Hopefully while living in Korea, you will get to experience a Korean wedding. It is extremely different from those that I have gone to in the West. Typically, weddings in America and Canada are all day events. Weddings there consist of the ceremony, dinner service, and then drinks and a party to round out the night. When I went to my first Korean wedding, it was a shocker. I think in total, the wedding ceremony was 25 minutes. Here are a few reasons why it is like that and here are some expectations when you do go to a Korean wedding.
Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!
I'm pretty sure you've heard by now that Korea is amazing. And my list of reasons WHY continues to grow. While living here for the past two years, I've grown to love the culture and the people. Although there are still a few things that bother me, I can't imagine how life will be when I move home. I think Korea actually changes everyone, each in a different way. Here are a few ways Korea has spoiled me and made life that much easier:
Tags: teaching in Korea, a year in Korea, English teachers in Korea, living in Korea, what to do in korea, advice, America, abroad, Activities to do in Korea, year in Korea, alcohol in Korea, deals in korea, benefits of Korea
Living and teaching in Korea has been quite an experience; I’ve taken the opportunity to try many new things and I’ve grown as a teacher and an individual over the past year. I would encourage anyone who’s ever thought about teaching, to spend a year in Korea with Chungdahm Learning. Of the many new things I’ve gotten to experience, here is a list of the top 10 things I’m going to miss dearly.
1. The Easy Lifestyle. Anyone who has lived in Korea as an English teacher will tell you that the lifestyle is pretty easy going. As a Chungdahm teacher, you’ll teach an average of 6 hours per day and with CDI, you won’t start work till about 4pm. This means that you’ll have the whole morning to do, see and explore. Also, depending on your interests, you can take up a class and learn something new; there’s taekwondo, muay thai, Korean classes, beach volleyball, amongst many others. I tend to frequent coffee shops like Cafe Bene, where there’s free wifi, and catch up on what’s going on in the world. With so much free time on your hands, there’s so much to get into.
When teaching and living in Korea, there are going to be things that you need to have during your year long stay that you just won't be able to pack or bring with you. Plus, you should take advantage and buy some things that happen to be cheaper or of better quality in Korea. A year in Korea goes by pretty quick and you can learn to get by with a relatively small amount of stuff, but still, there are things that you might want to have to make your life in Korea more enjoyable or more fun (and who knows when you might actually have another opportunity to buy some of these things!). So with that in mind, here is my list of the top five things that any teacher in Korea should consider buying.
In precisely two months, I will be back on U.S. soil; it’s been ten months that I’ve been living and teaching English in Korea and I must say, I’m ready to go! I’ve already begun the process of packing and shipping things home as well as selling some household items to new teachers arriving in Korea in February. Shipping boxes home can be incredibly costly if you ship via airmail; a large box will run you about 140,000 KRW (weight 10 Kg). However, shipping via ship (sea) is much more cost effective; about 40,000 KRW. A big difference!! As for selling (and giving) household items, the waygooks (foreigners) in Pohang created a local group on fb dubbed “Pohang Bazaar” which is useful for buying and selling used (but useful) items for relatively low costs while packing up to leave Korea. This one thing has been immensely helpful to me as I’ve already sold many of my things there.
The decision to leave at the end of my contract wasn’t an easy decision. I’ve been contemplating what to do next since January. It’s not an easy decision to make and anyone who’s spent a year in Korea exploring and experiencing so many new things, will agree. Having acquired a hunger for adventure, I looked into options to teach elsewhere, including China, United Arab Emirate States and even Japan. Having relocated to Miami in late 2011, teaching elementary education in Miami was also an option. Renewing with Chungdahm Learning for a second year was another good option. Honestly, I’ve been able to make enormous strides in terms of paying off debt and with a second year round with Chungdahm, I’d be completely out of debt with quite a bit of cash saved up.
Having contemplated all of this, I thought that staying a second year with Chungdahm was the best and most responsible decision. Getting our of debt would give me an enormous sense of satisfaction. Afterall, how many people you know can say that they’ve gotten completely out of debt in two years? No one I know, that’s for sure! Still, I missed my family and friends and the comforts that go along with that.
While packing up to leave Korea, I hadn’t fully made up my mind when a fellow teacher suggested EPIK. After some consideration, applying with EPIK would allow me the freedom to head home for three months during the summer and head back to Korea in August. EPIK is a government run program in the public school system in Korea; teachers teach English at the public school system. While there are significant differences between teaching at a private school (academy) and public school, I decided that I was willing to take a chance. I had made a decision, and I was excited! I am excited!!
I’ve already made plans for the summer. I intend to spend my summer in the caribbean. Being a natural planner, I’ve mapped out most of my summer vacation. Definitely on the map, Japan, St. Vincent, Tobago and then Trinidad. I may also spend a little time in Key West, Florida with a good friend before I head to the West Indies. I’m so looking forward, it feels like I’m already there. Nevertheless, I will miss Korea. I’ve been looking over some old photos and it’s been quite an experience; I’ve haven’t been able to complete my bucket list but I’m sure that my second time around will give me the opportunity to do so much more.
Teaching with Chungdahm has been an incredibly rewarding experience. The students are bright and eager to learn English. Problem behaviors are at a minimum, the curriculum is already set for you, great hours and great pay. I can’t complain. I would encourage anyone to apply with Chungdahm Learning; it’s sure to give you immense job satisfaction. Wish me luck!
Nailah Rivers was born in Trinidad and Tobago. She moved to the United States with her family at the age of seven. She graduated Rutgers University in 2011 with a degree in psychology. Her sophomore year in college, she knew for sure that she would pursue a teaching career with a focus on elementary school. After a risky move to Miami, Florida in 2011, Nailah decided to take a chance and apply to teach English in South Korea with Chungdahm Learning. She is currently teaching in Pohang, South Korea and is having a good time teaching and learning. Follow her blog to get the inside scoop on teaching abroad.Follow Nailah on Pintrest!
The questions I get asked most about teaching in Korea involve salary and the cost of living in Korea. Everyone seems to want to know how much money I make and is it possible to save money while working in Korea. While it is not difficult to find out the average rate of pay for English teachers in Korea, it can be challenging to know the liklihood of saving money and the cost of living.
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.
So as my contract winds down as an English teacher in Korea, I am beginning to plan my immediate next move. It seems that the majority of English teachers choose between one of three options: