Em in Asia!

My Experiences Living and Teaching in South Korea

Upgrading Increasingly


I’m back in CP and preparing to teach on Monday. I teach a one week long winter “camp” which just means that I teach as normal, except that instead of teaching both first and second grade, I  just teach second grade. I actually like it, because I get to see second grade twice in one week! This is novel, especially considering that when they were first graders (a month ago) I saw them once every two weeks if I was lucky. After this one week camp, I’ve got one week of nothing in CP and then travel and living in Seoul.

During the super-short winter vacation our students have, they were pretty active on facebook. The first and second graders were alternately bemoaning their short break and complaining that they missed their friends and wanted to go back to school. The second graders in particular seemed to be having mini-meltdowns on facebook as they realized that this was their last real break before the 수능 next November. However, the third graders. The third graders. The third graders were absolutely adorable.

First, I didn’t actually tell any of the third graders that I had a teacher facebook because I didn’t teach them, but a few of them managed to find me and it’s been snowballing from there. They’ve been studying hard for most of their time at CP, and now they’ve found themselves free. They’ve been reveling in their sudden almost overwhelming amount of free time, and have been posting the most adorable photos of their homerooms and their friends.

How can you not grin when you read that?

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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.