The ITU World Triathlon Championships was held this past weekend in Tongyeong. Every year,Olympic triathletes and professional athletes travel to South Korea to race in the beautiful city with scenic views. A friend of mine was racing in the event and I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to experience a region of Korea I haven’t ventured to before.
Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!
Living in Korea, you will never, ever need to look far for places to go shopping. Even if you aren't a shopaholic and prefer to quickly get whatever you need and get out, you'll find that this is often outrageously convenient. Areas like Myeongdong are widely talked about, as are the malls and massive department stores. One shopping spot that often gets skipped over, though, is the underground shopping centers. Believe me, it is here that you will find some serious treasures.
Living in the ‘burbs north of Boston for my entire life until college, public transportation was a foreign concept to me. If you did not have a car then you were condemned to a dark existence of bumming rides off your friends, (which unfortunately many of my own friends had no qualms about), or just accepting the fact that you would be stranded without any social options. So obviously, living in South Korea was a bit of an adjustment in terms of getting from Point A to Point B (or I guess Pointㅏto Point ㅂ?) But without a doubt the excellent public transportation is one of this country’s most redeeming qualities. Allow me to give you a quick run-down of your various options and a few pieces of advice.
So I’m sure everyone has his or her own reasons for teaching English in South Korea. Many people come just for the new experiences and the chance to immerse themselves in a foreign culture, but there is a significant portion of the Chungdahm community using their earnings to pay off student debts. With that financial mountain looming over many of us, we are all looking for ways to save money. Personally, I am not one to spend all my nights staring at my computer screen, depriving myself of fun just for the sake of frugality. But I still do make an attempt (some months I am more successful than others) to save a decent chunk of my paycheck, and here are my strategies for doing so. Don’t worry, they don’t require burning whale oil, living off a ramen and water diet, or using smoke signals to communicate with your friends.
Ahh, the holidays. While it can be hard, as an expat, to be so far from family and friends during the holiday season, it's also a grand adventure. After all, how many holidays will you be spending in a different country?! For the past two years, I've been trying to make the most of it. And one of my favorite ways to keep myself occupied and in the holiday spirit? Gift shopping! Here's a look into where I'll be headed to pick up all of my gifts this year...
It's that time again. There are many new teachers joining the Chungdahm family and they're busy participating in teacher training and getting accustomed to a new life abroad in Korea. For those who are still not too familiar with the Korean subway system it can bring about a bit of culture shock, but don't worry - watch this video post and become a subway pro!
Well there goes my diet....As I prepared to leave Korea after teaching English at Chungdahm for over a year, I became motivated to hit the gym and watch what I eat so that I return to the United States looking fit and trim. At the beginning of this year, I made up my mind to walk to the gym/sauna every morning, work out for an hour or two, and then walk to school to teach. I devised a healthy diet consisting of three solid, healthy meals that I would prepare at home each day. It was the perfect plan....
I had lunch with a good friend of mine today. (Coincidentally, he is a friend I made during ChungDahm training week.) One of the things we talked about was how amazing Korea’s public transportation is.
I met him in a city that’s about 40 minutes north of me by car. To get there, I walked 5 minutes to the bus stop from my apartment, waited 2 minutes for the first bus to come by, hopped on, and rode it for about ten minutes. I got off, walked about 3 minutes to the train station, bought a ticket for the next train to my destination, and 5 minutes after that I was on a train heading to the city we agreed to meet at. That trip cost me about $3.60. For the most part, public transportation in Korea is convenient, quick, and more than affordable.
It’s all happening. You’ve applied to Aclipse, you’ve aced all of your interviews, and you’re finally on your way to getting a job in Korea as an ESL teacher. Your life is about to undergo a drastic and tremendous change unlike anything you’ve ever done and trust me, it’s going to be awesome.
Moving across the world is certainly exhilarating, but there are definitely some things I wish I’d known about my first few weeks here. So I’m here to help your transition into the world of kimchi, k-pop, and soju a little bit easier.
It’s been almost five months since I’ve been teaching English in Korea, and the work week has become somewhat routine. Weekends on the otherhand, is used for exploring Korea either solo or with friends. With Chungdahm Learning hours being in the late afternoon, teachers have the whole morning to themselves. Truth be told, some mornings are spent recovering from hanging out all night at the local bar with friends. However, I tend to head home to my pet poodle, Choco, who is taken for a walk after I get off from work. This is also the time I call friends and family back in the states and chitchat.
Staying in allows me to get up within reasonable hours and make the most out of my day. Today for example, after I took Choco for a walk, I did some house cleaning and headed to the downtown area to handle some errands. It’s relatively easy to get around Korea. I use what’s called a T-Money card, which gives a discounted rate on the bus fare and can also be used in taxicabs. T-Money cards can be purchased in convenient stores, where you can also add money as necessary. Also, the buses run quite frequently, which makes it quite convenient to get around.