Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!

Explore Kyoto While Teaching in Korea

Posted on Tue, Feb 07, 2017 @ 04:17 PM

When you are teaching in Korea and have a 3 day weekend working for ChungDahm or April, it's always worth your while to take a mini vacation if you can afford it. Now that I am splitting my time between teaching ChungDahm and April Academy, I am getting more time off. Knowing that Lunar New Year would be coming up, my friend and I realized how expensive those tickets would be. So we decided to go on our trip the weekend before the major holiday. She had never been to Osaka or Kyoto so we decided to see if we could spend one day in Osaka and one day in Kyoto. My advice would be to not do it. A one day trip to either place is not nearly enough time to soak in what each city has to offer. There is so much to see and do in both places, you will not do either city its justice. Many teachers love to go to Osaka because it is only a 2 hour flight from Incheon International Airport (ICN) to Kansai International Airport (KIX). The last time I took this trip, we spent a full day at Universal Studios Japan (Osaka) and toured the following day. However, many teachers don't realize how close, how beautiful, and how historic Kyoto is. Here was my to-do list for traveling to Kyoto.

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Tags: Japan from Korea, vacation, vacation destinations, japan, Osaka, Kyoto, visit japan, teach and travel,, traveling, weekend travel, seollal

How to Spend a Long Weekend in Singapore While Teaching in Korea

Posted on Fri, Oct 14, 2016 @ 12:26 PM

The city state of Singapore was the last place I visited during my year of teaching English in South Korea. When I first signed my contract and began planning my time off, I knew I would have to go to Singapore. I may be biased (since I was born there and have lots of family living in Singapore) but Singapore is downright incredible. The blend of cultures, jaw dropping architecture, posh shopping districts and mouth watering cuisine are just a few reasons why it is an awesome place to visit while you are abroad. Last year, Singapore celebrated 50 years of independence after leaving the federation of Malaysia. Since the 1960's, Singapore has continued to grow economically, establishing itself as one of the "Asian Tigers," partly due to it's location- the Port of Singapore is the busiest in the world by tonnage handled. Today, Singapore is one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, with a cosmopolitan culture that marries old with new. Additionally, it is an easy city to navigate for Westerners as English- well... "Singlish" is spoken everywhere and the public transport is a breeze. I hope to give you a small look at some of my favorite things to do in the Lion City.    

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Tags: traveling, Singapore

How I Spent My Chuseok in Thailand!

Posted on Tue, Sep 27, 2016 @ 04:07 PM

Chuseok, as mentioned in Melanie's blog last week,  is a Korean national holiday that happens every September. It is a time where families get together, prepare traditional foods, visit the graves of ancestors and enjoy a much needed vacation. It is pretty much the North American equivalent of Thanksgiving. In more recent years, families, along with teachers at ChungDahm, have used the few days off to travel to other countries, and as a result it is one of the most expensive times of the year to travel.

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Tags: Thailand, Chuseok, traveling

Spend Your Chuseok Holiday By Visiting Hong Kong

Posted on Wed, Sep 21, 2016 @ 03:55 PM

Wow. I just got back from my Chuseok vacation to Hong Kong, and I have nothing but great things to say about it. Chuseok- as you may or may not know is Korea's annual Thanksgiving celebration. During Chuseok, almost everything closes down, while many Korean people migrate to their hometowns outside of Seoul, to spend time with family. I had heard from many friends that are also teaching English in Korea that Seoul turns into a ghost town, and that there isn't much to do. Staying in Seoul didn't appeal to me whatsoever, and I immediately started scouring the internet for flight deals leaving from Incheon. Needless to say, since Chuseok is a major holiday, flight prices are not the greatest. Please, learn from my mistake: when making travel plans during Chuseok, do everything as far in advance as possible. I booked my flights about a month in advance (in a post Hweshik stupor) and could have saved quite a bit had I booked earlier on.   

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Tags: Chuseok, Hong Kong, traveling

Summer Vacation in Mongolia!

Posted on Fri, Aug 05, 2016 @ 11:19 AM

This past week was vacation time for the April program at my Chungdahm branch. My itchy feet have been looking forward to this vacation for quite some time, and I was ready for a refreshing break. I took off to explore a small part of the beautiful and vast country of Mongolia. Prior to my trip I didn't know too much about the landlocked country; I associated Mongolia with it's nomadic people, Gobi Desert, and Ghengis Khan. I chose to travel there after reading travel blogs online and seeing pictures of Mongolia's wide open landscapes. As much as I love living in Seoul and teaching in Korea I was craving some recess from the concrete jungle as well as some fresh air. I also wanted to learn about nomadic culture, drink fermented mare milk and sleep in a ger. Mongolia definitely delivered. After my week traveling throughout Southern Mongolia I can't say enough about how wonderful a country Mongolia is. The people were SO friendly, the food was great, and the scenery impressive. 

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Tags: vacation destinations, traveling

Visit Jeju Island During the Summer and Spring Months in Korea

Posted on Wed, May 25, 2016 @ 04:27 PM

This past weekend I made a sweet escape for some fresh air and relaxation in Jeju-do, or Jeju Island. Jeju Island is just off the coast of South Korea, an hour flight from Gimpo airport, and is a great place to visit during the spring and summer months while you are teaching in Korea. It is known as the "Hawaii of Korea," as it shares a similar climate of frequent rain, as well as volcanic rock. It is an extremely popular vacation spot and makes for a quick weekend getaway. Jeju Island is also a top honeymoon destination for Korean newlyweds. Jeju Island contains a number of UNESCO World Natural Heritage sites, such as cave formations and mountains. There are plenty of trails to hike, seafood to eat, and beaches to relax on, making it ideal for a break from the hustle and bustle of Seoul.

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Tags: Jeju Island, traveling, weekend travel

Planning a Trip to Tokyo? Make Sure To Visit These Top Attractions

Posted on Tue, Feb 23, 2016 @ 11:56 AM

As soon as I found out about the Lunar New Year holiday, I was excited to plan a trip to Tokyo with friends for our first ChungDahm vacation. The Lunar New Year holiday  (Seollal) granted us a 4-day weekend to explore Tokyo.  One of the perks of teaching in Korea is that Tokyo is a mere 2 hour flight from Seoul. Flying from Gimpo into Haneda was the best option for us, as Gimpo is a mere express stop from my place in Seoul, and Haneda is the closest airport to the center of Tokyo. We booked our flights online a month before the trip, through Orbitz. However, traveling anywhere during the Lunar New Year in Korea is expensive, and we ended up paying quite a bit for our tickets (around $500). If you are planning on traveling during holidays in Korea, I would recommend arranging transportation as far in advance as possible, and taking your time researching the cheapest route possible! It is possible to get a round trip to Tokyo from Seoul for as cheap as $150... obviously not during peak traveling periods. We flew ANA and had a good experience. 

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Tags: japan, Tokyo, visit japan, Lunar New Year, traveling

A PhotoStory: Two Years of Living and Teaching in Korea

Posted on Thu, Feb 18, 2016 @ 04:03 PM

Living and teaching in Korea over the past six years has created so many wonderful memories. From traveling, to living in the countryside and the city, to meeting people from all over the world. Every day has been an adventure - a taste of old and new, the present and the past. Since arriving back in Korea, over 2 years ago, I have traveled to three different countries and have had amazing experiences while working for Chungdahm Learning and living in the bustling city of Seoul! Here is a photo story of my best experiences and moments from 2014 to the present. 

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Tags: things to see in korea, teach in Korea, traveling, adventure

Bring on 2016! Top 3 Achievable Goals While Teaching in Korea

Posted on Tue, Jan 05, 2016 @ 03:30 PM

With 2015  having just ended, and the new year has just begun, it's that time of year when people start reflecting on the past year and figuring out what improvements they can make in the New Year. For us ESL teachers, our lives teaching abroad do not always have to depend on the present moment, and we too can make some New Year resolution goals that can set us on an even better course that feels progressive and inspiring. Here are 3 goals that I believe are acheivable for all while teaching in Korea in the New Year. 

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Tags: New Years, Teach Abroad, saving money in Korea, teach in Korea, New Year's in Seoul, New Year's in South Korea, travel, traveling, weekend travel, skills

From Canada to Korea: The Beginning of My Teach Abroad Experience

Posted on Wed, Nov 18, 2015 @ 06:30 PM

I’m so excited to say I’m finally in Korea and officially begun my teach abroad adventure! After some teary farewells at Pearson in Toronto I said goodbye to my family and boarded the 13-hour direct flight to Incheon International Airport. The whole flight went smoothly (minus your run of the mill turbulence), and I was able to catch a few hours of sleep, which were much needed after my goodbye party. I flew Korean Air, which meant solid service and the most beautiful flight attendants ever. At 3:35pm (KST) on Saturday Nov. the 7th our flight landed on a rainy but mild afternoon. Getting through customs was extremely simple involving some fingerprinting and a photo which I’m sure is ghastly.

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Tags: traveling

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