Things are becoming more and more official each day: Tuesday I received my job placement from the ESL department at UW-Madison. Wednesday I booked my flights to Chicago and South Korea. Thursday I got my work Visa at the Korean Consulate. And tonight, (Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday) I’m having a going away party at a bar in the East Village with friends from so many parts of my life. Everything is happening at such an electric, rapid pace–I feel like I’m going to blink my eyes and suddenly be at the front of my classroom at Yeoju Girls High School rambling about the difference between “there” “their” and “they’re.” Thank god some of my Wisco friends are in town to hang with me in my last weeks of Amurrica :)
Yeoju is the name of the city in Gyonggi-do where I will spend the next year of my life. It is about 1-2 hours southeast of Seoul (according to Google maps and guestimations from friends). Judging from internet searches and write-ups in my guide books, it sounds like smaller city with fascinating historical sites that most people visiting Korea would probably miss out on. Also, there seems to be some sort of important outlet shopping mall in the area–I’ll be sure to report on that in the future. Also, I’ll be at an all-girls public high school, a curveball indeed but certainly a hilarious one.
While I was expecting to be placed closer to Seoul or another big city, I am no less thrilled about the adventure on which I am about to embark. As I’ve been telling friends and family, I signed up for something new, different, and crazy and this is what I ended up with! The most rural experience I’ve ever had is at overnight camp in Massachusetts (shout-out to my Camp Pembroke readers if you’re out there!), so this will DEFINITELY be something new for me. But I’m insanely pumped. I’ve heard so many benefits to living in “rural” South Korea (the word “rural” takes on a totally different meaning in SK, since the country is much more densely populated than ours): generous & welcoming people, slower pace of life, you WILL learn the language, developing closer relationships with other foreigners, everything is cheaper, more motivation to travel! The list goes on. A New York City girl taking on rural South Korea…if anything it’ll make for some interesting blog posts.
My seatbelt is definitely ‘bassened!