Friday, May 13, 2011

Korea 2010-2011 review

I did my one year abroad, like I always wanted to do. It doesn't feel like it was one year, but I guess it was. One year was nothing. It was too short. I keep saying how I can't believe the year went so fast because that's how I really feel. I've been in the US almost 3 weeks now and I still can't believe I was in Korea a whole year.

So I will do a second year. I would have preferred it be 2 years at the same school, but that wasn't possible. I'm a little worried the next year won't be as good. Either get a bad school or bad location, or something will be bad. My last year wasn't perfect, but it exceeded my expectations in most ways.

It's hard for me to say exactly what it was that made my year there so good. I wanted to experience a new culture and I feel that I did. It's not like being on vacation for a year, cause I had to work, but living in another country made daily life much more interesting than when I am living in the US. What I really wonder about is how long living in Korea will stay interesting?

My students were not too difficult to deal with, except for a few of them and my co teachers were usually helpful.

The only occasional problem at my school was lack of communication. Not knowing what was going on, what I am supposed to do or what was expected of me.

There were a few things about my time in Korea that were a disappointment, but they were all my own fault...

-I didn't put enough effort into learning Korean. Trying to do it on my own just didn't work, I'm not motivated or disciplined enough. I think I have to take a class if I want to learn it. I studied somewhat mostly just vocabulary. I kept procrastinating with starting to study seriously, and before I knew it the year was over and I hadn't done much at all.

-I put of weight cause I didn't exercise enough and ate too much junk food. I ate so much junk food cause there isn't much Korean food I like.

-I didn't really do any jewelry work. I brought tools to carve wax, but I didn't do much work.

-I wish I would have taken one more international trip to Japan or Hong Kong. I mostly wasted my summer vacation.

-I didn't travel much in Korea. I only took two trips to Busan, and stopped in Daegu on the way to Busan one time. Actually I don't really care that I didn't travel much, I just feel kind of like I should have since I had the opportunity.

There were only a few things I didn't like that were out of my control:

-My city was pretty small and far from Seoul. By the end of the year I was really getting sick of having to take the train to Seoul to meet friends or for shopping.

-My apartment didn't have AC. It's too humid in summer in Korea not to have AC.

The good things were far more significant than the couple bad things and the disappointments I had with myself. The negative things are just easier to pick out. Overall it was a great experience. I just wish I had done it 10 years ago.

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