"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page." - Saint Augustine

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


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.
The group of 28 students that came to Korea from Eastern Michigan University.
Our signs were thanking our Professor, Dr. Koh, who put in so much time and effort to help us prepare
for our experience teaching in Korea.

Scenic waterfall at the top of Mt. Gyeryong at the Buddhist Temple stay.

A typical shoe stand in Seoul. Too bad I wear a size 9 which is considered
to be pretty big and hard to find in Korea!

A rainy day in Seoul.

Clothes are so inexpensive. These items would cost about $4 in America!

Jin and I outside of the famous Myeong Dong Theater.

Jam-packed buses!

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.

The lovely Kolon Hotel where I stayed for 5 days during my Gyeongbuk Province Orientation.

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.

You share side dishes during a typical Korean meal.
Our main dish was Samgyupsal which is pork.

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.

A monk helping me make my bracelet out of prayer beads at the 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.

At a Japanese Restaurant having my first Heshi (meal with teachers). Starting with me going clockwise there is one teacher, a school worker, Jung Ick Ho (Vice Principal), Kim Im Sun (Principal), Kim Yeon Ock (1st grade teachers), Hwang So Youn (my mentor teacher & she teaches 5th grade).
Outside of the school I will be teaching English at, Cheongdo Elementary School.

The English area of my school.

That's my apartment building- it's called Happy Garden.



  1. Hello SEESTER!!! I am so excited that you are in Korea and having such an amazing experience. I wish I could come visit you! How do I say "I MISS YOU" in Hanguel? Love you!

  2. About time you got a blog! Look, 2 posts and you have 3 books worth of content :)

  3. Hey sis,

    The romanization for I miss you is "bo go sip uh"!

    Also, I'm going to say 당신이 여기 있었으면 좋겠어요!! That means "I wish you were here". It's romanization is "Dang sin e yeo gi it ut eu myeon jokhetdah" :D

  4. ...and thanks Alex! You know me! :) I can't keep things short and simple to save my life.

  5. Small world. I taught in Cheongdo.