Friday, December 12, 2008

About SNET

SNET is the school here in South Korea for which Kyle and I are working. SNET stands for Seongnam English town. There are several types of schools in South Korea, there are private schools or Hagwons where kids go after school to learn more English, there are public schools that have 40 kids to the classroom and they have English villages which is like what SNET is. So what happens at SNET is the public schools in the city of Bundang sends their entire class of six graders at one time to stay at SNET for an entire week learning English. It is like camp, a fun English camp. The kiddos stay in dormitories, go to class from 8:30-8:30 with several breaks in between and are fed Cafeteria style. The 20 something foreign teachers plus some of the Korean teachers at SNET also live in the school, on the top floor, the furthest away from the kiddos as possible. Living at the school has it's advantages and drawbacks.


Advantages:
  • I leave my room at the last possible moment before I actually have to be in class or in a meeting. Ex: If I need to be in the office at 8:30 am, I leave my room at 8:29 am. I have to say a one minute commute rocks.
  • Meals are prepared for us- less time spent working on meal planning and cooking, more time I have to do things I want.
  • Always have someone to talk to. It has a dorm-like feel, something is always going on.
Disadvantages:
  • I live in a school, which is sometimes kind of weird.
  • The food isn't always what I want to eat. Especially when my stomach has qualms with the spices and whatnot.
  • I can hear the wake-up calls for the kiddos at 6:45am. They don't play it on our floor, but the floor underneath us but it is loud enough. After which music is played to help them actually crawl out of bed. Normally at the time in the morning, I am not ready to get down and boogie.
  • It is also similar to a dorm in that even if you don't want there to be people around, you don't have much choice. And my room is directly in front of the commons room with the couches and TV, where people congregate. I am working on getting a room change, too loud for me.

So how it works: About 130- 200 plus kids are sent here every week. The first day, kids are given a proficiency test and split into 20 different classes depending on their levels ranging from can't speak much to nearly fluent. The kids then attend about 2o something different 1 hour classes ranging from; cooking class (make cookies) , science lab (make soap), karaoke (sing English songs), broadcasting (video tape in a studio and interview in English), global connections (learn about different countries) and more. The classes are designed to be very fun and game oriented to hold their attention. The classes are entirely in English, not even the Korean teachers will use Korean, which for some of the lower classes requires much sign language, picture drawing, and basically requires one to make a fool out of themselves until the kids understand the mumbo-jumbo emitting from our mouths. But SNET's goal is not just to help the kids learn English, it is to help educate them on becoming global citizens of the world while learning English which is something I really support and think is a really great idea.

Here are the official goals of SNET:
  • improve students' English communication skills
  • connecting students to the global community via relations with foreign teachers and global education curriculum
  • increasing their confidence and interest in learning foreign languages through having fun while learning
So here is home and work. We are surrounded by wooded areas making this a very serene place to live.

There are also a lot of trails around the school that I can't wait to try when the weather isn't so cold.

Just decoration but pretty cool looking.

The karaoke room

The cooking class

The commons room.

My address:
Vanessa
200 Yul-dong, Bundang-gu, Seongnam,
Gyeonggi-do, 463-742, Korea
(Inside the Saemaul Institute)

Phone Number from US:
011-82-31-725-5681 or you can try to skype me. (also, if I do change rooms, this number will change a little)

6 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Wow--that place looks pretty awesome. I don't know why, but I had pictured you living in a small village. Thanks for the pictures!

Belle (from Life of a...) said...

That is amazing...I didn't realize that you lived in the school. Hope you get a new room further away from the hustle and bustle of the common area.

absolute said...

It sounds, and looks, like an amazing place! I hope you're enjoying yourself!

Sarah said...

What an amazing experience for you! I will look forward to reading more about your Korean adventure. How do you get a gig as an English-Karoke teacher? That sounds pretty sweet!

Veggie Mom said...

Wow...you all are up for any challenge, aren't you? How long are you going to stay? I guess that means no Christmas in Austin, huh? I'm looking forward to reading about your adventures!

Anonymous said...

hi, new to the site, thanks.