Meet The International TEFL Academy Staff

 

Joe Yoon

Admissions advisor

 What is your role at international TEFL Academy?

I am an Admissions Advisor. I have the incredible privilege of helping others with their own special journeys abroad.


What's Your Story?

I decided to teach English in South Korea because my parents and siblings are originally from Daegu, South Korea. Out of the four children in my family I was the only one born and raised in Chicago.

I had just finished college and my term at AmeriCorps was about to end, so I decided to apply to teach English in Seoul, South Korea. I wanted to learn more about my parents’ culture and heritage, I was also looking for an adventure. I didn’t know what I was capable of until I was thrown into a foreign country and culture without any friends, family, or much money.

Once I was situated in Daegu, I started to feel a great sense of freedom. I became much more active in this foreign land than in my native Chicago. I ate incredible food, traveled to other countries and cities and made some great friends along the way. T

Teaching English gave me an occupation and purpose while I was diving into a new world. I learned so much about myself during that special year in my life. I found out that I had the ability to adapt and learn much faster than I originally thought. I gained confidence knowing that I could actually make a home for myself in a country that I never thought I would call home. My time in South Korea was a wonderful gift that continues to keep giving to me today.

Joe taught English in South Korea!

Joe South Korea

Where are you from, where did you go to college & what did you major in at college?

I am from Libertyville, Illinois. I attended college at Binghamton University with a major in Human Development, and Concordia University with Masters in Educational Administration.

Where Have You Lived/Taught Abroad

I worked in Daegu, South Korea for 1-year teaching English and traveled throughout Vietnam.


What countries have you visited?

South Korea, Vietnam, China, Netherlands, Italy, Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic

TOP 3 ON YOUR LIST?

South Korea, Netherlands, Vietnam

Describe Your First Travel Experience

I went to Italy to visit my friend who was studying abroad. At the time, I had never left North America, so I was extremely excited and spontaneously booked my flight. On the plane ride, I was excited about the prospects of what Italy would bring, not thinking about any potential challenges that might arise. All I could think about was how I was about to see a new culture and eat some incredible food. That feeling on the plane is something that has continued to drive me to travel abroad to other countries.

Making friends!

Joe making friends

Teaching in South Korea

South Korea Teaching English Abroad

Being cool in Seoul

Joe cool in Seoul

BEST TRAVEL STORY:

In my first few days in Daegu, I went to a restaurant at the corner of my block to buy a Korean snack called geem-bop. I was nervous because I was only able to understand some Korean at the time and my ability to speak the language was even worse. I decided to just point to one of the geem-bop meals on their menu instead of speaking and I could hear the two ladies working at the restaurant speaking to one another wondering why I couldn’t just tell them what I wanted to order. To them, I looked like a local Korean man that should be able to communicate what he wanted to eat with ease. Although I got the geem-bop that I desired that day, the encounter left me a bit discouraged as I realized that I had the challenge of adapting into a world that didn’t even know that I was a foreigner. As time passed, I was able to grow more confident and comfortable with my surroundings and eventually became a regular at the geem-bop restaurant and have fond memories of that restaurant.

Name some of your favorite literature & media:

Books: Tuesdays with Morrie, I love this book because It gave me great perspective on what’s really important in life at an early age.

Websites: theringer.com, it’s a cool site where you can read articles about sports and pop culture.

Films: Wedding Crashers, The Departed, Crazy Stupid Love, Zombieland, Little Miss Sunshine

Music: Chance the Rapper, Explosions in the Sky

TV: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia & Rick and Morty

What is your favorite international cuisine?

Korean barbecue and pretty much anything in Italy is just incredible.

Why do you like working at International TEFL Academy?

I love being in an environment where all my coworkers have life changing stories from their times abroad. I also enjoy working with people that are as weird as I am. Helping guide prospective TEFL students towards their goal of teaching abroad is truly a dream come true.

I can't wait to help you travel the world!

TEFL Certification North America