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Things You Probably Didn’t Know About South Korea

TESOL South Korea Cultural AdviceSonia writes her last post about her wonderful TESOL experience in South Korea and shares a couple of things that you probably wouldn’t know until you got there. Enjoy!

You should know about the yellow dust season, particularly if you have allergies. It comes between spring and summer, and it’s exactly what it sounds like- a thin layer of yellow dust coats everything outside. Some people say it’s pollution from eastern Chinese industry, others say it’s spring pollen. During this season, weather reports will include the yellow dust predictions for the day, and on high index days you’ll see a lot of people wearing surgical masks outside. Yes, sometimes people really do wear surgical masks around all day long. Sometimes it’s for yellow dust, but the rest of the year it’s because the person wearing it has a cold and is being polite by keeping the germs to themselves as much as possible with that mask.

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TESOL South Korea: Tourism

TESOL South Korea Tourism UlsanThere are plenty of interesting things to see and do in South Korea.

About half the population identifies as Christian, which accounts for all the red neon crosses in the city night sky, and the other half identifies as Buddhist, which leaves you with a lot of old, beautifully painted temples to explore. Most small towns and many remote mountaintops have got a temple, and bigger cities have several each. Some temples, such as Bong Eun-sa in Seoul, offer temple-stay programs where you can get a more intensive Buddhist experience, trying out the food, dress, and lifestyle of a monk, even if just for a day or two. Otherwise, most temples have regular visiting hours when anyone is welcome to enter the grounds for a stroll or just to have a look. Note that removing your shoes is considered polite in most indoor temple spaces.

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TESOL South Korea: Transportation

South Korea BusPublic transportation in South Korea is great in a lot of ways. It’s generally cheap, quick, and reliable. Subways operate in only a few major cities. By far the most extensive metro system is in Seoul, with several very long and interconnecting lines. You must buy a T-money card from a kiosk in or near a subway station, then load money onto it at the station agent’s window or at an automated machine (these operate in English and Korean, the station agent may not). You tap the card at the turnstile to enter the subway, and tap it again on your way out once you’ve reached your destination, and your card is charged based on distance travelled. The subways operate until roughly midnight, a bit later on weekends.

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TESOL Korea: What To Do For Fun!

Jeju Island TESOL South KoreaThis next post is about all the fun you’re going to have teaching English in South Korea! There are the regular options like movies or dance clubs, but there are some things that Korea does like no place else, so read on!

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