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I opened my browser and typed the words “teaching abroad in South Korea." This was something I have always fantasized about doing, but never had the courage to take that dream further. For a long time, I dreamt to do something like live and work in a different country, but was also content at the time with living the 9 to 5 life in the same town with all my friends, family and familiarities. What followed in the coming months showed me a side of myself I never knew was there.

I discovered I can be a city slicker and a mountain conqueror, I can be anything in the world!

Upon doing my research I stumbled across the Teach Abroad program in Korea through GeoVisions. Before I knew it, I was five emails in asking for advice, information and dates. Then came paperwork, interviews and an acceptance. I was going to Korea.

Once I began teaching abroad in South Korea, I looked to open the minds of students by showing them new opportunities. I wanted to help provide a greater awareness of cultures around the world, while also continuing to learn myself.

There is never a time to stop learning new things.

Being so far from home on a journey for so long by myself, I didn't know what to expect. However what I did and am still experiencing is nothing short of incredible.

Close your eyes and imagine a place where you could forget your camera in a busy bar. When you return to find your camera, it will still be there waiting for you. True story, this did happen. Imagine a place where supermarkets and stores leave stock outside their shop, untied and unattended. Not one thing is taken. A place where you are met with happy smiles from children wanting to show to their proud parents they can communicate and understand in a new language. This is a story of how I fell in love with Korea.

Bright lights, quirky themed cafes, friends from around the world. I have learned so much on this ongoing journey, and most importantly, I have experienced love, trust, and ambition in myself and others.

The people live by a unifying motto, 홍익인간 "Benefit Broadly in the Human World/Devotion to the Welfare of Humanity".

Whether they make their living as a teacher or internationally known pop star, Koreans put every last effort into accomplishing success. This mindset is unstoppable and contagious. Teaching English abroad is the best thing I've done in my life up to now.

So no, I have not "found myself", I have simply located myself many times. Yet the journey continues on…

~ Yeliz

BIO: Yeliz moved from London to Korea in the summer of 2016. She is working in 2 elementary schools in the Gyeongbuk province of South Korea. She graduated with a Fine Art degree in 2013 and loves to incorporate art into her lessons, giving all children fun and visual ways of learning English. She is an avid traveler and spends most weekends exploring every part of Korea - from culture and fashion to history and customs. All can be found on her instagram: @yellyel 

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