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Sweet and Tasty TV: Homo Hill

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Sweet and Tasty TV made a video on Homo Hill hitting up some of the main establishments.While I'm not really into the main shtick of this vlogger, this video is a great visualization of what is happening on Homo Hill.

How Koreans Celebrate Lunar New Year

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seollal 2It’s a time for happiness and festivities because Lunar New Year, ‘Seollal’, is just around the corner in South Korea! FYI, this year 2016 is the ‘Year of the Red Monkey’. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the East Asian culture (which includes South Korea, China, etc), people in East Asia tend to believe in zodiac signs (especially the elders), and every year is represented by one of the 12 zodiac signs. For this year, it’s monkey. ;)

Seollal, which is considered as a major holiday season for the Koreans, usually lasts for 3 days. This year, with additional substitution holiday, it will be celebrated for 4 days in total from Feb 7th til 10th! During this period, most of the shops and restaurants will be closed, especially on the official day of Seollal (Feb 8th, 2016). So, keep that in mind if you’re planning to visit South Korea in February. 

But, major palaces, museums, and amusement parks do open up (just in case, check out the website to see if they are open during this holiday season before you go!). Various traditional events and cultural performances will be held at tourists sites for visitors, so there are still many fun things to do during this holiday season.

Of course, there will be a heavy traffic jam and it’ll be very difficult for travelers and tourists to purchase a train or bus ticket. So, try to avoid traveling to other provinces or regions around South Korea during this period!

Plus, you’ll find bunch of people buying gifts and everything they need for the preparation of the celebration at shopping malls and local markets on the days before Seollal. At any rate, let’s find out how Koreans celebrate Seollal!

1. Korean Traditional Dress ‘Hanbok’

traditional-775512_1920During Seollal, you might witness Koreans wearing an amazingly beautiful Korean traditional dress called ‘hanbok. Not every wear hanbok these days, wearing hanbok is becoming one of the popular fashion trends in Korea. 16390668300_00fced9282If you’re interested in trying out this traditional dress for a day, click here.

2. An Ancestral Rite, ‘Charye’


In the early morning of the official day of Seollal, all the family members and relatives gather up and begin this ancestral rite and a preparation of the process called ‘charye‘. Women usually prepare dishes of ritual foods and set them on the ritual table. After the table is set, the men (in the order of elderly to the youngest) stand in front of the table and bow to the spirits of the ancestors first. Watch a video how ‘charye’ is done! ;)

So, basically, ‘charye’ is like paying a respect and gratitude to the ancestors.charyesang-687186

2. Bowing to Family Elders or ‘Sebae’610913500_9ccbfa47ab

Now, this is the exciting part! :) Family members would take turns (from the oldest to the youngest) and give a deep bow to the elderly and parents. Koreans call this bowing process, ‘sebae‘.

After the bow, parents or relatives would then give you money or ‘sebaetdon (New Year’s money)’ and words of blessing in return. Happy family time~! :)

3. Not-to-be-missed Seollal Food, ‘Tteokguk’

rice-cake-soup-650068After sebae comes the feast (finally)! On Lunar New Year’s Day, Koreans (almost everyone) eat ‘tteokguk (sliced rice cake soup)’. In Korea,eating tteokguk = a year added to one’s age. So, as a joke, Koreans say ‘the more dish of tteokguk you eat, the more you will get older in Korea!’6889876455_595e480884Try other Seollal foods as well, like ‘sanjeok’ (meat and vegetable brochette)’ and ‘buchimgae (Korean style pancake)’, and Korean traditional desserts like ‘yakgwa(honey cookie)’, ‘hangwa (traditional korean sweets)’ and ‘injeolmi (rice cake covered with bean flour)’. 16379714060_9b6da47feb

4. Play Traditional Games

Seollal is a perfect time for families to play some fun games together! The most popular traditional game played  is called ‘yutnori, which is a board game. 4009948347_2452968f09It’ll be much easier for you to understand the game if you think of it as a ‘Monopoly’, where you throw four wooden sticks instead of dice.

Other fun games include ‘jegichagi (a Korean shuttlecock game)’, ‘neoltwiggi (a Korean jumping game similar to see-sawing)’, and ‘tuho (a game where people throw sticks into a canister)’. Go out to parks and try ‘yeon-naligi (kite flying)’ as well!

5. Hang Lucky Bags on Trees

korean-folk-village-643931One of the traditional customs carried out on Seollal is hanging  ‘bokjumeoni’ or lucky bags on walls or trees. Koreans believe that these beautiful embroidered pockets bring good fortune and bliss to the holder.16390664170_c8535cb915Get one of these lucky bags as a souvenir or a gift for beloved ones. Hang them up on walls at home or on the branches of  trees and see if they really bring good luck! ;)

 Last but not least, watch this video that shows how Koreans generally spend the Lunar New Year in overall!

Now, go on and discover the genuine beauty of South Korea! It’s better to see something once than hear about it a thousand times! ;)


Photo Credits:

2015_Seollal_03 via photopin (license)
2015_Seollal_09 via photopin (license)
2015_Seollal_24 via photopin (license)
2015_Seollal_23 via photopin (license)
Seoul_Station_20150216_02 via photopin (license)
설 명절과 마트 via photopin (license)
Seoul_Before_Seollal_Week_04 via photopin (license)
설 명절과 마트 via photopin (license)
2015_Seollal_17 via photopin (license)
IMG_2606 via photopin (license)
Seoul_Day_before_Seollal_20150218_15 via photopin (license)
Seoul_Day_before_Seollal_20150218_15 via photopin (license)
Celebrating Korean New Year in CA, USA via photopin (license)
IMG_0054 via photopin (license)
Seoul_Day_before_Seollal_20150218_15 via photopin (license)
2015_Seollal_18 via photopin (license)
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2015_Seollal_01 via photopin (license)
2015_Seollal_02 via photopin (license)
a service for travelers to easily share and discover the latest hip & hot travel spots from all over the world. 
We are currently focusing on Korea as our destination and plan to expand to other countries gradually. 

Trivia for Kids: Lesson Planning Made Easy!

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Trivia for Kids as well as Adults

Trivia is one of my favourite ways to begin my classes. It’s a light-hearted way to ease your students into using English and it also is a great way to expand student’s general knowledge as well as vocabulary.

The only problem is that it can be pretty hard to find trivia that is challenging yet has language easy enough for students who don’t speak English as their first language.

However, there are two resources that you need to check out! The first one is trivia for kids and the next one is trivia for adults. Both are written specifically for students who don’t speak English as their first language, so the challenge is in the actual questions and not complicated vocabulary or grammatical constructions.

Trivia for Kids

Kids love trivia! But, it’s so, so difficult to find trivia that is not America-centric. It’s also hard to find trivia that has simple vocabulary. After wasting so many hours searching around on the Internet, I decided to write the book that I wished I could find! 501 Riddles and Trivia Questions: For Kids (7-13) is going to make your teaching life easier, guaranteed.

You can use the book as a stand-alone resource and read the questions out loud to your class. There are also links within the book to handouts that you can just print and go. Keep some of these on hand for a variety of situations: a time-filler, early-finisher activity, or for a class party day.

Whatever the case, there are a variety of topics ranging from animals, to food, to countries, to people. There are easy, medium and difficult questions, divided into sections of around 7-10 trivia questions or 4-5 riddles. They are appropriate for ESL or EFL students as well as elementary school students in English-speaking countries like England, Canada, New Zealand or the USA. It really is the ultimate trivia for kids resource and there’s nothing else out there that is so user-friendly.


Buy 501 Riddles and Trivia Questions: For Kids (7-13) on Amazon

Trivia for Teenagers and Adults: The Monster Pack

If you’re looking for trivia for teenagers or adults, you’ll need to get the Monster Pack. It’s from my friend Rob Whyte and it’s what I use in my own university classes in South Korea. Click the link below for way more details about the Monster Pack and why I love it so much. It’s the only thing I use every single day and it has saved me a ton of time when planning my lessons!

Check out the Monster Pack 

resources for busy English Teachers

The post Trivia for Kids: Lesson Planning Made Easy! appeared first on ESL Speaking.

Jackie Bolen: How to Get a University Job In Korea


My Life! Teaching in a Korean University

University Jobs



5 Reasons Why You Must Visit South Korea in February

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In terms of weather, the most favorable times to visit South Korea are March ~May and September~November. However, February can be a fabulous time for travelers to visit South Korea. Here are 5 great reasons why:

1. Save Your Travel Expenses

incheon-international-airport-680402_1920.jpgWant to save travel expenses? We strongly recommend you visit South Korea in February if you’re considering a budget travel because during the winter season, hotels prices and airfare drop as temperature drops! ;)

2. Awe-inspiring Winter Landscapes

allowto_freedownload_snap_1531.jpgThough the cold winter season has kicked off a little bit late than last year, you can still enjoy the amazing landscapes of snow-capped mountains and frozen rivers as well as a winter hike at beautiful national parks around South Korea. allowto_freedownload_landscape_1521For instance, Seoraksan Mountain (Seoraksan National Park), located in Sokcho, which is the eastern part of South Korea, boasts magnificent natural scenery in winter. It is where you can enjoy both winter hiking and the beautiful East Sea situated nearby.속초 (1).jpgFor free travelers who want to travel around in Korea on their own without going under too much hassle to figure out where to go and how to get there, here’s a perfect 2 days & 1 night trip to Sokcho on your own from Seoul with the most up-to-date and detailed travel guide in your hand. Booking is available here.

3. Korean Lunar New Year Traditional Events

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From 7th to 10th February in 2016 is the Korean Lunar New Year, or “Seollal” in Korean. As a celebration of Seollal, there will be various events and traditional experience programs for foreign visitors and travelers. Go on and try a visit to Namsangol Hanok Village and Korean Folk Village, and enjoy traditional performances, traditional craft programs and folk games. roof-tile-1171294_1920Plus, while most shops and restaurants will be closed, Korea’s four major palaces, Gyeongbokgung, Deoksugung, Changdeokgung and Changgyeonggung, will be open on the very day of Lunar New Year, 8th of February. And admissions are free on this day! If you want to take a look around the palaces in depth, palace tour is available here.

4. Feast on Traditional Foods

rice-cake-soup-650068 charyesang-687186

As mentioned above, Koreans will be celebrating the Korean Lunar New Year, which means that there will be plenty of traditional foods all over the country! Visit local markets like Gwangjang Market or Namdaemun Market during this time of year, and you’ll find ample foods that Koreans eat during the Lunar New Year. Try ‘yakgwa (honey cookies)’, ‘hangwa (traditional Korean sweets)’, ‘jeon (pancake)’ or ‘tteokguk (sliced rice cake soup)’! :)

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5. All-Time Favorite Winter Activities & Festivals

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Though the temperature is chilly in South Korea, but it’s a perfect time for visitors to enjoy the winter to the fullest! From sledding, skiing and ice fishing to light festivals, try a visit to the Garden of Morning Calm, there are plenty of outdoor winter activities all around the country! See Where To Go Skiing in South Korea.

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Now that you know why February is a great time to visit South Korea, visit Korea’s #1 travel guide,, to discover the latest, newest, trendiest things to do in South Korea!button_main

Korean Rice Cake Soup (떡국)

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떡국 (rice cake soup) is eaten commonly in Korea on New Year's Day. It's made obviously with rice cake, but many other vegetables go into it too.

And there are several types of 떡국 you can get. The one I try today is made with 만두 (dumplings), and has beef in it. This type of 떡국 is called 떡만두국 (rice cake and dumplings soup).

Give it a try if you can (it doesn't even have to be New Year's Day) and check out my video about it here to learn more.

The post Korean Rice Cake Soup (떡국) appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

 Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean





Life After ESL: Teaching in the USA + Freelancing

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Heather Harn, a freelance writer and illustrator who used to teach in South Korea

Interview with Heather Harn from Oscar Astoria + Rabbits and Hatters

For the past year, life after ESL has been on my mind. It was about a year ago that I decided to leave kimchi-land and return home to Canada. After a decade here, it wasn’t an easy decision but the moment I made it, I knew it was the right one. And it now seems that all the stars were aligned such that all the logistical details involving getting myself, my 2 cats, and my stuff across a big ocean has been strangely easy. And everything on the Canadian end of things has fallen into place quite easily as well.

Anyway, during this past year, I’ve been obsessed with what life after ESL looks like, both for myself as well as other teachers. I’ve interviewed many of them, with the aim to glean as much wisdom as I could from them and then share it with my readers. You can pick up the book, Life After ESL: Foreign Teachers Returning Home on Amazon.

What follows below is an interview I did with Heather Harn, a former teacher in Korea who is now back home in Oregon. She started off teaching in public schools initially, but is in the process of transitioning into freelance work. Her story is an inspiring one about making her own way with freelancing after the initial plan didn’t really work out. I myself am planning on doing something similar to her when I go to Canada so I am very happy that she agreed to do this interview with me.

Be sure to check out her websites listed at the bottom of this article. I’m sure she’d be happy to talk with you or answer any questions you have. Read on for the interview with Heather Harn!

Can you briefly describe your time teaching abroad?

I got my Masters in Education in 2008, which was the worst possible timing. The recession hit and teaching jobs were scarce—even substitute teaching was all but impossible to get into. Although I was technically a bit overqualified for a general ESL job in Korea, it was at least a step in the right direction. I taught middle school for three years at a private school. My time teaching abroad was amazing. I was lucky enough to turn a crappy situation into an amazing experience that would shape my entire perspective on life forever. Now, when I think about the job market, I think global career opportunities, rather than just those limited to my own country.

Why did you decide to go back to your home country?

Our lifestyle in Korea was easy with very few responsibilities. We had very little overhead, no rent to worry about. We walked and biked everywhere; my commute to work was a 10 minute walk. For three years, we had no car or cell phones. We (my husband and I) talked about staying in Korea for 10 years or more because life was virtually stress free and it was much easier there financially than making it in the states. I got to a point where I could not ignore that the job was not challenging me professionally and I really felt there was a definite ceiling on what I could do there as an ex-pat. I also had a major medical emergency and my husband was limited in the work he could do there—it was sort of just ‘time’ and we tried to be grateful for everything we gained by living in Korea and bring those lessons home with us. It was definitely hard to leave behind wonderful friends we had made, though.

When you first returned to the USA, you taught in public schools. Were you already a certified teacher, or did you have to go back to school?

When I came back to the states, I was already a certified public school teacher with a Masters, so I was able to teach in my home state of Oregon. However, I was very lucky to be hired right away; at the time I applied I had an expired teaching license, a translated letter of recommendation originally in Korean, one letter in English from my Korean co-teachers and a very eclectic resume. Despite my unconventional resume, it turned out that my international teaching experience was very desirable to my potential employers. Another thing that got me hired quickly were Spanish speaking skills and my experience adapting to other cultures. I went on to get an additional endorsement in ESOL after realizing that I truly loved working with foreign students in the states because I could relate somewhat having been a foreigner myself for three years.

 How did your experience teaching abroad compare with teaching in the USA?

I look back to teaching in Korea as a dream come true—the hours, the respect from society and students and the light work-load. My biggest complaints about teaching in Korea stemmed from lack of feedback (I rarely got any feedback on my work and I’m very goal oriented), there was no substitute system (I felt I could never take a sick day and as a teacher sometimes you just need a day off), and no seniority system (I was not rewarded for staying more than 1 year) and had to work with a lot of other foreigners who abused the freedom of the job and took advantage by sneaking out early or just showing kids movies—things that frustrated me to no end and made all foreign teachers look bad to Koreans.

When I came back to the states, I was ecstatic to be around serious teacher colleagues, but over time I found the work load of the job absolutely unsustainable. I was working close to 80 hours a week the first year and made a little less than $2,000 a month (with a Masters!). I never had money left over out of my paycheck (if not for my husband I wouldn’t have survived as rent was at least 50% of my paycheck) my personal life had all but evaporated. I was always tired, stressed and poor. When I was in Korea, we were very comfortable. I made about $2,200 a month in Korea but ALL of my expenses except food were paid. I had about $2,000 take home pay! I had never had that in my working life. We not only saved money, but we went on many trips both international and weekend trips to Seoul and I came home with a big pension as well.

I also found many American parents to be downright abusive to teachers. It shocked me after coming from Korea where parents are wonderfully respectful and thankful. Not only do American teachers receive little or no thanks from a society that seriously undervalues teachers, but it was mind-blowing to handle rude parents who never stopped to realize that I was giving hours and hours of my personal time (unpaid) to help their child succeed. Although there are supportive families, I often found myself apologizing for things that had very little to do with my quality of teaching or the relationship I had built with that student, but had more to do with dysfunctional relationships at home and the need for that parent to place blame on someone. Public servants (government workers) are easy targets, unfortunately. We listen because that’s our job and at the end of the day we don’t take it personally, but it does take a toll and I eventually quit teaching here in the states because I didn’t want that toxic energy in my life.

Do you have any advice for those looking to teach in public school in the USA?


Unfortunately, my advice would be this: think really hard before going back to school to become certified as a public school teacher in the U.S. I wish that someone would have given me this advice. If you are already poor and take out loans, you will most likely never be able to pay off your debts with a teacher’s salary. I am $95,000 in debt—do the math. I cannot buy a house (because of my huge debt to income ratio) and I cannot get out of my student loans. With this salary, I can barely afford basic expenses, let alone keep up on my debts.

It is absolutely true U.S. teachers are fleeing the profession rapidly—and for good reason. We want to be treated better. We want to move to the middle class so that we can be stable enough to help kids and families in need—when we are barely not getting by financially, it creates a lot of turnover in the profession and stressed out teachers—this transfers to students.

I went into teaching because I wanted to help kids and have a stable lifelong career. To me, teaching in the states feels just as disposable as a career as it did when I taught abroad. Our country doesn’t seem to think it’s a big deal that most teachers leave the profession within 5 years and some don’t even last through their first year. It’s a huge red flag that so many amazing teachers really just can’t make it work and our country has no problem bailing out millionaires but our teachers are drowning in debt. Had I gone out and bought a boat and a new car and lots of shiny new toys, I could have declared bankruptcy. There is no bail out for poor kids who take out loans, work hard in school and expect to have a sustainable career in teaching.

If you want to be a teacher, I really think the only way you can make it work and not become financially ruined is to go to two years of community college, transfer to a university and get your bachelors. Move abroad and pay off your bachelors. You can see if you really like teaching and at least get a handle on that debt before you go get a Masters in Teaching. My Canadian friend did this and paid off her undergrad in three years living in Korea and had enough money left over to take some great vacations to other countries as well. She then went on to her Masters when she got home. In contrast to my own situation, she really did it the right way.

You’re now doing freelance work. Can you describe what kinds of work you do? What are the things you love about it? What are the things you don’t like? Any advice for English teachers who want to get into doing freelance work?


Right now I freelance write and illustrate coloring books and provide paid blog content. I am making money, but not yet paying the bills. I think it’s important to define what success means. Freelancing takes time to build and for me only 6 months into it, I feel that I am successful just because I’m making something. Maybe in 3 years, that definition of success would change.

I am also happy that I have not totally given up teaching. I freelance as an educator (substitute teaching) and it’s a great way to see the kids I miss and get into the classroom on my own terms. I’m hoping to make a difference in education by writing about it and doing some activism.

I love that I can create my own reality with freelancing. If I want to take a late morning yoga class, I can work my schedule around that. I am self motivated, so I am lucky in that regard. I have a good work ethic (I credit some of that to being a teacher), but I often find myself moving in too many directions. Another hard part of freelancing is getting work, making sure you get paid and tracking down the type of work you want. I love being my own boss. I have had so many bosses over the years—they run the gamut from good to horrible and it’s a stressor that I don’t like.

More advice: be patient. This has been a challenge for me, as I am a very impatient person. I’m willing to work hard for things, but I want them now. I think the biggest piece of advice is that there are so many different roads to success—I prefer to have many different facets to my overall income. It keeps me from getting bored and I love mixing it up! Fear also plays a big part in this career option. It’s hard to put yourself out there. Keeping a “day job” on the side for awhile will allow you to ease into this freelancing lifestyle where you’ll have to promote yourself more.

It’s hard to be a self-promoter. As a shy person, this is my biggest challenge as a freelancer! Social media can be your best friend to spread your word or your talents or products. In this day and age I don’t feel that the stable life-long career really exists anymore. If you can make it work for you, freelancing is just as practical as having a full time career.

Where can people find you online?

I illustrate at: “Oscar Astoria”

I write at: “Rabbits and Hatters”

Thinking about Life After ESL?

It’s Jackie again! If you’re looking for some more ideas about what to do after teaching ESL abroad, check out this interview with Stephen Mayeux  who used his time in Korea to teach himself computer programming. It’s pretty inspiring stuff.

Or, you could also check out  my book, Life After ESL: Foreign Teachers Returning Home which is available on Amazon in both print and digital formats. I interviewed 55 teachers who’d gone back to their home countries and gleaned all the wisdom I possibly could from them. Here’s what one reviewer had to say:

“So here’s my verdict: This book should be the starting place for anyone thinking of going home after a stint abroad.”

Get Life After ESL on Amazon Today

Job Ideas for former ESL teachers

The post Life After ESL: Teaching in the USA + Freelancing appeared first on .

Where To Get Skin Care, Hair Makeover & Beauty Services in Seoul

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allowto_freedownload_goods_862Have you ever wondered where the Korean celebrities and TV stars go to get their gorgeous camera-ready looks? allowto_freedownload_goods_857Here are some great things that you can do to get the Korean beauty look when you visit Seoul. Of course, let’s leave out the big plastic surgery. :p

1. Makeup Experience & Hair Makeover at Jenny House

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Here’s Jenny House, a premium beauty salon where many famous celebrities visit to get their hair & make-up done! Guess which celebrities visit this beauty salon?

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Han Ji Min, Park Shin Hye, Kim Ji Won, MBLAQ, Jay Park, Son Ye Jin, Kim Sarang, Lee Da Hye, T-Ara, Lee Min Jung, Kim Hee Sun, Moon Chae Won, Song Ji Hyo, Ailee, B.A.P and many more! ;)

4층 VIP메이크업룸(김현숙 원장님 방) (3)At Jenny House, you can enjoy special make-up experience and get the latest trendy make-up from a professional make-up artist! For directions and more details, click here. :)professional-makeupYou will be able to learn some tricks that will make your face glow and shine with a beautiful makeup. To make a reservation, click here.

Check out makeup options that Jenny House offers:

  • Option 1. Everyday Makeup: Clean and simple, yet gorgeous makeup look
  • Option 2. Point Makeup: Edgy and stylish makeup look
  • Option 3. Special Day Look: Makeup service for a special day to make you look perfect
2층 헤어존 3층 헤어존 (3) 1층 야외정원 (2) 4층 VIP메이크업룸(김현숙 원장님 방) (2) 4층 VIP메이크업룸(김현숙 원장님 방) 1층 웨이팅홀

Jenny House also offers hair makeover for both women and men. There are several celebrities’ hair looks that you can choose to get your hair done. Try the most elegant Park Shin Hye’s perm & milk brown coloring or the trendiest Lee Sung Kyung’s Rainbow Ombre Coloring (from the Korean drama “It’s OK, That’s Love”). Reservation is available here.

kpop-man-styleOnce you choose the style you want to try, the star’s very own hair designers for the suggested style will work with you to offer the most appropriate service, styling and treatment to achieve the satisfying look. The talent and experience of Jenny House stylists will ensure you the perfect do! For more details, click here.

Check out the hair styles that Jenny House offers for ladies! :D

  • Option 1. Park Shin-hye Style (from “The Heirs”, “Pinocchio”)
    New Born Refresh Perm + Milk Brown Coloring
  • Option 2. Han Jimin Style (from “Hyde, Jekyll, Me”)
    Volume Setting Perm + Tangerine Rose Coloring
  • Option 3. Uee Style (from “High Society”)
    Cashmere Treatment + Olive Brown Coloring
  • Option 4. Song Jihyo Style (from “Emergency Couple”)
    Body Perm + Purple Rose Coloring
  • Option 5. Lee Seonggyeong Style (from “It’s OK, That’s Love”)
    Rainbow Ombre coloring

jennyhouse-man-hairstyle2For men, it’s a great chance to get the stylish hair done as well, such as Lee Jong Suk’s Lo-boy cut & Dark Brown coloring and one of the most common and yet fancy K-pop Boy Group style- Two-block cut & Blonde coloring. Want to change your hairstyle at Jenny House? Booking is available here.

Check out the options that Jenny House offers for men!

  • Option 1. Lee Jong-suk Style (from “I Hear Your Voice” )
    Lo-boy Cut + Dark Brown Coloring
  • Option 2. Kim Ji-hoon Style (from “Jang Bo-ri is Here”)
    London Boy Cut + Metallic Brown Coloring
  • Option 3. Kpop Boy Group Style
    Two-block Cut + Blonde Coloring

2. Derheal Dermatology Clinic – Experience Premium Korean Skincare Therapy!

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Well, if you want to get a high quality skincare treatment, you should visit the southern districts in Seoul– Apgujeong, Cheongdamdong, Sinsadong, which are known as the area for premium clinics. One of the clinics is Derheal Dermatology Clinic, a premium skincare clinic located in Apgujeong area. For directions and details, click here. So, while traveling in South Korea, if time allows, it’s highly recommended to visit the clinic and get facial treatment! You’ll definitely notice the glow on your face… :)

derheal1 They offer English counseling sessions and the professional staff provide best services to make you feel comfortable. Derheal Clinic is especially famous for its quality care and service. Experience the wonders of Korean premium skincare programs at Derheal! Reservation is available here.derheal5Each option is scientifically optimized to provide personalized care program for two hours of full skincare treatment. This is the rare chance to benefit from the very same advanced skincare service Korean celebrities enjoy. Seize the opportunity and enjoy the prestigious service and care by the friendly staff at Derheal Clinic!

Check out the options that Derheal Clinic offers:

  • Option 1. Whitening Package ($500)
    includes Whitening Laser Toning + Premium Weyergans Care (from Germany)
  • Option 2. Acne Treatment Package ($600)
    includes Allegro Laser (or PSM-Spicule facial, Acne Spiculing care) + Acne Treatment
  • Option 3. Anti-aging (skin) lifting package for skin elasticity ($1200)
    includes High Intensity Ultrasonic lifting laser + Premium Weyergans Care

3. Facial & Body Care at O Hui Spa

ohui-1Easily accessible from the pioneering location of Korean Wave in Garosugil, prestigious O Hui Nonhyeon Spa is a must visit for those interested in Korean cosmetics and beauty care! For directions, click here.

O HUI is a prestigious Korean cosmetic brand founded in 1987. Themed with a slogan “Same Age, Different Skin”, O HUI’s skin products are designed for today’s men and women between the ages of 25-35. Currently, the famous Korean actresses Shin Min-a and Kim Tae-hee are O Hui’s models! At this exclusive beauty salon for skin treatments with brands such as O HUI, THE History of whoo and SU: M37.

ohui ohui-3

FYI, this place is often visited by a K-pop idol Shinhawa’s Shin Hye-sung, and also on some occasions you might run into a famous K-drama actress!ohui-2This beauty salon has the outlook of a typical residential house, so just ring the intercom located at the entrance. It is recommended that you bring your own makeup kit if you wish to complete your makeup further after receiving the treatment. For more details, click here. ;)

Check out the options that O Hui Spa offers:

  • Option 1. Facial Care (60min): Cleansing – soft peeling – professional massage & regeneration treatment – regeneration facial pack – essence cream finish
  • Option 2. Facial + Body Care (back and shoulders) (80 min): Back and shoulder massage (dry & aroma massage) – cleansing – soft peeling – professional massage & regeneration treatment – regeneration facial pack – essence cream finish

4. Cheongkwanjang Spa G – Korean Red Ginseng Spa Treatments

spag-counter spag-head

Would you care for a unique and memorable spa experience? Then Cheongkwanjang Spa G is the right place to visit as it offers luxurious spa treatments using high quality Korean red ginseng for your troubled mind and body! :)spag-productsRun by the prestigious Korean ginseng brand Cheongkwanjang and owned by Korea Ginseng Corportation, Spa G provides a wonderful experience of a premium red ginseng therapy and massage which you cannot find elsewhere outside Korea. For details and directions, click here.spag-ginsengFYI, red ginseng is known to help you revitalize your mind and body as it nourishes your skin and makes you feel relaxed. Red ginseng fiber works as a gentle exfoliator leaving your skin soft and smooth.

spag-footspa2 spag-bed spag-jacuzzi spag-lobby

Since Cheonkwanjang offers single and couple rooms with built-in shower facilities and lockers, it’ll be able a very private and seclusive experience for you!


Check out the options that Cheongkwanjang Spa G offers!

  • Option 1. Facial Treatment (60min. $96)
    An intensive facial treatment using red ginseng for a youthful skin and reduction in complexion changes.
  • Option 2. Asian Core – Dry Body Treatment (60min. $96)
    A dry massage treatment to restore energy in your body using various traditional remedies and techniques developed throughout Asia.
  • Option 3. Holistic – Red Ginseng Essential Oil Body Treatment (60min. $96)
    An oil massage treatment using red ginseng essential oil and Swedish massage techniques to relieve tension from your muscles.
  • Option 4. Back & Foot Treatment (60min. $96)
    A relaxing massage treatment in the neck, shoulder and back as well as on the feet to enhance blood circulation and relieve fatigue from the body.
Jenny House Jenny House Jenny House

For travelers and tourists in Korea who wish to experience premium beauty services, try a visit to one of these beauty salons in South Korea! Here, you will rediscover yourself and redesign your self-image with the final look done by beauty professionals. And if you are struggling with arranging these beauty services, Korea’s #1 travel guide, will always be there for you to make your travel to South Korea the best! :)


Busy Busy Busy!

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Busy Busy Busy!

I sincerely apologize for the lack of updates. Here’s hoping I can get back to a normal schedule sooner than later. On the bright side, the book should be finished in the very near future! Yay!! I’ll start advertising it as soon as I can!

Jen Lee's Dear Korea

This is Jen Lee. She likes to draw.
She also likes green tea.

Got any questions, comments, or maybe even some delicious cookies you want to send through the internet? Feel free to contact us at dearkoreacomic at gmail dot com.

You can also leave comments on the comic’s Facebook Page!


International Students Beware: Sneaky Sneaky Universities - Part 1

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My wife has now finished her nursing course in Australia.  This was a huge achievement; I can't imagine how hard it must be to complete a degree in another language, so she deserves a lot of credit.

The whole experience of my wife being an international student in Australia did give me an interesting perspective into what's going on with the universities here.  It is not an understatement when I say I found what they were up to a smidge immoral.

This actually has less to do with my wife's time at university and more to do with our ex-housemate's.  Before I get on to our dear little lodger, however, I shall first explain what my wife and I have had to deal with, and in part two, I will write about the far worse scenario that went on with our housemate.

Firstly, I am not going to complain about the fees - exorbitant though they are - more what you are getting for the fees and the level of dishonesty surrounding what the universities are doing.  I also will not name the learning institutions involved, just in case, and because I think it is largely irrelevant anyway, as I have learned that this behaviour is fairly endemic across the board.

To begin with, my wife enrolled in a course at a well-known TAFE in Melbourne.  These are smaller college-like campuses, still offering degrees for many subjects.  They often have the advantage of having less students per member of staff, and therefore provide greater support and usually for less money also.  My wife's course was to be 2 years full-time, with one year part-time because of partial credit for what she had already done in Korea.

However, as soon as time came to start her course, things changed.  Instead of doing one or two modules per semester in year one - as offered before she left Korea - all of a sudden she had to take extra modules because they were not satisfied with her previous knowledge.  Unsurprisingly, this would come at extra cost, about $8000.

Having carefully planned our outgoings before we embarked on this venture, this was unacceptable, not just for the extra charge, but for the amount of time it took away from my wife's ability to work in that first year in order to help out with finances (for much of the first year she was on her own in Australia, as I stayed in Korea to finish my teaching contract and save money).

To put it mildly, I was not a happy bunny.  What made things even worse was that speaking to somebody about this was extremely difficult.  My wife tried, but I had the feeling they were purposely confusing her and fobbing her off with weak excuses and promises.  I wanted to speak with them, but a familiar problem I experienced in England, as well as Australia, occurred, the complete lack of someone to speak to when you really need to. It took a lot of skype calls from South Korea and an incredible amount of quite strident complaining to find someone that could speak to me about it.  After making them all feel very uncomfortable indeed, they delayed charging us extra and putting my wife on extra modules until the following semester, before which my wife and I decided to pull out of the course and join another university.

Luckily, this university had some prestige in the area of nursing and offered just a one-year course, giving my wife credit for the time she worked as a nurse in Korea and the learning she had already done at the TAFE.  Curious, I thought, that a better university thought her experience warranted just doing the last year of a nursing degree (which she then passed fairly comfortably), while the lesser institution demanded two and a bit years, and then more when we arrived.

I think the reason for this is that once an international student arrives in Australia, most of them have no choice but to give way to the universities demands for extra tuition at extra cost.  Even before they arrive they can also call for more study than is necessary, again in order to swell their pockets.  Once we were in Australia, knew the system and knew others that had been through it, we could find a better offer.  How many international students have this knowledge or indeed have a miserly, moaning, old fart of a husband to truly hold the universities accountable for this sneaky trickery?

For most students, they had been sent to Australia with their family's money in order to make a career for themselves, mainly from China and India, but basically all parts of Asia.  What are you going to do if your son or daughter phones home and says they need more money than expected as they need to take extra modules?  Pull them out and send them back home, having already heavily invested in paying at least the first semester upfront and moving them half-way across the world, or pay up?  My suspicion is that the universities know full-well that the vast majority will simply pay up, especially as many international students and their families lack the English ability to put up much of a fight when it comes to putting their case across and complaining.

Most of the universities my wife had her choice of, once we left the TAFE in question, also were not advertised or made known to us in Korea.  Now that we are here, it seems different universities advertise in different parts of different countries, China, of course, being the most popular.

Unfortunately, the story doesn't end there.  My experience of university some 15 years or so ago seemed a lot different to what I saw with my wife.  I'm not talking about the social life or anything like that, but the way learning was structured.

Universities these days appear to take full advantage of the internet, making the online element of their courses gain larger and larger significance.  Far from aiding learning, I believe this has given universities the ability to save an extraordinary amount of money by being less hands on with students and this helps them by requiring less staff.

I used to regularly meet with my personal tutor at my university, at specified times, usually 3 or 4 times a month with 4 other students.  Other lecturers and tutors were also quite available to deal with any difficulties I might have had.  But this was before the sophistication of the internet was really adequate enough to run a course mainly from online, it really had to be done on a more person to person basis.  At my wife's university, the ratio is hundreds and hundreds to 1 of students to tutors.  Problems are dealt with online, and from what I saw, there were plenty of them as well, as regular maintenance problems with much of the material online.

With international students in particular, you could also make a case for them needing greater support, but it seemed less to me.  Did they really pay all this money for almost zero support except for a few vaguely answered questions on the university's online portal?

To top it all off, after receiving an awfully large sum of money from us, the graduation ceremony was to take place 100Km away in another campus at a charge of approximately $400 (more if you don't decide straight-away to attend).  This is annoying for us, but extremely disappointing for any international students wishing to attend, what for many is supposed to be one of the proudest days of their lives, as the graduation takes place 5 months after the finish of the their course.  Almost certainly, all those planning not to stay in Australia would have had their student visas run out by this time.  They either couldn't attend or would have to go home and then come back.

So, to sum things up, it looked to me that universities were out to squeeze all they could out of international students, and they'd do it with a mixture of bending the truth, shoddy service, and in my opinion some big fat lies to boot.  To put the icing on the cake, they also decide not to give a second thought or any effort to alleviating any of the many inconveniences and special issues international students might have compared to ordinary Australians at university.

If it wasn't for the qualification at the end of it all, it can only be described as one sneaky little con job, designed to extort vast sums of money from countries like China, India, and Korea, just some of the countries now where people have increasing sources of capital.  All in all it was a disgraceful case of the bottom line coming before human beings.  I wonder how many families in Asia universities have bankrupt, or put in severe debt, because of the innocent dreams of a better life for their sons and daughters and security for the family as a whole.

Now if this all sounds like I am making a mountain out of a mole hill or I am rather too suspicious of the motives of Australian universities, the story of my housemate in part 2 might sway you into my highly cynical position on them.  I can't say this girl was my favourite person in the world, but I did feel mightily sorry for her.

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