Reach the World – Field Note – Environment

Originally published by Reach the World, November 27, 2015
mountain
Introduction:
South Korea is a mountainous peninsula in East Asia. A “peninsula” is an area of land that is surrounded by water on three sides. Florida is an example of a peninsula in America. About seventy percent of Korea’s land has mountains, which beautify the land but also present unique challenges to the people who live in Korea.

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Reach the World – Logbook – Seoul, the Sooneung, and School Events

Originally published by Reach the World, November 20, 2015

How far did I travel this week?: I traveled to two cities this week: Daegu and Seoul. Daegu is a large city about two hours north of Gimhae. Seoul, which is about five hours northwest of Gimhae, is the capital city of Korea. It is even larger than New York City!

How far have I traveled on this journey so far?: I have traveled to Gimhae, Busan, Daegu, Jinju, Seoul, Gyeongju, Sokcho, and Goesan. In January, I will travel to Thailand and Vietnam for my winter break.

How did I get around this week?: I took an intercity bus to get to Seoul, and then I took the high speed train home. The bus was stuck in traffic, so it took about six hours. The high speed train, which is called KTX, took less than three hours to travel across the country!

What was the most interesting place I visited this week?: I visited Namdaemun Market in Seoul, which is one of the largest traditional markets in Korea. There were many stalls selling street food, clothing, and souvenirs.

Other Travel News from this week: Earlier in the week, I went to a teachers’ conference in Daegu, which is a city about two hours north of Gimhae. During the conference, I volunteered with Korean schoolchildren to paint a mural of the world.

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Interview With a Teacher

 Originally published by Reach the World, November 13, 2015

*This is an interview with one of the non-English teachers who I teach once a week. She is one of my good friends at school.

Introduction:
Today, I interviewed one of the teachers at my high school about her family, her travels, and her life in Korea. She was so excited to introduce herself to American and Canadian students! We conducted most of the interview in English, but we also used some Korean and an on-line dictionary to help us out. The interview below has some minor edits for clarification.

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Questions from Quebec: A “Reach the World” Update

A few weeks ago, I posted that I volunteer as a travel writer for Reach the World, a New York nonprofit that fosters global connections between North American students and travelers abroad. Last month, I was matched with a fourth grade classroom in Quebec. The students have been following my journey online, and this week they sent me a list of questions about my experiences in Korea. I’d like to post their questions (and my answers) here so you can see what the students were most curious about.

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Thanksgiving Weekend

In America, the holiday season is fully underway. The end-of-year trifecta of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas means almost nonstop feasting, decorating, and spending time with family. In Korea, the two major holidays in the fall and winter are spread much further apart. The Korean harvest festival, Chuseok, takes place in September. The next major holiday is Christmas in December.

To give us some holiday spirit and a touch of home, Fulbright held its annual Thanksgiving dinner at the lodge on the U.S. Army base in Seoul.

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수능 Day: Or, the Korean SAT

November 12. My students’ hard work and exhausting hours of study culminate in this one day that, for many of them, will determine the course of their lives after high school.

Imagine the SAT on steroids. Eight hours of testing, five subjects (Korean, math, English, social studies/science/vocational, additional foreign language), and only one day a year when students can take the test. The one score that mainly determines college admissions. This is the sooneung (수능), or College Scholastic Aptitude Test in Korea.

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Reach the World – Logbook – Fall Updates and a Trip to Gyeongju

Originally published by Reach the World, October 30, 2015

Anapji

How far did I travel this week?:This week, I traveled to a city called Gyeongju. Gyeongju is an hour and a half north of Gimhae, and it is in southeastern Korea.

 

How far have I traveled on this journey so far?:So far, I have traveled to Seoul, Busan, Gimhae, Jinju, Sokcho, Miryang, Goesan, and Gyeongju. The farthest cities were Sokcho, which is a beach town in the northeast, and Seoul, which is the capital city in the northwest.

 

How did I get around this week?:This week, I traveled around Gimhae with taxis, buses, subways and walking. In Gyeongju, I took a bus tour to see the highlights of the city.

 

What was the most interesting place I visited this week?:The most interesting place I visited this week was Bulguksa Temple, which is located in Gyeongju. Bulguksa Temple showcases ancient Korean architecture, including pagodas and Buddhist centers of worship. Bulguksa Temple is considered one of the national treasures of Korea.

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