Em in Asia!

My Experiences Living and Teaching in South Korea



“I am from a very small town. Smaller than this one. I am the youngest person in my town. My parents are the youngest adults. When I was in middle school, you could see fireflies. These days they are gone. However, I believe that in the mountains there are still fireflies.”

This was part of a stunning conversation I had walking through town at night with a student I met by happenstance on the bus. Sometimes EFL speakers, who are self-professedly “bad” at English, say the most poetic things. It has been over two hours since that conversation, and I’m still thinking about it.

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  1. Avatar October 13th, 2012 at 7:40 pm ash Says:

    That is so lovely!

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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.