All posts tagged: epik

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.

15 WAYS TO DISTRACT YOURSELF WHEN FEELING HOMESICK IN SOUTH KOREA

Leaving your comfort zone for a long period of time is truly admirable but, while experiencing a variety of cultures is fantastic, it’s not always bunnies and rainbows. There are days I miss hugging mom, ordering a Double Double at Tim Hortons, or seeing snow fall in November. Missing home is normal, and while the only real cure is to feel your way through, I’ve compiled 15 activities you can do to distract yourself to make homesickness a little easier to ride out: 1. Wake up early and go on a hike. When you’re active you release endorphins, and endorphins relieve stress and makes you feel happier. It’s science. 2. Visit a dog café. Cuddling one is optional. 3. Skype your funniest friend or family member. 4. Paint. 5. Volunteer at an orphanage. 6. Watch a funny movie or TV show. 7. Treat yourself to a nice dinner. Perhaps find a place that has comfort food you miss from back home (for me, it’s mozzarella sticks). 8. Call up a friend for a coffee date. Chances are they are …

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.

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 …

EPIK TEACHER: WHAT TO PACK & NOT TO PACK

“How do I put my entire life into this?” A question I pondered to myself five months ago as I stared quizzically at my silver suitcase laid open on my floor, waiting for me to start packing.. things. Anything. “This suitcase is massive,” I tilted my head, “would I be able to fit myself inside of it?”A question that was neither here nor there but in case you were wondering, the answer is yes. Yes I could. Eventually I figured out the whole packing situation and since I’ve been in Korea for awhile, I have a few tips for upcoming EPIK teachers. Below are my suggestions on 5 items you should pack and 5 items to leave behind when moving to South Korea. What to pack: 1. Fitted bed sheet In Korea we use a pad that goes over the mattress and I’m constantly pulling at the corners to keep it on the bed. The only problem is that the bed size at your place will vary. I have a double bed, but I know a couple EPIK teachers who have a …

APPS EVERY EPIK TEACHER SHOULD DOWNLOAD

When living abroad, your phone is your safety blanket. It’s how you stay connected, keep organized, and it can help you look busy in awkward social situations you don’t want to be a part of (just me?). There are thousands of apps to help with your transition to South Korea (a translating app for starters) and as an EPIK teacher myself, I’ve narrowed down my favourite (FREE!) apps I use religiously and hopefully they will help make life easier for you too. 1. Kakao Talk When I first arrived to Korea I thought, “I don’t need Kakao, I have WhatsApp and it’s basically the same thing.” I was wrong, so wrong. EVERYONE IN KOREA USES KAKAO! When you meet someone they won’t say, “what’s your phone number?” They’ll say, “What’s your Kakao?” Kakao is an app where you can make free calls and texts as long as you have data or wifi. I personally love the animated Kakao emoticons and use them in my teaching materials because my students get a kick out of it and anything that makes …

MY FAVOURITE THINGS TO DO IN BUSAN, SOUTH KOREA

HEY! EPIK teachers coming in September to Busan! Yes, I am talking to you. You’re a few months away until you jet set off to South Korea to start an amazing teaching position half way across the world. Ever wondered what Busan is like? What is there to do? What is worth seeing? Where should I go? I remember being in that spot. Googling and searching on YouTube this foreign place that wasn’t Seoul (let’s be honest, Seoul was probably your first teaching position choice). Have no fear! While Seoul is amazing, Busan will certainly keep you on your toes. In my video below, I tell you some of my favourite places to explore in Busan including the best cafes/ice cream places/juice bars, where to go for amazing hikes, the nicest beach (that isn’t Haeundae or Gwangalli), temples to trek to, the insanity that is watching live soccer and baseball games and my favourite spot in the city to shop, see the skyline from above (nope, it’s not from the Busan tower) and a dog cafe because, well, …

EFFECTIVE INTRODUCTORY LESSON FOR FIRST TIME TEACHERS

I’ve been featured in the EPIK newsletter and wanted to share my article with you! I wrote about the introductory English lesson I taught at my school (seems like this happened forever ago). My hope is that upcoming EPIK teachers stumble upon this article and can get a few ideas and inspiration for their own first class. 🙂 EFFECTIVE INTRODUCTORY LESSON FOR FIRST TIME TEACHERS Put up your hand if you’ve never written a lesson plan in your life *raises own hand* now, put up your hand up if you’ve never formally taught in front of a classroom of students *raises other hand*. That was me, with both hands raised, one month ago. The thought of preparing my first lesson was daunting because, my own mother barely listens when I talk so who says 35 students will keep their attention on me for 45 consecutive minutes. I panicked. Do I simply write my name on the board, do a dance and then play charades? Can’t say that didn’t cross my mind. When I went to the EPIK …

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING AN EPIK INTERVIEW

You finally did it. You have snail mailed your resume, references, lesson plan, passport pictures and all the rest of your paperwork in a pretty package and sent it to EPIK. Now, you wait. The waiting game is tough because for the next two weeks you’ll be constantly refreshing your email, waiting for someone to confirm your interview date and time. Cue: ALL THE SWEATS! Be patient, young one. If you applied for a position with EPIK, your interview will come soon enough and I’m here to tell you what to expect and my own experience of going through the process. How do I get an interview? Apply for a position with EPIK! Think about when you want to start working in South Korea. The first semester starts in March and second in September. I’d recommend starting your application process 3-6 months in advance of when you want to go. I had massive help from my recruiters at Hands Korea. I got in touch with them through Oxford Seminars, where I completed my TESOL certificate. Hands Korea was my LIFELINE. They …

EPIK TEACHER: FOLLOW ME AROUND

Ever wanted to follow me around? Wait, that sounded creepy. Let me rephrase. Ever wanted to know what I do at my job as an EPIK teacher? You’re in luck! In this post I take you through *inhales* my morning routine, introduce to you my co-teachers, lesson plans, lesson prep, how I teach, what I ate for lunch, what I do after school, when I get home and all the other super fantastic things I do in a day. *exhales* Being a teacher means you are constantly developing, learning and growing with your students. I never thought of myself teaching at a middle school (I was counting on elementary when I first got to South Korea) but now I couldn’t see myself teaching at any other level. I have been an English teacher in Busan, South Korea for a little over a month and have established a workday routine that works for me. That being said, the first week of being a teacher here was the hardest, I constantly asked myself, WHAT AM I DOING?! / WHAT …

EPIK ORIENTATION

I’M ALIVE! This post is dedicated to my mom who has been wondering why I haven’t written a blog post in a week. As she is one of my three dedicated readers, I thought I would get on top of it and post a life update. Here we go.. I left Toronto, Canada on February 17, arrived in Seoul, South Korea on February 18, and transferred to Busan, South Korea that evening. The plane ride was quite comfortable, but I did get a little stir crazy around the 12 hour mark.. it was a 15 hour flight total. To pass the time away I read Amy Poehler’s “Yes Please” (I recommend) and watched Aladdin, Goosebumps and a couple episodes of Friends. I attempted to sleep, but who can actually sleep on an airplane? You’re a bionic human of some sort if you can. I stayed at the Busan University of Foreign Studies for a week to attend EPIK orientation. More on that subject in my vlog below. 😉 This is the wonderful view I got to …