All posts tagged: south korea

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 pack. 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 only problem is that the bed size at your place will vary. I have a double but I know a couple EPIK teachers who have a queen (lucky …

HAEUNDAE SAND FESTIVAL

Hello friends! I went to the Haeundae Sand Festival last weekend, a magical place where you can go tobogganing down a giant sand hill, get lost in a sand maze and awe at the countless number of sand sculptures. You get the point. See all the sandy festivities and witness non-sand related moments, such as when I get locked out of my house and where I had the BEST chicken soup, in the vlog below!

MY FAVOURITE THINGS TO DO IN BUSAN, SOUTH KOREA

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 city that wasn’t Seoul. While Seoul is incredible, Busan certainly has so much for you to see, eat, and experience. In my video below I tell you some of my favourite places to explore in Busan including where to go for breathtaking hikes, non-touristy beach recommendations, temples to trek to, the insanity that is watching live soccer and baseball games, where to shop, my favourite spot in the city to see the skyline (nope, it’s not from the Busan tower), and a dog cafe because well, why not! Be sure to follow me on Instagram to keep up with my adventures: CLICK HERE  This post was created for EPIK e-Press.

LIVING IN SOUTH KOREA, LIKES/DISLIKES

Fellow vlogger/EPIK teacher/new friend Matt, who has a YouTube channel called Break Your Boundaries, does awesome travel videos and reached out to me a few weeks ago to collab together. HECK YEAH! I love creative projects and working with like-minded people so obviously, I agreed in a heartbeat. We share similar likes and dislikes about living in South Korea and decided to rant about soju, sketchy alleyways, squatter toilets and much more..

FROLICKING IN FLOWER FIELDS

Hello everyone! Last weekend I went to Daejeo Ecological Site which sounds like a snore, but it was one of the most beautiful.. backdrops for an Instagram photo everrrrr. How much do you hate me for saying that? Heh heh. But seriously, with 760,000 square meters of garden and lush mountains in the background, it was incredibly scenic (smelt great too!). Also, it was some kind of wonderful being on the subway going there since it took you right over the garden. I saw the yellow blooms, mountains and river all in one shot. My mouth dropped when the subway car came out from the dark tunnel and into what seemed like a Tom Thomson painting. It was unexpected so I wasn’t prepared with my camera, you’ll just have to believe me on this one. I also took a photo of funky tree.. bamboo.. things. This was also at the ecological site. Everything was green and vibrant there. I want to go back! It’s too bad the flowers are only in full bloom in mid-April so, if you …

FREE SOCCER GAMES AT GUDEOK STADIUM

Hello all! Sorry this blog post is a little late but, better late than never (says every one of my students who hand in their homework late). Last weekend I went to my first soccer game at Gudeok Stadium, a three minute walk from my house. Gudeok Stadium first opened in 1928 and hosted soccer matches during the Summer Olympics in 1988. Currently, it is home to the Busan Transportation Corporation FC. It’s exciting to watch them play but, the team has such an odd name. Transportation Corporation? Why can’t they be the Busan Bears or Busan Barracudas or Busan Barbarians.. I also love that when you go watch a soccer match it’s free entrance, BYOB and you can bring in ALL THE SNACKS! I brought in an entire pizza. Below is a photo of the Busan Tower from the Lotte Department Store roof, accessible for anyone to enjoy. I recommend going up there, it’s a nice place to spend an afternoon. You get a great view of the mountains on one side and the …

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! 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 set up my EPIK …

THE CRAZY BEAUTY TREND THAT WAS ALL OVER THE SFW FALL 2016 RUNWAYS

You no longer have to be under the age of five to appreciate a colourful mural on your face. Ah, those were the days right? Going to a carnival and getting a butterfly painted on your entire face? Heavenly. Well, your inner kid will appreciate that the Fall 2016 shows at Seoul Fashion Week made it pretty obvious that vibrant face paint is the latest beauty trend. Models at the Doii show (above) donned an array of forest inspired hues that ran down the side of their face and nose. They resembled mystical creatures, or a tribe that I would very much like to be part of. #squadgoals For more sublte(-ish) face paint inspiration, models at the Kye show had their eyebrows and under-eyes painted white. It looked pretty badass tbh, and it’s an immediate attention-grabber. Maybe not for the office or going grocery shopping (imagine…) but we know you want to try it out. Another update: smudged lipstick on your face is no longer embarrassing! Ok, yes it is when it’s not intentional, but …

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 …

SMELLS LIKE HOME

What do you do when you start having Canada withdraw? Hack open a can of maple syrup and make french toast. Mmmmm it was so good, and just what I needed to feel at home again. This week wasn’t too exciting, other than making my apartment smell maple goodness, nothing eventful happened. Oh, I did spend 15 minutes hacking at the maple syrup can. Should probably put “can opener” on my shopping list, as well as “spatula” since I used a rice scooper to flip my french toast. #singlelife #ilivealone #dontjudge Last weekend I went to Caffe Bene near my house to catch up on emails and finish up with some work. I had an iced coffee, and the entire upstairs floor to myself. Nothing like peace, serenity and caffeine to make you feel productive (aka Facebook stalk my friends from home pretending I was with them at all their outings and parties). Moving onto my work week, for one of my classes I taught a lesson on “mottos” and had students come up with a class motto. …

HIKES, ART & GOLD.. OH MY!

Things making me happy right now: Currently sitting at a cafe and have it entirely to myself (Caffe Bene to be specific). I’m on the second floor looking over my neighbourhood. I slept in this morning, made french toast and drowned it in maple syrup. It’s 17 degrees outside. I booked my train to Seoul for next weekend because, FASHION WEEK! I bought an air freshener for my apartment. Looking forward to going home to see if it works (is that sad?). Came to the realization that I am exactly where I want to be, doing exactly what I want to do and that, makes me happy. Can I be real for a sec? If you’ve known me for the past three years, you know that moving to South Korea was an idea that quickly turned into a plan. However, I didn’t act on the plan until this year. I flip-flopped not knowing if I’d be “behind in my career” that I had in Toronto. It took me three years to make my final decision. THREE. YEARS. I …

SEOUL ADVENTURE

The dream of travelling to Seoul, South Korea has come true. Is this real life? Last weekend my best friend Emily and I met in Seoul to discover the city that features an abundance of palaces, food, shopping and is also a place that has a population of 10,000,000. Yup. 10 MILLION! One of our first stops was to Changgyeonggung Palace, located smack dab in the heart of Seoul. The palace was built by the 4th ruler of the Joseon Dynasty for his retiring father AND served as residence for queens and concubines. There is also an enormous garden in the back but we didn’t have time to see it. 😦 Next time. Watch my Seoul Adventure vlog below! Among sightseeing, we also went to a psychic, hung out at a dog cafe, raved in Gangnam and ate way too much street food. After an eventful weekend, we took the KTX train back to Busan. It felt good to be home since Busan is less congested, and I missed the beach (below = Haeundae). You just …

MY FIRST APARTMENT

IS THIS HOW YOU ADULT?! I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since I moved into my first apartment. I’ve been feeling ecstatic and overwhelmed but incredibly happy to live in a place that is comfortable, spacious, and has way too many beauty products in the bathroom. I don’t have a shower mat nor proper plates to eat from, but I do have two cleansers, three face masks, and five moisturizers cluttering the bathroom cabinet. #priorities Speaking of beauty products, South Korea is the EPICENTRE of beauty. Every third store on any main street is either The Face Shop, Etude, Skinfood, The Body Shop, etc. It’s beauty heaven. The day after I moved in I went into The Face Shop and bought Chia Seed Hydrating Emulsion. The store employee (bless her soul) did not speak a word of English but knew by looking at my face that I had extremely dry skin. She threw what I needed in a bag, took a hand full of free samples, chucked those in and smiled as I left. Love her. …