My name is Ellie and I am a teacher at Wonderland in Osan. I have been in Korea for the last four months and have had an amazing experience thus far. When I first arrived, I was met at the airport by Ms. Lee and her husband, the directors of my hak-won, they kindly welcomed me to Korea and then drove me to my new home in Osan. They were quite kind and helped me w/ my luggage; they refused to let me carry anything! My apartment is quite spacious, three bedrooms and a fairly large sized kitchen and living area for two teachers. The best part of my apartment is that it is located right above my hak-won and so I only have a minute’s walk to school! The location is also great, just a short walk away from the main downtown area where all the shops and restaurants are.
Teaching is lots of fun, the children are absolutely adorable. Morning classes are all pre-school and kindergarten age and afternoon classes range from ages 8 to 13. I teach Monday through Friday, I have about three breaks a day. The students are exceptionally bright; all are enthusiastic about school and love their foreign teachers. What I like best about Wonderland is that each classroom has a different theme, one room is a bedroom, another room is a kitchen, and yet another is an airport. We also have a playroom for the children with a huge jungle gym that the children love to run to during playtime. Lunch is provided by the school during the week (incidentally, Osan Wonderland has an excellent cook). Work isn’t always easy but the students make teaching a most worthwhile experience. In addition the Korean English teachers at my school are extremely helpful, kind and friendly. My first month here each teacher took me out on the weekends to help me adjust and acclimate myself to Korea. On Christmas Eve one of the teachers even held a Christmas party at her house for the foreign teachers.
Another benefit to living in Osan is its proximity to Seoul – only a forty-minute bus ride away. It’s nice to explore the historical and cultural things that Seoul has to offer, while Osan gives a foreigner respite from the hustle, bustle and crowd that is a part of Seoul life. All in all, I must say that my last four months in Korea have been a most enjoyable experience. I’m very happy to be in Korea!