Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Just some random pictures...

...of my morning walk from my dorm to class... the leaves are finally changing here, but that means it's very cold too...

...and the palace in 시정 that pasha and i visited...

...and the cool shopping wall in dongdaemun...

...and my cute asian haircut (and new nose sparkle!)...

...and that time i walked naked through seoul (sorry, mom)...

(just kidding on that last one. kind of. it was my halloween costume.)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Big update.. videos, photos, etc...

Here are some really cool videos of all the cheering at our rivalry games I wrote about previously.

Some intense cheering (I have no idea who the boy in the end of the film is, but thanks for posting the video on YouTube!)

This is our main cheer: "Saranghada Yonsei" = "I love you Yonsei"

Recognize this tune?

Our promotional spirit commercial for the Yon-Ko-Jeon.

This is our awesome amphitheater on campus. I love going here at night...

In other news, my friends and I also attended the International Fireworks Festival on the Han River. Here are some lovely photos for your viewing pleasure...

SO many people went, so the subway lines were PACKED. It took us 20 minutes just to get off the train and out of the exit.

They shot off the fireworks over the Han River- the view was awesome.

The whole group of us: (clockwise from top) Pasha (Russia), Beth (New York City), Sven (Germany), Max (France), Les (Australia), Sascha (Netherlands), Maricarmen (Mexico), Manuel (Mexico), Daina (Korea), and Jan and I in the center!

This picture is... brilliant. (Left to right): Maricarmen, Manuel, Beth, Jan

All those Koreans enjoying the fireworks...

Pasha, myself and Manuel waiting for our food after the fireworks... we were SO hungry!!

Pizza here is expensive but SO good!!!!

But in case you thought I was just having a ton of fun and not doing anything productive, you are SO wrong. I have four English students now and am working every single weekday. My students are Yoon (8-year-old girl), David (8-year old boy), Miki (David's 6-year-old brother), and Sun-soo (David and Miki's mother).

It is a TON of work to plan four unique lessons for each student, but I'm really enjoying it. Korean kids really do have an amazing work ethic, from what I've seen so far. However, I'm made slightly uncomfortable by the level of respect they give me. With my students at home in dance classes, or guard, or anything, I like them to be really comfortable with me so that we can have more fun and learn less restrictedly. I suppose this is better, of course, than teaching a bunch of brats, but it still is awkward to be called "Sonsaengnim" (Miss Teacher) instead of EVER being called Maggie.

It is nice to have some extra money, though it's been shelling right back out to my break-dancing lessons (yes, I know...) and to the ticket I just bought to Thailand. I have a few days off from school, so about 6 of my friends and I are going for a long weekend. I am SO excited to travel a bit- hopefully we'll be able to drop into Cambodia for a day or two as well, as it's only a $10 bus ride out of Thailand.

Anyway... I am off to study... my first exams are coming up!

Love love love my life...

Sunday, October 7, 2007


Ah, I'm so tired! This weekend was Yonsei's rivalry weekend against Korea University, and the entire school went rabid with pride. Here, they play all sports in all seasons, so there were basketball, baseball, hockey, rugby, and soccer games. In between, there were also a bunch of festivities..

Luckily, it was a gorgeous weekend. Above is the view I had of the Han River on my way to the hockey match on Friday night.

Every Yonsei student repped the blue shirts this weekend. Here I am doing just that at the hockey game with my friends (clockwise from bottom) Roberto, Maricarmen, Pasha, Daina, Daina's friend whose name I forget, me, Jason, and Manuel.

The hockey team warms up as the crowd cheers and cheers and cheers...

On Saturday, we went to the Seoul Olympic Stadium (!!) to see the rugby and soccer games. Here are Jan and Jesus heading in with the other fans.

The ENORMOUS stadium was packed full of Yonsei and Korea Dae fans. The Yonsei Eagle fans are in blue, while the Korea Dae Tigers are in red. Each university has about 20 different fight songs and chants that EVERYONE knows. Instead of having cheerleaders like we do back in the states, there is a stage at the base of the stands with a REALLY animated set of performers who lead the crowd and show what dance moves to do while a sound system blasts the songs that the crowd is singing. And we sing and dance, NON-STOP. Some people complain that it distracts too much from watching the game, but at least Maricarmen and I love it (see below).

After the games were all finished, the main roads of Sinchon (the district that Yonsei is in) were all closed off so that the college kids could party. If you went around in a big group and cheered in front of stores, you could get free food and drinks pretty much all night.

After all of this, it's Sunday night and I am exhausted and doing homework in the lounge with my friends. I love life here...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

One week in...

I've finally settled into a bit of a routine here. In the morning, I bring all my things down the mountain to Jan's room and leave it there for the day. I have classes at Yonsei from 9 to 1 each week day. My friend June is in my class, and I've met a few other people in it who I like as well. It's a small class- only about 12 people- so we get a lot of individual attention. The teachers are really patient with us beginners...
And I also have a few friends who I go out with! Check these out...

Every weekend, the art university next to mine, Hongik University, has a market set up by it's students... Here's Jan, June and I in some hats made there!

My first night out, June and her friends took me around Itaewon, the major club district in Seoul...

These are some of my other friends who I go out with around here. From left to right: Malcolm, Cho, and Les.

Friday, September 28, 2007

My living arrangements...

Some pictures from my home!

My room... already messy... good thing I'm not sharing it with anyone!

Our kitchen. We don't have any pots or pans or anything... but it's nice to have, regardless. This morning, I turned on the stove and sort of held a croissant with cheese a few inches over it... Makeshift, but functional.

Chan's room- she sleeps a lot.

Jan's room... Her roommate has not been seen once since we moved in. Mysterious...

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Wow... my first few days here at Yonsei have been very stressful, but everything seems to be falling into place now.

We arrived yesterday to the Yonsei campus to take our placement exam, which was way more challenging that I anticipated. I knew I wouldn't place into a high level of classes, but after the test, I'm positive I'll be in the beginner level. Learning informally has limited my knowledge of grammar, which the test focused heavily upon. Oh well; I suppose there's no harm in going back to basics and reviewing some things.

The worst part of the day was finding out that I couldn't live in the International dorm, let alone with Jan. There was a mix-up in papers, and I ended up being placed in the Muak dormitory. It's about a 20-minute walk up a mountain from my main class building. My roommate is a Malaysian girl named Chan, and luckily she speaks English and Korean.

I was really upset about the dorm situation at first, but it seems okay now. Chan and I have a suite, and my room there is bigger than my room in Bethel. We also have our own private kitchen and bathroom with a shower! So really, the only negatives are the long walk and the cafeteria (Muak only has Korean food, while the I-house has yummy American food like pancakes!!).

Still, I plan to just bring my stuff for the day every morning to Jan's dorm and hang out there most of the time. That's where I am now, and it's working out just fine!

I'll post pictures of my huge dorm, my Chan, and my new friends soon.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I'm home in Bethel again for a few weeks now. It's nice to be home- I love Korea, but there was a LOT to get used to (spicy breakfast, getting my blond hair stared at, bowing instead of hugging). Regardless, I really like where I am now. I'm happy to have time with my friends, boyfriend, and family, but I am also really excited to move back to Seoul.

Today I am figuring out housing at Yonsei... I really hope Jan and I get into the international dorm! It's apparently always a really close community and a really fun way to meet people. That's what I need!

When we were in Seoul, I also visited the hagwan (English school) that I'll be substitute teaching at this fall. It's called Jes Island, and I adore it. My friend Damon let me teach a lesson to a group of fourth grade kids. It's amazing how diligent (and adorable) they are! I really love teaching- I'm so psyched that I have the opportunity to. Plus, subbing at Jes Island now will give me a great connection if I ever want to come back and teach full time in Seoul.

It is sad to see my friends leave, one by one, for their respective universities... especially because Jan and I don't fly back for another month. I'm hoping I can spend that time visiting everyone on weekends!

For now, I have to study for my Yonsei placement exam...

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Hello, all...

I can't believe we've already been here for a week!

Since I last wrote, Jan and I have done many things...

We went out on the town in Jeju one night, going to various clubs and noraebangs (karaoke rooms!), and met some locals...

On Saturday, we went to a spa. Jan had done this before, but it was my first time, so when she told me I'd have to go naked, I was a little intimidated... But it was only awkward at first. After a while, I got over it and just relaxed... and it was SO worth it. It was a really relaxing experience-- I plan to make it a habit of going while I'm here.

Yesterday, we went shopping and I bought gifts for my family in Insa-dong. It was a bit touristy, so I saw a lot of white faces! Haha... we are a rarity here.

I am a little homesick, but I do love Korea. Now I just have to get a better handle on the language... Off to study!

<33 Maggie

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

We're here!!

We made it to Korea! Here are some pictures from our trip so far.

The plane made the 14-hour trip not so bad... There were tons of free movie and music channels on the back of every seat, and we actually got served two meals...

When we arrived in Seoul, it was 5 am on Monday. Basically... Sunday, July 29 never happened in our lives.

This is the view from our window at Jan's family's apartment in Seoul.

And this is Tambi, our roommate!! Her tongue is too long for her mouth. I'll try to get a better picture of this. It's tragic... but awesome.

We toured around a bit on Monday evening... and Jan's emo took us to a coffee shop, and then to see Transformers (in English).

This morning, we were back at the airport, to leave for Jeju- the small island off the coast of Korea.

Hahaha... just making some new friends...

Jeju Island!!

Hiking down the rocks in Jeju..

My first time on an ATV without Leanne driving. And I was just fine! Only nearly crashed once!

Jan... being the hill, I think. We were at this really campy ranch in the middle of Jejudo.

UM this was easily the strangest thing I have ever witnessed... I'll have videos of it up on Facebook soon... Wow...

And now we're back in our lovely hotel, the Jeju Grand!

Wow... only 36 hours and so much has happened...

I like it a lot here, but I definitely have to get used to being the only blond for miles and eating spicy meat for breakfast. I'm giving it time.

I have to go. Jan and I have massage appointments now! I love vacation.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Because I'm packing...

Here's the weather forecast I found for the first couple days that we'll be in Seoul.

Scattered Clouds. High: 84° F. / 29° C. Wind light.
Saturday Night
Chance of Rain. Scattered Clouds. Low: 73° F. / 23° C. Wind light. Chance of precipitation 20%.

Scattered Clouds. High: 84° F. / 29° C. Wind SSW 6 mph. / 10 km/h.
Sunday Night
Scattered Clouds. Low: 73° F. / 23° C. Wind SW 6 mph. / 10 km/h.

Not too bad! It seems a lot like the weather here in Connecticut.

I'm starting to get really excited. To make a little extra money in the fall semester, I've found some students who want to take private English lessons. It was actually quite easy: I met an American guy, Damon, on Facebook who has been living in Seoul for a while, teaching private lessons. Since he's moving back to Missouri in the fall, he gave his students who wanted to continue taking lessons to me! I'm going out to dinner with Damon and one of his students next week while I'm in Seoul, to meet them both. Isn't the internet awesome?

Anyway, I'd better get back to packing. It looks like I'll have to bring clothes for all kinds of weather... Just hoping I won't go over the 50 lb airplane limit!


Monday, July 16, 2007


We leave in less than two weeks!

Monday, June 18, 2007

On my way!

Welcome to my blog, where I will be documenting my journeys in Korea from July through December! As a reference, Maggie is the Korean word for catfish... aren't I lucky?

Jan and I depart for South Korea in just 40 days... We will be touring the country for a few weeks, visiting her family in Seoul, and taking a little trip to Jejudo. I can't wait to get a feel for my new home, see the beaches and mountains, and go shopping!

On August 13th, we'll be back home for a month to relax and see our friends off on their way to college. Then, in mid-September, we're off to Seoul again to study at the Korean Language Institute at Yonsei University, in Seoul. We'll be living in the dorms there till mid-December.

Check back often for updates on our awesome adventures to come!