The BELTA blog has a new URL location




YOU can check out The BELTA blog at its new online location


It’s quite similar, the only difference is, if I’ve dropped the extension in the URL. THAT’S IT… nothing drastic ūüôā

o, and now you can join a forum / community chat to inquire, discuss, and learn about the various aspects pertaining to living and teaching abroad right from people who have done just that.


See you over there! And tell a friend and a stranger too :)D


Happy New Year – 2014 – 140 characters… literally


Cooking Black-eyed peas in South Korea for New Years

3 reasons you SHOULD move to South Korea

1. The Food

2. The People

3. The Experience

1. As mentioned in my previous post, the amount of kimchi and rice here is through the roof. ¬†However, there’s very little ¬†better than FRESH kimchi radish or cabbage. ¬†I was introduced to the distinction while having dinner at the seafood soup restaurant in Donghae watching the moving octupus swing his tentacles about in the boiling pot :/ (sad and gross at the same time). ¬†I noticed the kimchi was a deeper red color than usual and the sauce was thicker, almost chunky like. ¬†I ate it and thought “say whuuuuuuut? what is THIS” my co-teach Eun Hee told me it was fresh kimchi and they had just made it. ¬†See, the process of making kimchi happens once a year for most families in Korea. They make a whole bunch during the fall, store it in pots for a while after that and then fridge it for the rest of the year. ¬†So while there is A LOT of kimchi, if you get your hands on freshly made kimchi, you’re good. Also, while I’m not a fan of the cafeteria food, I haven’t had a meal I didn’t like while living here and I’ve been here for 5 months and LOVE food so that says a lot. AND its cheap to eat. You will almost never break the bank to go grab lunch or dinner (try takalbi, samgyeopsal, mandu, chom poong to name a few) ¬†here unless you’re coveting international cuisine. O AND BIG FYI- FOREIGNERS DO NOT EAT LOTTERIA!

2. It’s funny, growing up in Los Angeles in the 80’s, mainly 90’s (from what I can really remember) the relations between Melanin Americans and Koreans was less than pleasant. It had gotten to a border line race war. But I blame that on misdirected frustration and anger. Now having come to Korea and see how people from South Korea live, I can now really understand the culture and I have to say, it’s way more similar to that of¬†Melanin¬†Black culture than you may think. ¬†Like ¬†a WHOLE lot closer. ¬†Throughout these past months I have been welcomed with LOTS of curiosity but also a high level of respect. And while I don’t want this section to read as a post coming from and speaking to Melanin Black people, because that’s not the intent or message, I am saying it to say people living in South Korea are very hospitable, kind, caring and are everyday people like you and I. ¬†I remember wearing my hair in a twist out one day when going downtown and a perfect stranger asked me where I was from and gave me a box of pepero on pepero day, 11.11, when I was getting off the bus just because. Totally blew my mind. All of my teachers are nice if not a blast to interact with and watch. All of the trainers at Orientation were extremely friendly, fun and helpful and everywhere I go, most people may glance but that’s it. They see you, they know you’re different in that you’re not FROM Korea and then they keep it pushing. I will say though, I have encountered a couple of bus drivers who were off the chain, but that’s it! LOL The taxi drivers are my friends (at least in my city ūüôā

3. ¬†I came to South Korea to teach English, or so I thought. The truth is I came to South Korea to transition. (explanation will come in a later post). The ability to travel to one of the biggest cities in the world on the weekends, go eat mandu or samgyopsal on a Wednesday night and think nothing of it, have children see you on a non school day and get so happy they know you and can talk to you, meeting and hanging with other like minded people from all over the world, learning a language due to immersion, even though brutal, toughing the winter, hearing about mud fest and getting excited to finally attend, ranting on fb or kakao about how crazy your day was, having students run up to you and say “F*** the police” are just a FEW of the reasons why I will never regret coming to Korea. I have been exposed to how things can be in a country, how people can treat each other with full respect, how kids can walk down the street and not vandalize something just because it’s there, how an emergency visit to the hospital, water drip, shot and pharmacy medicine all cost $55. Korea has opened my eyes to a lot and while everyone’s experience is different here, I wholeheartedly encourage you, if you can to see what your experience brings while living on the peninsula. Just remember to write about it and share it with the world.

3 reasons NOT to move to South Korea

1. Germs

2. Weather

3. Kimchi & Rice quantities

1. Once you step foot off the plane, you may notice, especially if you’re from the states that most people here sneeze AND cough without covering their mouth. You may think its just a thing because they have bags in their hands OR they couldn’t reach in time… but I’m here to tell you otherwise. It took me a whole semester to get maybe 60% of my kids to cover their mouths without thinking about it or being reminded. You are bound to get sick, and when that time happens all you can think about is how that germ literally TRAVELED FROM someone elses insides into your nose canal or mouth and set up shop INSIDE of you. Nice thought isn’t it?!

2. I start this by saying, I went to Syracuse. I’m talking 4 12-month periods in what I usually refer to as the tundra. Well I’ve got news for you AND the “tundra,” this weather thats poppin over here is on an arctic level and it’s nothing to ____ with. You could come from the coldest part of the states and still not be ready for THIS type of cold. This out here makes no sense. Last week I heard about the -50 degree weather Russia was having and thought… ¬†then we must be at -20 because I’ve felt NOTHING LIKE THIS IN MY LIFE. This is NOT for the weak or someone with health issues (like Anemia) where cold weather would cause a problem. O and regular heat inside of buildings is a thing of the past once you cross over that water. The heat may be turned on however working in cement buildings makes the inside colder than outside which the heating systems here DO NOT AND CAN NOT maintain warmth inside. Think Hard about it… seriously.

3. Koreans dont have breakfast in the way most westerners think of breakfast. Yes, they eat but they eat rice and kimchi. “What is for lunch today? O, rice and kimchi with various side dishes… ok great. Eating anything special for dinner? O, no? Just rice and kimchi? ok” Repeat this process 365 days of the year. Coming from the states and ESPECIALLY L.A., not having a variety of foods available at all times of the day and night is something I didn’t think existed anywhere on this planet. I was so used to it, however I now have witnessed and see that this is for real in not just korea but in MANY parts of the world. The diversity that I valued but didn’t place on a pedestal is now something I truly miss and mainly because of the food. You can go to Itaewon to get international cuisine but if you live outside of Seoul, that’s an hour – 5 hour ride for you. I haven’t eaten in the school cafeteria since September. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Korean food but I cant manage to eat rice and kimchi every single day at the same time, every-single-day. My advice, pack a lunch.

Look out for: 3 reasons why you SHOULD move to Korea