Em in Asia!

My Experiences Living and Teaching in South Korea


I got another letter from MW today. That girl is just too cute. We had a short conversation as she was sweeping all of our desks while her friends looked on and giggled (not in a bad way, but more like a “wow she’s so brave” sort of way). Right at the end she tapped me on the shoulder and whispered in my ear (Teacher! Have a good day!)

I can technically leave school at 3:30/4 but I tend to stay until 5 or so studying Korean unless I have something specific to do after school, because I’m just not productive in my apartment. However, I still haven’t finished (…or started) planning my lesson for second grade next week, and I’m meeting the English teachers for dinner at 6:30, so I think I’ll camp out here and lesson plan and study. I opened the 2nd grade English textbook to get some ideas and happen upon this gem:


Have you ever been hungry?
(당신은 배고파본 전이 있습니까?)
In my job I always get to eat delicious foods.
(저의 직업상 저는 항상 맛있는 것을 먹습니다.)
It gives me great pleasure.
(그것은 저에게 큰 즐거움을 줍니다.)
What is this job?
(이 직업은 무엇일까요?)

It’s a FOOD TASTER. (그것은 맛 감정사입니다)

Required: Big Mouth (자격 조건: 큰입)
Strong stomach (튼튼한 위장)
Patience to keep eating (계속 먹기 위한 인내심)
Not throwing up any food (어떤 음식이라도 토하지 말 것)

Wow. I mean just… wow.

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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.