Days 1, 2, 3, and 4 (I got behind on posting)!

Hello again friends!

In this post I'll be covering what exactly happened over the last few days.

On the actual day of arrival, July 12th, we landed, filled out forms, got some Korean moola (which is won), and by mid-morning we arrived at Jungwon University in Goesan. We had some trouble with our luggage, basically we were at the university and our luggage was not. However, once we got our luggage, we had until lunch to do whatever. I used my "whatever" time to shower and unpack somethings.

My roommate, Alex, is pretty awesome. When I looked at the list of roommate pairs at the airport her name was spelled as Alexander, so I was really concerned that they got my gender wrong or something and I was paired with a guy. Even though the Orientation Coordinators (OCs) guaranteed me that she was girl, I proceeded to ask some of the other female Fulbrights if they had met a girl Alex.... No one had. It wasn't until we were waiting at Jungwon University for our luggage that I finally met girl Alex (Note: There isn't a boy Alex, so it's really just Alex). She laughed when I explained my panic about girl/boy Alex. I think Annaliese and I may have scared her because we were so loopy/excited to find her! We think the reason that I hadn't found her and NO ONE knew who she was was because she had already been in Korea/Japan so she wasn't on either flight of Fulbrights. (There was one flight from JFK and one flight from LAX, basically New York and everyone else, respectively.)

After the roommate excitement, we had lunch, a meeting, lunch, and than another meeting... I would love to tell you more about those meetings, but it was a few days ago now. Basically the meetings boiled down to program expectations and rules about opposite gender fraternization.

On the second day, July 13th, we had our language placement test. A lot of us were so freaked out about the placement test because we only know the alphabet, but it ended up not being a big deal that we aren't awesome and fluent (well, we're still awesome). Yes, I handed in a blank test, but I was placed in the correct class... The beginner's class. (For anyone reading this post to find information about just what exactly happens during the language placement test, this is me, a current Fulbright, telling you not to worry. Know the alphabet and you're golden!) After the placement test we had some basic informational meetings/workshops about the University and our Korean language classes. Most of the rules follow most university rules... Meal times, "no alcohol", etc. Other rules are a bit more extreme. The university is strict and requires residents to adhere to strict gender segregation rules. The ladies' rooms are separate from the men's rooms and we're not allowed to go up the other's elevators. And the CCTV will catch ya if you do!

On the third day, Tuesday, we got split into 6 groups for site visits at current ETA's sites. We went to a coed, class segregated school. The high school is a boarding school, but the middle school is not. It was really great to see a school because now I have a clearer idea of what I want and what I can expect.... AKA Expect to have an open mind cause who knows what's going to happen! Director Shim also came on Tuesday to give us a welcome address. She is kinda inspirational. She's a peace corp alum and has been working for Fulbright for a very, very, very long time!

On the fourth day, Wednesday, July 15th, we had our first Korean language class! Vowels kicked my butt! After Korean language class, we had a couple of workshops on teaching and pre-modern Korean history. Now, here's what you want to know.... After the work stuff, we went out on the town in Goesan. Well, we went to bar. We had some brews (not as good as the states) and some soju (weak vodka). It was definitely an experience and I'm looking forward to more of these with my new friends!

On the fifth day, that is today, we had our second Korean language class and vowels are still kicking my butt. Unlike yesterday, we had a full afternoon/into the evening of workshops. It was a lot to handle, but I got a free Fulbright Korea Alumni shirt (even though I'm not an alumni yet).

Look, friends. Many things have happened, but I am tired now and you must be too after reading this long post!

I shall try and write again tomorrow to fill in some details about today, but until then good morning!


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