Teaching Abroad in South Korea: An Interview with Danielle Koffler

by DIWYY · 3 comments

Our next traveler interview is with Danielle Koffler who is currently teaching English in Seoul, South Korea. Be sure to visit Danielle’s blog, Wake Up and Dance, “like” her on Facebook, and follow her tweets @wakeupanddance.

1. What is your name? Danielle Koffler

2. Where are you currently living? Seoul, South Korea

3. Where did you go to school and study abroad? I graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2008. I did study abroad and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I did Semester at Sea in the fall of 2006. We went to Hawaii, Japan, China, Vietnam, Burma, India, Egypt, Turkey, Croatia, and Spain. It was incredible to say the least.

4. When did you take your first trip abroad? The first time I left the country was when I was in fifth grade. My parents and I went to visit my grandmother in Argentina. From there we went to Chile to see a friend from school and then we went to Brazil. I wish I could remember more from our travels then.

5. What five items do you always pack no matter where you are going? I always travel with Ziploc bags, a medical supply kit which includes upset stomach medicines (Pepto, Immodium, and Ciprofloxacin), my Swiss Army knife, Burt’s Bees Lip Balm, and a scarf. You can find my top ten travel essentials on my blog.

6. What’s the coldest place you have ever been to? Idaho. I was there on the coldest day of the year in 2006 and I was miserable!

7. What passport stamp are you most proud of? My Burmese passport stamp is pretty awesome. It is a full-page stamp and looks super old school. Burma was where I had my most amazing adventures to date, so the stamp always brings a smile to my face.

8. What is your dream destination(s)? Mongolia is at the top of my list right now. Once I am done working in Korea, I will be wandering around Mongolia on a horse or camel. That’s my plan at least.

9. What do you miss the most about home when you are abroad? I usually miss how easy things are at home. One of the most fabulous things about traveling and living abroad is the unfamiliarity of everything. I do have moments sometimes where I find myself longing for the way the U.S. works. I also miss good Mexican food. Whenever I fly back to the states I always head straight for a Mexican restaurant and grab a big burrito.

10. What one piece of advice would you offer to someone who is going abroad on their first trip? Don’t live with your iPod ear buds glued in your ears. Listening to an iPod makes you less approachable and it cuts you off from the interesting things happening around you. Take in all of the sounds. If you only observe with your eyes you will be missing out on the full experience. An iPod is great when you are trying to fall asleep in a noisy place or don’t want to continue talking with the obnoxious person in the bus seat next to you, but don’t rely on it too heavily. Use it as a last resort and keep your ears and eyes open. Listen, observe and learn from your surroundings. That’s why you’re there in the first place, right?

Richard K 1

I thought Otis was at the top of your list of what you miss the most. He’ll be crushed to know you prefer burritos over him.

Erica 2

Burts Bees and ziploc bags are essentials for me as well!

Karen 3

There was not one question about what it’s like teaching English in South Korea

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