Em in Asia!

My Experiences Living and Teaching in South Korea

Let’s be real, we all know that if this were the Hunger Games, Jeollanamdo would be district 11


Class 1.7 is probably my worst-behaved, craziest boys class, but one of my funniest. After class a student told me he was reading Catching Fire (the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy). We chatted for a bit about that and drew a crowd. The students had seen the first Hunger Games movie and, hearing that I thought the second book was really sad, wanted to know if Katniss died.

did Katniss die? DID SHE DIE?
Guys. It’s the second book. There are three books. What do you think? – …KATNISS DIE!
If Katniss died, then who would the third book be about?
Peeta? Oh yes. Katniss die.

Then as I walked out the door, one of my favorite students put three fingers (index, middle, ring) to his lips, and put them in the air – the District 12 symbol of respect.

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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.