O.K: Extra Large Teddy Bear, Only in Korea…

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While on a walk around Imsil, I came across this giant teddy bear. It was sitting near the trash area and had a sign taped to its forehead. I’m sure there is some simple explanation written on the note that was taped to it like “Please forgive this huge inconvenience Mr.Trash Man, but we’re moving and can’t take this big teddy bear with us”, but since I can’t read the note, I found myself making up all kinds of weird scenarios to make sense of the weirdness.

I imagine some love-sick boy giving this teddy bear to their girlfriend and the girl’s family just waiting until they could throw that thing away. It looked decently heavy… I can picture some heartbroken girl dragging this huge, heavy bear down the stairs and into the elevator after a bad breakup.

Seeing this also raised a bunch of questions for me as a foreigner in Korea. I have often wondered where and how you can discard unwanted items. Can you really put huge items like that near the trash cans and recycling centers with the hope that someone will discard it for you? But really… who thought it would be a good idea to own this big of a teddy bear in the first place? Where did they keep that thing in a small Korean apartment? How did they get it upstairs/downstairs? Why does anyone need a super sized teddy bear? This was definitely one of those weird things that you don’t expect, but seem totally normal when you see them in Korea.


Helpful Tips for a First Time Visitor to Japan

I think there is no more confusing a time than how you feel in the first two days of visiting a foreign country. Culture shock may be the cause, but in my experience it is the language barrier, the common knowledge that everyone except you has, and the lack of sleep you no doubt experiencing that makes you feel out of place and in serious need of some caffeine and a hot meal. To ease the exhaustion and fish-out-of-water feeling, here are some of my helpful tips for visiting Japan for the first time.

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How to Get Your E-2 Visa in Osaka, Japan

Congratulations! You’ve been accepted to EPIK or to teach in Korea. Now you’re in need of an E-2 visa, or a teaching visa. If you’re able to secure your visa in your home country, that’ll be the most convenient. If your circumstance prevents you from getting your visa before coming to Korea, or you decide to do some world traveling before coming to Korea and you need to get your visa outside of your home country, things become a bit more difficult. The easiest way to get your visa outside of your home country in a short time is to make a visa run to Japan. I chose to get my visa in Osaka, Japan because of its proximity to the beautiful Kyoto and the speediness of its processing capabilities. Here’s what you need to know if you want to make a visa run to Osaka:

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Application Overview – USA

So you’re thinking about teaching in South Korea? Great, me too!

Theres a lot to know about the application process through EPIK: The English Program in Korea. In order to better understand the process, here’s a quick overview.

Click on any of the links below to view my full posts with descriptions and helpful hints when applying for the EPIK program. 

To apply, you’ll need: 

1) An Application Form

      1a) Personal Essay

     1b) Lesson Plan

2) Two Original Recommendation Letters

3)  Apostilled Diploma

4)  Apostilled Criminal Background Check

5)  Sealed Transcripts

6) Proof of Level 2 Pay Grade (required before the start of your contract)

7) Photocopy of Passport Information Page (a regular photocopy is fine)

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