By: Cassandra Simons
One year ago, I stepped on a plane heading to Busan, South Korea, for a public school teaching contract. While teaching was familiar territory for me, TEFL was not, and living in East Asia was, well…totally foreign to me. I didn’t speak the language and didn’t know anyone where I was going. I read every article and book I could get my hands on, attempted to learn a bit about the country, and even tried to find social media pages to connect with people to help me.
There was very little in those articles that was of significant help. Sure, it is important to know about some cultural norms (don’t ever put your chopsticks upright in your rice). It’s nice to know about sights to see in the major cities (Seokbulsa Temple in Busan – totally worth the hike!). But it’s the things that most people DON’T tell you that would prepare you most. Maybe this list will help someone come to Korea at least a little more prepared than I was… and, while you can never quite prepare your nostrils for what you are about to experience, maybe you won’t be quite so shocked by some of the sights and questions.