Em in Asia!

My Experiences Living and Teaching in South Korea
Browsing Orientation

What I’ve Been Doing


Hey everyone! It’s currently about 10:30 pm here, which makes it 11:30 am there! The time difference is really confusing at times, especially because we lost a day in travel, so sometimes I’m not sure what day it is or how long I’ve actually been here for. My days have been fairly jam-packed, and the subjects we talk about differ from day to day, but for the most part this is about what my days consist of:
I wake up at 6 am (I’m still not on a normal sleep schedule), then go to breakfast at 8 am. Breakfast so far has consisted of rice, soup, kimchi (a fermented cabbage dish popular in Korea), and some “American food” such as toast, or eggs. After that we go to Korean class. Korean classes start at 9 am and are 4 hours long, with a 10 minute break after every 50 minute period. Classes are a lot of fun, and my teachers are very energetic. They teach in Korean, but it’s suprising how much you understand from body language. After classes we have an hour break and then lunch at 1. After lunch we have some sort of business meeting that generally has to do with Korean culture or teaching. Those meetings tend to last until dinner at 6 pm, and after that the day is free – for now. Pretty soon we’ll be able to participate in extra-curricular activities! I signed up for Taekwondo and for GLEE club (not what you think). This GLEE club is a conversation club between the ETAs and the Korean students at Jungwon University. Anyway, after dinner I’ve been studying Korean/reading/hanging out with other ETAs/passing out. Which is what I’m probably going to do right about now. I finally went through and took pictures of the gorgeous campus we’re staying at, so I should be putting those up in the next few days.

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안녕하세요! My name is Emily and when I started this blog I had received a 2010 – 2011 F*lbright grant to teach English in South Korea.  I then decided to apply to renew my grant, so I am now staying in Korea until July 2012. This blog is not an official F*lbright Program blog, and the views expressed are my own and not those of the F*lbright Program, the U.S. Department of State or any of its partner organizations.

I graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a degree in Philosophy Pre-Law and Classical Civilizations, and found myself 3 months later teaching English at SGHS. The town that I taught in, SG, is a small town of 12,000 people, an “읍” (eup) rather than a “시” (shi – city), and though it was sometimes hard teaching in such a small town I really enjoyed the unique experience of being the first foreign teacher SGHS had ever had. I lived in the largest part of the county which is significantly bigger (40,000 people) than the town the school is situated in, but is also considered rural by Korean standards.

During my second grant period (2011-2012) I decided to change schools and I currently teach at CPHS which is located in an even smaller town than previously, in Jeollanamdo.

This blog is meant to serve as a reflection not only of being a Native English Speaking teacher in Korea, but also of living as a foreigner in rural Korea.