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A Guide to Understanding Korean (School) Culture for Guest English Teachers

Editor’s Note from Jeff: This was written by a Korean elementary school teacher as an assignment for my Cross-Cultural Communication course. The task was to “prepare a guide for improving cross-cultural communication and interactions in your workplace”.  Since many Guest English Teachers will be starting school this week, I thought it was the right time to publish this. Hopefully, it will encourage a useful discussion about how Korean Teachers and Guest English Teachers can work together to create a positive learning/working environment.   Thanks very much to Jessi for agreeing to post this here.

2013 Busan Sunset Live Preview (Part 2)

The Koreans of Europe

No two cultures are the same but every one is similar, right? You could certainly say that about much of Europe, where thousands of years of breeding, trading, warring, traveling, and sharing across ever-shifting borders has caused a mixology of international characteristics of which one can be difficult to discern from the other.

In Asia, it is a little more difficult to separate the differences because the continent has suffered less fluctuation of its borders, and in terms of today’s map, colonialism for the most part decided on today’s borders. But still you can throw in the changes, regardless of actual influence, of international trade, development, colonialism, the sharing of ideas, television, and migration, and the wind at the weekend if you wish, and you will soon realise the stark similarities between peoples and cultures there.

The 6th annual Salsa Festival in Busan

Mission Statement

Music. It’s been part of me for every step I’ve taken in this life. I’ve studied, taught, performed, promoted and produced. Since moving to Korea 4 years ago, music has taken control. This has opened the door to a vibrant music scene that perhaps many people don’t realize is happening right under their noses. Even when Korean promotors and bands actively pursue foreigners for attendance at their shows, all the necessary info is rarely translated or distributed properly. There are amazing artists that are doing their thing in dingy basement clubs and most expats never know.

I’m no insider. But I do find myself regularly trying to get my friends to see bands that I find incredibly interesting. Hopefully, if you’re reading this blog, you’ll learn about a new venue or festival or band that will change the way you think about arts in Busan.

From Korea With Love – Podcast Episode 1

My EPIK Medical Check-Up

Makin’ PatBingsu at Stumpy Ruffers

Daegu Theatre Troupe & The YMCA Youth Project!


Gwangju Day 2 – 5.18 Memorial Park & Downtown

Living Here During the North Korean Threats



It’s come to the point where I can predict the answers to most of the questions I ask in my conversation classes. “What’s your favorite kind of music?” “Balla-duh.” “Who’s your favorite actor?” “Won Bin.” “Why do you like him?” “He is so sexy.” “What do you like doing?” “I like sleeping.” “What are your plans for this weekend?” “I’m going to a cafe to talk with my friends.” “What’s your favorite kind of coffee?” “I like Americano.” “Why?” “It is very delicious.” And on and on.

Spring is finally here!

Training You know what that means! I am challenging myself this year and trying out my first 10K. If anyone knows me, you know I hate exercise. I just never liked it. The closest I get to it is through salsa and other forms of dancing. But Dave and Matt are runners, and like to [...]

Where The Heck Have I Been?

It’s been just over a month since I last wrote, I haven’t gone this long without writing in over a year, if not more.  So, where the heck have I been?

The truth is, nowhere.  I’ve been right here.  But there have been a few reasons why I haven’t written in a long while.  I’ve met some people in my life who seem to write best or become creatively inspired when they are upset or unhappy.  I am not one of those people.  I find when I’m stressed or upset, I don’t feel like pouring my thoughts out onto a page (or more accurately, a screen).  This past month has been a very hectic, dynamic, and at times an extremely stressful month.

So what have I been doing?

House sitting and cat sitting:

St Patrick’s Day in Seoul, 2013

If you haven’t heard already, I’m chairman of the Irish Association of Korea, and every year around this time we organise a small get together. You might have heard of it, we call it Saint Patrick’s Day.

I won’t blether on too much about it as my brain is exhausted at the simplest mention of the event, however give this link a click and you’ll find all the info you need about the event.

Essay on Korea’s National Image – “What is Modern Korea?”

In October I entered an essay competition organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Korea. The competition sought to find out what foreigners thought was Korea’s national image. I entered, you’ll be happy to hear, but not because of some overwhelming desire to share my thoughts on what made Korea Korea, more because top prize was a new computer, and I fancied my chances.


So I dutifully brainstormed a notion and worked away on the essay, then forgot about it, then remembered about it, and of course I waited until the last minute to submit it.

International Women’s Day and Korea

Today is 100th International Women’s Day. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women (its roots in primarily Eastern Europe, Russia, and the former Soviet bloc) to a celebration for women’s economic, political and social achievements (the United Nations sets a theme each year to raise awareness about [...]

Les Miserables ROK Air Force Parody Les Militaribles / 공군 레미제라블 ‘레밀리터리블’


Les Miserables ROK Air Force Parody Les Militaribles / 공군 레미제라블 '레밀리터리블'

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