EPIK

Korean Students Write the Darndest Things

Part of my job as a high school English teacher in South Korea involved giving out, and then correcting, weekly creative writing assignments. It quickly became one of my favorite parts of the experience, as it allowed my students to apply the language with more freedom and personality. It also helped me to get to know them in a more private way. From unintentionally funny remarks, to profound realizations, their writing was a joy to read.

Below is a small collection of some of my favorite excerpts. I’ve also taken the liberty of underscoring their messages with related images. Perhaps this could have been made into some sort of class project… Enjoy!


It’s not “goodbye.” It’s “안녕히 계세요.”

2-3 students

Goodbyes are always tough. But yesterday, during my last day as an English teacher at Ulsan Sports Science School, I experienced a whole new level of emotional farewells. Over the past year, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by wonderful coworkers and enthusiastic students, all of whom consistently went above and beyond with their generosity, kindness and sincerity to make me feel welcomed and cared for.


Vlog Entry #20: One EPIK Year in Review

Tomorrow marks my last day as an English teacher with EPIK. Without a doubt, this year was full of the biggest challenges I’ve ever faced, but also the greatest adventures and people. As Avicii says in this video’s song: “All this time I was finding myself, and I didn’t know I was lost.”


Day 1 of English Camp. I did a pirate theme this time. For a...



Day 1 of English Camp. I did a pirate theme this time. For a snack we made some pirate ships out of apples and cheese. ^^ #summercamp #esl #korea #epik #smoe


10 EPIK Haikus

As my year with EPIK comes to a close, I find myself thinking a lot about the experience. Below are 10 haikus that reflect what I’ve learned while living, teaching and traveling in South Korea (though really they’re applicable to anyone teaching or living abroad anywhere!).

 


Panoramic Korea

Below is a collection of panoramic shots taken throughout my year in Korea! Enjoy!


Vlog Entry #19: The Countdown Begins

In just 34 days, my time in Korea will have officially come to a close! As part of the countdown, you’re invited to submit any and all questions you have about my experience this year! It can be related to teaching, traveling, living in Korea or anything else…within reason. Write in the comments section below and each day I’ll answer one question!


Too Short for Korea




Too ShortAs a 6’2″ waygook, I have never experienced the problem implied by the title of this post. In fact, it’s usually the exact opposite for me. Every day I exit buses with extra care and walk under umbrellas at local markets like Quasimodo. Koreans, young and old, marvel unabashedly at my towering presence.

Yet somehow, despite a constant self-awareness of my height, these days I’m feeling a bit…short. You see, in the military, to be or feel “short” actually has nothing to do with how tall a person is. Instead, it means that one’s contract or tour of duty is coming to an end; and that’s precisely where I’m at with my EPIK journey.


How To: Prepare for and Pass the Epik Interview

Before I get started, I want to make it clear that I'm not just going to tell you exactly what happened in my interview, because that doesn't seem fair. What I can do is tell you all the dumb things I wish I hadn't done and the useful things I wish I had done, in hopes that you will have a better time of it than I did.

First off, make sure Skype works on whatever computer you plan to be in front of during the interview. I know this seems obvious, but trust me on this one: check and double check so there won't be any unforeseen technical difficulties. You know what they say about people who assume.


Hiking Mt. Jiri

A few weeks ago, as spring was just beginning to give way to summer, I took a whirlwind trip to Jirisan National Park in the south central part of the country. As South Korea’s biggest national park, it offers some amazing scenery and spectacular views! The only unfortunate thing is that there’s no major city nearby, so getting there without a car of my own proved to be just as exhuasting as actually climbing around on the mountain (literally 12 hours of roundtrip travel and 12 hours of hiking/being out and about, all in the same span of 24 hours). But it was worth it!


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