Yesterday, I was issued my ticket home to the United States. In a mere 60 days, I’ll be waking up in My Old Kentucky Bed in My Old Kentucky Home. I remember when I was counting down and had 60 days until Korea. In the past 316 days, I’ve become a better teacher and I dare say, a better person.
But, like any endeavor, my time here in South Korea has had its hits and misses. More hits than misses (thankfully), but I think it’s important to share these feelings so far.
- I’ve become a better teacher.
- Cliche time: I know teaching is my life calling, and Korea has affirmed that belief.
- I’ve been able to travel to Japan and simply live in a foreign country. That alone is pretty awesome.
- I’m living with an awesome host family and I’ll always have friends in Korea.
- Dunkin’ Donuts on every corner.
- Cheese bread.
- Cheap domestic and international airfare.
- Hostels. Oh, the hostels.
- I’ve discovered a whole new world of living abroad and heck, I might even return one day. You never know!
- I’ve learned that language isn’t really needed to form friendships. Sometimes all you need is the right non-verbal communication.
- Seoul: The greatest (and easiest to navigate) city on Earth.
- Fried Chicken.
- Korean language. I thought I’d get pretty good at Korean while I was living in Korea. It seems pretty natural. Think again. Most people want to practice English with me, including my host family. And when I try Korean, most people just stare at me. Hey, I tried.
- A social life. When I filled out my preference form during Fulbright Orientation, I said that being around other ETAs wasn’t really a priority. Heck, I had big plans to make all the Korean friends and learn all the Korean (see #1). Well, that didn’t quite happen. I have friends at church that like to practice their English with me, and I don’t get to see other island ETAs as much as I’d like. We’re busy people after all.
If you’re a current ETA, what are your hits and misses? Let me know!