Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!

Family Visit Part III; Spaland, Korea

Posted on Tue, Feb 11, 2014 @ 01:00 PM

After Nampo and Jagalchi, I thought I would introduce my family to the jimjilbang, or Korean spa and bathhouse. The most famous one I had heard of is Spaland, which is located on the first floor of the Shinsegae Department Store.

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Tags: shopping in Korea, Jjimjilbang, cultural activities

Seoul Lantern Festival 2013: Photo Blog

Posted on Fri, Jan 17, 2014 @ 01:00 PM

Korea has a real knack and penchant for festivals, which is something I've really come to love about living in this country. It seems like nearly every weekend there's something going on, and I've tried my hardest to check out as much as I can. But as November rolls back around, the Cheonggyecheon stream in Seoul lights up with fancy lanterns, signaling the start of one of my favorite festivals in Korea.

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Tags: things to do before leaving korea, festival, festivals, lanterns, lantern festival, seoul lantern festival, events in Korea, cultural experience, Activities to do in Korea, cultural activities, Weekend activities in Korea

Top 5 Must-See Spots in Incheon, Korea!

Posted on Thu, Jun 06, 2013 @ 04:00 PM

When Aclipse helped me get placed at a Chungdahm branch in Incheon in November 2011, I immediately started doing my research. I was pleased to see that it's the third largest city in Korea and it's next door to Seoul -- meaning popping into the city for weekend adventures would be a cinch. However, I quickly noticed that there's a serious lack of Incheon-coverage in the blog world. So, I present, in no particular order, my top 5 spots to check out in Incheon! 

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Tags: islands, sorae, icn, jayu park, incheon airport, korean fashion, teaching in Korea, a year in Korea, tourist spots in Korea, things to do in Korea, things to do on weekend, things to do on the weekend, festival, festivals, Trips in Korea, what to do in korea, life in Korea, shopping in Korea, food in Korea, cultural experience, incheon, cities in Korea, soraepogu, fish market, cheap goods, camping, applying to teach English, what to see in korea, having fun in korea, Activities to do in Korea, Chinatown, teaching at Chungdahm, tourist attractions in Korea, muuido, bupyeong, What to do Korea, cultural activities, Beaches in Korea, Weekend activities in Korea

Hanbok Dress-Up: A Saturday While Teaching in Korea

Posted on Fri, Nov 09, 2012 @ 02:55 PM

A few close friends recently completed their year of teaching in Korea and returned home to the US. Although it was sad to see them leave, their last few months here were full of new adventures in Seoul. They made a list of things they wanted to accomplish before leaving The Land of Kimchi and I am glad they were serious in completing this to-do list. One Saturday, instead of heading into Seoul to experience the plethora of shopping and dining opportunities that we love, we ventured to a new part of the city and found our way to a traditional Korean hanok (home) where we (for less than $20) learned how to properly drink and serve tea and dressed in hanbok clothing.

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Tags: fashion in Korea, dressing in Korea, Korean culture, a year in Korea, seoul, free time, cultural experience, Activities to do in Korea, cultural activities, hanbok, tea, Weekend activities in Korea

Weekend Planning For Teachers in Korea

Posted on Fri, Oct 26, 2012 @ 11:56 AM

As an English teacher in South Korea, when Thursday rolls around each week I usually itch for my upcoming weekend plans. I have learned to take full advantage of my weekend time in Korea and I hope to continue with this new approach to my free time when I return home. I love the tired yet accomplished feeling of a Sunday night following a jam-packed weekend of experiencing new things and people in Korea. When I find myself without plans midweek, I use the following 5 resources to find inspiration for weekend outings. I hope you find them helpful and please feel free to comment with alternative ideas. I promise, armed with these resources you won't find yourself uttering the annoying answer to a friend looking to have a memorable weekend, "I don't know, what do you want to do?"

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Tags: teaching in Korea, ex-pat life in Korea, free time in korea, advice, Activities to do in Korea, teaching at Chungdahm, cultural activities, Weekend activities in Korea

Weekend Getaway for Teachers in Korea - Temple Stay

Posted on Fri, Oct 19, 2012 @ 10:27 AM

Every English teacher in South Korea must participate in a Temple Stay. Temple stays are extremely popular in Asian countries because of the popularity of the Buddhist religion. It is one of the most peaceful places to go after being stressed out due to city life. Many Koreans take a few days off from their stressful jobs to catch their breath during Temple Stays, but it is also a great experience for foreigners.

The program is usually a one night, two day program with meals included. These meals, of course, are vegetarian. Rooms are divided up to the number of participants in your group, which is great because it allows for co-ed. Groups can be as small as two people and as big as a family. I recommend going with others because it is an experience you want to be able to share with others and reminisce about it. It also helps to have someone there as a support system because some of the activities you engage in may be difficult to submerse yourself in. 

 

In addition to eating and sleeping at the temple, there are a list of activities to perform and participate in during your time at the temple. The activities differ from temple to temple as well as a variety of prices that covers certain activities which require a bit of research, but I definitely recommend the stay. The basic activities consist of a tea ceremony, bowing, and hiking.

 

I think because we as a group of English teachers had trouble understanding the Korean language, they made it a little more fun for us and had us help out in the kitchen. For almost an hour (that went by so quickly), all we had to do was clean up bowls and dishes with the other monks. It was a bunch of fun, a little embarrassing here and there, but a great experience!

 

The 선암사 (Sunamsa) mountain is so beautiful, there are a number of hikers that visit the temple daily. In addition to 선암사, there are a handful of other temples that are surrounded or in the mountain area which allows for great hike and exercise. It definitely helps to work in a hike with mother nature, especially after some meditation in the temple. 

 

 

In regards to my personal experience, I would definitely go for another Temple Stay. I have never thought of meeting a monk that I've learned to love, but I have grown close to a monk over the course of 24 hours. It was such a great experience, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the Buddhist religion, it allows for great absorption of the culture and understanding. I am grateful for the experience and it was definitely nice to get away from the city life of Seoul to a more relaxing and calm environment down south. The weather was amazing and it can only get better in the summer time!

 

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Graduating with a double major in Communications and Chinese from Rutgers University, it wasn’t long after working in the Big Apple that Cindy Ung decided to take a break from the cliché 9-5 lifestyle and move to Korea to teach English for CDI. Making the bold step to leave her comfortable, mapped out life in the States, she has fallen more in love with the Korean culture as each day passes.  With weekly mountain hikes, weekend road trips, discovering great foods and beauty products, constantly meeting new people, her life in Korea has been everything but mapped out.

Check out Cindy’s blog to get a glimpse of what Korea has to offer!
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Tags: Temple Stay, getaway, hiking, temple, cultural activities, Buddhist, tourist, Weekend activities in Korea

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