Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!

Winter Essentials to Bring from Abroad

Posted on Thu, Dec 27, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

This winter is set to break records and be one of the coldest winters in a long while. Last year, when I first arrived to Seoul in November the air was icy. It was fall, but it was soon to be winter. I was born and raised in Southern California. I thought I was ready for winter, but I was wrong. While there are a lot of things that one obtains for a cheap price in South Korea, clothes is not one of them. Well, maybe if you are shopping for thick summer clothes in a college town, then clothes are cheap. However, the clothing and material needed to endure a real winter is far from cheap. Considering the first snow has already fallen in Seoul now (and it is only November!), I found it fitting to inform you of what I wish I had bought in the United States before coming to Korea.

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Tags: preparing to teach in Korea, winter in Korea, things to bring

How to Save Money During the Winter Months While Teaching in Korea

Posted on Thu, Nov 09, 2017 @ 02:55 PM

ESL teachers are motivated to teach in Korea, because of the large amount of savings they can accumulate.  One such example of how you can save money while teaching in Korea is that the country is known for having cost-effecting housing utilities such as electricity, gas and water.  All year round Korean utilities are low, ranging between 70,000W-130,000W. However, Korean Winters’ are the exception. If you are not careful you could be surprised with a 200,000W-400,000W bill!

Korean Winters can be super chilly, often hitting temperatures of -18C in the January months. Icicles hanging from the trees, slippery roads and the ruthless Siberian wind that will cut through your clothes.  You will find yourself willingly turn up the heat in your apartment and repeatedly leave it on for the entire day. Over the years, I have figured out how to lower my Winter utility bill and often save more money during the Winter months than in the Summer months.  Now that the Fall season is starting to transition to Winter, I wanted to use this blog I to offer three tips which will help lower your utility bills in the Winter months and not force you to break the bank. 

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Tags: life in Korea, winter in Korea, winter olympics, save money, save money teaching English, winter, save, cold

How To Celebrate The Holiday Season While Teaching in Korea

Posted on Tue, Dec 13, 2016 @ 03:41 PM

You will find celebrating Christmas while teaching in Korea to be very unique. Although you will hear a lot of Christmas music, see trees and building lit up, and people dressed in Santa suits, it still doesn't always feel like the Christmas season you are used to back home. In this blog I will do my best to give you tips on how to celebrate the holidays at ChungDahm, with your fellow teachers and expats in Korea and even your family back home.

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Tags: things to do in Korea, festivals, gapyeong, winter in Korea, Holidays in South Korea, festive season, christmas in Korea, christmas, holiday gifts

5 Fun Winter Activities To Do While Teaching in Korea

Posted on Tue, Nov 29, 2016 @ 05:13 PM

Now that we are about to enter December and the weather has gotten cold in Korea I thought it would be a great opportunity to talk about my favorite winter activities.  One of the perks of living and teaching in Korea is that you can experience all four seasons and although the weather can he harsh at time, there is still plenty of fun activities you can do. Below are my five favorite winter activities.   

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Tags: international, china, winter in Korea, food in Korea, Activities to do in Korea, cultural activities, winter olympics, snow, snowboarding, skiing, Pyeongchang Winter Olympics 2018

Surviving Winter in Korea

Posted on Wed, Feb 11, 2015 @ 12:46 PM

As a lifelong Massachusetts resident, I am used to confusing weather patterns and abrupt temperature shifts, but South Korea’s weather-related bi-polar disorder brings it to a whole new level. A few weeks ago we had a relatively warm spell of weather, which caused me to dare to hope that perhaps the worst of the winter was over. Obviously that was foolishly optimistic thinking, as this week we have been slammed with a particularly chilly blast of air, just to remind me that winter in Korea is far from done. Personally, I hate cold weather, so it definitely makes it more difficult for me to actually get out of my apartment and be social. But the best remedy for those winter blues is spending time with friends, so I figured I would share a few of my favorite winter activities in Korea to help you get through these frigid few months.

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Tags: winter in Korea, movies in Korea, Apartments in Korea

Day at the Theater: The Winter Drama Performance at ChungDahm

Posted on Wed, Jan 28, 2015 @ 10:45 AM

Winter Intensives at ChungDahm are a busy time for teachers if you work at a branch that offers these extra intensive classes over the winter holiday. My  Chungdahm branch in Dunsan offers these classes as management recognizes the business importance of winter intensive classes -  the potential to  generate extra revenue and attract new students to the academy. While teaching intensive classes and a regular class load, can at times be exhausting, the students attending intensive clases are generally more positive and stronger academically than the average student. One pleasure I enjoy during the intensive class period is the drama performance put on by some aspiring Chungdahm actors and actresses. Every winter, one of our esteemed HI’s Mr. Paul Pistey puts his thespian and artistic background to use, leading a drama intensive class that tackles a wide variety of theatrical subject matters. This year was particularly challenging because of his all female cast, but as expected his students delivered a fantastic performance.

The Dunsan branch’s own embraces the Winter Drama Performance as a golden opportunity to promote the multi-talented nature of Chungdahm students. Most of the students speak English at a fairly high level since putting on a play requires a decent command of the English language. There were two Masters students, an Albatross Plus and an Albatross student in the play, so clearly this is not a task for a Memory kid. Also, the venue was not exactly your cozy blackbox theatre, as I would estimate there were probably close to a thousand people on hand to watch the show. I must confess I do not the exact names of some of the pieces, but I do know David Ives’ short comic plays Sure Thing and Words, Words, Words were two of the ones performed.

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Tags: winter in Korea, teaching at Chungdahm

What You Need to Know for Winter Intensive Camp

Posted on Tue, Jan 13, 2015 @ 11:25 AM

After the first day of the new year, many of our students started their winter vacation. Winter vacation usually lasts anywhere from 3-4 weeks depending on what school our students attend. Although it may be winter break for our students' regular school, most students’ parents still want them to go to the academy and as a result ChungDahm, like many other academies, have English Camp (Winter Intensive Program).

For the students who are enrolled in camp this year, their day starts anywhere from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Our camp has a variety of classes that our students take part in. Each ChungDahm location has their own criteria that they can choose to teach. Instead of us using our tablets to teach, our academy chose to go the classic route using textbooks. We divided our camp into reading and analysis, speech and presentation, grammar, and foundations workshop. Each group of kids are sectioned off into levels depending on how much English knowledge they have. While in years past of teaching winter camp, many of of my students were groggy and foggy coming into class in the morning. My luck changed this year! This is possibly my favorite camp that I have taught so far. Although my students’ English capability is at different levels, all of my students help each other out to learn. This has made my job a lot easier and more importantly, more fun.

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Tags: winter in Korea

Keeping Fit Through Those Long Korean Winters

Posted on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 @ 03:19 PM

            Ah tis the holiday season at last. Though not exactly a particularly religious country, South Korea still embraces Christmas time with great enthusiasm. I have already heard Mariah Carey and Wham’s annoying earwig Christmas tunes more times than I can count. Generally, when I think of the holidays, food is the first think that comes to mind, and generally accompanying the gorging is the nasty little issue of weight gain. On that note, I figured I would share a few tidbits on staying fit in Korea, and how to keep that flawless figure intact through those long Korean winter months.

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Tags: Teach English in Korea, Teach Abroad, Teach in Asia, winter in Korea, Exercising in Korea, gyms in Korea, Activities to do in Korea

Tokyo Time! Shopping Outside South Korea

Posted on Wed, Mar 05, 2014 @ 07:44 PM

 Although I enjoyed the peace and quiet of Kyoto, I was eager to throw myself into the hustle and bustle of the city of 35 million people, Tokyo. I had heard a lot about Tokyo, about the all night attitude and the politeness of the Japanese people. I had also heard that they speak very little English in Japan in comparison to Korea, so I was both eager to explore and also a little nervous.

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Tags: vacation, vacation destinations, japan, winter in Korea, Tokyo

A Vacation from Korea in Kyoto

Posted on Mon, Feb 24, 2014 @ 01:00 PM

Japan is very close to Korea, you can take a ferry or hop on a three hour plane ride to get there. When I first signed on with Chungdahm I promised myself that I would make it over to Japan to expand my horizons even further. I was able to keep this promise over winter vacation!

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Tags: vacation, vacation destinations, japan, winter in Korea, Kyoto

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