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


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.

Black People Love

The 5th grade dilemma

After a weekend of guessing what my students already knew and what I needed to focus on (the books were at school) I finally got my hands on the gold. After categorizing and making note of each grade I noticed something that made my eyes raise.

Since 3rd graders are brand new to learning English in a classroom setting, they don’t have a textbook.

I don’t teach 4th grade, only 4th grade camp so I don’t have a book for them.

6th grade is a bit advanced at this school and I will have a tricky time incorporating the lower level students with what seems to be the rest of the 75% of higher level students.

And the 5th graders have the hardest year of them all while having to learn, what I think, are all of the most difficult sounds a Korean speaker can learn in English.


Let’s see… in 5th grade, according to the book, they need to learn:

Phonics – f, s, l, r, sh, th, ch, wa, ye, ow, -y

Pronouns – you, he, she, I

Frequency – sometimes, often, usually, always, never

Conversation – greetings, When something occurs, How something was, and if you like something. (All with at least a 4 or 5 sentence dialogue)


Mind you, I came over in the middle of the semester and have 40 minute classes which in some cases is NO time and on top of that I have to work to un-do any wrongdoing in terms of phonemic understanding. NICE.

While I can’t sit and complain about any of this because I’m talking about 10 year olds who have school 9+ hours a day, multiple tests during the year, no real kid life and loads and loads of pressure placed on them everyday. SMH…

O, AND, just found out each grade, EVEN the 3rd graders have their end-of-year tests on November 11-13… so the fun has just begun. Poor things.

How to lose weight eating Korean food


By Roxana Wells, eHow Contributor


¬†South Korea tauts the lowest¬†obesity¬†rate¬†of any developed country, with only 3.5 percent of its adult population categorized as obese. Compare that with America’s 34.5 percent, and it’s easy to see why we should take a look at the Korean menu. The South Koreans eat a very healthy diet filled with fresh vegetables and complemented with seafood, lean meat, and lots of spices.

    • Eat your veggies. Korean dishes like bibimbap (rice bowl with vegetables) and onmyeon (noodle soup with vegetables) are packed with a variety of colorful plant life—both wild and cultivated. Even if you order bulgogi (grilled marinated beef) at a restaurant, you are sure to get plenty of side dishes with all kinds of tasty vegetable treats whether you asked for them or not. Including lots of vegetables in your diet will provide you with low-calorie,¬†high¬†fiber¬†nutrition, leaving little room for junk.

    • 2

      Pour on the chili paste. Korean food is notoriously spicy, and most meals come with a tiny side dish of chili paste as a condiment. According to Soon Young Chung, author of “Korean Home Cooking,” “spices are used in Korean cooking for¬†health¬†and¬†nutrition¬†as much as for their taste”. Adding some spice to your foods will add a small boost to your metabolism as well as some flavor to otherwise bland healthy foods.

    • 3

      Don’t forget the kimchi. Kimchi is Korea’s most distinctive culinary treat. Basic kimchi is made of fresh or fermented cabbage seasoned with garlic, fish sauce, ginger and chili powder, although it also comes in many other varieties. It is a staple of the Korean diet served at every meal, and it is believed to be high in nutrients and good for digestion. Adding some spicy kimchi to your diet with help move things along, so to speak.

    • 4

      Try some Korean ginseng. For centuries, Koreans have claimed that this special root has many medicinal purposes including weight loss. In fact, the Seoul Department of Internal Medicine released a report in January of 2009 claiming that Korean ginseng may reduce blood sugar. This may help control those sugar cravings. Head to a Korean public market to try a freshly made ginseng, milk and honey smoothie, or try the traditional summer samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup) to see if it works for you.

    • 5

      Sit down and enjoy your food. Koreans put a lot of effort into food preparation and presentation. They taste everything, but rarely clean their plates. Dishes are typically shared with several family members instead of consumed individually. Adding these customs to your eating habits are sure to help you slow down, savor your food, and consume less.

Read more: How to Lose Weight Eating Korean Food |