I’m here!

21 Feb

I wrote this blog post last night, so please adjust accordingly for time! I only got the internet working today.

I arrived in South Korea yesterday after a day spent on two planes (one for about 4 hours, the other for about 9 and a half hours) and a three hour coach journey. Today I have been very jet lagged, feeling queasy and tired as I fight my body over when it’s time to eat and sleep. It’s been a difficult day but hopefully tomorrow will be better. I’ve never experienced jet lag before, even when flying to Malaysia, so I’m confident that it won’t last for long.

The trip was easy, really. I did cry a bit though. I was so tired from not being able to sleep the night before, and feeling stressed out and scared about my big adventure that it was all quite overwhelming. I was still determined to go, though, and jump right into this crazy, ill-thought-through decision to come to Korea to teach. I reasoned that if you can move to another country for a year for the first time, to start a job you’ve never done before, and you DON’T freak out, then you’re clearly a robot (and I’m sure Asimov would agree).

So far we spent today being introduced to the EPIK programme and the training we’ll be having here at Jeonju University. The university has the cutest slogan – Jeonju University: The Place For Superstars. We are staying on the university campus in dorms which sleep two to a room. I’m sharing with a lovely Canadian girl, and across the hall are a young British couple who are really nice too. Making friends over dinner in the canteen is pretty weird – it feels like a weird mix of holiday camp and early days of university when you really wanted to make some friends. I can’t say I have any proper buds yet, but everyone is really chatty and friendly, and the British guys across the hall are going to Busan too so I’m hoping they’ll want to stay in touch and not just keep to themselves.

Today had a traditional entertainment display featuring some drumming, a fan dance and an amazing tae kwon do demonstration from the university team, who were spectacular. The choreographed 7 on 1 fight scene to some metal music, and the smashing of boards with feet, was only bested by the dance party finish where the team body-popped to “Every Day I’m Shuffling” (or whatever that song is called), and they were finally aloud to smile. The kids were both adorable and terrifying – they were so serious whilst yelling and smashing things and leaping about like angry cats, and then so cute and chipper when dancing across the stage to take their bows!

Tomorrow I get a chance to try out tae kwon do for myself, as well as having some TEFL-type lectures and some basic Korean lessons. That’s the format for the next two days (Tues and Weds) and then we have a field trip to try out some traditional Korean crafts, and learn a bit more about the history and culture of the country.

My schedule here is pretty tight with lessons up until about 8.30pm, but I will try to figure out the weird internet security and get this posted tomorrow evening. I am surprised that the university security means we can only connect to the internet via cable. So old school for the land of the super fast internet!


6 Responses to “I’m here!”

  1. thomas 21/02/2012 at 4:44 am #

    ‘EPIK programme’ – lol. I know it must be an acronym but what an acronym to choose 😛

    • Kitty 22/02/2012 at 12:49 pm #

      English Program In Korea. It’s brilliant, isn’t it? And it is pronounced EPIC! too. I didn’t realise until I got here how much I use the word “epic”. I say stuff like “my suitcase is epic!” and everyone groans. Unintentional punning FTW!

  2. Jimmy 21/02/2012 at 8:58 am #

    Yaay! I’m glad you got there safely. I’m pretty su the nexus 6 would freak out too. Are you an android Kitty?

    • Kitty 22/02/2012 at 12:49 pm #

      I could well be… I shall leave that up to you to discover!

  3. waterfallsandcaribous 21/02/2012 at 9:00 am #

    Welcome to Korea! The teaching adventure is certainly an interesting one…though going through the EPIK Programme sounds great. We went the more risky route (hagwon) but the experience is proving pretty entertaining. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

    • Kitty 22/02/2012 at 1:08 pm #

      Thank you! I may take you up on that – I’ve been looking at some of your recent posts and you guys seem to be having a lot of fun in Busan in particular. The EPIK journey sounds easier than the hagwon route, but I’ve heard very similar horror stories, so I’m sure I’m in for a pretty entertaining time too!

      Thanks again for getting in touch.

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