Feb 18, 2018,
Today marks one year since I have arrived to South Korea. It is crazy a year has flown by so quickly. This time last year I was feeling nervous and excited to see what’s out here and what my job would be like. This past year there was so many positive memories, that I decided that I was going to stay for one more year. Today I feel settled, relaxed, and happier with my decision.
- I have a full time teaching job (EPIK- English Program in Korea) which has a decent pay with free housing.
- I don’t have to pay Korean taxes or US taxes.
- I traveled to 3 different Asian countries in the past year (Philippines, Japan, and Vietnam). South Korea is close to so many other countries. It’s great!!!
- I traveled around South Korea (Gyeongju, Jeju, Seoul, Busan, Dokdo, Ulleungdo, Ulsan, and Namhae)
- I met amazing people from all over the world (Koreans, Australians, South Africans, New Zealanders, the British, and Americans). One of them became my Boyfriend. hehe
- I have a very friendly Co-teacher I can rely on.
- I got to do what I love, taking hip hop dance classes in Seomyeon.
- I went to see the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. (I will write another blog about this)
- Took up Skiing again even though I had a horrifying experience my first time.
- Health care/ dental care/ skin care/ hair salon is so much more cheaper here than back home. Made sure to take advantage of it.
- I saved up some money.
- Joined a book club.
- Ran a 10km Marathon for the first time in my life.
- Rough time teaching in one my schools. The students were so rude and disrespectful to me and my co- teacher. They would talk back to the Co’s and say rude nonsense things. Some kids would try to steal candy from my co-teachers. (These are grade 6 students but thank goodness they are leaving this year!)
- One of my Co- teacher wasn’t strict at all and didn’t care so I had a difficult time dealing with the kids’ behavior. Also the lessons were all text book based so it was kind of boring for the kids. Good news: I’m getting a new Co teacher for my one school this year so hopefully this one is strict.
- North Korea news this year was definitely scary. My family back home in the US. Went crazy and told me to come home right away. Gave me a lot of stress for the past 5 months or so. I heard that missile news happens every year according to my friends who stayed here for 5 years.
- My house this year was so small (3 by 5 meter squared =15 m2) –BUT I AM MOVING OUT this weekend to a better place.
- Fruits are expensive here (berries, bananas, apples, avocados, grapes, strawberry etc.) I couldn’t eat much of it unless I splurge on groceries.
- Sometimes some Korean workers can be very rude to me because I don’t speak the language well and I look Korean, which get annoying sometimes. They don’t understand why I look like Korean but I can’t speak it. (Sigh)
- Schools don’t turn on AC or heater generously. Only until it gets burning hot or freezing cold.
- Some of my close friends are leaving back to their country which is so sad. I hate saying good bye but maybe I will visit them soon.
These are my ups and downs for this past year. Hopefully this year, teaching gets easier because I have already created and done all the lessons already so I can focus on my other fun things such as blogging and going on adventures with my friends. I’m looking forward to an amazing new year!
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