I can see! I had been wearing glasses since I was 7 years old in the first grade. Between then and my late teens, my eyes progressively worsened into a strong astigmatism. Before going to college, my parents bought me contacts. Because my astigmatism was so high, my parents at first and then I paid over $500 for contacts every year since college. But now fresh at 26, I can see without glasses or contacts after receiving an affordable LASIK eye procedure in Gangnam, Seoul, South Korea.
Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!
As you might remember from last week's post, I visited a Korean hospital because of some stomach pain. Last week’s blog covered the first hour I was at the hospital. I had 2 blood tests and 2 xrays done. By having them done in Korea and not America, I saved over $300. Here is the second hour of the the incredibly affordable and efficient hospital trip.
One scary thought that crosses many minds when thinking about risks of teaching English abroad is “what happens if I become seriously ill or injured, and I cannot communicate with doctors effectively?” Well in South Korea, you’ll be fine. You’ll be more than fine, actually. The health care I received a couple weeks ago was incredibly quick, thorough, and affordable.
I know some of you may not trust me as a gluten-free foodie resource in Korea. I mean, come on, I recently wrote a love letter (in the form of a blog post) to the best sandwicherie in Seoul. I've been known to indulge from time to time. Although, I swear I didn't eat the suspicious PB&J sandwich pictured below. It was 'gifted' to me at Korea Burn this past summer and although my friend and I accepted the sustenance with gratitude, the fact that a kind soul pulled it out of his suitcase prompted us to 're-gift' it to the carefree, rainbow-bearded man we met a few seconds later.
Tags: a year in Korea, eating in Korea, food in Korea, advice, eating out in Korea, Korean cuisine, diet in korea, eating healthy in Korea, Health in Korea, alcohol in Korea, gluten free in korea, gluten free
The Korean jimjilbang is right up there with kimchi and they may in fact both compete for the top spot. They are well-known elements of Korean culture. Jimjilbangs are large public bath houses (mostly gender-segregated) and can be found on almost every street in Korea. Some are more fancy than others, but most have a handful of hot baths, showers, saunas, massage tables, lockers, sleeping areas and social meeting spaces. Jimjilbangs are usually open 24 hours a day and many people visit them to bathe, relax and sleep. Many rooms, including the saunas, have special minerals, woods and stones to create a soothing sanctuary and provide elements of traditional Korean medicine. The Korean jimjilbang is a familiar and calming oasis for all Koreans. Each is a mini spa that caters to your every need. They are more prevalent than Starbucks shops and you can spend a day in one for the cost of a latte and a snack. They sound perfect, right?
It seems only fitting that the ankle I broke in Africa would finally find comfort in my next home away from home – Korea. The last time I was abroad I comically fractured my right ankle during my medical orientation (at a hospital!) in Kenya. The break made for quite an experience and a tearful/choked-up call home to my mom after a panicked evening in a Nairobi hospital. I was put in a cast and advised by my parents to seek surgical consultation when I returned to the states 5 months later in December.
If you could change something about your personal appearance, what would it be? For me, the answer was easy- my eyesight.
I experienced an immense time of growth while teaching in Korea. Although teaching English was merely a means for me to spend time with my grandparents and family, I acquired numerous skills from teaching that I’m sure will prove useful in life. In addition, there were so many things to do in Seoul, and I certainly made the most of it.
Korea is a place that I have been to many times before. However, living here on my own shed a new and unfamiliar light on everything I did. Growing up in he U.S., I never learned Korean properly, which is highly frowned upon in Korea. I felt out of my comfort zone and judged by family and strangers. Luckily, a fellow instructor at my ChungDahm branch was kind enough to give me Korean lessons. I learned so much, and now I freely speak Korean with confidence.
The regular hours we teach English at ChungDahm are from 4-10pm, so what will you do with all your free time? Everyone finds a niche teaching English in Korea, from dance classes to volunteering at animal shelters, but for me it’s yoga! Moving here and being immersed in a new environment completely independent was a little stressful, but hot yoga gave me a way to channel my energy and relax.
I found a place just around the corner from the branch called Hot Yoga Studio J. I actually prefer to go to classes after work, because when teaching little kids you often have to match their level of hyper activity. Yoga is where I can calm myself and clear my mind before I go to bed. The yoga instructors speak in Korean, but it’s easy to get the hang of it by following what other people are doing. I even picked up some Korean words like inhale, exhale, relax, and more others.