much the same thing with moving to another country. A native can welcome you, make you comfortable, help you with odds and ends, but they know very little about the details that are necessary for a foreigner settling in — from getting your ARC to simply getting fed up with the smell of “stinky tofu.”
I don’t regret my decision at all. With Reach To Teach, you will be placed with a good, reliable school and, thusly, gain a sort of dual support net during your time in Taiwan — both from Reach To Teach and your school.
- Robert Maguire
I was recruited by Reach To Teach from my University during my senior year there. My life was very open ended at that point and I had absolutely no idea what to do with my major, or the rapidly approaching beast of full-time monotonous labor. Throughout the interview process, Mitch did a fantastic job of making me feel comfortable and confident.. He also provided pressure free advice in what has become a major life changing experience.
With the interview process out of the way, Reach To Teach guided me through the confusing maze of the Visa application process and answered any questions I had about the country and the transition. Mitch and Reach To Teach still serve as a great resource now, even after I’ve been placed and I would highly recommend the service to anyone interested in the job scene of Taiwan. Cheers!
- Chad Bryant
I sat down to my computer one day after work and opened up my inbox to an email requesting an information session at my University about teaching in Taiwan. I was one year out of college managing a successful subcontracting business when I got the email. I decided to take a day off from work to go to the information session and it was one of the best decisions I have made in my entire life. From the moment I walked into the room to speak with Reach To Teach, to my arrival in Taiwan, they facilitated every step of the process and gave the support that someone needs when moving to a foreign land.
Let’s face it…getting on a plane, leaving your family, your friends, maybe your career….is not an easy thing to do. But, I can honestly say that there are many foreigners here who do that without going through an agency. Those foreigners suffer. Many of them end up having to leave Taiwan at some point to renew their visas. Some even end up having to leave altogether, angry and frustrated, because they didn’t have the proper support a legitimate agency can give you. Everyone’s experience in Taiwan is different, but those I have talked to at Reach To Teach events express the same gratitude towards Reach To Teach, Mitch and other staff…
- Mike Mlejnek
My recommendation to any truly qualified and motivated individual who is thinking about teaching English in China or Taiwan is this: Contact Reach To Teach Recruiting before purchasing plane tickets. Reach To Teach has been the defining factor in my successful entrance into the Taiwan ESL market, through close personal service and an outstanding dedication to the integrity of the process.
Reach To Teach evaluated my qualifications, and then matched me to an excellent starting position with an employer I can trust. I was saved the trouble of weeding through job offers and slogging through interviews with schools of mediocre or unknown quality.
I can state from my own experience and from knowing other teachers who have worked with Reach To Teach, that they do everything possible to put good people into good jobs. Anyone who’s been doing their homework on teaching jobs in Southeast Asia knows that the ESL market is both growing and tightening right now. Mediocre schools will say anything to lure in university-educated Western teachers. While no one can guarantee someone else’s happiness, Reach To Teach can drastically cut down your chances of contracting with an employer of dubious worth.
So, my advice to prospective teachers is this: Don’t take hit-and-miss chances with employment ads and promises from unknown institutions. Before you buy your airplane tickets, contact Reach To Teach and get an intelligent evaluation of your prospects.
- Aspen Rains
Reach To Teach has helped me beyond my expectations. They have been there every step of the way. No question was too big or too small, and believe me I had many questions! They really took the time to get to know me personally and with that information they found a great school which is ideal for me.
Reach To Teach continues to be a great resource for me. It is a comfort to me that they are only a phone call or email away.
- Shaundra McCarter
I feel very lucky to have met Mitch, the Director of Recruiting for Reach To Teach. It was a long term goal of mine to travel to Asia for teaching. Mitch made my move here to Taiwan extremely easy and pleasant. I had done my research and knew what I wanted when I came to Taiwan. After I was accepted to Reach To Teach, a process that required multiple emails back and forth, the appropriate documents, and an hour long phone interview, I was given many different contracts to look over. Some of them were okay, others were great, but were not in the location of Taiwan that I wanted. I never felt rushed or pressured to chose any particular contract. Reach To Teach took the time to find out exactly what I wanted, and when that came along I took it. All of the information that I needed to get into Taiwan was provided by Reach To Teach. They were very informed as to what exactly would be needed, and at what time, through each of the steps involved in moving to Taiwan.
And that’s not all, from what I’ve seen, Reach To Teach seems to tend to stay in close contact with the teachers they bring into Taiwan. Reach To Teach get together’s are regular and fun events. Last month, they reserved a popular bar in downtown Taipei and held a benefit raffle for a volunteer group that looks after stray animals in Taipei. Karaoke get together’s are hilarious, and we even got together with the Canadian and American Societies for a day of paintball in January.
The teachers Mitch brings in are great people. I’ve made a lot of new friends in the six months that I’ve been here. Many of them are Reach To Teach recruitees.
- Mike Cameron
I found Reach To Teach to be very helpful throughout the process of finding and getting work teaching in Taiwan. They were always very helpful with any inquiries I had prior to arrival and on arrival never pressured me into any jobs.
Reach To Teach was also a great help in finding my feet in Taiwan, even inviting me out on my first night there! I am very happy in Taiwan and would definitely recommend it as a destination and Reach To Teach as an agency to find you a job.
- Zand Maloney
You can be sure that Reach To Teach delivers on everything it promises. In fact they have done much more than I had expected. It seems like they go out of their way to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible here. In my case, they helped me and other vegetarians coming here help each other with information about the food here.
However, the biggest reason I’m glad to have the opportunity to work with this organization is the school they matched me with. Our curriculum is top-notch. All of the teachers are informative and glad to help a first time teacher like me. All of the kids are delightful, affectionate and eager to learn. There’s no way you can go wrong in working with Reach To Teach.
- Matt Pierce
Since the day I’ve gotten involved with Reach To Teach, from the recruitment process until now, the agency has supported me throughout the whole way! From inside the classroom to outside, they have been there to ensure a suitable environment for me in Taiwan.
Teaching and living in a foreign country can be very challenging. The team of Reach To Teach understands this and will take the extra step to find appropriate solutions to problems and make sure that everything is taken care of. As a result, this does indeed make your stay abroad much more comfortable and secure.
Reach To Teach cares about their teachers. Their guidance and concern has supported me and many others here! I’m glad I went through Reach To Teach rather than going out there alone. I highly recommend their services to anyone planning on teaching abroad! My stay in Taiwan has been exciting and unforgettable, thanks to Reach To Teach!
- Andrew Wong
After graduating from college I decided that I wanted to experience Asia firsthand and the best way to do that would be to teach English. I began searching online for jobs in Taiwan through various recruiting agencies and private schools with little success. The services I contacted were either unprofessional or couldn’t offer a position that suited my needs. After two months of searching for a job I began to think that there was just nothing out there for me and maybe I should think of other options. That’s when I found Reach To Teach. Within one week I had a guaranteed job at a good school and the choice of various positions at different branches of that school teaching different levels of students. That freedom let me pick the job I have now, which I’m more than happy with. I was in Taiwan with a good job and all the support I needed before I knew it.
- Alexander Merigan
I had many jobs in New York before I came to Taiwan but none of them were satisfying. After college, I worked as a waitress, a hostess, in a law office, design firm, etc., and then finally found my passion for teaching at 25 when I began teaching dance. I’ve always wanted to travel and work abroad and had been looking and dreaming about it for five years before I decided to take a leap and go for it. I was so nervous waiting for “the call” that would change my life and when it finally came, I was pleased to hear a friendly voice on the other end. Within a few weeks I had a job offer in Taiwan and Reach To Teach was there to guide me through the whole journey.
We were both pleased with our schools and discovered the satisfaction to be gained from teaching and helping students develop their skills is enormous. Reach To Teach even organized special trips and get together’s so teachers could meet and socialize.
Reach To Teach has helped us immensely with this experience. Not only have they answered all our questions but they’ve also been helpful and supportive throughout our time here. It’s comforting to know that whenever we have a problem we can always call or email and will always get a quick and friendly response. If you are looking for a recruiting agency that is committed, caring and trustworthy, go with Reach To Teach.
- Francy Collazo & Rich Assman
At age 25, and after 3 years of teaching elementary school in an inner city school, I was ready for a change. I had nothing holding me back and as it felt a little crazy, I made the decision to teach in Taiwan. It was an easy decision though, especially with the magnitude of professionalism, reassurance, and helpfulness that Reach to Teach provided from the onset. I was highly impressed with RTT’s recruiting and matching system, the communication I had with Mitch and his team, and the teacher testimonials I read online. Two months after interviewing, I was on my way to amazing Taiwan.
As I arrived in Taiwan, the sun was just rising, and the beauty was a metaphor for what my year was going to be like in Taiwan. My job was in Kaohsiung, which is in the south of Taiwan. My school manager and the school employees immediately took me under their wing and helped me find living arrangements. I went through training back in Taipei and met friends as well as got prepared for what my job would be like. The Reach to Teach team did a great job letting me know what I could expect, and I felt very safe, supported, and cared for.
Some of my top highlights of teaching in Taiwan were learning (survival) Chinese, going to Reach to Teach events like hiking and tubing, vacationing in the most beautiful places of Taiwan has to offer, making friends through church and through the RTT network, joining the gym and getting a personal trainer, meeting foreigners out for fun times on the town, riding my scooter, singing karaoke, and getting cheap massages!
Reach to Teach truly set me up for a wonderful year that enhanced my life and I am thankful to them.
- Marietta Adams
Reach To Teach is one of few recruiting services that provides a soft landing as well as a safety net throughout your journey abroad. It provides support every step of the way. Reach To Teach is reliable, professional, and available. It addresses any questions or concerns you have during what can be a challenging transition. Upon arriving into the unknown, you immediately feel welcomed into a community of fellow teachers who are eager to help you as others have done for them. I highly recommend Reach To Teach to anyone considering teaching abroad!
- Venessa Robinson
I just wanted to send a quick note regarding your colleague Rick. I haven’t ended up using Reach To Teach for my school selection as a very unique opportunity came up elsewhere on the island that I couldn’t turn down. Rick, despite knowing I was considering multiple options outside of Reach To Teach, still took the time to answer every question I had about teaching in general, work permit issues, rates of pay and typical work hours, etc. When I spontaneously flew to Taiwan without securing an offer beforehand, he even offered to meet me personally in Taipei to discuss my case and various options. I recognized this as being quite unique but was even more impressed after a number of poor experience with local Taiwanese recruiters who tried to push me to sign contracts and rushed me into decisions before I felt comfortable about them.
I must say then, that considering I have a girlfriend coming to Taiwan to teach as well, and possibly a sibling, I will most certainly be recommending your organization to them to use in their search process and more specifically that they request Rick as their placement coordinator. The level of personal touch he put into the work, the generous amount of information that he shared over extended amounts of time and the patience he exhibited were beyond measure and for that I was and still am very grateful.
Before coming to Taiwan, I had my doubts about teaching there. How will I get by without speaking the language? What if I need help while I am there? Will I have a job before I get to Taiwan? What if I get injured while I am there? The folks at Reach to Teach did a tremendous job of sorting through all my questions and assuaging many, if not all of my concerns. When I ran into problems (yes, there may be a few) the staff, particularly Carrie was vital in guiding me through the process and ensuring that everything was in order.
For some people the prospect of picking up and moving to a new country can be quite terrifying, particularly those who have never lived outside of their home country. As a recent college graduate, I was unsure on how to establish myself in Taiwan. Thankfully, I had a strong support group to assist me in getting on my feet once I arrived. More importantly, they prepared me for the experience before I left my home in New York. To the credit of the Reach to Teach employees, they exhibited a tremendous amount of patience by answering all of my queries and I assure you that there were quite a few. It can be a strenuous process and it is incredibly useful to have people to rely upon who can help sift through all of the information and provide you with sound advice.
One of the other great things about RTT is that soon after I was in Taiwan they invited all of the teachers in Taiwan to an event. It may sound inconsequential but one of the hardest parts of acclimating to a new country can be overcoming the language barrier and meeting new people. This is an area where RTT clearly excels and that should be encouraging to those who are afraid that they may be unable to make friends in Taiwan. There will be a few bumps in the road while trying to secure employment in Taiwan and there are few better equipped to assist you than the folks at RTT.
Reach To Teach and its recruiters helped me make my dream of teaching abroad become a reality. Their dedication to providing details, finding me a teaching job, and answering many questions and concerns made me feel comfortable and excited for the opportunities for teaching. I received countless emails, phone calls, and direction when I was confused about something or wanted to know more. Even after I started teaching they continued to support me and held multiple events to help me meet new people. Some of my closest friends here are people I met through Reach to Teach events! I would highly, highly recommend this recruiting company to anyone looking to go abroad in Asia and am forever greatful for all they have done for my abroad experience.
Planning to move to the other side of the world to teach English was daunting, but Reach To Teach helped ease my nerves tremendously (and those of my parents, for that matter). From my initial interview to the days before my departure, I felt extremely comfortable under RTT’s informative and friendly guidance. My recruiter, Carrie Kellenberger, answered my seemingly interminable questions about Taiwan and quickly found the right job for me. After living in Taipei for five months, I still feel very secure knowing I can seek help from RTT at any moment. Reach To Teach provides a great (and did I mention free?) service for prospective teachers—one that I’d highly recommend to anyone interested in moving to Asia!