Switching Cultures Archives - Oxford Seminars Blog
Taylor Grey blog header image v2

How One Intrepid Teacher Landed a Dream Job in Korea (Without a Degree!)

Let’s time travel back to February 2021: I had just turned 25 and had quite literally a quarter-life crisis. The pandemic had undoubtedly put a pin in my previous plans of becoming a lawyer, and I was now a manager at the same job that I had been working at since I was 16 years old. I never wanted ...

Continue Reading
renting_title

A Beginner’s Guide to Renting in Japan and Korea

For new ESL teachers on their way overseas, there’s a lot to think about – contracts, language and cultural differences, how to teach effectively and, of course, living arrangements. In Japan and Korea, this last one can work a little differently than in other countries, and so it seems worthy of a closer look. When moving to Korea or ...

Continue Reading
Cover Image

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 ...

Continue Reading

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 ...

Continue Reading
Blog Image - Feb 2 2022

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 ...

Continue Reading

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, ...

Continue Reading

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 ...

Continue Reading
MicrosoftTeams-image (2)

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 ...

Continue Reading
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 – ...

Continue Reading
Blog title image

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 ...

Continue Reading