I actually wrote this on August 29th, 2010 describing my first month in Korea...
I'm all moved into my apartment and will be spending awhile cleaning since it was really dusty and a little messy when I moved in! My apartment complex is only a year old and is really nice! The TaLK (Teach and Learn in Korea) program gives us a mentor teacher and a co-teacher (an English speaking Korean University student) My mentor teacher, Hwang So Youn lives in my building just down the hall from me (I'm really lucky!) so she helped me get settled in and has been taking me to the supermarket and around town. I live in Cheongdo in the province of Gyeongsangbuk-do...see the link below:
First, I had a 2 week orientation in Jochiwon with all 350 TaLK scholars from english speaking countries all around the world. Then I spent a week at English Camp at the National Youth Center of Korea. Yesterday (Wednesday) was the last day of the Gyeongbuk Province week-long orientation in Gyeongju (at the Kolon Hotel) and time to leave the 70 other TaLK scholars and head to our cities. Yesterday, I visited my school and today I went back to meet the principal. Everyone is so nice and helpful and (as many Koreans say to Americans) everyone keeps telling me how pretty I am! I am the only American around here so I definitely stand out! I went to a Japanese Restaurant with the principal, vice principal, my mentor teacher, and a few other teachers. They were all very friendly and enjoyed teaching me how to hold chopsticks and taught me some common Korean phrases! Since we were eating fish they taught me that "Sang Sun" means fish and "Sun Sang Niem" means teacher. How cool! Monday is the opening ceremony at school, but I'm not sure when I start teaching yet. All I know is that I will be teaching grades 1-6, I'll be teaching 15 hours a week, and plan on taking Tae Kwon Do everyday after school (for free!!) because one of the teachers at my school teaches Tae Kwon Do at the center down the street.
|8/2/2010- Here I am at the Chicago O'Hare Airport ready for my 14 hour plane ride to Seoul, South Korea!|
|Korea University in Jochiwon for my 3 week TaLK Orientation with 350 other|
English speaking scholars from around the world. Bunny ears compliments of Debbie.
|Marshall and I eating a meal during orientation.|
|My first trip to a Noraebang- a Korean karaoke room that you rent by the hour with a group of friends.|
|Slowly counting money (Won) from my first cab ride with Debbie and Katie.|
|My first experience eating food from a street vendor. Yummy squid!|
|More street vendor food. Most food costs anywhere from 1,000-3,000 KRW.|
This is about $1-$3 American Dollars.
|Welcome to Korea...we use squatters!|
In Korea there are Western toilets and Eastern toilets.
|In front of the King Sejon Statue in Seoul.|
King Sejon created Hanguel which is the Korean alphabet.
|With Hye Jin the student that I worked with during English Camp.|
At the end of camp she wrote me a sweet letter in Korean telling me how thankful that she was
that I taught her how to love to speak English. :)
|The rooms 9 girls slept in during English Camp. Oh yeah, there was one shower for all of us.|
|Last night of orientation in Jochiwon...WOW we're in Korea!|
|Korea University-Jochiwon campus on the last day when everyone was|
packing up and heading off to their Provinces throughout Korea.
|At the Wolseong Nuclear Power Plant.|
|Bulguksa Temple in Gyeongju with Debbie.|
|Here we had lots of different fish to wrap in lettuce to eat with our side dishes.|
|Trying on traditional Korean clothing called Hanbok.|
|My co-teacher Eunhye and I at the East Sea |
with the Underwater Tomb of King Munmu the Great in the background.
|This is when I received the Excellency Award during Orientation. |
Our orientation leaders nominated someone who served as a Team Leader
and displayed leadership skills. :)
|Mt. Gyeryong Buddhist Temple Stay.|
|I loved how this looked at the Buddhist Temple!|
|My first meal in Cheongdo with my Mentor Teacher, So Youn Hwang.|
|The English area of my school.|