GELC - Gangwon English Learning Center

Trip Start Feb 24, 2006
Trip End Dec 31, 2007

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Flag of Korea Rep.  ,
Sunday, March 5, 2006

My new school is actually a learning center. Basically, the students come to our center for five days, Monday through Friday. The learning center is an immersion program, meaning everything is done in English. So when they come here, it's supposed to be a simulation of arriving and spending a week in an English-speaking foreign country. Obviously, there is some Korean spoken, but pretty much its in English. The students are chosen from schools around the province based on their English ability. We tend to get the best students from the attending schools, which certainly helps fight the boredom of teaching true beginners. The school has sleeping rooms and classrooms and a cafeteria and an "experience center" where there are simulated environments such as a library or restaurant or a post office. The first batch of students don't come for another month, which means I have a month of office duties. I can already tell, I'll really like it when the kids are here and not so much when we have no classes!

However, the school facilties are new and very nice and the province is well-known for its beauty, having the best national parks in Korea located nearby. Yangyang is not a huge city, which is both good and bad, but the massive metropolis of Seoul (which is about twice the size of New York) is only a 3.5 hour bus ride away. There is another city to north, Sokcho, which is much larger and has an E-Mart, Korea's WalMart equivalent. There are beaches everywhere, but they are only open for two months in the summer and closed the rest of the time for border patrol reasons. Our center does have its own private beach though, which everyone tells me will be really nice in the summer because hordes of Koreans load up on the public beaches come those two summer months. So, we'll see how life and work is on the northeast coast of the Sea of Japan and try to update this website whenever something interesting happens!
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