Worried about missing home while teaching English in South Korea? Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a novice at traveling, everyone eventually gets a little homesick. While there is no "cure all" for being homesick, here are some things that work for me..
One way to fight being homesick is to bring items from home with you when leaving to teach in South Korea. Because you will be away from home for about a year, try to save some room in your suitcase for nostalgic items. When I flew to Korea, I brought a bunch of photographs of my family and friends. Sometimes after a hard day, it is nice to see a familiar face hanging on your wall.
Another way to help relieve being homesick is to keep in contact with your friends and family back home. Cliché aside, it really is easier than ever to keep in contact with people around the world. Between my Smartphone and programs like Skype and Google chat, I am still as easily accessible to my friends as I was in the states. Sometimes when you are away from home for a while, you start to feel as though you are in a bubble. While this can sometimes be a luxury, it can also weigh on you emotionally. Just because you left your home, doesn’t mean that you have to break contact with it. By staying in touch with friends and family, it will help you not feel as far away as you might physically be.
Other effective ways to deal with homesickness are to find ways to continue the hobbies that you enjoy doing at home here in Korea. Korea is a very modern country and you will be surprised to find out how similar your interests can be to people halfway around the world. A similarity that I found between my summers in Colorado and my summers teaching English in Gwangju is going to baseball games. In the end, it is still the same game, same rules- I am just sitting with a new group of people cheering for the team closet to where I currently live.
Kia Tigers Game in Gwangju, Korea
A final method to overcoming homesickness while teaching in Korea is to make plans that you can look forward to. Try to plan out a trip a few weeks in advance so you have something to take your mind off of your current state. With it being cheap and easy to travel around Korea, go discover a new city or explore the remote areas of your own.
Nash Brodsky grew up in Denver, Colorado and is currently teaching for CDI in Gwangju, Korea. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts with degrees in Psychology and Music, he decided to embark on first year living abroad by taking on the challenges of teaching in a foreign country. With the excitement of teaching children and the adventures of living in another country, Josh is enjoying every minute of what Korea has to offer. Follow Nash during his first year abroad!