What a wonderful experience I had teaching in South Korea this summer. I taught at two summer camps for 10 days each. One camp was for 8th graders and the other for 6th graders. I taught a grammar intensive course called 'comic's and a vocabulary intensive one called 'directions around town'. The energy crisis made the classrooms and dorms very hot and muggy. We had to climb steep hills many times a day from the cafeteria, dorms and to the classrooms and recreation area. Not to mention the mosquitos were really hungry all the time. I would lesson plan in the evenings and get up in the morning to teach the same class twelve times in a row! Can you saw exhausting? But the kids were troopers and seemed to learn a lot. The biggest improvement I'd say was in their confidence.
The Summer of 2012 I embarked on a study abroad journey to Hikone, Japan. Hikone is home to the historic Hikone castle and known for it's close proximity to the largest lake in Japan, Lake Biwa. The Japanese language school I attended is called JCMU (Japan Center for Michigan Universities). It is right on the edge of the lake and provides many beaches and opportunities for chatting with the locals. Most of us stayed in the dorms connected to the main building. We woke up 5 days a week at 8 am and by 9am were in our classrooms learning Japanese straight until 3 pm. On Fridays we got to stop at 1 pm and enjoy a cultural activity. I tested into the fourth and highest level with two other students. I was in this level for three weeks before deciding to drop down to the third level because of the lack of sleep and stress level. That was a good decision because instead of constantly studying my textbooks I could leave and explore Hikone, using my language skills in real interactions... read more