Skip to Content

South Korea

Work Hard, Play Hard, Sleep Hard

As an American expat in Korea, some things, like eating piles of meat from a grill, are pretty easy to get used to. Other things, like sitting on the eatingonfloorfloor for the hour it takes to eat it, are quite a bit harder. My American education prepared me for a lot of things, but spending scads of time on the floor was not one of them.


The FBI customer support sucks!

Before applying to teach ESL in South Korea, whenever I thought of the FBI (which was not often) I would free associate it with things like American’s Most Wanted, bad-ass secret agents and secret agentesses, and possibly cocaine-sniffing German Sheps. As an American, I guess I felt a certain amount of confidence in our Federal Bureau of Investigation. I thought it was pretty powerful. And pretty cool.

BUT THEN EVERYTHING CHANGED…

fbi

 


A Defense of the Expat Bubble

 

 


10 Mysterious Google Image Results of “South Korea”

 

I’m going to South Korea in exactly a month! I can’t contain my excitement! South Korea’s been on my mind, so this morning, I did a little Google Image survey of the country using the search term “South Korea.”  The results were confusing, thought-provoking, and mysterious. Here are ten of the most mysterious image results of my search:

 

1) This pink woman proudly riding a faceless green whale…

whale

 

2)…and this melty red-white-and-blue acorn!


Gamcheon: Rain or Shine

How to cope with the stress of moving abroad

I bought my plane ticket and am leaving the country on May 12th. I’m having a hard time conceptualizing what my life will be like in a few short weeks. It’s stressing me out, to be honest. I’m also worried about graduate school applications, which I’ll be completing when I’m over there. Today, I toured Duke Law and was really impressed by what I saw. And stressed. LSATs…wut?

But instead of worrying about the unknown, I’ve decided to spend a couple hours this evening focusing on the present and reflecting on the past and all the wonderful things I have in my life. (THAT I WILL MISS SO DESPERATELY ONCE I LEAVE THE COUNTRY!!!) I found GIF-making to be a helpful way to cope with stress, and I hope you enjoy the finished product of my efforts, entitled THINGS I WILL MISS SO DESPERATELY ONCE I LEAVE THE COUNTRY. 

 


Saturday in Seomyeon


What it’s like to apply for a teaching job in South Korea

If you’re an English major and are anything like me, after graduating from college your resume probably says something along the lines of…

I eat crayons

My first two years out of school were an uphill battle of scrubbing dishes, bussing tables, and of course, being shamelessly sexually harassed by various shift supervisors. None of my employers took me or my education seriously. And I was broke all the time.


Call to Action: The Truth Must Not Sink With Sewol

3 Common Misconceptions About Teaching ESL in South Korea

In May, I’ll be returning to South Korea, this time not as a backpacker but as an English teacher! I’m excited and nervous for this new opportunity. It’s been interesting to hear how people react when I tell them my plans to teach in Cheonan, South Korea. I’ve found that people have a lot of misconceptions about my motivation to teach in Korea. If you’re currently teaching in South Korea or have taught in South Korea, perhaps you can identify with these three common viewpoints…


Haeundae Beach Holi Hai 2015

Taking Chances


Jindo Sea Parting Festival

Jindo Sea Parting FestivalOn March 21st, 2015, waygooks and Koreans


Nampo-dong and Jagalchi Market


Makgeolli, Monster Craft, and many good times!

Rebranding Freddie: From Korean Adoptee to Swedish Design Star

A casual glance at 32-year-old Swedish branding-design mastermind Fredrik (Freddie) ֖st and one would hardly label him a Swede. His smallish frame, long black hair, and Asian eyes place him from this part of the world.

Born somewhere in South Korea, sometime in July 1981 to unknown parents, his entrance into the world contrasts the style and flair of the man now. Not long after birth, he was found wrapped up and abandoned in a police station; a discarded infant, barely a few days full of breath. He was sent to an orphanage to await his fate as an international adoptee. A few months later, he was sent to Sweden, as two new parents awaited anxiously.


My SoKo digs!

Trial and Hair-er – Getting A Haircut In Korea

Getting a haircut is usually a rather mundane part of everyday life. But when you’re an expat living in another country and you don’t speak the local language, it suddenly becomes a much more exciting and emotional experience. Every snip of the scissors and buzz of the clippers sends a rush of trepidation down your spine; because beyond uttering a few broken words of Konglish and showing the barber a picture of your desired style, there’s really not much you can do but sit back and watch in a state of helpless paralysis as he begins to sculpt your scalp. We all like to think “it’s only hair, it will grow back if I don’t like it,” but when we’re suddenly faced with having to practice what we preach and live with the consequences, our thinking drastically changes.


Playing with Fire – Korea’s Great Full Moon

The Great Full Moon Party (대보름날 Daeboreum Nal)

Not so long ago – before Korea was divided into commie and capitalist-puppet halves and before it was annexed into a fascist empire – Buddhism and the folk traditions of the peninsular reigned supreme. I have no idea what the folk religions were, but they have to be way more fun than worshipping a skinny jewish guy who was nailed to a cross and whose father cares way too much about where people stick their genitals. Of course there was Confucianism, which isn’t so much a religion as it is a set of strict societal rules.


A cross-country endeavour!


10 Reasons Why Ulsan Rocks!

With only about 1 million people calling it home, Ulsan is not the biggest city in South Korea. To many, it’s also not the most “happening” place. But, as I said previously in a similar post, there are still a number of things that make it a GREAT place to live!


Peace out, Pearson!




With an hour and 20 minutes until boarding this feels entirely too surreal.  In the car ride over I had all these terrible feelings that something bad might happen, but really it's all been pretty smooth sailing thus far.  I woke up at 3:30 AM and figured I should probably put a face on.  Not being used to my parents' new bathroom, my bronzer slid off the vanity and smashed on the floor - but did not break.

Vlog Entry #12: Student Video Projects

In another post I explain a little bit more about how these awesome videos came into the world. So if you want to learn more, you can check that out. Othewise I’ll just get out of your way and let you enjoy yourself!

A comedic introduction to some of the sports students practice at my school.

 


How 20% of the School Day Got Me 100% Success

Presenting Their ProjectsThe leaders at Google believe that people are happier and more productive when they spend 20% of their time at work on a personal project, something that interests them, gets them fired up and invites the creative juices to flow. So, for part of Winter Camp 2015, I gave my students the opportunity to do just that! For two weeks they worked one hour each day on an independent project of their choice, and finished by presenting to their classmates. The only catch was that they had to use English in SOME WAY. From creative music videos to a detailed analysis of different educational systems arond the world, they produced some amazing work!


Korean Farmers: The Value of Local Knowledge

By Erica Sweett

In October the ISC met with Korean farmers. We were welcomed into their homes, fed fresh food and given tours of rural and urban farmlands. They shared their stories and shared the struggles Korean farmers are facing. We experienced a side of Korea often shadowed by economic progress raising questions about what and who is valued within societies. Who is supported?  Whose knowledge is valid?

Today, Korea is known globally for its multinational tech companies, like Samsung and LG, but not long ago it was a country that survived almost solely on farming. In 1970, fifty percent of the populations were farmers. It’s safe to assume that farming was a significant part of Korean identity and culture during that time.


The Bucket List


An unexpectedly Korean night in Toronto

Last year I was fortunate enough to have been given tickets to one of Toronto's most successful charity galas: Motionball.  When I found out that they were looking for volunteers this year I thought I should probably step up to the plate and give back a little.  I was a day of event manager for the registration and coat check areas.  The event had been expertly planned and my job was really easy because of all the work the committee had put in, and after about 8 hours of participation I got to enjoy the party!

Put 6 Photographers in a Room for 6 Hours and this is What Happens

 

What does creativity mean to you? That is a HUGE question for photographers. Dylan Goldby reached out to a number of photographers in South Korea to put together a presentation on that topic.

I spent a weekend in Seoul exactly what creativity means to me. It started with a conference and then ended with a tip inside my own motivations. I walked around Olympic Park and then unexpectedly stumbled into an exhibition of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s work. I left Seoul with a clearer vision of my own creative motivation.

On January 31st, 6 awesome photographers met up near Topgol Park to spend the next 6 hours talking about what drives them forward, what makes them keep going and the challenges they face. It was an eye-opening experience.


South Korean Love Industry

“The beauty of nomadic life is that you’re detached from the flaws of the surrounding society while you soak up the best it has to offer. You’re an observer. You have no stake. You’re just passing through.”- Richard Boudreaux

P1070549


“Shake It Off” Music Video Contest Winner


Syndicate content

Koreabridge - RSS Feeds
Features @koreabridge     Blogs  @koreablogs
Jobs @koreabridgejobs  Classifieds @kb_classifieds

Koreabridge - Facebook Group

Koreabridge - Googe+ Group