Although South Korea is a small country, it has a large population spread all over the peninsula. Accordingly, there are many large urban centers where you can end up as teacher for teaching English in Korea. One of the lesser known, but still amazing destinations is Gwangju. It’s the country’s sixth largest city and has a formidable population of 1.5 million people. If you’re looking for a more unique experience than simply teaching in a massive and congested city like Seoul, here are a few reasons why you should consider living and teaching English in Gwangju.
Exploring Tea Fields and Buddhist Temples in Korea
Gwangju is much more of a cultural and historical epicenter than some of the other large Korean cities. One particularly interesting and beautiful activity is taking a trip to the Boseong Tea Fields. Here you’ll find the iconic Asian style rolling hills with neatly cultivated rows going all the way up the sides of the hills. Set in a forested mountain range, the views are spectacular all year round. But they’re especially amazing in fall when the leaves are changing colors. It’s also the best place to try some classic Korean green tea, an immensely healthy and delicious drink.
Another iconic thing you can do in Gwangju is visiting Daewonsa, which is home to classic Buddhist temples surrounded by a quiet forest, ponds and a babbling brook. I challenge anyone to find a more tranquil spot in all of Korea. Whether or not meditation is your thing, anyone should be able to appreciate the beautiful architecture and how well it ties in with the forest and the rushing sound of the water. Go there whenever you need a break from civilization and you won’t regret it.
Hiking and teaching English in Gwangju
Finally, Gwangju is a perfect place if you like the outdoors. Of the countless treks and hikes you can undertake, the gem is most likely Mudeung Mountain. The trip to the top takes around 3 hours round trip, but is well, well worth it. Besides getting to explore several beautiful Buddhist temples on the way to the summit, you’ll be treated to a spectacular view of all of Gwangju when you make it to the top! Additionally, hiking has become one of the most popular Korean past times. So it’s good to do what the locals are doing!
These are just a few of the things you can do when while living and teaching English in Gwangju. And when you want to explore other parts of the country, Gwangju is conveniently located. It’s on major transport routes so there are hundreds of other great weekend trips to take. There are also amazing local markets to explore and several bustling restaurant, bar and a nightlife districts. Last, but not least, Gwangju has tons and tons of foreign teachers. So it’s a great city for meeting new people and making friends (local and foreign). Don’t wait any longer because teaching English in Gwangju is something you should do!