We’ve Been in Korea for 1 Month!

Posted in: ASIA, SOUTH KOREA, TEACHING ESL | 2

jeonju-1

We’ve been in South Korea for about a month now and let us tell you that it has been quite the roller coaster so far – and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon!

We left our friends and family in Ottawa on August 1 and journeyed to Vancouver, British Columbia for a wonderful day of exploring our country’s West coast. Can you believe we had never been there before?! We had a great time and will definitely be back for more.

Our journey in Asia officially started in Bali, Indonesia at the beginning of August where we spent 10 blissful days basking in the sun, walking through rice fields, meeting some of the friendliest people in the world and eating some delicious food. Our most memorable activity is waking up at 1:30 AM to hike up an active volcano, Mount Batur. Click here to read more about this amazing experience!

Next, we headed to Seoul, South Korea for a few days in the big city before moving to the south for the next year. In Seoul we explored traditional hanok villages, ate amazing street food (and all different kinds of ice cream imaginable) and hiked up Namsan Park for a beautiful view of the city.

The last leg of our journey before settling into our new home in Hwasun, South Korea was a one week orientation in Gwangju for the Jeollanamdo Language Program. In case you haven’t read about it on our blog yet, we are now English teachers in South Korea! The week was a whirlwind and we met so many new people and learned so many awesome teaching tricks.

Told you we’ve done a lot this past month! Now we’re officially settled into our new apartment in Hwasun and have been teaching at our middle/high schools for about a month. We’ve taken every weekend to explore Korea as much as possible and have had the chance to:

  • Explore green tea fields in Boseong;
  • Walk the streets of a traditional hanok village in Jeonju;
  • Camp on the beach in Wando; and,
  • Discover the hidden treasures of Namhae.

A few small anecdotes of our time in Korea so far:

  • People are constantly staring at us and telling us we are beautiful, to the point where Katherine actually stopped traffic once (hahaha);
  • Koreans are some of the nicest people in the world, always going out of their way to help;
  • We’ve eaten foods we never thought in a million years we’d ever voluntarily try, like cow blood soup and fried squid;
  • Our students are awesome, some bringing us ice cream when we’re having a hard day or drawing us super cute pictures; and,
  • We have a great apartment, located in suburb of a large city (Gwangju) – we’ll be posting a video tour of our apartment soon!
Stay tuned for more posts about our adventures in Korea! 

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Hi, we're Jordon and Katherine, founders of travel and lifestyle blog World Abound. We're a working couple who hope to be able to say one day that we've travelled the world together, even while still working our 9-5 jobs.

2 Responses

  1. Hi there, absolutely love your post! Me and my boyfriend seem to have exactly the same idea, we have already travelled through Thailand together this year for one month, so now we want to explore some more of Asia and definitely explore the world together one day! We are going to be starting our TEFL qualification soon and we are looking to move to South Korea next year.
    I have not yet heard of the JLP Programme, if possible would you mind telling me some more information about it? I have been reading how hard it is for couples to be placed in the same city/province together, so I am a bit worried at the moment haha.

    Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Megan!

      So glad you to hear that you and your boyfriend are fellow wanderlusters 🙂 Our move to South Korea is by far the best decision we ever made, so glad to hear this is something you guys are also considering. A TEFL certification will open way more doors for you as well, so good planning ahead!

      In terms of the JLP program, as far as I know you are not able to directly apply to the program. We went through an amazing recruitment agency called Canadian Connection (http://worldabound.com/how-to-choose-recruiter-teach-korea/). They were so helpful and laid out the best options for us so I would definitely recommend applying through them.

      JLP is basically like EPIK, but way better! It’s the office of education for the entire Jeollanamdo province (south west province of Korea) and has amazing benefits: the typical salary, housing, flight stipend – but also 4 weeks of vacation! Plus you will know where you are living about 2 months before you leave for Korea (unlike EPIK, where you only find out once you are there). Additionally, if you apply as a couple you are pretty much guaranteed to live in the same city, and perhaps even same apartment if you request it (we got this, although priority is given to married couples). This is one of the main reasons we applied through JLP, because, as you said, it’s hard to find a couple placement when you aren’t married.

      Hope this helps get you started a little! We’ll be posting a few more things about JLP on our blog in upcoming months, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, feel free to email us at worldabound16@gmail.com if you have any more questions 🙂

      Best of luck to you guys!

      Katherine

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