About 6 months after my boyfriend Colin and I started dating I asked him if he'd be interested in teaching abroad. I'd always wanted to live abroad and I knew he wanted to travel as well - I was so excited when he said he was open to the idea of teaching in Korea! Almost a year later we moved to Busan. I’m so thankful to Aclipse for making this all possible and finding a school where we could both teach and work the same hours. Moving overseas as a couple has a lot of perks, and I have been so thankful for this experience! Having lived in Busan for over a year, I've met lots of single people, people who started new relationships while abroad, and other couples who moved abroad together. Regardless of your relationship status, living abroad is an unforgettable experience. I'm especially grateful I was able to share these memories with Colin.Read More
Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!
Tags: preparing to teach in Korea, on arrival, Korean culture, Teach English in Korea, Teach Abroad, moving to Korea, Teach English overseas, Teach English abroad, things to do in Korea, busan, iGarten
Discovering My Heritage
By Rebekah Alcalde
“Where are you from?” the nail salon owner asks. She tilts her head when I say, “America.”
“Oh, but you look Korean,” she says confused. “I am,” I try to clarify. “I’m here teaching English.”
It’s a conversation I’ve had a few times since I arrived in Korea five months ago, armed with little more than a few Korean words and phrases and scared absolutely stiff. I was born in Busan but adopted to the United States by an American family when I was a baby. I’ve had very little experience with Korean culture, and I was very anxious about it.Read More
Why did you choose Korea? That’s a question I get asked often - both by foreigners and by Koreans. I knew early on that I wanted to live abroad after university. I just didn’t know where. Often people are surprised by my response. I guess they assume that I’ll see I was a huge fan of some K-Pop idols and/or watched a lot of Korean dramas. However, my appeal of Korean culture came in a very different manner.Read More
Uprooting your life, whether to a neighboring state, or internationally, and trusting it’s the right move, is never easy. There’s money to be saved, perhaps for that overpriced U-Haul, or in our case, for a flight to Seoul. There’s goodbyes to be had, some easier than others, even if they are just temporary. Luckily, a few are permanent - I’m sure you have your own list of culprits. We all do.Read More
Recently, a long time friend visited me in Seoul. It was great to have the opportunity to be a tour guide. Also, it was a chance to feel like a tourist myself. One Saturday, my friend and I decided to explore the northern part of Seoul in hanboks. Hanboks are Korean traditional clothes. Like the colorful, vibrant, elegant, gorgeous and regal looking clothes one sees nobility wearing in historical Korean dramas. This was so exciting for me! At that point I’d lived in Seoul for a year and a half, and been a Yonsei University exchange student for a semester in the past, but still hadn’t worn a proper hanbok. I’d only work the top of one for a photo booth session with friends as a student. I want to share the highlight of this day - from my hanbok selecting experience to the two places I explored in my hanbok.Read More
It’s finally that time of year again - spring! The weather is nice out, the sky is clear, and the sun is shining. What marks the beginning of the season the most in Korea is the long awaited and short lived cherry blossoms blooming. I live next to a main street lined with these amazingly beautiful trees. Walking to work these days has been very peaceful and relaxing due to the sight and smell of cherry blossoms.
The cherry blossom forecast date predictions occur about a month before its time for them to bloom. Depending upon which area you are living in, the time frame to enjoy the cherry blossoms is slightly different. Unusually, the time to see cherry blossoms when they are the most enchanting is in early April. Being informed about when the expected cherry blossom season occurs in advance is a must, so that one can plan accordingly considering the experience only last about two weeks. Only two weeks. Sad. I know. Still, these two weeks are when traveling around Korea on fun weekend adventures will result in the best photos that you can show off with.
The following are five locations around Korea that offer the best cherry blossom festival experiences. Enjoy!Read More
You know about the BIG holidays in Korea, such as Chuseok, and Seollal. But there are a lot of other holidays that are a big part of life here. Usually, Koreans work very hard. They study hard, they work long hours at work. So, that means that when they get free time, they use it to the best of their ability. This leads to some really culturally enriched holidays that are relatively new. They are important for the younger generations, and people are getting into them more and more with each passing year. For example, Christmas used to be seen as only a religious holiday for Christians, and then a couple's holiday. But these days it has become more accepted as a much larger holiday. The same goes for Halloween. Before, only foreigners used to celebrate Halloween. However, now it is becoming a much more significant part of Korean culture. Like these two, there are a variety of interesting and unique holidays, and also some variations that you should know before coming to Korea.Read More
It has been one year since arriving in South Korea and beginning my job as an English teacher with Chungdahm April Institute. After deliberating long and hard about my options and wants, I've decided to stay in Korea for at least another year, though I won't be teaching with Chungdahm anymore. With that being said my time with ChungDam has been fruitful, desirable, challenging, and educative in numerous ways, and I'm beyond grateful for the experiences they've facilitated. For my final blog post with Aclipse, I've decided to choose three lessons I've learned after living and teaching in Korea for one year, in hopes that my experiences can help, guide, or comfort future expats in South Korea.Read More
When moving to a new country one of the most difficult cultural things to learn is eating with other people. Naturally, we can all eat. We can follow our own cultures okay, but even then some people don’t completely understand proper eating etiquette. Some people chew with their mouths open, while others use their clothes as a napkin. While you might not think that these things matter, they definitely matter for other people. Therefore, you should learn proper Korean dining etiquette in order to not look foolish during your time living and teaching in Korea. In this blog I will offer some tips about how to properly dine in Korea.Read More
Korea is a wonderful place to teach and live in. There is a good balance between first world facilities and the Eastern-Asian experience. The country has boomed into a global metropolis that is internationally popular as well as an economic giant in Asia.
Koreans are very nationalistic and the idea of cultural strength is ingrained in every Korean. It is a proud nation that has unique etiquette and hierarchical relationships and these are a vital part of the country’s everyday life.
As a result, it is imperative that you try to know more about the culture before you begin teaching in Korea to avoid offending older generation Koreans. Usually, your branch manager and staff will take a greater liking to you if you show an interest in their culture and act in the correct manner. Always remember, that what you consider to be polite, is not always received as polite. Be humbled and do as the Koreans do in Korea. Below I have provided five cultural differences that you should be aware of prior to your departure.