Koreabridge Blog Section

  • Turn The Lights ON

    a hook

    Nice isn't it? Doesn't this make you want to teach abroad?

    A common hook used by TEFL course providers is imagery from Thailand. If you are in the market for a TEFL course you should have seen an image like this by now.

    If not you soon will. But before you get excited about this...

    a hook2

    You'll probably only spend less than 1 or 2% of your time abroad in a place like this. Although this imagery is used to hook you it has little to do with where you'll actually be spending most of your time.

    Teaching English abroad is not a vacation. Most teachers in Asia do not end up anywhere near a place like this. These places are reserved for a vacation. If you are like most teachers you might take a vacation at the end of your contract. 

  • Genderfluid in Korea–Anonymous in an Uncertain World


  • Accidental Island

    I had gotten on the wrong boat.

    I purchased a ticket to Binjindo—the most famous of the islands of Korea’s Hangryeo Marine National Park–but instead boarded a kind of a multi-island sea bus transporting the venerable inhabitants to the villages dotting a handful of the other islands, where they scratched out a living from farming, the odd bit of tourism, or whatever the sea managed to provide. And as it was the last boat of the day, there would be no getting to Bijindo.

  • There, and Back (and There) Again

    It was a rather strange place to be practicing my fledgling Korean skills: atop a volcano on the southeastern coast of Iceland.

    We were slowly making our way across the glacier covering Eyjafjallajökull, a subglacial volcano that made news in 2010 after an eruption that halted air traffic in Europe for over a week. My top priority as lead trip guide was ensuring the safety of the guests, followed closely by ensuring their happiness at all reasonable costs. One of my guests, a waifish woman nearing 60, realized she had left her sunglasses roughly a half mile back up the trail at our lunch spot. I was not entirely sure I could guarantee the safety of this particular hiker, considering her questionable physical state and less than ideal snow-hiking gear, but I figured I could at least make her happy. After assuring her it was no inconvenience, I set off back up the snowy incline to look for her glasses.

  • Facing the Reality of War on the Korean Peninsula

    By Lee Scott


    By Iwazaru

  • Nay Pyi Taw–What if They Built a Capital and Nobody Came?

    The Surreal Solitude and Mind-Boggling Modernity of Nay Pyi Taw

    By Richard Luhrs

    When one thinks of Southeast Asian cities, the usual – and usually accurate – image is of teeming millions struggling to make do with woefully inadequate and/or outdated infrastructure. Many of the region’s capitals (Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila, Hanoi) have become bywords for the pollution-choked, traffic-jammed, beggar-ridden and perpetually flooded Third World metropolis of the twenty-first century – urban centers pushed far beyond their limits on every conceivable level.

    Until 2006, the capital of Myanmar – Yangon – perfectly fit that stereotype. A decade later it fits it even more perfectly; but the Golden Land’s largest city and unrivaled commercial center is no longer also its seat of government.

  • Hitting the Han 4 Rivers Bike Trail–Pain, Rain & Staying Sane

    By Jenna Kunze

    I had never ridden by bike further than the next neighborhood over before I embarked on a cycling trip that would take me across a country I’d just moved to, with people I’d just met.

    The trail that connects Seoul to Busan is called the “Han 4 Rivers Trail,” a namesake derived from, yes, the four rivers that string together the world’s longest biking trail  (a non-verified claim). It was opened in 2011 as a $17 billion undertaking. The trail follows the Han, Daejeon, Guem, Nakdong, and Yeongsang rivers. Connecting the two largest cities in Korea, Seoul and Busan, the path also snakes through the fourth largest metropolitan area of Daegu.

  • Bites & Bytes: Linus BBQ in HBC (Seoul Food)

    Linus BBQ Linus' Bama Style Barbecue 라이너스 바베큐 Pulled Pork c/o Linus BBQ Facebook HBC Itaewon Seoul Korea Southern BBQ Food

    Linus BBQ Arrives in HBC

    When I worked in hospitality back in Canada, I would always scoff at food bloggers who would visit a restaurant once, then review.  They’d try one entree and maybe a bite of a second, then make a decision which could make or break the opening of a business based on their “honesty” and clout within a community or popular social circ

  • The 4 Best Korean Beauty Products For Under $20

    If you’re planning on visiting Korea, you’re in luck — not only is Korea full of amazing cities, magnificent sightseeing, and delicious Korean food, it’s also home to some of the best makeup and beauty products that money can buy. In Korea, using makeup and making sure that you have the best makeup is a huge part of popular culture for both men and women (that’s right — it’s super normal for men to wear makeup in Korea!).

    While Korean beauty products are considered the best of the best, they’re not particularly expensive. Most beauty products that you’ll find in stores can be purchased for less than $20, which means you can stock up before you return home. And there’s plenty of options for buying Korean makeup if you’re in Korea!

  • Study Tips to Learn English Faster: Become Fluent Quickly and Easily

    Study Tips to Learn English Faster

    What would it mean to your career or studies to be able to speak and write more easily and fluently in English? How about understanding more of what you read and hear?

  • Study Tips to Learn English Faster: Become Fluent Quickly and Easily

    Study Tips to Help you Improve your English Skills There are many reasons why you might want to improve your English skills. Perhaps it’s to get the job of your dreams where being fluent in English is a necessity. Perhaps you want to travel abroad for a vacation, or to …

    The post Study Tips to Learn English Faster: Become Fluent Quickly and Easily appeared first on My Life! Teaching in a Korean University.

  • Korea This Week: Stinko Gingkos, BIFF Liberation, & Solo CEO's

    Stinko Gingkos

    Along with the changing foliage and increased incidence of the exclamation “Chueo!” (“[I’m] cold!”) in Korean discourse, one of the telltale signs of fall around the peninsula is a pervasive smell that has often been likened to a melange of rancid butter, vomit, and gym socks.

  • ‘Manwon’ Food Budget a Day

    Recently a blogger from the Philippines shared her expenses in touring Korea, and her post drew flak for claiming that in her 5-days-and-4-nights of stay here, she spent only 12,000 pesos (around 235 dollars). She was able to purchase a 3,000-peso roundtrip ticket (around 59 dollars) from Jeju Air, paid 3,120 (around 61 dollars) for her 5D4N stay at a guesthouse and survived with a ‘manwon’ budget on food everyday (That’s barely 450 pesos or 9 dollars!).

  • 코스 3-3 | Course 3-3 from 갈맷길 365: A Year of Movement

    If you like trekking on rocky coasts, this course is the one for you. It’s a lot of up and down, but incredible views are around every turn and the natural beauty of Busan is abundant. I started at Yongdusan Park 용두산 공원 in the middle of Course 3-2 and did my best to follow all the cultural highlights in the Nampo area 남포동. It wasn’t marked almost at all and I did a half-hearted rectangle around Ggangtong Market 깡통시장 and Jagalchi Seafood Market 자갈치 before crossing the Yeongdo Bridge 영도대교 and entering the small town vibe on the island of horses. Although this is part of Busan, it has a unique history of being used strategically by the Silla kingdom 신라 and later the Japanese for cattle grazing and horse ranching.

  • Do You Need HANJA to Speak Korean? + Interview with Koreans

    HANJA (한자) are Chinese characters that are occasionally used today in the Korean language. Originally, over 60% of the Korean language comes from Chinese characters. You can find them in places such as signs and newspapers. But these days, the overwhelming majority of written Korean contains no Chinese characters, although the words themselves still originated from them. Chinese to Korean is like Latin to English, so knowing the meaning of root words can definitely be helpful when understanding new words and phrases.

    So does that mean that Hanja is mostly useless for learning Korean? I'll give my personal opinions on the topic, as well as the opinions of some Koreans I asked.


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