Posted in Korean Learning Log, TOPIK

Taking the TOPIK for the 2nd Time — My Thoughts

It’s been a long, bumpy road trying to take the TOPIK this year. After failing to register in time to get a spot for the January test, and then the April test being postponed and then ultimately canceled, I was finally able to take the 70th TOPIK II last weekend on July 12.

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Posted in Korean Learning Log, TOPIK

69th TOPIK Cancelled :(

Yesterday was May 24th, which was supposed to be the day that I took the TOPIK II (Test of Proficiency in Korean II) for the second time. However, about a week and a half ago, they decided that due to the remaining presence of COVID-19 in South Korea and the fact that there was a recent small outbreak in the Itaewon club area, they would be canceling the test altogether.

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Posted in Life in Korea, School/Life, Travel

My Wild Ride: Korea’s Innovative Quarantined Transportation System

In my last post, I discussed what it’s like to travel via airplane in the middle of this crazy COVID-19 situation (read it here), and I’m finally back with my follow-up post regarding Korea’s impressively organized quarantine transportation system that they use to get people starting their quarantine from the airport to their homes.

Spoiler alert: This is a long post, but it starts with me cheerfully arriving in Korea and ends with me sobbing at my own doorstep, so stay tuned for the wild ride.

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Posted in School/Life, Travel

Airplane Travel during COVID-19 — Domestic US vs International Flight Differences

Just over two weeks ago, I traveled from Montgomery, Alabama to South Korea, and it was quite the adventure. In the midst of this global pandemic, I was admittedly a bit wary of airplane travel, since airplanes aren’t exactly the best vessels for social distancing.

You may be wondering why on earth I’m doing international travel in the middle of a pandemic, but it’s not that complicated. I left South Korea when COVID-19 first started hitting Daegu way back on February 24, thinking I would be gone for just a matter of weeks while my hagwon was temporarily closed. Then, of course, the pandemic kept escalating, both in Korea and, as time passed, on a global scale, and my return date kept getting pushed further and further back.

Finally, after an unplanned two-month furlough from my teaching position, my boss and I decided it was safe for me to come back to Korea, and I booked my ticket for the following week.

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Posted in Korean Learning Log, TOPIK

Attempt 2: I Successfully Registered for the TOPIK! (And Eventually I’ll Take It…)

I tried to register to take the TOPIK last December, and it was an epic failure. I went to a PC방 on the second evening that registration was open, only to find that all of the seats at all of the locations near me were totally booked for the TOPIK II.

Taking the TOPIK in America wasn’t competitive at all, and for some reason I had assumed that it would be just as easy to register in Korea. Clearly, the TOPIK is in much higher demand in Korea.

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Posted in Life in Korea, School/Life, Working in Korea

A Life Altering Epidemic: Life in the Korean Epicenter of the Coronavirus

Just over two weeks ago, I was happily going through my daily routine in Daegu, South Korea, as a teacher at an English hagwon.

Monday, Feb 17, and Tuesday, Feb 18, were typical weekdays for me. I went to work, taught my daily speaking and listening classes, and worked on putting in final grades for most of my classes, as our hagwon was approaching a new quarter and a new class schedule.

The novel coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, had been present in Korea for almost a full month at that point, with the first patient being identified January 20th. But in that month, there had only been 30 diagnosed cases throughout the country, and 10 of those 30 had recovered fully. Daegu in particular had remained free of the virus as well, and I figured that as long as I didn’t travel too much around Korea, I’d probably not have to worry about getting sick.

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Posted in Korean Learning Log, Weekly/Daily Goals

2019 Progress Report (Better Late than Never)

When I first typed the title of this post, I typed “2018”….apparently I’m a bit out of touch haha.

New Year’s Eve/Day was two weeks ago, and I still haven’t taken the time to reflect on the past year. (Last year I posted my 2018 progress report 3 weeks into the new year — the trend continues!) Today I’m finally sitting down to look back at my goals for 2019 and to see how well I managed to fulfill them.

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Posted in Korean Learning Log, TOPIK

Change of Plans — Postponing the TOPIK

Yesterday I went to a PC방 after work to try and register for the TOPIK in January. I’m not sure why, but the registration process doesn’t work with Apple products, so I couldn’t use my laptop to do it from home.

There is only one week where you can register for the TOPIK, and yesterday was the second day of registration. I was quite surprised to see that both testing locations in Daegu were already completely sold out for the TOPIK II. That’s almost 500 people who beat me to registration.

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Posted in Korean Learning Log, TOPIK, Weekly/Daily Goals

Taking the TOPIK Again: My Goals/Motivation

Ever since I took the TOPIK last October (read about my experience and results here and here), I’ve been looking forward to the chance to take the test again and see my improvement over time. I especially wanted to take advantage of the fact that I’m living in Korea this year, where the test is given six times per year and at a variety of locations. I had to drive quite a long way to get to the test location last year, and it’ll be nice to have the testing location in the city that I live in.

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Posted in Life in Korea, Sightseeing in Korea

고령 대가야유적지 — Goryeong Daegaya Historical Site

My best friend’s family invited me to go hiking with them a couple of weeks ago, and I agreed. I assumed that we were going to one of the many mountains scattered in or around Daegu, but after we were in the car for quite a while, I realized that we were headed out of the city.

We ended up in Goryeong at a place called the Daegaya Historical Site. I didn’t know what the place was called or even the fact that it was a historical site for the most of the time we were there, mostly because I still thought we were just hiking.

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