A few months into my new life in South Korea, this is my first Nomad dispatch.
I’ve been living here in Incheon since the beginning of September. I came here with my best friend, whom I met in Berlin on study abroad, and we’re both teaching ESL (English as a second language) at elementary schools. Moving to Korea, adjusting to my new surroundings, and figuring out how to be a teacher has been extremely challenging, to say the least. It’s certainly much different from the last time I was abroad as a student. This time I am a real person with actual responsibilities and, oh yeah, a job that has required me to just dive right in and learn everything as I go along.
Korea is great, the people are among the nicest and most helpful people I’ve ever encountered in my life and the country is beautiful. I live in the third-biggest city in Korea, and am only a 40-minute subway ride away from Seoul. There really isn’t anything I dislike about Korea so far—except maybe the widespread love for spitting in public. I don’t think I will ever get used to that.
Another challenge that comes with moving to Korea is learning the language. When I studied abroad in Berlin, I had been learning German since middle school and had a pretty good grasp of the language. This time, I came to Korea really only knowing how to say “hello” and “thank you.” I’m learning the language, slowly, and it is proving to be the most difficult language I have yet to learn (well, maybe after Mandarin). The alphabet is logical and easy to remember, but the pronunciation and learning to read not just left to right, but left to right and up and down is tricky. But regardless, I will stick with it and become fluent in no time—ha ha, right.
In October, I made a video which I want to share on this blog. My brother teaches German at a high school back in the States, and he also runs the school’s International Club. The club requested a video from me, so I made one about my school, HakSan Elementary. Enjoy!
안녕히 가세요! (Bye!)