Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!

The Three Greatest Gifts I’ve Taken Away From Korea

Posted on Wed, Feb 15, 2012 @ 10:11 AM

If I went back in time to talk to myself in the middle of university, I wouldn’t have believed that I’d be teaching English in Korea. Like most of my colleagues at my branch, we weren’t studying to become educational professionals. Since I am approaching the end of my 2nd year and my time in Korea next week, I’d like to reflect on some of the most rewarding things I’ve taken away from teaching English in Korea. I hope these aspects of life here will shed some light on what some are some of the more gratifying aspects of teaching here for those who haven’t really considered teaching English for awhile after university.

  1. 1.   My coworkers became my Korean family.

When coming to Korea, a lot of people are concerned that it will be hard to make friends or meet people with whom they can be really close. At my branch, we all live really close to one another. In fact, over half of us live in the same apartment building. While I was really apprehensive about meeting new people in Korea upon my arrival, I’ve formed some of my closest friendships with other foreigners teaching English in Korea.


  1. 2.   The students I’ve had have been the coolest kids I’ve known.

When I decided I would come to teach English here, I had an image in my mind of Korean students being very quiet, timid and studious. Actually, I can’t remember a class I’ve had that didn’t have at least a few bright and enthusiastic students who brightened my day and made me laugh consistently. One of the most bittersweet things about finishing teaching here is that I won’t get to see my favorite students again, but my colleagues who have left still keep in touch with some students via e-mail.

 Masters Students

This is me taking a goodbye photo with my Masters (upper level students), some of the funniest and brightest kids in the world.


  1. 3.   I’ll never be able to shake Korean culture.

It seems strange to think about, but one of the things I’m most excited to do when I get back to Toronto is go to the Korean-town there. This is because after two years of living and working in Korea, I know I will miss the food, the language, the mass of casual karaoke rooms, etc. I’m not sure if I’ll be going through some sort of reverse culture shock. In any event, I know that the tastes I’ve developed here will stick with me forever.


            For me, opting to teach English in Korea was one of the bigger decisions I have made in my life. Like with any big decision, you have to look back and as yourself “was it worth it?”. When it comes to living and working in Korea, I can emphatically answer that yes, it definitely was.


Teach in South Korea!


Josh Donner is the current head instructor at a Chungdahm Learning branch just outside of Seoul. Josh grew up in Toronto and after graduating from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, the 23 year old decided to put his History degree to use by starting a career teaching English in Korea. Josh likes to spend his time learning Korean and soaking up all the culture and adventure South Korea has to offer. In fact, Josh has found his time in Korea so fulfilling, he is eager to share his experiences! Follow Josh’s adventures in Aclipe’s Teachers’ Blogs.

Tags: Teach English in Korea, moving to Korea, teaching in Korea, Teach English overseas, Teach English abroad, a year in Korea, Korea

Chat with a Teacher!

Fill out this form and one of our current teachers will get in touch with you via email for a chat about teaching English abroad!

Follow Aclipse:

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all