Saturday, March 3, 2012


That's how many days I've been in South Korea.

Despite all the hassle that came along with applying to EPIK (a government sponsored program) as opposed to going the Hagwon (private school) route, I have to say, so far, it's been worth it ten fold.  The orientation was super well run, and super helpful to 1) give us some tips and hints about the year ahead 2) to meet other NSETs (native English speaking teachers) and 3) to get over jetlag.

I'm finally in my district now, in Gangseo (강서), the western most area of Seoul.  I'm basically on the border to Incheon, and despite the distance,  I'm really pleased with everything so far.  My apartment, a typical studio w/ loft type-place is only down the street from my school and on the bottom floor of our apartment is a 24 hour convenience store, a bunch of restaurants and cafes and a norebang, a Korean karaoke.  

I met my co-teachers on Friday, who both happen to be new to the school as well.  They seem pretty nice.  Friday was the first day of the school year for Korean kids and when I got there early afternoon, I had five meetings!  Four of the five were held in Korean, so lucky for me I could kind of zone out a bit, but during the faculty meeting, I had to introduce myself to all the teachers, and I did it in Korean.  I was nervous as heck, but I hoped that they would see that as a genuine effort on my part to try to get to know Korea and its culture and hopefully make them a little less afraid to try speaking English with me. They all laughed as soon as I said 안녕하십니까 (the formal way of saying hello)--so hoping that was a 'laugh with me, not at me' type thing.    

Next week will be my first teaching week, which I'm kind of nervous about, but overall, I'm really excited. 
Some photos for your viewing pleasure :)...

Field trip with EPIK-SMOE to Changdeok Palace, Seoul.

Deongdaemun streets at night.

Teacher and students greeting each other in Korean fashion--with a bow.

Iman, an awesome fellow NSET from Chicago, and me on the last day of orientation before meeting our co-teachers.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, such a different world than Germany but you seem to be adjusting well so far :)