An Update from the United States

I have been back in the United States for a little over two years now. People still ask me about South Korea. They want to know if I am still abroad, and if I am planning to return. Yes. I certainly plan to return to South Korea to visit. Although I loved the experience, I would rather return as a tourist and stay for a shorter period. I wouldn’t want to lock myself into a year’s contract.

What is Claudine Williams Doing Now?

I work as a travel writer. I actually did some travel writing before and during my stay in South Korea, too. I decided not to teach full-time as a public school teacher as I did before I moved to South Korea. I now teach English online, and I am setting myself up to work while I travel. Most of the travel writers I know state that anyone can travel for a modest amount of money, and that’s true. I prefer not to camp, couch surf or spend nights in hostels, so my preferred method of traveling will cost more. Teaching abroad does offer people the opportunity to see and experience a new country while working, but most gigs have a year contract or longer and few countries pay as well as South Korea. The Middle East pays well, but I personally wouldn’t want to commit to live there for a year or two.

I want to have the flexibility to travel to many different areas and come home, whenever I wish. So, for me working online is the best option. I have several different projects at this point. I post photos on my Tumblr travel blog, I pin photos on Pinterest, and I use Twitter and Facebook. I still have a large number of photos and some videos that I can post from my time in South Korea, so any updates that you see here will be posted after I have left Korea. I can’t wait to visit again for some new material.


  • John Slefinger

    Congrats on your progress. I’m also headed to Korea in August 2009 through EPIK, and expect to receive my contract in a week or so. I’m pretty sure they’re placing me in Ulsan. At the moment, I’m trying to decide between teaching at a private elementary school or a school with EPIK. Have you any thoughts on the matter, and have you been able to contact anyone who did the EPIK program before?



  • I wish you the best in Korea! EPIK is a very interesting program and you’ll have wonderful experiences when you get here.

  • Roxanne

    well…. i am quite proud of you sistah! i have always wanted to teach english in japan. you have inspired me. i applaud women who take risks despite their fear or nervousness. do you have any advice on tefl certificates? i’m currently working on the bachelor’s though. many blessings.

  • admin

    You can get a tefl certificate through an online program or take classes in person. A TEFL certificate will help you land more opportunities, and in some countries you will get a higher pay if you have the certificate. Yes. Definitely get the bachelor’s degree!

  • Roxanne

    Thank you very much for the advice. Like I wrote before, I have always wanted to teach in Japan. However, you have shed new light on Korea! I may have to consider that as well. I will need to research the companies I may work for, the wages, living arrangements, etc. Summer work sounds exciting as well. There is a girl on Youtube who works in Japan now, but she pays her own rent there in the countryside of Japan. You spoke of not having to pay and that definitely sounds more promising! 🙂 Again, thank you.

    PS Tried the pipe cleaners… I’ve never had so many MEN enjoy my hair…. lol

  • Halimah

    Love your site. However, I may be too old to land a teaching job. Have you seen any senior ESL teachers? I was beginning to get discouraged at the age limits, but I will press on. Somebody will take me. My genese are great and my lookds defy my age. Pipe cleaners? Let me know about them. My locs are very long and if were not for my daughters, I would stay in pony tail mode. However, I definitely will need to start styling them myself before I make that move abroad.

  • Chinelle

    Hi I really like your video’s on Korea. I love seeing african american women going out there and exploring the wonderfull Korean people and culture.

  • Alexis

    Hi. I found your site a few weeks ago during my search on Busan. I have been accepted into the EPIK program and am waiting on my assignment. I put Busan down for my first choice. I got really excited to see a black person in Busan and I live in Atlanta too! Been here all my life. I would like to talk with you more. Please email me when you can.

  • Been reading the blog for a while now and inspiration for our bloggers also. We would always be interested in doing some guest blogging for you.

    You are right “its never too late to learn” or try something new….

    Keep up the good work!

  • Hey,

    Nice blog – certainly looks like youre living the TEFL dream. I was also a late starter at this English teaching lark, 41 when I took the TEFL and started teaching and traveling in Spain. As you say its never too late to start !!

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