St. Maries resident, Cole Ellinwood, is about to embark on a new adventure across seas.
The SMHS alumni will take a position in South Korea to teach English as a second language to kindergartners and elementary age students.
Mr. Ellinwood said he is excited for the opportunity and is still in shock by how fast the process is moving.
“I applied in early August and my last day at my current job is already tomorrow (Sept. 6,)” Mr. Ellinwood said. “It’s still surreal how fast everything is moving.”
He applied through a recruiter, Canadian Connections, and started a lengthy process to get all the necessary credentials to live and teach in South Korea. Mr. Ellinwood said during the application process he got his certification to teach English as a second language online.
Mr. Ellinwood said he originally majored in history and communications at LCSC, but wanted to go the extra mile to increase his chances of getting selected, which in the end paid off.
“Usually you can get a job teaching abroad with a four year degree in any major,” Mr. Ellinwood said, “but having that English certificate definitely increases your chance to get accepted to a good position with better pay.”
Mr. Ellinwood previously worked at the Heyburn Elementary School as a paraprofessional, and served as a long-term substitute teacher in special education.
He most recently worked at the prosecutors office, which at first he did not plan on leaving.
“I really liked my job at the prosecutors office,” Mr Ellinwood said. “At that point I had not really planned on pursuing teaching abroad, but the opportunity happened to pop up.”
Mr Ellinwood said he is excited to explore the culture in South Korea.
“I’m looking forward to connecting with the kids and meeting new people in general,” Mr. Ellinwood said, “and I’m a big foodie. South Korea is known for its food.”
He said he will live on a small island off the southern coast of South Korea . Mr. Ellinwood mentioned that he will be living in Haksuam, a town about the same size as St. Maries.
Mr. Ellinwood said he will leave St. Maries by the middle of September, and that he needs to be in South Korea by Sept. 21. He said he hopes to arrive there sooner depending on how fast his visa is processed.
“I would like to try and get there early,” Mr. Ellinwood said, “it would be nice to get familiar with my new surroundings, possibly explore Seoul, and get somewhat of a vacation in.”