If you've ever gotten into a cab and announced your destination with all the confidence and aplumb of a renowned world traveller only to be given the Korean "Ung??" of complete ignorance of what you said, then this page is for you.Full Story
Turnabout is Fair Play Forty people – a healthy mix of foreigners and Koreans, including people from America, Canada, and England, sat around a number of tables at Mellocup across from the University. Organized by a tall, handsome go-getter 22-year-old of a Korean studying at Ulsan University, the Ulsan Language Exchange Table had its second [...] moreHow to Succeed in Korean Without Really Trying
Basic Korean words, Landmarks, Taxis, and Restaurants Learning Korean is hard. It’s one of the most difficult languages for English-speakers to learn, along with Chinese and Japanese. The only reason those are harder is the Korean alphabet is simple and phonetic. But you’re here, and while English is becoming more common, it’s not pervasive, and [...] moreAre you being insulted?
By Mi Sun Kim This is in case you want to know about Korean bad words…if you teach Korean students, you especially need to know. Some bad students will say them to test you….or, for example, on the street some kids said bad words behind my husband but he knew so he turned around and [...] moreCivil Documents: Explained
The fine folks over at Ulsan Global center in Ulsan City Hall have a new publication out that could be very useful for foreigners in Korea. I recently was at their offices and picked up a copy of the “Waygookin Paperwork and Civil Petition Translations.” The book is a hefty thing, as they have painstakingly [...] moreReading Hangul: A Beginner’s Guide
(This is a reprint of an earlier article, with the “How To read Hangeul” part separated out.) Something that will make your life here easier is to learn to read Hangul (written Korean). It’s surprisingly easy to learn, as it’s phonetically based, unlike Chinese, in which you have to memorize everything. Each letter in Hangul [...] moreFree Korean Language Classes
Beginning on September 7th, the Ulsan Global Center in Ulsan’s City Hall will be holding free Korean Language classes. Vice Director of the Global Center, Kim SukMyung (김석명) says that the goal of the center will focus on the acquirement of language ability Classes will be held every Tuesday from 10:00am to 12:00pm in the [...] moreThe 18th TOPIK Exam
This past Sunday marked the 18th Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK) exam held all across the world. I was one of the few hundred or so students taking the test held at the prestigious Busan National University, actually next to it as I later found out. As I talked about this topik… er topic [...] moreTOPIK: Korean Language Testing
What can I say about my Korean language ability, as a long time resident of Korea? I usually say “I speak a little…” and I think that is what most people can say as well. The big question is, could I put that on a resume? No, probably not. With the time that some of [...] moreOnline Korean Classes
Studying Korean in Ulsan is difficult. I used to live in Seoul (where everything is perfect!) where you can take Korean classes at a time, place and price of your choosing. Sadly (and happily) Ulsan isn’t Seoul. Though our dirty old town is great in many ways, when it comes to learning the language, it [...] more
Whether you are just starting out or coming from a history of martial arts, there are a lot of places to choose from here in Korea. This guide will help you make the right choice for your time in Korea. Full Story
There are many theories about the legality of riding bikes here. Take it from somebody who has been wedged under, bounced off, or landed on most models from the local Hyundai plant; being legal is a must. Here is the down and dirty of how to get a license, register, and insure your bike.Full Story
Built for the 2002 World Cup, the Munsu Stadium overlooks a vast park and sporting complex that offers the residents of Ulsan many opportunities to enjoy a variety of recreational activities. The biggest feature of the complex is obviously the Stadium itself – home to the Hyundai Tigers K-League soccer team, and sometimes host of [...] moreKyeongju Bomun Live-Ammo Target Range
Kyeongju Bomun Live-ammo Target range – 경주보문 실탄사격장 The Verdict: Good for a stop by, but hardly a day at the range. It’s more expensive than a lot of places, but where else can you fire live ammo in Korea? The target range in Kyeongju has 17 different pistols to borrow in 3 or 4 [...] moreIce Skating in Ulsan
There is a skating rink at Ulsan College, near Ilsan Beach in Dong-gu. From the College main gate, walk up towards the soccer fields. The Arena is on your right. Thanks to Marty Martinez for this photo of the rink hours. It costs 5,000 won. Weekends and Holidays: 10:10-12:30, 1-3:20, 3:50-5:50 Tuesday and Friday: 1-3:20, [...] moreGo Karting in Gyeongju
Looking to do something a bit different this weekend? Round up some friends and try the go-kart track in Gyeongju. Each race costs 12,000 won and lasts for ten minutes. They allow only about ten people on the track at a time, which means there’s plenty of space, and the mix of turns and straight-aways [...] moreCycling Ulsan
Spring has sprung, the grass is ris, I wonder where my bike is. Ulsan has been putting a lot of work into the recreational trail system in the last year, and I feel alone out there. We’ve got something like 75 km of paved cycling trails in the city. Combine this with multi-use trails, the [...] moreHorseback riding
Eonyang, west of Ulsan, where the highway runs through, has never been a stopping off point. There’s just not much to draw you there. Sure, you might pass through, buy some gas, but do something? in Eonyang? never. Then we found out about horseback riding. Having some background in horses, I was quite concerned that [...] more
Getting naked in a room full of Koreans? Here's how to do it without causing more staring than you would ordinarily get.Full Story
Built for the 2002 World Cup, the Munsu Stadium overlooks a vast park and sporting complex that offers the residents of Ulsan many opportunities to enjoy a variety of recreational activities. The biggest feature of the complex is obviously the Stadium itself – home to the Hyundai Tigers K-League soccer team, and sometimes host of [...] moreLetting the Korean out
In my last post, I mentioned MySoju’s place where English-speaking folks can get their drama addiction fix in Korean style. This time, I want to offer some tips on getting Korean out of your movies and TV shows.We’re going to be putting Korean subtitles on our favorite video. “Why would I want to do that?” [...] moreO! The Drama of it All
Who doesn’t love a drama? They’re just fun. Koreans TV dramas can be fun, too. But if you’re like a lot of the English speaking crowd here, you don’t understand Korean near well enough to warrant sitting down to watch any of them. They’re not fun at all. I used to think it would be [...] moreUlsan City Tour
Ulsan City Tour For all of us that are new in town and even for those of you who aren’t so new, the Ulsan City Tour is a great way to spend a day during the weekend sightseeing. Unfortunately, the majority of the tour is in Korean but at all the stops, the signs are [...] more
So you're new in town and you're hungry. But the only "Korean" food you've eaten before is rice, and you have no idea what you want, or how to order it. Before you give it all up and become best friends with the Pizza Palm's delivery guy, check this out. And remember that your mother was right ? You should try it. You might like it. Full Story
Street stall food is a fun part of the Korean experience, so don't be afraid to try some out. And the variety and availability change often; keep your eye out for new and exciting taste experiences. Full Story
If you've been invited out for dinner by your boss or colleagues there are some basic etiquette rules you may want to follow so as not to accidentally offend your hosts. Good manners are universal, but the actual details of good Korean manners are sometimes complicated and different from the rules passed to us by Ms. Manners or Mom. Full Story
The drinking rules are almost as complicated as the eating rules in Korea, Don't be a social oaf. Learn what it takes to drink in style with Koreans. Full Story
I knew moving to Korea would prove a major challenge but never considered the challenge my vegetarian diet would create during my stay. I didn’t know it then but in August 2011, I left behind many conveniences – delicious vegetarian friendly restaurants, inexpensive produce, and like-minded friends who loved to host brunches. After my arrival, [...] moreKimchi Power!
reprinted from the Ulsan Pear, Vol.III, Issue III, 2006 Touted as one of the world’s five healthiest foods, kimchi is low in fat, and believed by some to prevent SARS, cancer, AIDS and cure avian flu. But there’s also a strong correlation between heavy kimchi consumption and the high rate of stomach cancer among Koreans. [...] moreSick of Hite? Brew your own!
By Derrick Langeneckert Are you sick of drinking Hite, Cass or OB? Do you spend the 12,000W on a six pack of Heineken? Are you tired of seeing your friends on Facebook drinking real beer at bars back in the US or Canada? Has it been 3 years since you had your favorite IPA, Stout, [...] moreBeyond Ramyeon: Soups
As Autumn rolls in with clear blue skies and cooler temperatures, it’s a good time to explore the different soups on the menu. Many Korean main dishes are one-pot meals, much like the soups and stews we’re familiar with from home. The main difference here is that meat on the bone is considered the tastiest, [...] moreBeyond Ramyeon – Noodles
A beginner’s guide to noodles. In the first food article, I gave an overview of some popular dishes. For the remainder of the articles, I will focus on different types of food. In the last article it was rice dishes. This time, let’s look at noodles. Noodles are known as guksu (국수), from the Hangul [...] moreBeyond Ramyeon: Rice dishes
In the previous article, you were introduced to some of the basics of Korean food: kimchi, bulgogi, jiggae, etc. In this article, we’ll venture a little further into the vast realm of culinary experiences available in The Land of the Morning Calm. Rice (bap 밥) is to Koreans as baguette is to the French. It’s [...] moreBeyond Ramyeon: A Beginner’s Guide to Korean Food
When moving to a new culture, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by how different everything is from home. One of our biggest comforts is turning to food, and it can be unsettling when the food is nothing like what Mom used to make. Some people struggle with this when they go to a university half [...] moreUlsan Places to Eat and Drink
Have you ever been out and around town and wonder where you want to eat or drink? Forgotten all the choices there are? While it may be possible to find a PC and surf over to UlsanOnline.com and check out the restaurant or nightlife section, it’s not usually convenient once you’re away from your computer. [...] moreMiYuk Season
It’s Miyuk season in Korea. And Seafood to Koreans means more than just fish or shellfish. Anything that comes out of the ocean is seafood including Miyuk, a large aquatic plant. On May 7th/8th we went to my mother’s house for “Parent’s Day.” Usually, we just hang around the house, but since it was harvest [...] moreKorean Cooking
You may not have noticed, but a new link showed up recently on our small-ish link page. I added Easy Korea Food and it’s well worth a visit, especially if you like Korean food and cooking. All English, this site should give you enough ideas to eat well in your own home this year. moreBibimbap – The Food of Kings
Article by Rob McGovern, Photos by Christina Murphy Jeonju, the spiritual home of the Joseon dynasty is located on the Honam plain, a fertile region known for rice production. Home to over 600,000 people and surrounded by the seven peaks of the Noryeong ranges, Jeonju has a long history and is regarded as a centre [...] more
This article is written from the Korean point of view, giving hints and tips to foreigners working in Ulsan. Full Story
This article is written from the Foreigner's point of view and is a corollary to the Korean viewpoint of working in Korea. Full Story
Recently, a number of hogwans (private academies) around Ulsan have stopped paying their teachers, often in the 10th or 11th month of their contract. Sometimes, it’s because the school isn’t doing well, and money is tight. Other times, the director is just a greedy bastard who doesn’t want to pay. Regardless of the reason, all [...] moreGetting The Shot
Often when I see new articles on Ulsan Online, I see articles with great colour and style but the photos seem more like an afterthought. I know that may sound harsh but the reality of it is that the photos will draw the interest of your audience and make for a great looking article. With [...] moreNew Immigration Office Location (May 2012)
Finally, after years of having to trek out to the ends of the Earth (or Jangsangpo, which is kind of the same thing), the Ulsan immigration office has moved out of the portlands and into the heart of the city. The new location is in Daldong (City Hall/KBS Hall neighbourhood). Here is the post from [...] moreCivil Documents: Explained
The fine folks over at Ulsan Global center in Ulsan City Hall have a new publication out that could be very useful for foreigners in Korea. I recently was at their offices and picked up a copy of the “Waygookin Paperwork and Civil Petition Translations.” The book is a hefty thing, as they have painstakingly [...] moreLatest info on MOE changes
Rumours have been swirling for the past few weeks about the Ministry of Education requiring its own set of documents for all teachers. Scott Rotzoll from Go East Recruiting has talked to Ministry officials today, and this is the current standing. Please note that as with anything coming from a bureaucratic agency, it could change [...] moreEmployer Disputes? Some Resources
I was sent this little tidbit from the US Embassy. They linked to Korea4Expats.com and an article on disputes with employers. So, without further ado….check this out. Worthy information for all expats in Korea. moreClassroom Management Android Application
Have trouble remembering all your students names? Would pictures help? Is it hard to tell the difference between Kim Ji Eun and Kim Ji OOn? Would you like an easy way to keep track of your lessons, student comments and behaviours? Is CYA important to you? We at Ulsan Online are proud to present Teacher’s [...] moreNew E-2 Visa Rules to Take Effect (Jan 1, 2011)
The Korean Government has modified (go to “Notice” and “Conversation E-2″) its rules on obtaining an E-2 visa. The biggest change is that a criminal background check is only required once, even if you leave Korea, provided that you are gone less than three months. However, a local background check will no longer be sufficient [...] moreATEK: Legal Counsel Insurance Program Available
This news come from Greg Dolezal, President of ATEK (Association of Teachers of English in Korea). I have some very useful information for you. Kangnam Labor Law Firm, which has been handling many of our cases for that last year, has decided that, due to the volume of ATEK members they help, they would create [...] more
Many expats choose to have laser eye surgery while they’re in Korea, as it is much cheaper than in many of our home countries. As such, I thought I’d share my recent experiences for anyone considering the operation. My background research mostly consisted of talking to numerous friends who have had undergone the procedure, of [...] moreTragic Child Abuse Case in Guyeong-li
Today at lunch, my friend recounted to me a story she’d heard in the news. An 8-year old girl in Guyeong-li (a suburb of Ulsan, just outside of Mugeodong) had been beaten to death by her step-mother. Apparently the girl was about to go on her first school outing and had asked for some kimbap [...] moreTranslation for Ko Bus Ap
Thanks to Kim Hyeong Yeong for the translation work here: This is to make reservations on the KoBus ap “전국고속연합” (Jeon Guk Ko Son Yeon Hab), though there may be difficulties regarding your ID number (foreign IDs are one number different from Korean IDs, which can play havoc with online bookings). Also, a basic knowledge [...] moreTranslation for Ulsan Bus Ap
A student at UNIST, Kim Hyeong Yeong, has recently translated several of the bus ap screens for the international students at the school, and has graciously allowed me to repost them here on Ulsan Online. The bus ap is called “울산버스정보” (Ulsan Bus Jeong Bu) and is available for both Android and iOS based phones, [...] moreMunsu Dog Park
Tucked away behind the Munsu Archery Centre, across the road from the Munsu Stadium complex, lies the Munsu Dog Park. As far as I’m aware, it’s the only dedicated dog park in the city. Just past the sign, there’s a little spot where you pay the entry fee, and then it’s play time! [Namgu Residents [...] moreGetting Aquainted – Pets
Often when people arrive here, they feel a little lonely without their family and friends close by. For some of us, coming to Korea is our first time living alone, after years of sharing rooms and apartments through university and those first years after school when student loans overshadow all other expenses. What better way [...] moreMaking Ulsan Connections through Facebook
It’s rare these days to come across someone who isn’t on Facebook. The Social Media site has taken on a huge role in many of our lives, as an easy way to keep in touch with friends and family back home (even if it’s just passively checking statuses or flipping through photo albums) while we’re [...] moreHow to Get a Pension Refund
This question is appearing on the Facebook group a lot lately, as we approach the big August change-over in public school teachers. Here’s the basics on how to get your pension payments (and the matching sum made by your employer) refunded, compiled from the Ulsan Online members advice. Citizens of countries that have an agreement [...] morePacking Unpacked
One of the challenges we all face when moving to Korea for a year (or potentially longer) is figuring out what we need to bring with us. A year is both a really long time to be away from home, and at the same time, a short time to relocate your life. Making the decisions [...] moreCanadians Applying for a Korean Driver’s License
Editor’s note: Thanks to Ryan for compiling this info for us. There is some general information on replacing a license and for getting a license if your home country doesn’t have a reciprocal license agreement with Korea. There’s also a more generalized answer in The Official Word, and some info on getting a motorbike license (necessary [...] moreLaser Hair Removal
Laser hair Removal at NB Clinic (Natural Beauty Clinic) Laser hair Removal is a common procedure in South Korea. Why Laser Hair Removal? Why not? Laser Hair Removal is great! It means that you don’t have to worry about shaving when you are on vacation. Laser hair removal is not permanent, but it is as [...] moreBeing Prepared for Crisis
As you may or may not have heard, the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, is rather upset about several things right now (the new SK President, tightened UN sanctions, SK/US military drills) and is threatening (again) to turn Seoul into a lake of fire. This is mostly a lot of hot air and bluster [...] moreA few interesting statistics
The South Korean economy is weathering the on-going global recession better than many countries, and as its reputation and international standing grows, so does its foreign population. Here are some recent stats, given to UlsanOnline.com by the Ulsan Metropolitan Police Agency. In the past 5 years, Ulsan’s foreign population has been steadily rising, from about [...] moreDuty charges for shopping online
Many expats turn to sites like Amazon.com to find products that they can’t easily come by in Korea, or to save themselves the expensive trip to Seoul to go shopping. Here’s some guidelines to help you decide if it’s worth it: (Thanks to Jason Teale for digging this up) The Korea Customs and Tarriff Handbook [...] moreAdventures in Korean Medical Malpractice
What follows is one woman’s story of medical malpractice. Specifically, the medical procedure is Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis or what is commonly known as LASIK – the correction of nearsighted vision by laser surgery. We are not publishing this story to warn people away from LASIK, nor are we attacking the Korean medical system. Most [...] moreHumidity and Mould: How to Survive the Korean Rainy Season
Rainy season is forecast to start this week. In the past, this prediction meant the change from a long, dry winter and spring into a hot, humid, rainy summer. Of course, in recent years, the climate patterns have changed so much that we now have rain frequently throughout the year, so the idea of calling [...] moreKnowing your legal rights.
A Korean man threatened to hit a foreigner with a chair, and when he was physically removed from the situation, called the police on the foreigners involved, which ended up in several days of legal hassle until he decided to drop it. A foreign man was surrounded and threatened by a large group of men, [...] moreNew to Ulsan? Start here!
Over the past few weeks, our Facebook group has been averaging about 15 new members per week, which is pretty awesome. Welcome to Ulsan to all of the newbies kickin’ around town. For those of you just joining us, I’d like to take a few moments to introduce you to this little site of ours. [...] moreSurviving Yellow Dust Season
It’s that time of year again. The temperature is nosing its way above 10 degrees, tentative buds are poking out of the tree branches, and any day now, the flowers and blossoms will begin to show themselves; Spring is coming! Unfortunately, during March and April in Korea, the trade winds shift from the cold Siberian [...] moreSurviving the Holidays Away from Home
For a lot of expat English teachers, the year you come to Korea is the first time you’ve spent your holidays away from your friends and family. Even if you haven’t lived at home in years, odds are you’ve made the trek home for Christmas (or Hannukah, or <insert December holiday here>). This first year [...] moreFeeling sick? Too bad! Get to work, lazy!
One of the most difficult cultural differences for many Westerners to accept in Korea is how sickness is dealt with in the professional environment. At home, if you’re sick, you’re usually encouraged by your boss to go home, stop spreading your germs around the work environment, and rest up. You’ll be more productive with a [...] moreIs this your first real winter?
Every winter, as I loudly proclaim how much I hate the cold, people inevitably say, “But you’re Canadian!” as though that somehow makes me naturally invulnerable to sub-zero temperatures. While the nature part is not necessarily true, there are some things I learned that helped me deal with growing up in a country that can [...] moreHandling your daily business – Getting Aquainted III
At home, it was so easy. If you had a question, you just asked someone and they could either tell you, or tell you whom to ask. Here, it’s a little more difficult, mostly due to the language barrier. My second year here, I promised my students that I would bring them in some nachos [...] moreCultural Differences – Getting Aquainted Part II
Korea is a strange place. Expats who have lived here for years still find themselves constantly surprised. The culture is inherently contradictory of itself, and while deeply rooted in centuries old customs, also changes and adapts faster than any other culture I’ve yet experienced. In the years I’ve lived here, I’ve seen some of the [...] moreUlsan Orientation and Awareness Night
Saturday night I had the pleasure of speaking at the Ulsan Culture and Awareness Night at Benchwarmers Bar in Shinae. This evening of information is becoming yet another Ulsan tradition. My partner this time was not the legendary Troy MacDonald, but one of the trio of owners that now own Benchwarmers, Chris Mazeroll. During the [...] moreHow to Drive and Ride in Korea
Another article in our ongoing series of getting acquainted with Korea. This article will focus on how to follow the rules of Korean driving. Be careful out there…it’s a jungle. Credits: Yakety Sax by James Q. “Spider” Rich Bicycle Race by Queen Photos and video by Martin Rehder and Deirdre Madden moreGetting Aquainted – City Layout
(Updated May 2013) There are a ton of new EPIC teachers arriving in our midst, so I thought I’d write up a handy summary of info for everyone to help you get acquainted with our city. Most of the information is available on the site in more detail, so read through the older posts by [...] moreComing to Korea? Getting Aquainted
(Updated August 2013) It’s that time of year again. Every weekend there’s another leaving party, and soon there will be a new crop of fresh English teachers, engineers, and students ready to explore all that Korea has to offer. Some who arrive will be eager to experience the inherent contradictions that make this country such [...] moreEnglish Language Medical Services at Insan
Add fine weather, friends, roast pig and wine to a sun-soaked patio bar. Mix well. Serve chilled. Now you’ve got a recipe for a fun afternoon. The Ulsan Wine Club is always a great event to meet people and enjoy some fine wines. Insan Hospital hosted this month’s Wine Club event with a “wine and swine party” at Cima [...] moreWelcome New EPIK Teachers!
March 2nd marks the first day of the new school year for students in Ulsan. That day also marks the first day of work for many new teachers that arrived in Ulsan only a week ago. Ulsan Online would like to welcome all of the teachers to Ulsan and to give you a quick tour [...] moreSafety in a Land at War
We’ve had another reminder this week that we are living in a country still at war with it’s nearest neighbour (and brother). North Korea has been accused of starting the skirmish by launching missiles at the South Korean island of Yeonpeong. South Korea then retaliated by firing missiles back. Two South Korean marines were killed [...] moreRegarding an Unfortunate Incident in Ulsan
I was contacted the other night in regards to an unfortunate incident that occurred in Ulsan. I was asked by one of the individuals involved, to kindly pass on some details and advice for the foreign community of Ulsan. I write this in a hope that it will help those who may find themselves in an unfortunate [...] moreReplacing a Drivers License
As a Canadian I am used to standing in lines for extremely long periods of time for just about everything. However, I was pleasantly surprised this past Saturday as renewed my Korean Drivers License in a record amount of time. I was so happy in fact that I tried to run every red light on [...] moreFree Child Care!
In an effort to both boost the flagging national birthrate and extend the “working class friendly” policies, Lee Myung-Bak’s administration has included free infant daycare in their 2011 budget. Anyone making under 4.5 million won per month can expect the government to pay the full cost of daycare for their infants. However, multicultural families, which [...] moreContacting the Police
After a meeting two weeks ago, here’s the official response from the Ulsan Police Department regarding emergency calls: By Jung Ji-Won, Chief of Foreign Affairs, Ulsan Police, Department: Letting you know the ’3 way system’ in police agency. If you are in the emergency, you can always call ’112′. Are you worried about the language [...] moreRules of the Road
In connection to Marty’s last post, here are rules for driving here that I wrote back in 2003 (satirically). I’ve driven about 75 000 km on the roads here since then, had 4 accidents, 3 more bikes but I’d say that they are as true now as they were then These are some rules to [...] moreInternet Shopping: Easy and Fast
While some people out there complain about the lack of selection in stores around Ulsan, whether they sometimes stock good stuff and then never carry it again, or the local farmer’s union doesn’t carry a large selection of western good specifically catered to the needs of foreigners, there is an alternative. I discovered the secret [...] moreDog Shelter in Busan
Kester and his canine friends need your help! In 2008, a dog shelter was in need of some tender loving care when a few dog lovers came to the rescue. Busan Abandoned Pet Sanctuary (BAPS) was established to provide the community with a no-kill shelter for homeless pets. BAPS has taken tremendous strides in helping [...] moreF2 visas
The F2 visa is meant for internationals married to Korean nationals, providing them with a comfortable alternative to the binding E2 visa. I realize that the need for the information contained in this article may be slim in Ulsan but I hope that readers from other parts of Korea can benefit from the insights provided. [...] moreHow to Write for Ulsan Online
If you’ve ever had a burning desire to be famous, even locally famous here in fabulous Ulsan Korea, here’s your opportunity. UlsanOnline.Com is looking for writers. Whether it’s restaurant or nightlife reviews, travel talk or just about Korea in general UlsanOnline.Com is your ticket to getting that 15 minutes of fame. And if you use [...] more
by Kim Chan Sook A homemakers sense of beauty and style can be so homogenous because our options are limited. This means our cupboards are decorated with very similar dishes, cups and crockery. Sometimes I think that I fancy owning and decorating my kitchen with unique, original, valuable and meaningful ceramics. The ceramics which can [...] moreAtelier Haru: Minhwa Painting Classes in Ulsan
by Kate Croft It started because I was jealous. My Korean friend Eva started taking a painting class, and she showed off a photo of her first work over coffee. “It’s my first time painting,” she admitted. Her painting – a lively cluster of peonies in bloom – was truly lovely. “Your first time? Really?” [...] moreThe Twelve Days of Love (reprinted from the Ulsan Pear)
Editor’s Note: This was originally published in the Ulsan Pear (the newspaper predecessor to UlsanOnline.com – you can check out the archives here) in February 2006. I’m republishing it here in celebration of White Day, which is tomorrow. By Mike Weber Every country and culture has its own unique courtship rituals. Sometimes, ideas and customs [...] moreBe Aware of Very Different Things
Coming to a new country and culture can be daunting. There are so many new things to learn, whether they are customs, manners, food, clothes and yes, even laws. For most things, the laws here in Korea are no different than laws in any other country. No one needs to tell you that stealing is [...] moreNew Year, Round 2
For those of you who had great aspirations of starting off 2012 right – you know, eat healthier, get fit, be nicer, get up before noon even if you start work at 3 – but have had trouble keeping your resolutions, you’re in luck! Here in Korea, you get two shots at a fresh start [...] moreTomorrow is 11-11-11!
While the western world honours the fallen soldiers of World Wars I and II, and hold a moment of silence in memory of their sacrifice, an entirely different spirit prevails in Korea at 11:11 on 11/11. This is the moment when, apparently, if you exchange Pepero sticks with someone, your love will last forever. And [...] moreCultural Differences – Getting Aquainted Part II
Korea is a strange place. Expats who have lived here for years still find themselves constantly surprised. The culture is inherently contradictory of itself, and while deeply rooted in centuries old customs, also changes and adapts faster than any other culture I’ve yet experienced. In the years I’ve lived here, I’ve seen some of the [...] moreThe Ulsan Museum
A while ago I wrote an article for a national magazine on Ulsan and the comments that it received were far from nice. They said that Ulsan was “the most boring, polluted and dirty cities” that they’ve had the “displeasure” of living in. One commenter also mentioned that Ulsan has “zero in the way of [...] moreFor our Korean Readers: Interacting with foreigners
“Are we really that different”? Interacting with foreigners while demonstrating a friendly atmosphere based on cultural understanding and communication. Korea is filled with an atmosphere of jovial spirits and good tidings, the language demonstrates a need for respecting elders, strangers (of Korean descent) and impressions of gratitude. “Wagukens” or “foreigners” coming to Korea are entertained [...] morePlease, Ma! Just 5 more minutes!
Julia is a bright 8-year-old grade-one student who, like most of her peers, attends an English hogwan after the state school is finished for the day. After English class, she has art class and piano class at other private academies. Once home, she does her homework for about an hour and a half before studying [...] moreRight Side Walking
Although Korea has been driving on the right side for a long time, they have walked on the left until recently. According to the Korea Times, The National Police has begun changing signs and encouraging citizens to walk on the right. There are new signs directing pedestrian traffic around Munsu Stadium. Therefore, Korea is in [...] moreWhy North and South Korea Aren’t East and West Germany
With all the recent news regarding the 20th anniversary of the reunification of the two Germanys, many people have turned the focus on Korea and are wondering why these two countries are not working towards the same goal. The two sets of twins share many common traits. Both countries were single entities before World War [...] moreGender and Sexuality in Korea
There are gold nuggets sometimes to be found in strange places. Perusing the comments section of a favorite site, I found an interesting white paper hosted on the Kinsey Institute (the sex psychologists) on the Sexuality of Koreans. Although originally written in 2001 and updated in 2003, things change fast. Not all of the the [...] moreChuseok!
Wondering what all your students will be doing during the Chuseok holiday? Pretty much the same things they do during the other big holiday, Lunar New Year. Last winter, I wrote a description of the ceremonies Korean conduct during these events. For westerners who’ve never seen one, its an eye-opener – especially the part about [...] moreGet Your Qi On: Acupuncture
Here in Korea, it’s called “gi” and if you’re not sure what it is you may not know the joys you’ve been missing. Qi, or Gi, if you prefer, is the natural energy flow of the human body and is similar to “prana” in yoga. In traditional Korean medicine, the body has natural pathways of [...] moreKimchi and Ginseng: The Korean Method of Health Maintenance
(Originally written for the Ulsan Pear in 2004, this article discusses the virus scare of that era – SARS. It’s interesting to note that since the Swine Flu pandemic, the same claims still have some legs. – Editor) Is there something that Koreans know that the World Health Organization should be told about? Is there [...] moreKorean Myths – Enhancing Your Mojo – Korea Style
An interview with a hospital administrator and health professional. Originally written for the Ulsan Pear by Keith Zufelt Mr. Park was approached in an attempt to get to the bottom of the whole man power” myth. The following are excerpts from a conversation I had with Mr. Park, written in the best Konglish that I [...] moreKorean Myths – Fan Death
The quiet humming as it sits in the corner sends chills down my spine. On quiet nights I lie there awake, staring, fearing. I don’t want to become yet another statistic, I don’t want to die of fan death. Again.Fan Death. The rumours run like wildfire. Whispering in the streets and alleys, mentions in the [...] moreWhy you should Avoid the Whale Festival
Before you head out the celebrate the Ulsan Whale festival, there is something that you need to know. The Seoul government, under pressure from local fishermen wants to push the IWC to re-instate whaling. Because it is a tradition to eat whale, the Ulsan government has invested a lot of money into the whaling festival. [...] moreThe New Village movement or The dictator who built Granny’s house.
Believe it or not, this is part 2 in my history of the development of Korea. “The New Village movement or What’s the name of the dictator that helped build Granny’s?” So gather ’round, because today, little children, I’m going to tell you the story of the Dictator and the village. During the Korean war, [...] moreNew Year’s – Korean Style!
If you’ve been in Korea for more than a few weeks, you’ve been through two New Years holidays. The first and more minor of the two is January 1st. This is the New Years of the western world and is celebrated here in Korea but plays only a small part. On this holiday Koreans typically [...] moreHanoks, Old Korean Houses
This is the first entry in my series about the development of one of the world’s most crowded countries. (Originally posted at www.urbanneighbourhood.wordpress.com) Unlike modern times, Korea’s population wasn’t always high, during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1920) it hung somewhere around 8 million. For a country (complete country) twice the size of Ireland, 8 million people [...] moreit’s a sauna, but not as you know it
When the fresh autumn winds come to Korea, they sweep away the incredibly hot days of summer and replace them with cooler, more manageable days. Days when the air con is off and you can walk to work without feeling you need a change of clothes. Summer activities and their accompanying summer clothes are packed [...] moreAn interview with a Seaweed Farmer
Story and Photos by Jacek Glowacki We all eat it. It can be seen and purchased in stores and markets all over Asia and is one of the most commonly used food groups in this part of the world, yet it remains a relatively foreign concept in the west. Seaweed comes in many forms, shapes [...] moreComing (Back) to Korea
Story by Martin Rehder Everyone who comes to live in Korea faces challenges. For some, it’s the language, others it’s the food and some struggle to find some semblance of western life. For certain individuals, however, the challenges of being ethnically Korean but culturally foreign present special problems the rest of us never have. Rachel [...] more