Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!

Choosing a Cell Phone Plan

Posted on Tue, Nov 05, 2019 @ 04:55 PM

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. 

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Tags: wifi, cellphones in Korea, cellphones, chungdahm learning, teaching at CDL, things to do in seoul

Nico's Cost of Living

Posted on Tue, Oct 08, 2019 @ 12:00 PM

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.

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Tags: chungdahm learning, cost of living, teaching at CDL, things to do in seoul

Summer Friends

Posted on Thu, Jul 25, 2019 @ 12:00 PM

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. 

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Tags: summer in korea, chungdahm learning, teaching at CDL, things to do in seoul

Unbowlievable

Posted on Tue, Jun 11, 2019 @ 12:00 PM

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.

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Tags: bowling, chungdahm learning, teaching at CDL, things to do in seoul

Change Your City, Change Your Hair, Change Your Life

Posted on Tue, Oct 30, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

Naturally, I have straight black hair that turns reddish brown during the summer. My mom was so kind as to let me grow up experimenting with those orangey copper highlights every kid on the Disney Channel had in the early 2000s. Trust me, I’ve always been experimental with my hair from a young age, especially after getting a horrible haircut that looked like I put my head into a pencil sharpener when I was twelve. After that incident, I taught myself how to cut my own hair and proceeded to not let anyone else touch it for five years. As I’ve grown up, I’ve had long ombred hair, a blunt black bob, highlights for days, and many a box-dye from spontaneous trips to CVS.

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Tags: hongdae, hair salon, things to do in seoul, personal growth

A Quick Stop at a Raccoon Cafe with Giselle

Posted on Thu, Oct 18, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

 

Cat cafes. Dog cafes. Domestic animal cafes are pretty well-known by now. I’ve had many friends from the US ask me about dog and cat cafes. I have a dog cafe near my home - a 5 minute walk away. Sure, they are adorable and nice to pet, but many people already have them as pets at home. What is far more exciting are raccoon cafes. I don’t know any friend that has a raccoon as a pet!

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Tags: free time in korea, dog cafes in korea, Cafes, things to do in seoul

Mangwon Munching

Posted on Thu, Oct 11, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

Seoul overflows with amazing food, and to say that you can essentially guarantee a happy belly from the corner stall that sells gaeranbbang (egg bread) and boongobbang (red bean fish shaped waffles) to the instagram haunts and everything in between is a huge understatement. Choosing a subway stop and wandering off in search of nourishment is one of the best, and most easily fruitful things you can do in Seoul, especially while the weather is nice.

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Tags: local market, eating out in Korea, hongdae, Weekend activities in Korea, Korean food, things to do in seoul, mangwon

A Good Day

Posted on Thu, Sep 27, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

This may not be profound or educational or particularly interesting to anyone but me. But I want to write about one of my favorite days in Seoul that reminded me why I wanted to return. It’s not really resourceful, but rather an interlaced web of visions and sounds that buried my heart deep into the belly of the city, and for this I’m grateful. So if any of this interests you, read on.

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Tags: teaching at Chungdahm, Weekend activities in Korea, things to do in seoul

My First Hiking Experience in Bukhansan National Park

Posted on Thu, Aug 23, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

Growing up in Los Angeles, I’d  consider myself very health conscious. There is a range to this. LA health can become a parody of itself, with twelve dollar activated charcoal juice and any vegetable you can imagine being “massaged.” Yoga studios charge exorbitant amounts for classes that make you wonder how aligned the practice is from the place it was created. But for each absurdity you encounter when it comes to wellness, there is also gold. While raised in a predominantly Asian and Latinx neighborhood, there was a fruit stand each direction where I could buy a mango bouquet drenched in chili powder and lime as well as decades-old family run acupuncture studios passing down the stunning tradition of cupping therapy. I had the privilege of having access to so much greenery, with mountains skirting through the city, with countless breathtaking hikes that jumped out at you from the freeway. I’d run through the mountains as frequently as I could, so when I got to South Korea, I knew Bukhansan National Park would be my friend. But I was wrong.

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Tags: Korean mountains, hiking in korea, teaching at Chungdahm, Health in Korea, Weekend activities in Korea, hiking in seoul, growing with Chungdahm, teaching at CDL, things to do in seoul, personal growth

Cherry Blossoms Everywhere:The 5 Best Festival Locations in Korea

Posted on Fri, Apr 06, 2018 @ 12:19 PM

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!

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Tags: parks, nature in Korea, Korean culture, life in Korea, outdoors, Spring, cherry blossoms, outdoor activities, korea spring, things to do in seoul, leisure

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