Tag: Korea

Donating Goods In Korea: The Beautiful Store

An accurate depiction of my attitude toward buying stuff.
An accurate depiction of my attitude toward buying stuff.

Things are forever, but there’s also an annoying little thing that’s attached to this: Everything you buy will one day have to be packed up and moved.

Packing is an annoyance at best, and a complete misery at worst.

If, like me, you like to buy things, then you might end up with some very annoying problems: Continue reading “Donating Goods In Korea: The Beautiful Store”

From the Frying Pan to the Fire: My experiences going from the public school system to a hagwon

This is another guest post. Patti has been teaching in Korea for the last seven years, and has a wide variety of experiences. I asked her to write this post because I knew she previously taught public school, and now taught at a hagwon, and did not seem to hate her hagwon.

She has, however, delivered a lot more than I could ever have asked for. Her experiences cover a wide range of teaching positions in Korea, over various levels. My most heartfelt thanks to Patti for sharing these experiences with me, and thus with all of you.

Public School Experience

1. A Typical High School

When I first applied to teach in Incheon, I requested an elementary or middle school, because I had been told by Korean friends back home that working in a high school would be a living hell, as high school students usually don’t want to listen to their teachers, but want to focus solely on their college entrance exams. It makes education more about the grades, and less about actual learning. I find this attitude permeates all levels of Korean education.

As fate would have it, I applied through the Incheon Metropolitan Office of Education (IMOE) directly and was placed in a high school, located in a low-income area in Incheon.

Continue reading “From the Frying Pan to the Fire: My experiences going from the public school system to a hagwon”

Joining the Dark Side: How and Why I’m moving from an EPIK day job to the late shift at a hagwon

This is a guest post written by a friend of mine. Leigh* and I met when we both arrived in Korea, and she currently teaches in a middle school in Daegu. We were in the same intake and attended the  same orientation. Like me, she is also a South African (hence the mention of postal strikes back home.) I asked her to write this post about how she got her hagwon job, and why she’s so excited about it, and why she’s sure she hasn’t landed in hagwon hell like my friend Will did. Pictures inserted by me)

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The Why…

Continue reading “Joining the Dark Side: How and Why I’m moving from an EPIK day job to the late shift at a hagwon”

Escaping Hagwon Horror and The Ordeals of Moving to a Public School: Will’s Story

OR: I talk to some teachers about their hagwon experiences

Before coming to Korea:

Will* wanted to come to teach in Korea, but he’d had a hard time getting into the public school system. As certain of the benefits of EFL positions in Korea exist in both public schools and hagwons (refunded airfare, a furnished apartment, good salary) or unconnected to the schools (great public transport system, low cost of living, high speed internet, etc.), he applied for a lot of hagwon jobs (some hagwons recruit on their own, and others through recruiters), and eventually found a job in the city of Incheon.

When I met Will:

Continue reading “Escaping Hagwon Horror and The Ordeals of Moving to a Public School: Will’s Story”

Language Barriers

There’s no denying that the language barrier is one of the major points that one needs to consider before moving to another country. How will one feel when one is no longer able to carry out simple, everyday tasks, like going to the bank, or calling a locksmith? In a world where you don’t speak the dominant language, simple tasks can be overwhelmingly daunting. 

I’ve seen two approaches to this: Continue reading “Language Barriers”

Korea Will Change You – Clothing and Appearance

Before I left home, I recall my mother telling me that I should be less concerned about clothing. She assured me that I was probably freaking out over not being able to buy clothes in Korea (she was right, incidentally), and also that by the time I returned to South Africa, I’d be dressing completely differently.

I scoffed. I liked the way I dressed, and I saw no reason to change it.

But I have changed the way I dress. It’s this weird thing Korea has done to me. I like it.

Continue reading “Korea Will Change You – Clothing and Appearance”