Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!

Choosing a Cell Phone Plan

Posted on Tue, Nov 05, 2019 @ 04:55 PM

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. 

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Tags: wifi, cellphones in Korea, cellphones, chungdahm learning, teaching at CDL, things to do in seoul

Nico's Cost of Living

Posted on Tue, Oct 08, 2019 @ 12:00 PM

Uprooting your entire life up into two suitcases is not exactly a walk in the park. Scrambling to get your visas ready, taking horrible passport photos, and debating whether or not to pack that bag of hot Cheetos (which you should indeed do), there is a million and one things to keep track of from the moment you fly out to the moment you finish training. Next comes the equally disorienting but exponentially more enjoyable part--settling in. A majority of the questions that I get asked relate to the cost of living and the quality of life here. The cost of living may be lower or higher than what you’re accustomed to, depending on which country you come from, and if you’re like me, had a savings account that could only muster me a couple Lotte World tickets when I arrived. However, you’re in luck. Unless you steer on the side of a constant flow of impulse buy and take-out, it’s very doable to save money while also living comfortably. If anyone is curious how I do it, you can keep scrolling through.

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Tags: chungdahm learning, cost of living, teaching at CDL, things to do in seoul

Discovering My Heritage

Posted on Tue, Aug 06, 2019 @ 12:00 PM

Discovering My Heritage

By Rebekah Alcalde

“Where are you from?” the nail salon owner asks. She tilts her head when I say, “America.”

“Oh, but you look Korean,” she says confused. “I am,” I try to clarify. “I’m here teaching English.”

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It’s a conversation I’ve had a few times since I arrived in Korea five months ago, armed with little more than a few Korean words and phrases and scared absolutely stiff. I was born in Busan but adopted to the United States by an American family when I was a baby. I’ve had very little experience with Korean culture, and I was very anxious about it.

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Tags: Korean culture, teaching at CDL, Traveling Asia

Summer Friends

Posted on Thu, Jul 25, 2019 @ 12:00 PM

It’s funny how someone from out of town can show you just how much you love where you are. It’s such a cliche, but those fresh pairs of eyes do wonders on your perspective. If you’ve read this blog before, you know that I am heavy handed in my affection for Seoul, so I really don’t need an outsider’s perspective to convince me to love it more. But it really doesn’t hurt. For all of the traveling that I’ve had the opportunity to do, right now the only place I really keep searching for is my home right here. On top of the fact that I have the logistical swiftness of a sloth that is less than ideal for travel, I genuinely love wandering my own backyard. So friends know exactly where to find me...and if they don’t, they can use NaverMaps, which is now in English!  This blog will be another foray into corny journal streams of blabber, so grab some corn silk tea and gimbap for the ride. 

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Tags: summer in korea, chungdahm learning, teaching at CDL, things to do in seoul

Bigger isn't Always Better

Posted on Tue, Jul 02, 2019 @ 12:00 PM

Coming to Korea was the best decision to learn about who I am and what I like. Not only has Korea allowed me to travel to a new country but it has allowed me to live a life I never knew I would have let alone enjoy. I have always had a dream to travel the world, especially experiencing the sensations of Asian countries. Korea has allowed me to start that dream by starting a new life doing something I wasn’t sure I would enjoy - but being pleasantly surprised to enjoy it thoroughly.

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Tags: Korean countryside, working in korea, living in South Korea, teaching at CDL, gumi

Unbowlievable

Posted on Tue, Jun 11, 2019 @ 12:00 PM

Bowling is one of those things, like push-ups, limiting your screen time, or language learning, only gets better with one thing-consistency- which I unfortunately lack in such a niche, arthritis inducing sport. In our teacher’s meeting early on in the term, I kept my hand down when our Team Manager asked if anyone was interested in participating in a company-wide tournament. It was nice to see the Kakao chat blow up with plans to practice after work and on weekends knowing I’d sit it out in the comfort of my officetel. However, by the final head count before submitting our teams, it was a party of different coworkers bragging about how bad they are. So I thought, this must be my people, this must be my time. This type of company bonding event doesn’t happen that frequently, and I had been emerging from my self-induced winter cave, and from some convincing by my friend, I decided to join in.

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Tags: bowling, chungdahm learning, teaching at CDL, things to do in seoul

Small City Livin': Transition and Community

Posted on Tue, May 28, 2019 @ 12:00 PM

Small City Livin’: Transition and Community

Applying, Traveling, Training, Teaching and my First Impressions of Jeonju

Ideas, research, Skype calls, interviews, questions, doubts, decisions - all of these went into what would eventually end up being my first time traveling to Asia, specifically South Korea. My experience was a bit different, as for many people this process is generally started anywhere from six months to several years before the culminating move to Korea happens. I began my TEFL course in August, not having a clue what exactly I wanted to do with it, had the idea to go to Korea in October and was leaving the country by the end of January! A hectic ride during that time, however, the biggest thing that enabled this fast-paced life change was the organization from Aclipse.

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Tags: . jeonju, working in korea, living in South Korea, teaching at CDL

Giselle's Classroom Rules

Posted on Tue, May 21, 2019 @ 11:56 AM

If you work as a Chungdahm teacher in Korea, you’ll get a week long training session to prepare you for your first day of teaching. You learn about the curriculum, the smart boards, the tablet PCs, and the methodology. Also, it’s heavily geared towards learning how to have good learning management. It’s great because when it comes to teaching, there are two things teachers need to perfect: learning management and student management. While there are student management simulations integrated into the training week, there is just no way to truly anticipate what your students will be like. I found that having good classroom rules and a stern attitude towards enforcing them from DAY 1 is how to set the appropriate tone for your classroom.

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Tags: Teaching skills, teaching rules, teaching at CDL, how to be a great ESL teacher, teaching tips

Little Big Moments

Posted on Tue, Apr 16, 2019 @ 12:00 PM

The last few weeks have been a blur with the wrap up of winter term, thirteen weeks done and dusted. With the chaos of intensives and the recent holidays, it was nice to be able to catch my breath for a bit. But amidst all I had to get done, I didn’t have much time to write. I asked my boss, Michael, on recommendations for topics because my brain was more fried than kimchi rice at 4 am. He suggested writing about the best teaching experience of my life, and the timing of it all was so strange, because after I received this, I went on to in fact, have the best teaching experience of my life.

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Tags: chungdahm learning, teaching at CDL, teaching tips, april

Spring Days in Ansan

Posted on Tue, Apr 09, 2019 @ 12:00 PM

In my first year in Seoul, I left the city approximately five or six times. The city can get a bad rep for being too crowded, too commercial, or too concrete. Call me biased, but I tend to disagree. It’s easy to do so when the Han snakes through the city’s half and Bukhansan plops right in the middle. But don’t get me wrong--leaving Seoul once in a while is good for the spirit and for the lungs. One of my favorite places to venture to is perfect for a day trip. It’s peaceful, expansive, and right off Line 4 on the subway. After a long winter, my friend and I decided to make our way down and it ended up being one of my favorite days of the year. 

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Tags: things to do on the weekends, places to see, Weekend activities in Korea, weekend travel, teaching at CDL, culture

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