Living in Korea

Okay, okay. I know I promised I’d blog regularly about my experiences in Korea, and here I am a month and a half into my time here and only writing my first one. I promise I will try to change my lazy ways and blog more frequently from here on out.

Right now, I’m sitting in the English classroom at my main school. This is the view from my desk.

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I’m an English Teacher at 2 different elementary schools. One in Chungju, a city in the middle of South Korea, with a population of about 200,000 people (and where I currently live) and the other is in a rural school about a 40 minute drive away. I’m lucky in that my classes at the main school average about 22 students per class. We were told it’s not uncommon to have 30-40 kids in a public school class, so 22 is awesome! In my main school, I teach grades 3 and 5. At my rural school there’s a total of 30 kids from grades 1-6, and I teach all grades. My largest class there is 8 kids (my grade sixes, whom I love – they’re seriously some of the most awesome and fun kids I’ve ever met) and my smallest classes have 4 kids.

I’m really happy with both of my schools. I know some people who have some really tough classes, but most of my kids are pretty good. Sometimes I want to throttle a few of the students in my 3-3 class, but even the naughty ones usually settle down when the threat of not being able to play the planned game or losing a class sticker is looming.

As for my living situation here in Chungju, it’s actually pretty cool. My apartment is nothing special, it’s basically a bachelor unit. I’ll try to do a video tour at some point soon and post it. But what is cool is that I live in a building with a bunch of other EPIK teachers, so I’m now neighbours with some of the people I met at Orientation. Plus there’s a bunch of other teachers who were already here (both EPIK and hagwon (private school) teachers) and they’ve even got a Facebook group, so when you have questions like ‘Um, how do I work the washing machine, everything is in Korean?’ There’s a place to turn to for help. It also means that when I want to go out for dinner, I can usually find someone to go out with. Overall, I’m liking my current situation. Now if I could only find a weekend where I don’t have plans in another city so I can actually explore my own city, that would be nice… 😉

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