Switching Cultures Archives - Oxford Seminars Blog
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What You Can Buy for a Dollar in Japan

  Teachers the world over know that the dollar store is a great place to get teaching supplies. Classrooms always need pencils, paper, and props for lessons. While Japan doesn’t use the dollar, those embarking on a teaching adventure there can still get everything they need for their classroom at the hyakuen, or 100-yen store. Chains like Daiso and ...

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PyeongChang 2018: An Unforgettable Experience

During my time teaching in South Korea, I tried to make it to as many sporting events as possible. Mostly, this consisted of watching Jeonbuk Hyundai dominating the K-League or trying to comprehend what was happening while watching Kia Tigers play baseball. Over the years, there were also some bigger occasions: I managed to see Korea take on Brazil ...

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COVID and the Forecast for Teaching Abroad in 2022

It's pretty fair to say that COVID has been like a very big, very wet blanket, thrown over so many of our plans since it emerged in 2019. Many of us have had to adjust our career goals, our travel plans, and our lifestyles to accommodate this almost surreal situation. Now however, after more than two years of frenzied ...

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Two Places Retro Gamers MUST See in Japan!

There are many paths to developing a lifelong interest in Japanese culture. When I moved to Japan in 2014 to teach English, I got to know how many of my fellow ESL teachers came to be there. Some practiced Japanese martial arts like judo or karate, while others were there for the food, the trains, or anime. For me, ...

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2021: The Year that Inspired my Life-Changing Leap to Thailand

I am a Canadian actor and now ESL teacher and coach, and this is my story. In 2021, the year when the world locked down and self-isolated, the year that I decided to change my life direction, something happened that I had been longing for and thinking about for many years, but never actualized. I have now just finished ...

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Covid Travel Update: Thailand Lifts Quarantine for Fully Vaccinated Visitors

For those seeking to escape the impending winter doldrums and make a break for the famed beaches and market stalls of tropical Thailand – we’ve got some good news for you! It’s recently been announced that as of November 1st, 2021, Thailand has lifted the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for fully vaccinated travelers from 10 specific countries, which include ...

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Thailand Weekend Market

Shop Till You Drop at a Thai Weekend Market

   When I got the chance to teach English in Japan through the JET Programme, I knew I wanted to take the opportunity to travel and explore the country as much as possible. One of the biggest draws of teaching abroad for me was the idea of seeing as much of Japan – its castles, shrines, and mountainous landscapes – ...

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Culture Shock! How to Plan for it and Make the Most of Your New Adventure

If you’ve been considering a career abroad, you’ve probably run into the term “Culture Shock” more than a few times. This expression gets bandied about in expat teaching circles quite a bit, but if you’re planning to move overseas for the first time, it’s important to make sure you have an in-depth understanding of this issue. That’s what I’d like ...

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What Teaching in Japan is REALLY like

Japan, for many, fires the imagination in ways that other countries just…don’t. Sorry other countries, but you have a lot to compete with: an epic history, an intricate and well-preserved culture with some seriously deep roots, an amazing and unique cuisine, a landscape straight out of a fantasy novel, and some of the friendliest, most incredible people in the ...

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The ‘New’ Italian Job (and the Pineapple on Pizza Debate) – The Teaching Abroad Pod (Episode 3)

The 'New' Italian Job (and the Pineapple on Pizza Debate) - The Teaching Abroad Pod (Episode 3)   In this episode James and Rowan discuss their favorite (and not-so-favorite) pizzas from around the world, and attempt to spark the great Pineapple on Pizza debate. After the break we learn about the best pastas in Italy, and how to succeed ...

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