Busan, South Korea

My one month in Busan was an adventure I’ll never forget! While it had its ups and downs, I found myself gaining an abundance of travel experience (and way too many amazing skin products!)

In this short video that I made, it captures some key moments from my first few days in Busan.

This trip was filled with great food, teacher’s, entertainment, shopping, and company!

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in Busan and I can’t wait to go back.

From eating fried chicken at my first baseball game to exploring the many temples in the mountains, Busan will definitely be the place I know I will visit again. Even though there were a few bumps along the way regarding our dorm situation myself and the others still managed to make a memorable trip.

Written by: Marissa Shaw

SIP- Dynamic Busan

Hello readers, my trip to Busan has been one of my top travels by far. My main purpose of the SIP was to learn and emerge myself with the Korean community and people. Although learning a new language can be intimidating, I can promise you that learning how to read and write Korean will only take 1 week maximum. With the exceptional expertise from the teachers of Youngsan University they really make you understand and teach you everyday sentences to aid you to converse with the locals! Busan was naturally beautiful as the city is surrounded with mountains and the ocean. Dynamic Busan has everything to offer such as its beaches, amazing food, the shopping, outdoor and indoor activities and of course the wonderful people! If I have another opportunity to go to Busan I would do it again without hesitation!



Hello fellow Centennial Student! My SIP trip to Busan started on July 10 to August 4. There I was greeted by Youngsan’s University staff Mr.Park and my classmates from Centennial. My experience in Busan and in regards to Youngsan University has been amazing all thanks to the generosity of  Centennial College, Youngsan university and their staff. Aside from attending the exceptional program learning the  Korean language, we were thrown into the Korean culture as we explore, experience and socialized with Strangers in broken Korean. The environment, culture, and society was vastly different, but the community of people were amazingly kind, caring and thoughtful like a mother caring for her child. My experience with SIP has its ups and downs but overall it was an excellent experience and I will forever cherish it.


 Not at all excited for all the feels that are about to happen 

This trip has been nothing less than a dream. I’m already trying to prepare myself for the day ill have to say goodbye to all the beautiful people I’ve met while staying at 영남대하교. It’s okay though, I think once this is over I’ll continue to message the friends I’ve made, and hopefully continue to aid them with their English.

Conquering Mt. Palgongsan, Pt. 2

As promised, I will conclude my adventure to Mt. Palgongsan. I ended my last post by saying, “Descending the mountain was like the blind leading the blind…” Here’s the explanation. We descended the mountain at night, which, as you could imagine, was not the best situation.

At the peak, the view of the sunset was amazing, but that only meant that we had to leave, as we would soon lose light. Although we didn’t expect it to turn dark so soon, we were somewhat prepared – we all had our cell phones, which meant we essentially had 5 flashlights. Never had I been more glad to be carrying my cell phone! While there were a few (read: way too many) missteps and slips, we survived and made it down the mountain just in time to catch the express bus… phew!

This view awaited us at the bottom of the mountain:

2015-07-15 21.04.01


It’s The Little Things

It’s been a while since I’ve updated here so I will attempt to briefly go over all of the things that have been happening over the weeks. In the last post that I’ve written, I’ve briefly explained my first impressions as someone who was in charge of a class-room. My perspectives have changed a bit over time. Apart from my classroom experience, there are other trips that have been made.

I have explored the downtown region of Daegu, last weekend I have visited Busan and I have also hiked all the way up Palgongsan mountain in Daegu (Pictured).

20150722_034128Despite all of these amazing experiences and getting to meet many new people whom I now consider my friends, I’ve also had the pleasure of knowing that my contributions have made an impact.

studentsOne thing that I like is my given “Korean” name (it’s actually chinese but many Koreans use chinese names). As the students had, for the most part, chosen english names for these classes, one of my students from my first class told me that she took a few days searching for the correct names to describe me while also sounding somewhat like my real name. I was given the name “Lee Chan Woo”.  Lee sounds like the beginning of my name, Chan means bright and Woo means excellence.

The picture posted above was taken thursday of last week after I went with my class to play at a local billiards place. Afterwards I had eaten pig feet for the first time. It was really tasty.

A lot more things have happened since. For instance, I’ve gotten assigned a new classroom this week and am working with students who are not as advanced as my first class. I have found ways that are useful in encouraging them to speak correctly.

I’m having an amazing time here. I feel that I’ve grown as I have allowed myself to come out of my comfort zone and have a lot of fun with this program.

–Richard Tardibuono

Conquering Mt. Palgongsan

Ever had someone tell you to prepare to head somewhere (such as a mountain) but the actual mountain you had in mind was not 1, 192 meters high?! Well, that certainly happened to past week.

Along with 4 other colleagues (Nicole, Marty, Jimmy and Leah), I climbed Mr. Palgongsan, a famous mountain in Daegu, sitting about 20 km north of the centre of the city! To put it all into context, I thought that we were going the mountain that is relatively close to the campus. It wasn’t very high and there was a lift we could take up the mountain. When we got onto a bus (actually, two buses) and heading to the edge of town, it dawned on me that we were not heading to the mountain I initially thought we were going to climb. Nevertheless, we climbed the Mt. Palgongsan and witness nature at its finest! Check out the photos:

2015-07-15 17.37.42 2015-07-15 19.06.44 2015-07-15 19.07.25 2015-07-15 19.08.50 2015-07-15 19.12.51 2015-07-15 19.26.37 2015-07-15 19.34.38

Descending the mountain was like the blind leading the blind. Stay tuned to find out why that was the case…


Teaching in Korea

After the 1st week of classes. Glad i got to teach them for another week. Awesome group!

We’re just passing the 2 week mark, and I wish it would slow down!! It’s been a great experience so far. We’ve gone on a few trips into downtown Daegu, and also took a short 90 minute bus ride over to Hahoe Village (pronounced Ha-hay). Some of us went to visit the amusement park, E-World, with many lights and fun rides.

Teaching has also been a blast. After the initial hurdles of figuring out what we were actually going to be doing with the students, settling in to teaching became quite simple. Make up a lesson plan for the day, and then try to stick to it. Keeping the students engaged was easier than expected. With the right activities, students felt more encouraged to speak up in English and lost that initial shyness some of us get when starting something new.

Enjoy the pictures below of some the things that went down here in Daegu, ROK.

me and my statue friend. keeping out those evil spirits!
A pan shot of Hahoe village from the adjacent cliff face.
A shot from e-world. maybe we’ll go back to check out the tower.
some teachers at hahoe village.
love is in the air. literally.

-Tyler M.

English in Korea

I was put on the 12th floor in the guest dorm room and this was the wonderful vie I had until they told me I had to move down to the 9th floor. I still get the same view... just not as high up as this was.
I was put on the 12th floor in the guest dorm room and this was the wonderful view I had until they told me I had to move down to the 9th floor. I still get the same view… just not as high up as this was.

I’m living my dream right now. When my mind is not busy being occupied with lesson plans or dinner plans, I catch some moments in the day where I think to myself “Am I really teaching students in Korea right now?”

At first, I really wasn’t expecting to teach at all, considering that the program said: “mentoring”. When I was told I had a class of 7 for almost four hours straight, I sat there thinking “Oh, no. What am I going to do.” My first class was just a mess of speaking English too fast, not being able to communicate, having no material, and awkward silences. After that class, I knew I had to pull myself together and get organized.

Prior to this trip, I had already been fond of Korea with their pop culture and TV dramas, so I was able to touch base with a lot of them through common interests. It helped to find out that a lot of students share the same age as me. (Fun Fact: Did you know that the Korean age is different than American age? They consider 1-year-old the day you’re born.)  In the end, I was able to figure out a comfort level of teaching with my class where both parties can learn from each other.

Not all my students were there because some had already left when we decided to take a picture. :(
Not all my students were there because some had already left when we decided to take a picture. 😦

Next week, I’ll be getting a new batch of students (Kinda, not really. Just switching classes with the teacher next door.) which will definitely be another challenge after having just gotten used to and attached to this one.

Looking forward to the next couple of weeks,

Little extra. People found out about my birthday, but I'm glad they did. Everyone made it an unforgettable birthday.
Little extra. People found out about my birthday, but I’m glad they did. Everyone made it an unforgettable birthday.


– Nicole L.

Korean, my love

I didn’t know what to expect coming to Korea. Except for some years of studying the language, I had no real ties with this nation. Was I in for a surprise, from its beautiful people, to its abundant restaurants and cafes there’s no doubt there’s something here for everyone. Even though we’re 2 hours from its capital of Seoul, we’re no further away from its magnificent beauty the country has to offer. I look forward to the following weeks of exploring and teaching