Thursday, May 9, 2013

An end in sight, announcements, life changes etc.

Well, as you may have noticed, blog posts have decreased significantly in the past year, and maybe some of you have realized that's mostly due to graduate school. While working full time here in Korea I'm also taking classes part time online through St. Michael's College in Vermont. I have just 5 more weeks of online classes and then I will go back to the states to complete my final semester in person, on campus (like last summer). Then I will officially have an MA TESOL.

My job here at YBM SiSa will be ending at the end of this month which is rather bittersweet for me. In some ways I really love this job, especially for the students. It's the most satisfaction I've gotten out of any job in Korea.. sometimes I hardly feel like I'm working, just chatting with friends (and pointing out some grammar mistakes while we do it). That's the great thing about teaching adults here in Korea, I guess. Perhaps once I finish my contract I'll write up a proper review for the school as I have with my past jobs.

That's not all.

Those of my readers who are also friends with me on facebook will already know, but I am engaged and getting married this coming September. We're having the wedding here in Korea and we'll have a traditional Korean wedding. We've already gone hanbok shopping (posts to come later) and we're still debating what to do about photography. Several people from home will be coming into town, including my mom and my best friend from college. I just hope I can have a ceremony at home in the States sooner rather than later so I can celebrate with the rest of the people I care about from home.

While we haven't booked any tickets yet, we've pretty much decided to take our honeymoon in Western China, in Yunnan province. When I tell Koreans this, they shake their heads because they can't understand, but Chinese people's eyes light up and tell me it's an excellent decision, so I think I'll trust the Chinese on this one. More motivation for me to go to China is the fact that I've now been studying Chinese since October. My Chinese still sucks from lack of practice combined with terrible grammar-translation teaching methods used at both hagwons I tried attending. I'm hoping if I still have money in my bank account after a summer at home and hanging out with guests from home in Seoul for the wedding, that I will be able to stay in China for a little longer after my future husband has to go back to work... considering that I won't have any job to go back to. If anyone knows of a good language school in China (any city) where the majority of students are not English speakers, let me know. Making Chinese and Japanese friends is how I learned Korean... perhaps making Japanese friends and Korean friends can help me learn Chinese.

Finally, I'm hoping to find a university job in Seoul starting next March. If anyone hears of any job openings or has any tips for finding decent uni jobs, please let me know!


  1. Congratulations! In for the long haul then...

  2. So it would seem, Lee. I'm hoping to get myself 'settled' in a career of university teaching for a few years... and then hopefully fly off to some amazing new country that pays high salaries for a little while with all my new-found professional experience.
    Or so hope...

  3. Congratulations!

    Re: Chinese schools. Most foreigners choose to study in Beijing and Shanghai, and many of them end up spending most of their time with expats, and their language acquisition suffers. I have met a few people that did come out of those cities w/great Chinese, but they were few and far in between. For my money, I'd study in Zhejiang University in Hangzhou. It's a scenic, "small" city, with 3 million people. It's about an hour to Shanghai by train, if you start to get homesick, for American or Korean food/amenities.

    If you end up liking Yunnan, you might as well try enrolling in a university there. With your TESOL background, any university in any city in China could easily provide you housing and a salary, in exchange for Chinese language lessons on the side. Good luck!

    -Proper Yankee

  4. Thanks, and as for studying in China, I kind of got that impression. I have yet, though, to find a university which has shorter terms. I don't have a long time, perhaps a month, so I was hoping to just take a one month class in a language institute. I had a phone interview with one in Shanghai which seemed good, however I was a little bothered that all the photos of their students on their website are white, and after talking to them , they said that the majority of their students are westerners. I know from experience that equates to speaking Engilsh on every break time and, especially at low levels, even having students or teachers using English in the classroom. I'd much rather study with other Asian students to prevent that habit of slipping back into English (although, it can even happen with asian classmates too... however, slightly less likely)