A Travellerspoint blog

I am a teacher in South Korea!

My first day of work

I was so excited and nervous for my first day of work. Since I had no idea where work was located in relation to my apt., Karen (coworker) was nice enough to come pick me up and walk with me. It is only about a 7 min. walk, which I cannot complain about.

Karen is the head foreign teacher, and that involves orientating me, and overseeing everything I do as a teacher. I was lucky that she had the time to basically load me up with all the necessary information pertaining to my job. It was actually graduation day for the students of the previous semester, so there were not any structured classes for the day.

I met some of the cute Korean students, learned the schedule of classes I would be teaching, and how the school system is set up. I watched the preparation of the graduation ceremony, and monitored the students during the ceremony as well. They put on quite a lovely show with song, dance, and words of appreciation. All the students look so adorable in their uniforms.

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Posted by LiveLife 08:12 Archived in South Korea Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Choo Choo Train English Institute

Anyang, South Korea

45 °F

The same day of my arrival, I received a call on my apt. phone from Karen, one of my new coworkers at the school. She and some others offered to bring me some food, and anything else I might need. Everyone was more than welcoming to say the least. They made me feel comfortable right from the start.

I was able to shower and catch a few hours of rest, followed by me greeting Karen, Sara, and Romo at my door. They brought a Korean dish and some pizza from a place down the street called "Pizza School." I walked with them to Karen and Romo's apt. to socialize and eat the delicious food. The whole day/evening was overall quite surreal. By the end of the evening I knew that I was going to love living in Anyang, South Korea, and that I had made the right decision in coming here. I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now.

Jet lag and the time difference, 15 hours ahead, is taking its toll on me, but some sleep is vital as I start my first day of work already at 9:30am Thursday.

Posted by LiveLife 22:06 Archived in South Korea Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

South Korea, here I come!

My arrival

semi-overcast

My friend Sean drove me to Chicago O'Hare Airport, one last adventure in the Dodge Spirit, for my flight to South Korea. I was already tired from wrapping up my life in Wisconsin, but very excited. I was only nervous about the FOUR bags I was going to be checking onto the plane! This feeling was justified, since I ended up having to pay an extra fee for them.

The flight was 14 long hours. I was fed more than enough meals on the flight. My first meal was called Bi-Bim-Bab, a famous Korean cuisine containing steamed rice and assorted vegetables. There are various types of Bibimbab such as Octopus, and wild greens. A sweet pepper paste with sesame seed oil are served with it to add a mild tangy flavor. It was a very healthy dish.

I chatted with an American man sitting next to me during the flight. The interesting conversation helped the time pass by. Once I arrived at the airport I immediately met some native English speaking people in the customs line. They were also arriving to teach at schools throughout South Korea. I then proceeded to collect my bags at baggage claim. The carrying cart provided was not nearly large enough to fit my bags on. It was a chore to push them through the airport to the front gate.

By this point, I was completely exhausted, not having slept much on the flight over. Despite my extreme fatigue, I had an over-whelming feeling of excitement. I thought to myself, this is the beginning of a new adventure, and my new life in Asia. I was all smiles. What made it even more perfect is the shocking surprise of Ashley and Nick showing up at the airport to greet me! How wonderful of them. I didn't spot them at first, but then heard them yelling my name as I was pushing my heavy luggage cart. It had been a while since I saw the "Poppins" and "Krytle." I sure missed my favorites.

I identified the guy from the pick-up service holding my name sign "paitently" waiting for me. He must have been waiting for at least 45 minutes. Keep in mind it was approx. 6:00am Korean time.

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He drove me directly to my school where I was introduced to all of the staff, given a mini tour of the school, and a brief orientation. All I could think of was I need a shower and some sleep ASAP! Four hours later, a few men came to the school to help load up my luggage to bring and unload at my new apt. Finally! Home sweet cozy apt.

Posted by LiveLife 21:47 Archived in South Korea Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

SK

Websites and information

About South Korea

http://www.korea.net/

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2800.htm

Learning Korean

http://www.asknow.ca/learnkorean.aspx

http://korean.sogang.ac.kr/

Teaching in Korea websites

http://www.eslcafe.com/

www.teaching-in-korea.com

Posted by LiveLife 11:18 Comments (0)

South Korea

The beginning before the beginning

My location:
Gyeonggi , Anyang
Region- Sudogwon

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Anyang is a city in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea. It is located about 20 km to the south of Seoul and is connected to Seoul Subway Line 1 and Line 4. Other nearby cities include Incheon and Gwangmyeong to the west, Suwon to the south-east, and Gwacheon north-east. Anyang is generally divided into two sections: The older downtown section centered at Anyang Station, a big shopping area with pleasant stores and outdoor markets, and Pyeongchon, the wealthier, more upscale area down the road. Strategically located, Anyang is a convenient transportation hub between Seoul and other major cities across the country.

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Like most towns and cities in South Korea, Anyang has experienced tremendous urban growth during the past few decades. Ten years after the Korean War ended, the area's population was still largely rural and its landscape agricultural. Today, the conglomerated city of Anyang (amalgamated in 1973) is among the most populous in the country. It is also becoming a suburb of choice for some Seoulites because of its very close proximity to Seoul, and for the beautiful mountains and scenery that surround Anyang, shielding it from the larger urban centers nearby. Distinct and autonomous, Anyang offers every amenity a major city in Korea has to offer. The city also boasts perhaps the most beautiful, ultra-modern city hall in the entire country. The motto of Anyang is "Livable city, Proud citizens" and the mayor's message on the city's website describes Anyang as a city of hope.

Anyang has many institutions of higher learning which include Anyang Technical College, Anyang University, Daehan Graduate School of Theology, Daelim College, and Sungkyul University. Anyang is also home to the Buddhist temple of Anyangsa, located on Mt. Samseong. The historical plaque at the site tells that it was built by Silla's King Hyogong. The location was chosen by him for its mystical properties, which inspired the building of the temple upon travelling south to quell the rebellion in southern Shilla. The plaque further elaborates that the name for the city of Anyang is believed to have originated from the temple. Anyang itself is a Buddhist term signifying a heavenly land where unimaginable joy and freedom overflow.

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Sudogwon Region

The Seoul National Capital Area (SNCA) is a region located in the north-west of South Korea. It is generally referred to as Sudogwon in Korean, and contains three different administrative districts; Seoul, Incheon and a large part of Gyeonggi-do.

The SNCA is technically distinct from the Seoul Metropolitan Area (SMA), as the former is a fixed entity, while the latter refers to places currently considered under the economic, industrial and cultural influence of Seoul. Since the extension of the Seoul Metropolitan Subway to Cheonan in Chungcheongnam-do, some have classified Cheonan as now within the SMA, but not within the SNCA. However, the terms SNCA, SMA and Sudogwon are largely analogous and used interchangeably.

The Seoul National Capital Area has a population of 24.5 million (as of 2007)[1]. It forms the cultural, commercial, financial, industrial, and residential center of South Korea. The largest city is Seoul, with a population of approximately 10.2 million people.

Employment

My School: Choo Choo Train Institute

I am teaching elementary/kinder students. I work Monday-Friday between the hours of 9:30am-6:30pm, 30hrs/week.
My apartment is about 5-10 minutes from the school by walk. My flight, Visa, and apt. rent each month are paid for by the school, which is wonderful. Anyang city is connected to the subway to Seoul only taking about 20 minutes. It is also copacetic that I am only 30 or so minutes away from Nick in Suwon. That makes it quite advantageous for us to have dinners, etc. together even during the week.

Posted by LiveLife 10:36 Comments (0)

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