Thursday, October 31, 2013

My Happy Halloween in 2013!

Me in my witch costume! I left my giant hat in the states!
Happy Halloween!! 

 It being my third Halloween in Korea, I already had a routine, more or less. I always found a way to celebrate the holiday on a night out with my friends, and I always celebrated it with my school.

Not everything went according to plan! I'm still satisfied with the way things turned out though.

Halloween fell on a Thursday this year. The Saturday before, I had a rather complicated situation. I wanted to meet two sets of friends, and also meet up with a date. I was supposed to have dinner first with the date, meet some friends in Hongdae, then meet some friends in Itaewon.

What it ended up being was: I dressed up as a pirate in the grungy women's bathroom in the subway station. Next, I met the friends in Hongdae for about 30 minutes, then had dinner with the date in Itaewon, then went to a bar with the guy, while waiting for the other set of friends to explain to me where the bar was (they had gone to a place I'd never heard of). I ended up getting tired and going home early!

No matter, the Aussie bar we went to had a couple there with an intense makeup job:

Yikes! I was told that she did the makeup.
After that, I genuinely scared for the night. ^^

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Korean Folk Village in Yongin, and Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon!

The Chuseok holiday gave me a five-day weekend in Korea, and I wanted to do whatever I could to celebrate the holiday and appreciate my free time! Aside from doing homework for school and cleaning my apartment, I set out to learn a little bit about Korean history.

Suwon's Hwaseong Palace and Fortress

On a Thursday, which happened to be Chuseok day, I paid a visit to the Hwaseong Palace and Fortress in Suwon [수원 화성 (행궁)], which happens to be the city I live in.

Scenes from the Hwaseong Palace in Suwon City, Gyeonggi-do Province
 How did I get there? From my neighborhood, it was a simple 20-minute bus ride away. I personally took a bus to the Hwaseong Henggung stop, then walked to the folk village. From Suwon Station there are many buses that head there, such as the numbers 2, 7, 7-2, 8, or 13. At least some of these would be taken be leaving out of exit 6 and crossing the street to the bus stops on the other side. You would get off at Jongno sageori (which means intersection).

The palace was open, and it's open every day. On Chuseok day, it just happened to be free, and all of the guests could just walk right in and explore.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

My Next Step: Getting My Teaching Certification from Abroad

Back to school again?

Why I'm getting certified

While I started things by tutoring children during undergrad, I began teaching full-time in 2010. In the beginning, it was just something I was experimenting with. At the time, I had recently left my retail management job and was living with my father. I thought the appeal of earning money while living in a new region was great.

Teaching was something that I began to enjoy, and I continuously looked for ways to improve myself as an educator. At the same time, I am working at a 학원 (private after-school academy) in Korea. It's a good entry-level job, but it's not something that's meant for you to do forever. There's a glass ceiling in place. If you're foreign, don't speak Korean and you're not married to a Korean, then the chances of advancing within any Korean language academy are slim to none.

I figured that since I enjoy teaching, then why not make a career out of it? However, I'm not that interested in teaching stateside. I did some research, and learned about teaching at international schools. It seemed like a good career path with chances of upward advancement, along with appealing pay and benefits offered to teachers worldwide.

One of the basic requirements to work in these schools is for me to be certified in my home country, the United States, and for me to have at least two years of experience.

Getting certified is my step #1!