korean life

What I Miss Most About Korea (and I’m still here!)

I have been living in Korea for exactly four years now. It’s an amazing experience that has helped me to grow as an individual in many ways. Living in another country has forced me to break many of the mental molds I once had as an American.

I’ve learned that there are many different versions and translations of the bigger picture. What I once thought I fully understood about Koreans has proven to have been a preconceived notion as I look back.

Learning a new way of life, a new profession, a new view on life stretched my heart and mind in ways too countless to list here.

This sequel to my life is proving to be better than the original. It’s incredible to see how all the dots from my past have connected and my new direction makes sense to me now.

Growth as a person is no different than growth of a muscle. The more pressure and resistance you subject the muscle to, the bigger and stronger it will become. The muscle’s endurance will also increase.


How You Can Make ESL a Long-Term Career

Teaching ESL abroad is becoming more and more popular by the day for a multitude of reasons.

First, there is a bad economic disease circulating the globe and as much as the spin doctors try to paint a rosy picture of improvement, things are still just bad. Jobs are not only less plentiful, but requirements have become more robust and often people are being asked to do far more for less pay these days. This is assuming you can find a job within your line of work in the first place.


Will You Hate Teaching English in Korea?

You haven’t been out of America before? Never left your small town or even the safe confines of your parent’s home? Take it from me, someone with 4 years in the game, you’re probably going to hate teaching English in Korea. Let me explain why.

If you don’t like the idea of personal growth, my advice? Stay home.

Busan Tower 12.31.12When you spend long stretches of time in another culture, or if you move to a different place in your own country, there are phases you’ll go through as you adjust to the new environment.


9 Examples of South Korean School Lunches

Lunchtime is an interesting one for me. It probably is for most foreigners if they choose the route of breaking bread in the cafeterias with their Korean co-workers. If I don’t sit with my co-teacher, it’s pretty much just me in my own world chomping away.

There are occasions when some teachers will try to formulate a sentence or two, but not often. Even then, at both schools I’ve worked at teachers all sit in the same spot each day so if noone around me speaks English it’s going to be a quiet year.

Nonetheless, I go to the cafeteria to eat. And school lunches in Korea have been a delightful surprise for me. Why surprise? Because compared to the concoctions they call school lunch back home in America, these lunches are DELIGHTFUL.

The difference can be summed up in this way: natural vs. synthetic.


A Lunar New Year’s Feast for the Homeless in Busan

Back home in Florida I would often volunteer at homeless outreaches that my church supported. There was a large one in Ft. Lauderdale that was jointly supported by the city and our church. Reaching out to those in need or even homeless is a rewarding and humbling experience. It helped me to reflect on the issues in my life and immediately see them in a different light. I think King Solomon put it best when he said,

I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless (vanity), a chasing after the wind. (Ecclesiastes 1:14)


3 Years. 7 Photos. Constructing the Lotte Mall Gwangbok in Busan, South Korea

I’ve been in Korea for longer than I initially expected to be. Sometimes I lose sight of how long it’s been. Every once in a while I’ll have a conversation with someone that reminds me of how long I’ve been here.


What Can Americans Learn from Koreans?

No two cultures in the world are the same. Further, even within a given country, cultures vary greatly depending on the location. People from California are quite different in their thinking than are those from the Northeast. As there is also a difference between the northern and southern hemispheres of the East Coast.

So to be in a place like Korea will show very stark differences in cultural norms. Ways of dealing with issues. Determining what is appropriate and inappropriate.

I’ve come to see that there are things that Korea Can Learn from America, and likewise, things America can learn from Korea. Being in Korea for over three years, I’ve seen some aspects of the culture here that make me envious as an American. Not so much in the ways of products and services, but rather in the ways Koreans think and handle day-to-day, interpersonal issues.


Can Ye Not Serve God and Mammon? ‘Quo Vadis, Korean Megachurches?’

By Donald Kirk

The Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul.

The growth of megachurches worldwide is a global phenomenon, a mass movement in which thousands of individual churches or parishes each claim more than 2,000 members. The Full Gospel Church in Yoido is the world’s largest, with hundreds of thousands attending 10 or more services every Sunday.  Nearly half the world’s 50 biggest Christian megachurches are in Korea if we define Christian, as do Koreans, to mean Protestant or non-Catholic, though Catholics are most definitely Christians.


Looking at the Korean Uni Experience after 12 Years in the U.S.

By Jun Won Lee

How you look at it is pretty much how you’ll see it–Rasheed Ogunlaru

Cheonggye Stream, central Seoul, 1950s and now.

Many of my American friends ask me about daily life in Korea, a place that has gone from one of the poorest countries in the world to the most dynamic over the past 50 years. Likewise, many people in Korea wonder what the difference is between Korean university life and the one in the States. Hence, I have decided to provide a deeper insight of Korea, as someone who left Korea at the age of 7, spent 12 years attending school in the States and returned to attend university in Seoul.


Judo High School in South Korea (한국의 유도 고등학교)

South Korea has always been, and will continue to be one of the dominant forces in the sport of judo.  Whenever a Korean team is present at an international-level competition, you can be certain that their players will be in contention for a spot on the podium.

The reason is simple; they have a tried-and-true, well-oiled training machine that churns out World and Olympic champions continuously.

They own a blueprint, and the blueprint goes something like this: take a geographically small country that produces world-class talent each generation and employ those players back into a complete end-to-end program that begins in a fully integrated school training system.

Here in Busan, Korea’s second largest city, there are a number of school judo teams.  They begin in elementary school and continue up through university. There’s even an all-girl’s middle school judo team here.


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