Em in Asia!

My Experiences Living and Teaching in South Korea


Fistbump kid is becoming more of a gentleman everyday. Today before class he waited for me in the hallway and then opened the door for me. As I walked in, he bowed. I don’t mean a Korean style bow, but a western artistocratic-style bow. There was also no fistbump. Kind of strange…


I’m tired of the students in my club class refusing to talk to each other, so borrowed ideas from Sam and Dan and did a 2 hour long team building and game playing unit, which included a noun-adjective matching game, a scavenger hunt, and a word mix and match. One of the things for a scavenger hunt was that students had to make an acrostic poem of my name. This is what I got.

Orange candy

Of course this is after I clarified that the words in the acrostic, while they did not have to relate to each other and form a sentence, had to relate to the subject at hand. The original draft started

Orange candy

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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.