I remember flying back to Seoul a mere few days before everything exploded. Right as masks sold out in each pharmacy I frantically biked to, right as numbers went from a few tens to hundreds in one day. I had just spent my term off in the southern hemisphere, trading Korean winters for the beach. Coming back to work felt like a rude awakening as the rest of the world seemed like they were still on vacation. Aside from China, South Korea was the most stressful place to be at the time, and I spent countless minutes refreshing my naver app to see the most up-to-date notifications on new cases. I panicked and dreamt of flying back to my family in the United States or to my friends in South Africa who I had just been with, knowing fully well those were just pipe dreams.Read More
Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!
Not long ago, I wrote about my experience teaching online classes. Now, it has been a little over a month that my school began offering offline classes again. So, we started offline classes again in May, but not fully. At that time, the situation was growing increasingly stable, so many parents felt like they could feel comfortable sending their kids back to the classroom. However, not all parents felt this same sentiment. In order to accommodate everyone, my school decided to open a combination of offline and online classes. Thus, currently, my co-workers and I have a mixed class schedule of offline and online classes and I don’t see this changing for the next two months - at the very least.Read More
Quarantine itself actually wasn’t as horrible as I had imagined. Is it boring at times? Yes, but you know what your hobbies are and what you like to do in your free time. So bring them!
It’s a great time to read, Netflix is accessible and you can start learning Korean. Working out is always an option (water bottles make great makeshift dumbbells), you can journal, do puzzles, listen to music, etc.Read More
I finally made it to Korea almost 24 hrs after leaving my house. That’s of course including getting to the airport and all of the waiting in between and before flights... but with the help of CDL, government and airport officials, I ended up exactly where I needed to be-- and you will too!
This was just my experience. You could have different hurdles, but based solely on what I have learned, I will also be sharing some useful tips.Read More
Living and working in Seoul, I am constantly flooded with questions and inquiries about the situation with COVID-19, and rightfully so. People are stressed, confused, concerned, anxious, or a mixture of all the above with a dash of existential doom. Friends and family are consistently surprised by my lack of news on the employment front, and that is all due to the way that Chungdahm has handled this pandemic.Read More
For those who enjoy visiting scenic spots, enjoy nature and like a light workout, then making a stop at Haneul Park should be on your to do list. Haneul translates to sky. It truly fits this park, because one truly has to put the work to rise into the sky in order to get to this location. The park is located in the top of a small mountain. There are three ways to get to the top of the mountain - ride a golf cart, walk the hike or take the stairs. I opted for the hike. While I would of prefered the golf cart ride, I didn’t want to miss out on the chance to enjoy the nature on the way up. Also, there was a long line in order to wait for a golf cart to take me up. I choose the hike over the stairs, because while the stairs look very cool, they look challenging.Read More
Pilipino people are famous for having an ungovernable amount of pride. From each mixed European Miss Universe, to the screams I heard from the neighbors during any Pacquiao fight,,,not to mention the screams coming from my 4’9” grandmother, to that random shopper your parents run into at the Vietnamese grocery store, pinoys love being pinoy. It is with a sad heart that I must tell you that I....am no different. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a walking blow horn spewing out facts about the health benefits of calamansi and how the inventor of the modern yo-yo was a Pilipino-American.Read More
For anyone living in Korea, or anyone of Asian heritage, people can notice that many have a layered and complicated relationship to Japan. Because of what I learned growing up, I never found myself interested to go there, but by some random chance, I visited three years ago while working at Chungdahm. I met this Japanese person who ended up being my best friend, and I am lucky enough to have seen the things and the people that I have there through and with her. She does a lot of resistance work with both mainland Japanese and Okinawan artists and activists who demand fair rights, justice, and truth. There are so many incredible people creating communities of care and liberation, and I feel so thankful to see what is happening on the ground, giving me a more complex perception of the cultures around me.Read More
In comparing one job to another, there is a lot to take into consideration. Obviously, there will be a set of pros and cons to each one, and it can be difficult to sift through them each fairly. Also, there is a certain aspect of it all that is very personal and objective. The following comparison is between my experiences teaching stateside and the experience I have so far teaching in South Korea. I have loved every job I have ever had teaching, but I hope to shed some light on some of the struggles that you are able to avoid by teaching abroad, specifically with Chungdahm Learning and the Aclipse program.Read More
I will spare you the usual diatribe against our cell phones, of how those millennials don’t function without them, or whatever silly things people say. Having a cell phone allows you to do pretty important things, and even more so when you are moving halfway across the world to a place you’ve potentially only ever seen in travel shows or youtube compilations of “kimchi slapping,” which if you have yet to experience, do yourself the favor and get to googling. From setting up mobile banking to the crucial stuff like finding the nearest Paris Baguette, your phone is your lifeline when first settling in. So do not fret, for I will map out a few options that will make your digital life here smooth sailing, or rather, smooth kakaotaxi-ing.Read More