Saturday, July 7, 2012

I'm Here!!!

Well I officially made it!  After a very long series of flights taking me from Cleveland to Chicago to Los Angeles to Incheon/Seoul, I am in Korea.  I am staying on the lovely campus of Jungwon University on the top floor of the dorms.  The city I am currently living in is the "rural" Goesan.  I hesitate to officially declare it as rural since rural by Korean standards is a city of 50,000.  But nevertheless, it is a beautiful city with many mountains and grassy scenes scattered throughout.  Also, they are known for their peppers apparently.  In Korea, many cities have a little claim to fame as the best fruit or vegetable or product of some sort in the country and Goesan boasts the best peppers in Korea.  Or at least that is what I gandered from the 20 foot statues of Korean men and women hugging red peppers.  I'll post a photo of it once I wander around town a bit more.

Everything has been pretty cool so far, minus the crazy long flights.  Food is good so far.  I have been trying to use chopsticks for my meal and have been semi-successful.  I am generally able to eat most of my food with them, but it takes a few attempts to successfully grab something.  Also, the chopsticks are metal which makes it a bit trickier as well.  Most of the meals I have had are a rice based dish where you add certain things to it to make it taste nice (fish, beef, pork, etc.).  There is also a soup and kimchi with every meal.  Kimchi is basically pickled cabbage.  It tastes as good as it sounds.  I am usually able to have a few bites but have yet to eat all of it yet.  Hopefully I will get used to it soon!

So orientation basically consists of us waking up, eating breakfast, going to some meetings/ceremonies, lunch, more meetings/workshops, some free time, dinner, an evening extra-curricular, and then more free time.  Except next week, the morning will be language classes and the meetings in the morning will be moved to the free time before dinner.  I'll be busy but in a very good way.

I signed up for a few extra curriculars and I am pretty excited about them.  I am going to be taking Taekwondo four nights a week as well as a Korean cooking class, a traditional tea ceremony, and GLEE club.  Glee club is not the singy type club but rather a global language exchange education club, which is good since we all know that I am not the most skilled singer.

We are going to go into a school next week and I am very excited to do that.  We are going to get the chance to observe a current Fulbright ETA and get a better idea of what it is we are going to be doing while we are here.  People keep asking what my preferences are for placements is but I am not really sure yet.  I think I want to be on the coast because it's somewhere I've never really been before and I would like to be further south to hopefully avoid snowy winters.  But really I am open to most any place.

Alrighty well I think that is about it for now.  I am hoping today that I will be able to walk around and get some good pictures and stuff since it is finally sunny out.  It is currently the rainy season in Korea and the past couple of days have been nothing but rain so I am really hoping that this sunshine will last a while.  Next time I will be sure to try and post some photos!


  1. Great update Ben - thanks! Have fun and enjoy your adventure. Sounds like it is off to a smooth start. Learn lots and enjoy your trip. The Kimchi should grow on you over time. Good and spicy - Dad and Mom

  2. Thanks for the update, Ben. Korea sounds fascinating and it seems like you'll be making the most of your time there. Don't forget to take pictures when you can.

    God bless,
    Aunt Marlicia