Sorry for not posting sooner! I have now been in South Korea for a little over two weeks. Everything has been going great! Currently, I am staying a Jungwon University (http://eng.jwu.ac.kr/) which is located in Goesan-gun, Chungcheonbuk-do (about 2 hours from Seoul). The school consists of several buildings which are all connected and is made almost completely of marble (hence why it is lovingly referred to as the Marble Mansion). During Orientation, a typical day consists of four hours of intensive Korean classes, a three hour workshop on teaching or aspects of Korean life in the afternoon, and an evening of homework and studying. Normally, I will spend a great deal of time studying Korean in the evening. The language is tough, but I am having fun with the challenge. When not studying or in workshops, I spend time hanging out with the other ETAs and getting to know them.
Due to the rigor of the Orientation for the Fulbright Korea ETA, I have not had much time to explore Korea. The town of Goesan is quite small, but has some great restaurants with delicious Korean food. Additionally, I also went hiking on the Gongsanseong Fortress, which is located near Gong Ju, a major suburb/urban area located near Goesan. The fortress originates from the Joseon Dynasty and consists of a mud and rock wall. We walked on top of the wall and saw some great views!
Additionally, this past weekend, my fellow ETAs and I attended a conference in Donghae. Donghae is located on the west coast and is a big vacation spot. We had lots of down time and were able to do some hiking, hang out on the beach, and go into one of the region's many caves. Below are some photos from the weekend.
|Some nice scenery near Donghae|
|In the cave|
|Me outside of a Buddhist temple while on a walk|
So far, I have had only one big culture shock moment. My first day here, I woke up and went to breakfast expecting to have cereal and fruit. Instead, I was given rice, kimchi, soup, and pork. I have gotten used to this type of food and have enjoyed most of the meals here (but I do occasionally want a bowl of cereal!). This week, I will have my first teaching experience. Currently, the ETAs and I are participating in Camp Fulbright. This program provides Korean students with an opportunity to practice their English. I will be teaching a lesson tomorrow on what a complex character is to a group of middle school students. Next week, I will teach two more lessons to elementary students. I promise to get into a better habit of posting on the blog. Hope all is well.