Campus Celebrity: Valerie Mansour

Name: Valerie Mansour

Hometown: Gladstone, OR

Year: Alumna, Class of 2014

Major: Elementary Education with an ESOL endorsement and Human Development & Family Sciences

After graduating, getting married and moving to Korea all within three months, this Oregon State Alumni is on the adventure of a lifetime. Valerie Mansour is now living her dreams of traveling and teaching abroad, and it all started with her years at Oregon State!

HC Oregon State: What made you want to get a teaching degree from Oregon State? 

Valerie: I knew Oregon State had a great Education program and I really liked the idea of being able to graduate with 2 degrees through the Double Degree program. I knew it could open up opportunities for myself in the future and I felt like I could expand my education.  I also knew I wanted to be an OSU beaver and I loved the campus, so really OSU had everything I wanted!

HC Oregon State: How did you find out about the teaching program in Korea?

Valerie: My husband and I were actually recommended to this specific program through another OSU Alumni who was currently teaching in Korea. We ended up using the same recruiter and had a great experience with her. We wanted a program that was trustworthy and after hearing her positive reviews, we were sold!

HC Oregon State: What was the training process like for your job?

Valerie: When we first arrived in Korea, we went to a10-day orientation training with the other new English teachers. At that training we learned about Korean culture, school expectations and lesson planning ideas. Most of our training has come on the job though. The best learning comes from experience! I definitely think my education at OSU has been very valuable as well.

HC Oregon State: What has been your best memory so far while living in Korea?

Valerie: So far, my favorite memory has been traveling to Seoul and Jeju Island with my husband! It was really fun to visit the various sites and see the different parts of the country. We’ve just been enjoying learning and experiencing all aspects of this culture. We learn something new each day!

HC Oregon State: What do you plan on doing after you come back from Korea?

Valerie: After we come back I plan on finding a job in an elementary school. I can’t wait to have my own classroom! I also want to continue my education by getting a Masters degree, so that will be in my future as well.

HC Oregon State: Do you have any advice for someone looking into an English teaching program?

Valerie:  Really do your research! Going through an established program is definitely the way to go! We feel safe and confident working through this program because we know we have a valid contract and that the people taking care of us respect us as English teachers.

Think you’ve got what it takes to follow your dreams just like Valerie did? Take her lead and make it happen! For those of you who want to learn more about what it’s like to live in Korea, Valerie and her husband are documenting their adventures through their blog which you can check out here!