Betsy Bissonette

Betsy Bissonette

Graduation Year: 2013

Major(s): English   Minor(s):  Secondary Education

Current Position: ESL Teacher, Seoul, Korea


Please give a brief description of your current position: 

I work with Korean students ranging from the ages of 6 to 17 years old at a privately owned school called a 'Hogwon'.  I teach various levels of English to my students and often work on conversational English and reading comprehension.  Overall the job is to help Korean children speak, write, and read English fluently enough to go to college in America.

What path did you follow to arrive at your current job?

I attended CSB/SJU to become an English teacher, majoring in English and minoring in secondary education.  I did not find out about teaching abroad until my junior year.  Once I heard that I could get paid and travel, I knew that teaching in Korea was what I would do once I graduated.  One thing that is very nice about teaching ESL in an Asian country is they will accept applicants who majored in anything, as long as they have a degree. 

What advice/suggestions would you have for students who might be interested in your career? 

If you think teaching abroad is in your future then study abroad.  This will allow you time to see what it's like to live in a foreign country.  Because, leaving home to come and work in a very foreign country is difficult and rewarding!

What skills are important in your field? 

If you want to succeed teaching abroad make sure you are very patient, understanding, and organized.  You will have to be both patient and understanding of the new culture you have entered into, and with your students.  Organization will be a key factor in keeping your several classes in order.  Most importantly, if you love to travel and experience new things, this job is for you.

Most challenging?

The hardest part of this job is living and working in a foreign country. Each person has to deal with this challenge in his or her own way.

What activities/experiences were helpful at CSB/SJU (and elsewhere) in preparation for this career?

Take an education class and study abroad!

(Spring 2014)