For anyone living in Korea, or anyone of Asian heritage, people can notice that many have a layered and complicated relationship to Japan. Because of what I learned growing up, I never found myself interested to go there, but by some random chance, I visited three years ago while working at Chungdahm. I met this Japanese person who ended up being my best friend, and I am lucky enough to have seen the things and the people that I have there through and with her. She does a lot of resistance work with both mainland Japanese and Okinawan artists and activists who demand fair rights, justice, and truth. There are so many incredible people creating communities of care and liberation, and I feel so thankful to see what is happening on the ground, giving me a more complex perception of the cultures around me.Read More
Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!
I will spare you the usual diatribe against our cell phones, of how those millennials don’t function without them, or whatever silly things people say. Having a cell phone allows you to do pretty important things, and even more so when you are moving halfway across the world to a place you’ve potentially only ever seen in travel shows or youtube compilations of “kimchi slapping,” which if you have yet to experience, do yourself the favor and get to googling. From setting up mobile banking to the crucial stuff like finding the nearest Paris Baguette, your phone is your lifeline when first settling in. So do not fret, for I will map out a few options that will make your digital life here smooth sailing, or rather, smooth kakaotaxi-ing.Read More
Uprooting your entire life up into two suitcases is not exactly a walk in the park. Scrambling to get your visas ready, taking horrible passport photos, and debating whether or not to pack that bag of hot Cheetos (which you should indeed do), there is a million and one things to keep track of from the moment you fly out to the moment you finish training. Next comes the equally disorienting but exponentially more enjoyable part--settling in. A majority of the questions that I get asked relate to the cost of living and the quality of life here. The cost of living may be lower or higher than what you’re accustomed to, depending on which country you come from, and if you’re like me, had a savings account that could only muster me a couple Lotte World tickets when I arrived. However, you’re in luck. Unless you steer on the side of a constant flow of impulse buy and take-out, it’s very doable to save money while also living comfortably. If anyone is curious how I do it, you can keep scrolling through.Read More
It’s funny how someone from out of town can show you just how much you love where you are. It’s such a cliche, but those fresh pairs of eyes do wonders on your perspective. If you’ve read this blog before, you know that I am heavy handed in my affection for Seoul, so I really don’t need an outsider’s perspective to convince me to love it more. But it really doesn’t hurt. For all of the traveling that I’ve had the opportunity to do, right now the only place I really keep searching for is my home right here. On top of the fact that I have the logistical swiftness of a sloth that is less than ideal for travel, I genuinely love wandering my own backyard. So friends know exactly where to find me...and if they don’t, they can use NaverMaps, which is now in English! This blog will be another foray into corny journal streams of blabber, so grab some corn silk tea and gimbap for the ride.Read More
Bowling is one of those things, like push-ups, limiting your screen time, or language learning, only gets better with one thing-consistency- which I unfortunately lack in such a niche, arthritis inducing sport. In our teacher’s meeting early on in the term, I kept my hand down when our Team Manager asked if anyone was interested in participating in a company-wide tournament. It was nice to see the Kakao chat blow up with plans to practice after work and on weekends knowing I’d sit it out in the comfort of my officetel. However, by the final head count before submitting our teams, it was a party of different coworkers bragging about how bad they are. So I thought, this must be my people, this must be my time. This type of company bonding event doesn’t happen that frequently, and I had been emerging from my self-induced winter cave, and from some convincing by my friend, I decided to join in.Read More
Recently, I’ve become rather curious about the ways in which Chungdahm Institute (CDI) and Chungdahm April are different. While I have only worked at an April for about a year and a half. A friend of mine had worked at both a CDI and an April. Thus, together we thought up a list of the most notable differences between the two academies.Read More
The last few weeks have been a blur with the wrap up of winter term, thirteen weeks done and dusted. With the chaos of intensives and the recent holidays, it was nice to be able to catch my breath for a bit. But amidst all I had to get done, I didn’t have much time to write. I asked my boss, Michael, on recommendations for topics because my brain was more fried than kimchi rice at 4 am. He suggested writing about the best teaching experience of my life, and the timing of it all was so strange, because after I received this, I went on to in fact, have the best teaching experience of my life.Read More
When my husband and I moved to Korea to teach English in June 2017, it wasn’t my first shebang. I’d lived there from 2012-2014 and fallen in love with the country. I moved back to the US to be closer to family; I had no idea then I’d fall in love and marry someone whose mom was Korean. My husband, Wayne, had heard me go on and on about how great my experience was in Korea, and it wasn’t long before he told me he wanted to teach there for a while, too! He thought it’d be a great opportunity to get in touch with his roots. I was ecstatic to hear this.Read More
I arrived in Seoul a few days before training in February, so I could explore the city without the stress of training. It was so cold, I ended up staying in my hotel and enjoying the convenience of delivery services provided throughout Seoul. I received my training schedule during this time, so I was able to familiarize myself with the map and metro system prior to Day 1 of training. I was also able to complete the “pre-training” course online which you must complete and pass in order to successfully complete the training week.Read More
I initially chose Chungdahm Learning, because I could foresee a future where I could professionally and personally grow. Now, looking back on my 4-year journey with the company, I can say that they met all my expectations and offered opportunities beyond what I thought I could experience.
A lot of foreigners worry about their job prospects post-ESL teaching and how being an ESL teacher for 2-3 years would look on their resume. This is why, I always say it is important to choose a company in Korea that you can grow with so, that you have strong references and are constantly being challenged to grow in different ways. It is important, no matter what you do, to never be stagnant while living abroad and take every opportunity to mold your resume with new skills and insight.Read More