Saturday, December 10, 2011
Diary of Life in Korea 2011
My name is Owen McCaffrey and I have lived here in South Korea since September last year. I work as an English teacher in a University in a city in the southern part of the country called Jeonju city and my university's name is Chonbuk National University. I must clarify that although I came here in September last year, which means I have been here for just over one year so far, I have actually been to South Korea twice before: in 2000 and in 2005. Both of those previous times however I only stayed for short periods of time: in 2000 for 8 months, and in 2005 for just 6 months. Both of those times I came to teach English as a second language (ESL).
This time I have also come to South Korea to teach ESL however this time I intend to stay here for a long time and if possible make my home here. So what is different? Well, for one thing I am older: in 2000 when I came here I was just 19 years old and I was a university student, in 2005 I was 25 years old but this time I was 29 when I set foot in Korea. Older means more mature and wiser. I have had time over the last ten years to learn and experience many things in New Zealand and South Korea - good and bad experiences - which have helped me to decide what I want for my future. Now at 30 I know more about what I can and cannot do. For example, I tried ESL teaching when I was 19 and 25 and I enjoyed it but I had a difficult time living in South Korea. I also struggled at the job. So I thought that if I ever decided to do that job again I need to make my social life in Korea better and learn how to become a professional teacher. Also, in New Zealand I experienced other jobs such as accounting and banking and working on farms and in shops. After all of the jobs I decided that I like teaching most. So at the age of 27, I entered graduate school and trained to become an ESL teacher.
So that is why this time in South Korea might be different for me. Not just because I am older and more experienced but because I prepared myself and I purposefully chose this path for my life. I hope I can make a good life for myself here.
I will write another diary entry for you soon to tell you more about what I have been doing here recently including making friends, teaching, playing rugby, travelling, skiing, dancing, dating... It is pretty exciting! See you soon!