Traveling is the major reason I chose English teaching as a profession. I love to travel...and becoming an ESL instructor made my dreams come true, having traveled to 42 countries in the past six years. For me, this is an accomplishment - one I know will be a part of my identity for many years to come.Read More
Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!
One of the best aspects of living in South Korea (or most foreign countries for that matter) is how even the most mundane aspects of everyday life can be so different from what you experience back in your own country. Whether it is eating out at a restaurant or even performing a daily task as tiny as taking out the garbage, you are constantly reminded of the unique quirks of Korean culture. This week, I figured I would focus on the cinema, one of my favorite weeknight and weekend pastimes here in Korea. OK, so yeah I can detect a few not so subtle eye rolls upon reading that sentence, since you are maybe wondering how something as straight forward as a movie theater can offer such a drastically different experience. The truth is, many aspects of the moving going experience are basically identical, but I thought it warranted a blog post nonetheless so back off.
Last month, I posted about the (sometimes) grueling process of getting packed up to move home after your time in Korea. The stress of my move was greatly compounded by an additional factor: moving a Korean cat to the U.S. In the end, it went quite smoothly, with a lot of the stress stemming from the unknowns that come with flying with an animal. Since I'm sure some of you have gotten pets in Korea or are considering it, here's an overview of how to take your Korean cat home with you.
As yet another year comes to a close, everyone seems to be focused on a) reflecting on the events of the past twelve months and b) carefully making to-do lists for the next year. When I look back on my most recent year in Korea, I feel quite accomplished. I managed to do a lot of sightseeing and exploring all around the country. As a result I decided to share with you some of my favorite Korean adventures of 2014. Here's part one of my 2014 recap of my favorite spots in Korea!
Noraebang, or singing room as it is known is a really big part of Korean culture. Whether you are celebrating a birthday, young or old, or closing a business deal it does not matter. Even my students, who are 9 years old, will go to a Noraebang with their friends. A typical night out for most people living and teaching English in South Korea will involve sometime spent in a Noraebang. You order drinks and food and have a good time. Because Noraebangs are so popular in South Korea you can find one on every street, in fact many times there will be more than one! My favourite Noraebang place is called "OKAY NORAEBANG" and it is always busy, with every room filled on weekdays and weekends.
Celebrating your birthday abroad can be a daunting thought if you are used to partying with your family and friends. It is a time when you feel very homesick, especially when your birthday is in the heart of the Korean winter time. In South Africa this time of year it is sunny and my birthday is usually outdoors at a beach or in a sunny warm spot. Coming to Korea I have had to become used to a cold and often snowy birthday. So, to tackle the blues I have come up with alternative ways to enjoy birthdays in Korea. All you need is a group of good friends who love adventure and don't mind venturing into the freezing cold.
In the midst of the hustle and bustle that is Seoul lies one of the most hidden and quiet areas for people to go and relax. This area is home to amazing restaurants, cafes, specialty grocery shops and boutique shops. Minutes away from Korea’s famous singing bridge (Banpo Bridge) is Seorae Village, also known as the French district. Seorae Village (Montmarte) is filled with European style architecture that makes you feel like you are in France. The majority of the French population living in Korea reside in this area and they have embedded their culture here in Seoul. In the heart of this district lies Montmarte Park, a haven for public gatherings made for foreigners. Also, this is the area where the French Christmas Market was held this year.
Ah tis the holiday season at last. Though not exactly a particularly religious country, South Korea still embraces Christmas time with great enthusiasm. I have already heard Mariah Carey and Wham’s annoying earwig Christmas tunes more times than I can count. Generally, when I think of the holidays, food is the first think that comes to mind, and generally accompanying the gorging is the nasty little issue of weight gain. On that note, I figured I would share a few tidbits on staying fit in Korea, and how to keep that flawless figure intact through those long Korean winter months.
Around this time of year, as an English teacher in South Korea, there are many things you start to miss; family, friends, holiday traditions, however, being in South Korea you meet many people, other English Teachers who celebrate Christmas and also Korean friends who also celebrate the holiday, so spending Christmas in South Korea can be a really great experience. This blog will look at how I and some other English teachers spent last Christmas, and how you can expect to spend the holiday in South Korea.
Moving to the other side of the world is no easy feat. In getting to Korea, a lot of the process is assisted by Aclipse, especially when it comes to all of your paperwork. Packing for Korea is somewhat daunting, but thanks to packing guides from my fellow bloggers, I think you're pretty well set with advice. Recently, I made the big move from Korea back to the U.S., after three years of accumulating way more stuff that I'd realized. Here are my dos and don'ts for packing up to leave Korea at the end of your contract...