Week 4 & 5 and Half of Week 6: Finals, Trip to Seoul and graduation ceremony
Hello everyone! Sorry for not posting sooner, it's been a very busy couple of weeks! I have now finished week 4 and 5 of orientation and in the middle of my last week (week 6). During week 4, I had my second Korean quiz and a Korean speech. For the Korean speech, I had to give a 3-4 minute speech introducing myself and talking about my daily life. At the end of the speech, we are all asked 3-5 questions based on our speech and we had to answer the questions. I think overall the quiz and speech went well! I will say that full immersion probably has helped the most with my Korean as my teachers don't speak English and our textbook has very little English.
During week 5, I had my Korean exam final and it went well. I can't believe that in less then 6 weeks, I have learned so much and I'm able to introduce myself, order food, shop and so much more. It's crazy how fast the time went but I've been having a blast through it all.
Here's a picture of my class!
So during Week 5, we actually had 2/11/2021-2/14/2021 off because it was the Seollal holidays. Seollal is just the Korean Lunar New Years and is almost always around the same time as the Chinese Lunar New Years. Typically a lot of stores and restaurants are closed during the Seollal holidays and because of this, the Fulbright staff had trouble providing all of the Fulbright ETA meals during this time especially in our city of Jochiwon (in comparison, Jochiwon is actually considered a rural area and part of the countryside). Due to this, they decided we needed to be in Seoul in order to accommodate our large group, this basically meant all of the ETAs had a free trip to Seoul! We ended up being placed in this super nice hotel (Shilla Stay Hotel) where our meals were the hotel breakfast and dinner buffets. Honestly, probably one of the best buffets I've ever had (they had dim sum and you could make your own noodle soup dishes). Anyhow, because we were in Seoul, we were given free time to explore a small part of the city and it was so amazing! I can see why Jochiwon is considered a rural area compared to Seoul. There were so many more people and tall/empire like buildings. I also went to the Han River and ordered chicken and ramen with my friends. I literally only got to explore a small part of Seoul so during my grant year, I for sure want to go back to Seoul and explore more of it. This trip was a memorable one and made even better with the friends that I got to hang out with!
Here is a video of small part of Seoul and pictures of me!
Half of week 6, I have finished all Korean classes and had my graduation ceremony! I did pass all of my classes and got an official Korea University Certificate stating I passed the course. The ceremony also had our class performance which is basically each class had to perform a skit/song or something else all in Korean. For my class, we sang this children's song called San Toki and danced to it while dressed as bunnies. It was a fun time and a good way to remember my classmates. I honestly will miss my two Korean teachers because they were so caring and funny as well as my Korean classes but I am hoping to continue with my Korean language learning by finding an online private tutor that I can do 1-2x weekly throughout my grant year. I also hope to find a language exchange partner to help my conversational Korean but yes it's sad that classes have officially ended.
Here is a picture of my teachers and I (my mom did not recognize me and asked "who's that person in the middle" :) haha).
Now I am in the process of packing up, finishing the last couple of days of orientation and getting ready to leave for my placement city. I still don't know my living situation but I'm hoping for a homestay still (we were told we probably won't find out until the day before we leave for our placement cities/towns). Anyhow, 6 weeks have gone by so so fast and I will soon be doing what I actually came here for…to teach English to Korean students. I'm sad to leave all of my friends and nervous to teach but I am ready for this next part of my journey.