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Bi-Weekly Top Trazy Contributors (Mar 26~Apr 8)

Here are the top contributors. Congratulations to Fat Girl, Cecilia & Lee!  :)

Keep up the good work!

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The (not so) Good Earth


First day of Spring at Oryukdo, Busan

The thing I love most about Spring, is that every Spring feels like the first Spring. It feels like a discovery, a revelation, and a homecoming. Especially in Korea, where the rains come in early summer rather than May, and everyone waits with anticipation for the cherry blossoms to come alive again. There is even a cherry blossom forecast here–it’s pretty amazing. But Spring is also fleeting, as are the cherry blossoms, and every year I find myself wishing I could make time stand still, every March 21st. It’s that feeling that I live for every year, that makes parts of me awaken that I had long forgotten throughout winter. I become whole again.


Saturday in Seomyeon


Vlog Entry #14: One Blawesome Weekend

It’s cherry blossom season here in South Korea, which means roads throughout the country are lined with beautiful flowering trees! The conditions are perfect for a Saturday morning bike ride, and the small naval port town of Jinhae welcomes thousands who flock its streets to take in the views at the annual Cherry Blossom Festival! Enjoy!


Age Ain’t Nothin But A Preference

Today’s article is written for the Reach To Teach Teach Abroad Blog Carnival, a monthly series that focuses on providing helpful tips and advice to ESL teachers around the globe. The host for this month is Rebecca Thering, and here‘s where you can read the rest of this month’s posts. I’ll be posting a new ESL-related article on my blog on the 5th of every month. Check back for more articles, and if you’d like to contribute to next month’s Blog Carnival, please contact Dean at dean@reachtoteachrecruiting.com, and he will let you know how you can start participating!


Apartment hunting in Korea

I recently went through the harrowing experience of finding a new apartment in Busan, Korea. Finding a new apartment anywhere is stressful, but things felt even more unstable with the language barrier and culture differences. I wanted to share some quick thoughts in hopes that this would help someone else.

Koreans tend to live by a “bali-bali” (fast-fast) lifestyle, and apartment hunting is no exception. Start searching for an apartment 2-4 weeks before you need to move. It is very common to look an apartment and transfer money (the initial deposit) on the same day. 


Haeundae Beach Holi Hai 2015

Taking Chances


Jindo Sea Parting Festival

Jindo Sea Parting FestivalOn March 21st, 2015, waygooks and Koreans


Blackout Poetry (Part 1)

This week I did a lesson on blackout poetry with my intermediate level high school students! Normally the project is done with texts from newspapers, magazines or novels, but I was worried about the vocabulary being too broad/out of reach. I wanted my students to focus on having fun, being creative, and playing with the language, rather than looking up/learning new words. So instead, I typed up a batch of their weekly English essays, omitted the names, and returned them for use with this assignment! Not only did this assure that the vocabulary was appropriate, it also made the assignment more personal and interesting!


Nampo-dong and Jagalchi Market


Korea Through the Eyes of Foreigners (through the Eyes of Koreans)


Actions Speak Louder Than Language Barriers

Today I received a wonderful compliment from one of my high school students. To give some context to the essay snippet below: I teach at a public boarding school where the students stay on-campus 5 or 6 nights a week. Most of them are from the area, so they can easily go home on the weekend. But some, like the student in this story, have to travel 4+ hours one way by bus, so they don’t go home nearly as often. It’s hard on all of them, but especially so for those who only see their friends and family once every few weeks or months.


Documenting Dokdo: 10 Questions with Matthew Koshmrl

Do you know Dokdo?

If you’ve ever spoken to one of the locals in South Korea, chances are you will have been asked that very question. In case you don’t know what Dokdo is I’ll explain it very briefly: It’s an island that both Japan and South Korea lay claim to. It floats about in the Sea of Japan, which Korea would like to be called the ‘East Sea’. Technically the uninhabited island is Korean territory, but the Japanese – who called it Takeshima – occasionally reassert it has always belonged to them even before the colonisation of Korea.


2014 Wrap-up – WE’RE ALIVE!

Wow, it has been a really long time since we’ve updated the blog. Sorry about that!! With our SURPRISE trip home, English camps, producing a play in Busan, and adjusting to a new school year with a new coteacher, my plate has been more than full. With the new school year officially in swing this week, I’m ready to get back on a more regular schedule! Evan and I have a lot of exciting things planned this year, but first I want to update you all on what we’ve been up to since we last posted!


Deep Thoughts

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Ever since I left Seoul I have been thinking more and more about myself and my photography. I saw John Steele’s great post about his turning point with photography and it really gave me a lot to think about. I have gone over what I do and and how I do it more than at any other point in my photographic life. Was there a turning point for me? Are my best photos behind me?


Curse you 황사 (Hwang Sa or Yellow Dust)!

Man I have been feeling pretty crappy. I mean I felt better the other day then all of a...

Recently my language partner left to get a job. So I decided to...



Recently my language partner left to get a job. So I decided to leave my language exchange at Culcom in favor of an actual instructed Korean course at GNUCR near Gangnam-gu Office Station (Line 7). I’m pretty excited about the location, because its so close to me. I didn’t find out about this course until recently so I missed the deadline, but they kindly let me register late. I’ll start the course this evening. I am pretty excited. I hope I’ll learn more Korean. The course is 10 weeks and costs 300,000 Won ($300.00). They use the Active Korean book series, but this can be purchased at the school. 


It just keeps getting better!


My Renewal Decision and 4 Life Lessons That Helped Me Make It

After thinking heavily about whether or not to renew my contract with EPIK, I’ve decided to return home in August. Signing on for a second year would offer me several enticing financial benefits and mouthwatering travel opportunities. And I’ve had a positive experience at my school, where I would continue to work if I were to renew. But during my time in Korea, I’ve learned or re-learned four life lessons, and made some new discoveries about myself, that have persuaded me to wrap things up at the one-year mark.


George of the Jungle


Teaching English in Korea – General Q & A


To Renew or Not Renew – A Pros and Cons List

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To renew or not renew…that is the question…whether tis nobler in the waygook to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous English teaching…okay I’m done.

But seriously, the question of whether or not to renew your contract with EPIK is basically the biggest decision you’ll make once you’ve landed in Korea. There are pros and cons to both outcomes, and just like everything else in life there is no universal right answer. It’s totally subjective and dependent on your specific situation. But as the list below shows, there are still pros and cons to consider for both options:


MMPK Groove Magazine Article

At the tail end of 2014 we were approached by Groove Korea who had an interest in what we are up to.


My SoKo digs!

Busan Begins


Trial and Hair-er – Getting A Haircut In Korea

Getting a haircut is usually a rather mundane part of everyday life. But when you’re an expat living in another country and you don’t speak the local language, it suddenly becomes a much more exciting and emotional experience. Every snip of the scissors and buzz of the clippers sends a rush of trepidation down your spine; because beyond uttering a few broken words of Konglish and showing the barber a picture of your desired style, there’s really not much you can do but sit back and watch in a state of helpless paralysis as he begins to sculpt your scalp. We all like to think “it’s only hair, it will grow back if I don’t like it,” but when we’re suddenly faced with having to practice what we preach and live with the consequences, our thinking drastically changes.


Jeongwol Daeboreum 2015

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The Jeolwol Daeboreum festivities date back hundreds of years and it is still amazing to see just how many people come out to these celebrations. This festival is held on the first full moon of the lunar year. The typical celebrations will start in the afternoon with singing and dancing until the final main event. Here in Ulsan, the main event is the burning of the Daljib. The Daljib is the large pile of straw and branches that gets burned to ward off evil spirits and misfortune in the new year.


Student Writing Sample: Goals for the New School Year

What are your goals for the new school year? Think of two large, general goals and three small, specific goals. Tell me what those goals are improtant to you and what you will do to achieve them.

“Fighting!” is a common expression of encouragement in Korea.


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