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Eumseong-eup, Korea

I was placed in Eumseong, a small town located in Eumseong County in Chungbuk Province.  Chungbuk (also known as Chungcheongbuk-do) is in the middle of Korea and is the only landlocked province.  There are about 19,000 residents in my town and approximately 96,000 within the entire county (for some perspective, South Korea has 50 million people living in roughly 38,000 square miles–that’s close to the size of Indiana).  Eumseong county, along with most of Chungbuk Province, attracts very few tourists and does not see many foreigners.  As a result I get stared at, a lot.  Not in a critical way, just a very curious way.  Koreans tend to be very friendly and I find it helps to just smile a lot.

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Early morning in Eumseong’s main park near the river.

I’ll admit I was a little disappointed when I found out I was placed in a rural area, but there are actually quite a few positive aspects to living in Eumseong.  Firstly, I never have to worry about getting lost as I can walk anywhere I need to go.  Secondly, it’s easy to find cheap, authentic food (I just have to play a guessing game when ordering).  Thirdly, a small town means small schools which also means my class sizes are small.  Anytime I feel the need to seek out city life (night life in particular) or want to explore another part of the country, I can easily hop on a bus or a train.  Plus I get to experience living like a local Korean, or at least more so than in a big city.

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The small river and jogging path that run through the middle of town.

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Spring has finally arrived in Eumseong!

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The best fried chicken at the local street market. And that hair! It matches his purple shirt!

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The local street market.

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View from my apartment building in Eumseong.

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My main school, Namshin Elementary.

 

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