Monday, March 5, 2018

Our Graduate Adventure: Getting Started

Starting next week we (my husband and I) are taking my South of Seoul adventures to the next level and beginning graduate at the aptly named Namseoul (South Seoul) University. It’s a private Christian school located in northern Cheonan, about 20 minutes south of Camp Humphreys. We will be studying for a Masters in International Teaching, which is taught in English, through the Global Studies department. We are super excited!

For years we’ve wanted to continue our education but had given up on the idea since we didn’t want to relocate to Seoul, move to another country, or study online. Giving up our happy life in Pyeongtaek and  good jobs we love to go into debt simply didn’t seem like a smart idea. In fact, it seemed like the WORST idea. We have too many friends and family struggling to pay off their fancy school student loans while working at jobs that give them maybe a few thousand more a year for having an advanced degree. The math simply didn’t work with our age or ambitions.

When we found out we might be able to study close to home at a price we can just pay out of pocket, we had to give it a go. The application process was somewhat painless, but also nerve racking, and there were new things we haven’t had to do before. For example, all potential students had to go in for an interviews!

Of course, plenty of US people think we are crazy. There are all kinds of negative opinions about being educated outside of the US, opinions that don’t really matter to me. Mostly because I have spent my life making different educational choices than most. For example, I was mostly homeschooled until high school. During that time I was continuously told that;
  • I wouldn’t be able to compete with other high school students if I went back into public school
  • I wouldn’t get into college
  • If I was accepted, it wouldn’t be to a “good” college
  • I wouldn’t be properly socialized and would have no friends
  • I wouldn’t be hired at a good company
The fact of the matter was that I graduated second in my class, was accepted into an excellent university that gave me exceptional scholarships, I graduated from there with honors, have been hired at nearly every job I've interviewed for, and have the world’s best friends. Being home schooled has only helped me in my life and I would change nothing.

Once I entered university I chose to enter their newly formed social work program which was not yet accredited. I was told it was a terrible idea and that I wouldn’t be able to get a job. Well, obviously they earned their accreditation by the time I graduated and all the horrors about how I was wasting my education were never realized. The teachers were extraordinary, terribly dedicated to founding an amazing program, and their teachings changed my life.

The point being, never once have my alternative education choices held me back. Instead they have taught me new and unique ways of viewing the world that keep me moving forward when others who buy into the system fail to see a way forward. I see the world as big and full of opportunity with many different paths to the same goal. Right now I’m SUPER excited about taking this path less traveled and seeing how it expands my world view and opens up new opportunities I’ve never even imagined. Plus, I can either be two years older with a Masters or two years older without one. Why not go on the adventure?

During my journey I’m going to keep you all posted on how the experience unfolds and what I learn. Here is what I’m looking forward to personally;
  • Experiencing a new education model
  • Meeting students from around the world
  • Reading articles and writing papers
  • Researching education practices I’ve been developing
Classes starts next week! Wish us luck! If you have ever wanted to know what studying in Korea is like, this will be your chance to follow along and see if it’s right for you. Learn about the hurdles and our triumphs as we work together to level up on life and earn our Masters in International Teaching from Namseoul University. This is going to be a weird and wonderful experience.

Now it's time to go try them all and leave your reviews in the South of Seoul app. Just go to the app, open the listing, and click the star in the banner. You can tell us all what you thought. Remember to include useful tips like where you parked, if they had chairs for kids, or other details you found important. Reviews help us build a beautiful life together. One Star reviews submitted with no comments may be rejected. Please explain 1 Star reviews without being crude or profane. Simply explain the situation. For example: "the food was not fully cooked, the waitress never brought my friends food, and the taste wasn't what I prefer." Korea has strong anti-defamation laws so keep explanations clear and fact based.

For address and WAZE directions to anything on this blog download the South of Seoul App from either Google Play or Apple App Store. 

Why we do this:

We made the app to accompany the blog because it's easier to keep update with current information. In the past we've tried keeping the information on the blog but it's too hard for us to maintain the information in two places at once over time. Since we compile and write blogs around a full time jobs without compensation, we need to do it the most efficient way possible with as few steps as possible.