All posts tagged: epik epress

TOP 5 ICE CREAMS FOUND AT KOREAN CONVENIENCE STORES

After I go out for dinner, there’s a likely chance I’ll be making a b-line toward the nearest CU or 7/11 for a frozen sugar fix. In South Korea, ice cream is found at every corner shop and typically under ₩2,000. Options are bountiful, from exotic red bean to addicting classics of chocolate and vanilla. To give you the inside scoop (no pun intended), I’ve rounded my top five South Korean convenience store confectionery treats. 1. Papico I’m a chocolate fanatic, and this one perfectly satisfies my sweet tooth. Take the squishy bottle out of the wrapper and warm it up in your hands to easily eat while on the go. Also, my students can’t get enough of this stuff and I can always catch them devouring it at lunchtime. RATING: 8/10 2. Big Beads Ice – Peach & Kiwi If you’ve ever had Dippin’ Dots, this is essentially the same thing but the dots are bigger, and tastier. The refreshing circle shaped treats melt in your mouth and flavours of peach and kiwi are the perfect tang for your taste buds. RATING: 9/10 3. Vanilla Milkshake If you appreciate a McDonald’s vanilla soft …

BIKE RIDING THROUGH SAMNAK RIVERSIDE

‘Tis the season of getting outside and enjoying the heat, and what better way to ring in the sweet summertime than going for a riverside bike ride. My friend Jake and I made our way to Samnak Ecological Park in Busan and rented a bike for ₩3,000 each. We had to give the rental place a piece of ID, which was returned once we gave back the bikes. I read online that foreigners can rent these bikes for free, but turns out it wasn’t true. No biggie though, ONWARDS WE WENT FOR OUR RIVERSIDE ADVENTURE! We had one hour to ride around the area, which is the largest of the four parks located along the Nakdonggang River. We rode pass a plethora of soccer and baseball fields, camp grounds, and even an inline skating rink. The boys in the picture below enthusiastically said hello as I was passing by and couldn’t help but snap a photo, they were just so darn cute! Peddling along the riverside, I forgot I was still in a city. The leisurely ride was a great …

GERMAN VILLAGE & ANCHOVY FESTIVAL IN NAMHAE

On May 3, Buddha’s Birthday, I had the day off from work so I hopped on a bus from Busan and three hours later I was standing on South Korea’s fifth largest island, Namhae. First stop was the German Village, built for Korean-Germans who returned from Germany in the 1960’s where they worked as nurses and minors to earn foreign currency. Now the quaint little houses have turned into cafes, pubs, and restaurants selling German beers and bratwurst. Second stop was The Mijo Anchovy Festival which included bare hand fishing, seafood eating, K-pop performances, and a ton of fireworks. Check out my Namhae vlog to see more of the beautiful island! This post was created for EPIK e-Press.

I’M A RETURNING EPIK TEACHER, HERE ARE 4 THINGS THAT ARE DIFFERENT

“I’m only going to stay one year!” At least that’s what I told myself when I moved halfway across the world. Fast forward 365 days. When the moment came where I had to decide whether I should go back to Toronto or re-sign my contract, it only took a millisecond for me to admit, “I’m not ready to go back home.” I’ve been living in Busan, South Korea for a year and two months (!) and as a returning EPIK teacher, here are 4 things that are different this time around: 1. As a picky eater, finding food I like is way easier For the first few months of living in Busan, I struggled to find food I enjoyed. My stomach wasn’t used to the copious amount of spicy sauce on my chicken, sugar on bagels, or salty seafood soups. Now that I’m familiar with the area I live in and have searched high and low for grocery stores that sell my favourite foods and restaurants that serve dishes I love, I feel better knowing that I always have a go-to meal figured …

3 TIPS ON GOING TO THE DENTIST IN SOUTH KOREA

EPIK e-PressI’m not the biggest fan of the dentist, never have been. No part of me fancies sitting in the plastic covered chair looking up at fluorescent lights and having someone pick at my teeth with metal foreign objects. I’ve been putting off a visit for a year (horrible, I know!) so last month I decided to put on my big girl pants and booked an appointment. I’ve never had teeth cleaning done outside of Canada and I wanted to provide a few helpful tips for those who plan on going to the dentist as an EPIK teacher in South Korea. 1. Ask your social circle all the questions The best way to find a dentist, especially an English speaking one, is to ask friends or fellow EPIK teachers. Luckily a friend of mine sent me the email address of her dentist and that’s how I made an appointment. When you go, all you need to bring is your ARC card and bank card. 2. Some procedures are covered under your medical insurance, some are not From my understanding, teeth cleaning and teeth …

EAT KOREAN BBQ WITH ME

Last night I met up with a friend who suggested we go to one of his favourite K-BBQ places for dinner. We made our way to PNU (Pusan National University) in Busan and thought it would be fun to take you along with us on a typical Friday night in SoKo.  Bring on the samgyupsal, banchan, and meakju! 😉 This post was created for EPIK e-Press.

THE 10-STEP KOREAN SKINCARE ROUTINE

There’s a secret behind the luminosity of Koreans and their porcelain skin, and it’s a complex 10-step system. This highly popularized Korean skincare regime is the norm for beauty fanatics, including myself in SoKo. I get asked all of the time about product recommendations and it’s taken a year to finally put together the perfect lineup for my skin type (dry/sensitive). Below is a better understanding of each step and brands I actually love/use to inspire your own Korean skincare quest. STEP 1: Oil-based cleanser NEOGEN Real Fresh Cleansing Stick Green Tea (Olive Young, ₩18,000) First step is massaging a gentle cleanser all over the face. This one from NEOGEN is my favourite because it contains 13 natural oils that breakdown my makeup (including eye area) and green tea to help reduce inflammation. Bonus: It’s travel friendly since it’s a stick, not a liquid. STEP 2: Exfoliation Bamboo Charcoal Peeling Gel (Amazon, $27) I use this chemical exfoliant from Aritaum twice a week and it literally lifts and rolls dead skin from my face, which is kinda gross, but also kinda satisfying. STEP 3: Water-based cleanser Tea …

EPIK TEACHER: WHAT TO WEAR TO WORK

I get asked a lot about EPIK teacher dress code, and the first thing I can tell you is that it’s pretty casual. Business casual, I should say. If you’re planning on teaching in South Korea I have chosen 5 key pieces for both men and women to help inspire your next #OOTD for the classroom. Let’s get started! WOMEN 1. Back to basic A basic tee is a must since bare shoulders and cleavage are a no-no. Tuck the tee into dress pants, skirts, or if you have a teacher dinner after school, simply throw on a statement necklace for added dazzle. Crewneck Tee, $25, Gap. 2. Bundle for warmth Most Korean schools have heating for chilly winter days but some, do not. Sometimes it’s colder in the classroom than it is outside (!!). Keep a blanket scarf over your chair at all times because you’ll never know when you’ll need it. Textured Scarf, ₩49,000, Mango. 3. Culottes are the coolest During warm summer months, skirts and shorts must be an appropriate length (around your knee). If you’re moving around the classroom all day, I find culottes are the comfortable option. …

CO-TEACHING IN SOUTH KOREA

Nancy teacher and I invite you to our English class! In the video below we discuss classroom management, how to get students to participate, lesson planning, the roles we both play, and fun activities (such as mask making!). The lovely students featured are third years (grade 9) and the lesson is called, Amazing Ideas. This post was created for EPIK e-Press.

MY EPIK LIFE

Hello friends, The past nine months have been a whirlwind and I seriously cannot believe South Korea has been my home for that long. From the very beginning I have documented my entire EPIK experience including telling my mother I got the job, moving into my first apartment, eating delicious street food, having fun with my students, baseball games, sunsets, fireworks.. the list goes on and on. In the video below, I have compiled favourite moments from my EPIK life thus far. This entire journey would not have been possible without my grandfather, Georges LeBreton. He’s helped to support everything I’ve ever done including my education, dream of traveling the world, but most importantly, he loved me to the moon and back. Last week, he passed away peacefully. While it saddens me I could not be there to hold his hand, I will have him in my heart wherever I go. With so much love, I dedicate this video him. This post was created for EPIK e-Press.

WARM UP & FILLER ACTIVITIES FOR EPIK TEACHERS

What does an EPIK teacher and a boy scout have in common? THEY ARE ALWAYS PREPARED! The classes I teach are 45 minutes, and sometimes we finish lessons earlier than expected. It would be a nightmare to let students do what they want until the bell rings (chaos will ensue!) so I always have a game or activity on deck to fill in the time. I’ve rounded up my top three filler & warm up activities for the classroom. FYI: I teach middle school so these may be advanced if you teach elementary but, you can adjust according to their level. Let’s get started! 1. A Knock At The Door You know who won’t have fun playing this? NO ONE! It’s an adventure game that can be different each time, depending on where the students want to take the story. Click to download: A Knock At The Door 2. Compound Words For this activity, you show students images and they must guess the word created by the two pictures. Explain briefly what compound words are, start the activity, and they’ll …

EPIK: HOW TO IMPRESS YOUR KOREAN CO-TEACHERS

Co-teachers are your saving grace when you start teaching in South Korea. They help you to settle into your apartment, make sure you’re taken care of, and are always available to answer questions about lesson planning and classroom management. They do so much for you, and the best way to pay them back is making their job a little easier in the classroom. If you want to make a lasting impression on your co-teachers, here’s what you can do to get a gold star: 1. Create entertaining lessons Play games, get students up and moving, make them laugh! There’s so much creative freedom you have as a Guest English Teacher, and a co-teacher appreciates it when they see you can teach and entertain students simultaneously. 2. Talk about your culture For some students, YOU are the first foreigner or native English speaking person they have EVER talked to. They want to know where you came from, what traditions your country has and how it differs from South Korea. Go ahead, make an entire lesson out of it! 3. …

EPIK PROGRAM: APARTMENT TOUR

Hey everyone! I wanted to share what EPIK provides when you start working with them in South Korea. Every place will vary in location and size but no matter what, when you get hired by EPIK your apartment is FREE (no stress of rent, and think of the money you’ll save!). Also, there is no need to purchase a bed or a desk because in your contract, there will be a list of items EPIK will already have in your apartment upon arrival. Personally speaking, I love my place! It is in close proximity to my school.. I could literally throw a tennis ball from my door and it will hit a classroom window. The subway station is a tad far (15 minute walk or a 5 minute bus ride) but it’s never been a problem, there is a beautiful hiking trail behind my building, and a handful of restaurants and cafes nearby. Below I give you a tour of my apartment and explain what EPIK provides and doesn’t provide when you make the move, as well as information on bills bills …