Teaching in Bundang
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Jan 6, 2013 11:03 AM Last Post By: jjgirl
Mar 28, 2007 4:37 PM
Teaching in BundangHi, I will be going to teach at a school in Bundang for a year beginning September. This is something completely new for me. I have traveled to different countries before where I don't speak the language, but never by myself. I have done a lot of research on places to teach and I found that Korea seemed like a good place to start off teaching. However, I don't know anyone who's been to Korea, so I've been relying on things I've been reading and the opinions of those I don't know. Has anyone been to Bundang who can tell me a little about the area...things to do there, ways to spend your weekdays and weekends, the people and their attitude toward foreigners (I'm a 27 year old female from the US.), the climate? Are Koreans inclusive or exclusive to foreigners, women in particular? And is it true that if you go to a party or lounge where there's karaoke, you'll definitely be asked to sing?...yikes! I'm looking for a new experience, new culture and new people (besides Americans). My personality is somewhat reserved, and I'm not a big drinker (but I will have a drink or 2 when I go out). I like cafes a lot, love nature and enjoy meeting people and having one-on-one conversations. Any ideas or advice?
Mar 30, 2007 4:36 AM
I'm an Australian male, who was neen teaching English for 11 months, in a small town about 40 miles north of Seoul. Bundang is much closer to Seoul, which is easily reached by subway. You won't regret the experience. I lived in a part of Australia with a similar climate to Florida or Louisiana, & was surprised at the climate extremes. It was 38c in August, & -17 c in winter (wind chill factor) with snow.
Mar 30, 2007 3:40 PM
2Bundang is basically a satellite town of Seoul, and not such a big scene of cultural life. (including nightlife) Of course, there are huge malls here and there, as hundreds of thousands live there. But I can say that people usually come to Seoul to spend their extra time - for whatever purpose.
Karaoke after alcohol will very likely put you in a situation refusing singing becomes awkward, but not all party goes with karaoke. It's a matter of 'party with whom', isn't it?
Mar 30, 2007 11:20 PM
3Bundang it considered a richer part of Korea, there are a lot of foreigners in this area as well. Samsung Plaza is a great shopping place, and there are some great Indian restaurants, and Mexican restaurants. A few bars as well. There is a military base not too far away, so watch out for rowdy military people. You can take a subway into Seoul, there are also tons of buses that are faster, and you don't have to transfer as much as the subway. Have a good time!
Mar 31, 2007 1:29 AM
4If you go to karaoke, you will be asked to sing. Refusing would be rude. If its very late, you may decline going to karaoke, but I'll bet you'll end up there at some time. But karaoke in Korea is usually in private rooms so its just you and your friends, not up in front at a bar like in the US. Plus, given fluency in English, even if you sing like crap, you will be applauded for singing all the words correctly. And if you can manage to sing (even very off-key) in Korean, you will win much praise and acclaim (unless of course your friends are foreigners or Koreans fluent in English... but that's not the normal night). Trust me on this one, I sing like an off-key donkey but in Korea, I was very popular in karaoke :)
Be cautious about drinking if you prefer only 1 or 2 drinks. It is moderately difficult to refuse to drink, as much socializing is done at the hofs (pubs) and soju or beer flows freely at dinner (soju and grilled meat= yum to me and most of my friends, so I can see why its common). If you start drinking, you will be pressured to keep drinking. "One more, one more" is often the refrain for hte night. Now, there are plenty of young Koreans who don't drink like fishes and/or don't expect you to join them also.... but it does constrain socializing some and occasional make for ackwardness if you don't drink at leat to the tune of 4-6 drinks in a night. My advice? Avoid soju, where the shots go quickly and you almost have to keep "pace" with others, and stick with beer where its easier to sip and no one will so easily notice how many glasses you've filled from the pitcher (or not).
Nature in Korea is great, I went out to the mountains and walking or hiking almost every weekend when I lived there. There are many national parks and for long weekends, its easy to travel to the coastal areas or out to ski in the winter etc. The temples in the mountains are very pretty on the whole.
Being a women can be an advantage-- be prepared for the occasional rudeness from some men (typically middle aged men for some reason), but you will be forgiven screw-ups as a foreign, given the privilages of men as a foreigner, and yet be treated with the politeness towards women as a woman. Usually. As with any place, people are people. But the culture as a whole is male-dominated yet not in a way that will ever make you feel threatened as a female and as a foriegner you will be outside of the social structure so you won't have to worry about issues like workplace equal rights, inheritance rights, and child/family law.
Apr 9, 2007 5:42 PM
Apr 16, 2007 8:21 PM
6Thanks everyone who has responded so far to my posting. It really helps getting your opinions, especially because I know that everyone who takes the time to respond is honest and will tell me the good and bad. I'm going to have to prepare myself for the weather over there. I have read that it's climates are extreme. Yikes! I think that may be the biggest problem I face there (hopefully), otherwise I think I'll love the place, especially because I love nature. I prefer the quiet weekdays and livelier weekends. I think I'm going to have to memorize a few songs for karaoke when I go there. Thank you for warning me about soju. I am such a lightweight when it comes to alcohol. Oh, and I'm looking forward to the Indian restaurants that were mentioned. That is my favorite kind of food so I was glad to know that they have it there.
Apr 22, 2007 10:29 AM
7Do you know where in Bundang? The subway takes around 30-40 minutes to get to Seoul (depending on where you start from) so it's not too bad. Like others have said it is a developing rich area, kind of a satellite "city" but within Bundang there are lots of smaller places.
Im living in Yatap, which is pretty good as we have a big CGV cinema, the river at the moment is beautiful with all the blossom trees ( and a great place to go walking in the evening to get fit), two big supermarkets and lots of coffee shops and places to eat. But then all the districts are connected by short subway rides so it's not too difficult to get what you want.
Let me know when you get here if you want a friendly face to help you get orientated.
You'll have a great time here ^^
Oct 20, 2012 11:51 PM
8join "teaching in Seongnam, South Korea" On facebook. Bundang is in the city of Seongnam, and this facebook group is a community of people who are teaching English in the area. You can ask for advice, meet people and see whats going on in the area. Also a great place to buy and sell from people near you!
Coober PedyBook now
(4 star Hotel)
From US$150.78 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$195.72 per night
Port MacquarieBook now
(0 star Hotel)
From US$22.66 per night