Erin Hassanzadeh

Curious communicator | Culture-crosser | Community-connecter

My Simple, Eclectic Seoul Studio

It’s a bitterly cold day in Seoul and in a not so unusual turn of events, I spent the afternoon hiding out in a hipster coffee house, praying for spring to come quickly. My friends who are willing go out in nearly zero degree temperatures just for a cup of coffee are coincidentally the type of friends who like to sit around and talk about ambitions, motivators, and life lessons we’ve (often) learned the hard way. Today our winding conversation led to a discussion about what truly makes us happy. This chit-chat paired with glancing through several architecture and home design booklets got me thinking…

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Seoul’s Quirky Aesthetic On Display – Fashion Week 2015

This weekend, I fell in love with Seoul just a little bit more.

There are too many things to love about the vibrant, complex city. Aside from the heavenly food and historic palaces – the flawless people and their impeccable style is the most intriguing part of the city.

Hanging out at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza for Seoul Fashion Week (March 20th-25th) was unlike anything I’ve done in Korea and is hands down my favorite thing I have done.

I should mention, I’m no fashion expert. I’ve never been to New York Fashion week or anything like it. In my head, when I think of events like Milan or New York Fashion Week, I picture crowds of sleek, chicly dressed people in dark colors.

Seoul Fashion Week was nothing like that.

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Traveling to Southeast Asia – Thailand, Cambodia and Singapore (2015)

The food was cheap and delicious. The weather was hot and humid. The scenery was unlike anything I have ever seen…

Southeast Asia is a hell of a place to vacation.

The Korean school year follows the calendar year…so school is out. During my break from teaching responsibilities, I spent two weeks traveling with a few other Fulbright teachers to Thailand, Cambodia and Singapore. I figured, the best way to share my trip was to make a simple video showcasing the beauty of these three countries.

Please excuse any inside jokes and the mini blooper reel at the end. Enjoy!

Ten Things I am Thankful For

Last year, I got my wisdom teeth pulled out two days before Thanksgiving. No turkey, no stuffing, no pumpkin pie.

Needless to say, this Thanksgiving is already exponentially better than last year’s.

Of course, I won’t be home for the holidays and I was expecting Thanksgiving away from home to be strange. The strange thing is – I have more to be thankful for this year than ever before.

 

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Meet (some of) My Students!

I wish I could blog more frequently.

I’m working here as a teacher but if I’m doing one thing here in Korea – it’s learning. There’s always a new word, new food, new cultural observation that I could write an entire post about. I have so much material to write about but there are just as many reasons why it’s difficult to write this blog while living abroad.

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Brushing My Teeth In the Morning – An Update on Daily Life in Korea

Some days when I wake up, I forget that I live in Korea. A few weeks ago I was particularly groggy in the morning and It wasn’t until I walked down the hall and found myself brushing my teeth next to a seven-year-old Korean boy that I remembered, “Oh yeah…I live in Korea now.”

That seven-year-old boy was my host brother, Hugh. It has been about a month since I moved to Daegu and started teaching at my middle school. The last month has been full of changes and there are some things about my new life that are hard to put into words. It would be impossible for me to describe everything that I’ve seen, done, eaten, and experienced. So I’ll do my best to give you the rundown…tell you the important stuff.

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It’s Official…

Daegu

It’s official; I’m moving to 대구(Daegu) in two weeks! It’s the fourth largest city in South Korea with a population of over 2.5 million. So far, I have been told that Daegu is known for its apples and fashion/textile industry. Both of my Korean teachers also agreed that the men and women in Daegu are good looking! I will start teaching my conversational English class at Jukjun Middle School shortly after I move in. Jukjun is a co-ed school on the west side of the city. I’m ready to take on the challenge of keeping up with Korean middle schoolers, although I never thought I would be re-living middle school. I certainly didn’t think I would be doing it as an English teacher. Now that I’m thinking about it…I might need two cups of coffee on my way to school in the morning.

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Settling In and Discovering 팥빙수

I’ve been in South Korea for exactly two weeks and I’m finally starting to feel like I have settled in.

So far I have been juggling Korean language class, English teaching workshops, adjusting my diet and sleep schedule, attempting to lesson plan for the first time, and trying to make some new friends while keeping in touch with friends and family at home. It has been a lot to handle but I couldn’t be happier to start this new adventure.

For our six week orientation all 76 English Teaching Assistants live on the campus of Jungwon University in Goesan. The other grantees are from all around the United States. Everyone here is so different, kind, smart, talented, and passionate. The highlight of my time in Korea has been getting to know all of my peers. Here’s a look at our group on a recent temple visit.

Temple Visit

 

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3 Things to Consider Before Taking an Unpaid Internship

An unpaid internship could be the key to your success.

You shouldn’t just take any unpaid internship. It’s important to weigh your desire to work for the company and what you will gain from the internship. Here are a few things to consider before accepting an unpaid position.

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Why NPPA Named KCCI Small Station of Year

I would like to take a moment to brag about the people that I work with every day.

The photography staff at KCCI is one talented group. Their skill was recently rewarded when the National Press Photographers Association crowned them as the 2013 Small Market Station of the Year.

They won the award for sixth time in the last eight years. I can promise you that it’s not a coincidence.

KCCI Photography Staff NPPA

KCCI Photography Staff

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