As this will be the last blog I write for Aclipse for a while at least, I wanted to look back at the posts I've made that have chronicled my time in Korea. But I also want to look ahead for progress' sake. What value will another diary post have for you, reader? So I've decided to select the Aclipse blog posts from the past year that are most useful to read for somebody who is deciding or has decided to embark for South Korea. I'll do this chronologically starting with the oldest. Thanks for reading.
My first post for Aclipse. It briefly but accurately describes why teaching in South Korea is an amazing opportunity for 20-somethings.
Kara's piece about your first four weeks does a great job outlines what to expect from the time you land in Seoul to when you feel like you're beginning to settle down. There's a lot more here than you might think.
Korean's love their smart phones. So you can imagine that there are a lot of great apps to help you live in this foreign country. I chose the 10 apps I used the most in the country.
Kara wrote another great post about early experiences in Korea. This one has great information about what to expect from your students, Korean culture, and much more in the same vein.
Hosting family abroad is an experience not many people get to enjoy. That being the case, it's also a task little understood. I share what I learned from my experience and offer tips on how you can do better than I.
Are you worried about how you'll get anywhere? Don't know what you'll even do when the plane lands? Don't worry. Korea has amazing public transportation. I break it down for you in this post.
Cindy gives you a great bucket-list of must-dos while in Korea. I like this list because it's not full of the typical tourist traps. Instead, she focuses on having an authentic expat experience. Definitely check this one out.
This is my most damning piece. I didn't realize just how ridiculous America's healthcare system is until I really experienced South Korea's. In this 2-parter, I first share the amazingly efficient and affordable trip I had at the local hospital, and then I cite articles and studies to show why America's system sucks compared to Korea's.
Devan takes some of the stress off of your packing mania with this post about what NOT to bring to South Korea.
One thing you might consider as you prepare to leave or consider leaving is how South Korea will affect you after you've left the country behind. Devan provides some great insight into how her travels have broadened her perspective and why she's a better person for it.
My most popular post on the Aclipse blog is also one of my personal favorites. I felt particularly introspective on the day I wrote this post. The day after and amazing all-nighter in Seoul. The post came together like the night did: it left me considering my place in Korea and the value of making great friends whom you know you'll only know for a few months.
Your experience in Korea is being sponsored by your new job. You'll be spending at least 30 hours at it, so you should make sure you enjoy it! Cindy tells how she took an unrelated task and included her students to make a fun activity for them. And when students are having a good time, you usually do too.
CDI has 4 terms in a year. The first week of the term dictates how well the rest of the term goes. It's crucial to set an early tone of discipline and productive learning so you can easily incorporate fun into the class later without losing control of the kids. Take some tips from Zannah, a great and experienced teacher, about how to get off to a good start.
Haven't even applied yet? Read Cindy's post about the stages of the process.
If you're like me (from a warm part of Earth,) Korean winters might present, let's call it, a challenge. Other might describe the winters as demonic, cataclysmic phenomena. Zannah gives some tips on how not to die.
One reason to teach in South Korea is to save money! So here's a collection of the best Aclipse blogs on how to maximize that effort.
Here's very useful bank-specific advice.
Again, in order to really enjoy South Korea, you MUST at least be able to tolerate your job. Teaching is harder for some people than others. Here is some simple but great advice on how to do your job well and thereby enjoy it.
It's possible the secret of immortality might be unlocked in our lifetime, so the only real certain thing in life is taxes. If you're from the US, you have to file your taxes on your worldwide income. It's not as bad as you think, though. Read this post.
Figure out how to get a final job offer from CDI by figuring out how to survive training. All the rumors are true. It may destroy you. But not if you read these tips!
And lastly, I promised a huge tip. Do you like not being fined thousands of dollars by the United States Secretary of State? Have you had $10,000 in a bank account based outside the US at any time? Then you need to file an FBAR with the US government. Why? I don't know. It's just a requirement with steep fines for ignoring it. It's pretty easy. Took me all of 10 minutes. Find out more here. You're welcome!
Much gratitude for reading any of my posts! Otherwise, so long, and thanks for all the fish!
Currently residing an hour outside of Seoul, South Korea, Sergio Cabaruvias is doing his utmost not to appear lost or confused. So far, he’s managed. After graduating with degrees in English and journalism and after working with underprivileged youth, Serg embarked from Southern California for Pyeongtaek, South Korea to gain experience as an amateur adventurer. Since arriving he has swung on vines in the jungles of Taiwan, scaled mountains in the rocky city of Busan, driven a scooter along the edge of a massive, marble gorge, and explored some of Tokyo’s seedier areas. Moving to South Korea has been the best decision of his life.