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The Warmth of Korean Hospitality

by Ashlee Anton '11, Fulbright Winner

My life changed when 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 what an adventure it was! I arrived in South Korea on July 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. Many of us became close and built a tightly knit Fulbright Korea network, and I would often visit my friends all over the Korean peninsula. 

I was placed at a co-ed middle school in a smaller industrial city named Gumi in Gyeongsangbuk Province. I loved it. I lived with a host family and enjoyed my time teaching, interacting with the people of Gumi and traveling. At school, I had about 350 students who I saw only once a week; however, my time with them was fun and exciting. I also taught a winter camp and haf the opportunity to continue my Korean language education in in Seoul.

I spent a lot of my free time with my host family as well as traveling a bit to see friends. I certainly felt the warmth of my middle school and host family’s welcome and consider myself very lucky.