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The Warmth of Korean Hospitality

Greetings from South Korea!  It is hard to imagine that a year ago I was finishing writing my first undergraduate thesis for my East Asian studies major at DePauw, waiting to hear my fate as the programs I applied for took their time in selecting their applicants.  After a long winter and a lot of waiting, my life changed as I received notification that I had been lucky enough to be granted a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) in South Korea.  I looked forward to the great adventure I was soon to embark on in Asia for a second time. 

And an adventure it has been!  I arrived in South Korea on July 1st, 2011 and started the 7 week intensive orientation program Fulbright Korea requires of its ETAs.  There we learned Korean for 4 hours a day, 5 days a week and went to lectures on everything ranging from education techniques and theory to Korean culture and issues.  There many of us became close and have built a tightly knit Fulbright Korea network.  I often visit my friends all over the Korean peninsula now. 

I was placed at a co-ed middle school in a smaller industrial city named Gumi in Gyeongsangbuk Province and I love it.  I currently live with a host family and have enjoyed my time teaching, interacting with the people of Gumi and traveling.  At school I have about 350 students who I see only once a week; however, my time with them is fun, exciting and enjoyable .  I have certainly felt the warmth of my middle school and host family’s welcome and consider myself very lucky.  I spend a lot of my free time with my host family as well as traveling a bit to see friends.  I will be teaching a winter camp in January and then I will have the opportunity to continue my Korean language education in February in Seoul.  My grant year ends in July, but I might have the opportunity to renew for a second year. 

Ashlee Anton

Fulbright ETA Gumi-shi, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea

Class of 2011