Finally Settling In

This last week and a half has been crazy busy, hence the lack of posting. I’m sorry guys!

So I arrived at Incheon International Airport last Sunday after a very long 14 hour flight (and 4 hour layover in Chicago). During my layover, I met up with another English teacher (Emily) who was also travelling to teach at the same school as I was. We got to know each other over lunch before boarding our 4 pm flight to Seoul.

Upon our arrival, we were greeted with a stereotypical sign which read, “Brittany and Emily.” I guess it was actually a relief to know that someone was in fact waiting there to pick us up. We were driven straight to our school (SLP BukSuwon), where we met up with the school’s Director, James. He welcomed us to Korea, gave us a brief introduction and helped us move all of our luggage to the building across the street. That night, the current teachers took us out for some delicious and traditional Korean galbi (marinated beef ribs). It came with a bunch of sides and was delicious!

For the first 5 days, we stayed with previous teachers from the school. Although this was not what we were expecting, it was necessary since our own places were being occupied by teachers who were finishing their current contracts. Needless to say, by the time Friday rolled around, Emily and I were VERY anxious to have our own space, unpack our luggage and settle in.

The first week at work involved training, meetings and getting to know the system at SLP. We sat in on many classes and recorded our observations. It was useful but became a bit repetitive by end of the week. The weekend consisted of unpacking, organizing and cleaning up my new place. It’s not that big but it seems to have everything that is necessary to live comfortably (see pictures below). We also went to the grocery store and Home Plus, which is basically a combination of Target/Wal-Mart. It has 4-5 floors with each floor specializing in either services, groceries, clothing/shoes, home supplies or electronics. We spent quite a bit of time there buying all of the necessities we needed for our new place.

Monday was our very first day of official teaching. My schedule consists of 6 classes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, ending at 7:10 pm and 5 classes every Tuesday and Thursday, ending at 6:20 pm. My favourite class has to be my morning Kindergarten class. If you know me, you know how much I love little kiddies. They are so cute, energetic and most importantly, eager to learn. I’m happy to start my morning off with them. I also enjoy teaching the oldest and most fluent English students. There are only 3 of them in my class but because they have travelled and lived outside of Korea (ie. South Africa, Philippines, America), they are so easy to talk to and joke around with, they understand English thoroughly and they even grasp my sarcasm, which is awesome! The majority of my other classes are great too with the exception of a couple which I will have to find a way to deal with, slowly but surely.

I’m looking forward to exploring Suwon, as well as Seoul on weekends. Chuseok, a Korean holiday equivalent to our Thanksgiving is also this month. During this time, our school is closed from September 18th-20th, so I am pumped for a 5 day weekend! I am hoping to party in Seoul and possibly do some sightseeing!

Tomorrow will be day four of teaching. The routine is becoming much easier now; however, I’m basically half dead by the time I get home in the evening! I don’t think my body has fully adjusted to the 13 hour time difference. Jet lag is killer! Oh well, it is what it is. I will deal with it!

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My home for the next year!

The infamous non-westernized bathroom. No glass doors or walls to separate the shower from the toilet. Installing a shower curtain does the trick!

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If I’m feeling homesick, I can always get some Pralines n Cream from BR!

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Mmm, super tasty smoothies at a café nearby

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Delicious honey bread for dessert

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Emily and I encountered a HUGE storm en route to the bank. Sad that that I got soaked even with an umbrella.

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YUMMY Korean BBQ’d galbi

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All I can say is thank God I had watermelon during my last week at home because the price for watermelon here is OUTRAGEOUS.. $28.50!!!!!!!!

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A great outdoor market near our place where we can buy fresh fruits, veggies and a bunch of other things for cheap!

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Three of my kindee girls – they are so damn cute!!!

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And tonight, after a long and drawn out day, I am thoroughly enjoying some wine.

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Until next time!

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5 thoughts on “Finally Settling In

  1. even though I have already seen most of these pictures and heard most of this stuff through our chats, still love reading it !

    miss you<3

  2. Your apartment is cute! Glad you are settling in well!

  3. hi! i noticed you posted this a few years ago and i just wanted to know how your school year was over all. i currently work for the slp in Jinju and its been a battle that’s left me extremely tired and mentally exhausted and just all together frustrated with the management of my slp. I may be moving to Suwon at the September so any information would be helpful! Thank you!

    • Hi Destinee, sorry for such a late response! I’m sorry to hear your time at the SLP in Jinju has been stressful. My friend actually almost accepted a job there soon after I left. I actually really enjoyed my time at the SLP in Suwon and I loved Suwon altogether. The management at the school itself kind of worked in a hierarchy style which was annoying at first but we all just got used to it. The owners were very sweet and most of the other teachers were welcoming and helpful. I would say that things were very routine and there is not much room for creativity on our part. You are forced to stick to the books, use their games, their assignments etc. On one hand, its nice because you have something to go by but on the other hand, you sometimes wish you had the option of stepping out of the box.

    • Overall though, accommodation wise, being treated well and having things organized within the school – everything was great! Let me know if you need help with anything or any advice if you do plan to make the move. I’m happy to help you out! 🙂

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