Camp Woodland Blog

Where in the World is Liz Holloway?? Teaching in Korea

Posted by on January 15, 2013

Liz Holloway is a teacher in Gwangju, South Korea. Before traveling the world, Liz got her start traveling north each summer to Eagle River, WI. She holds a special place in her heart for Camp Woodland—the camp that shaped her into the woman she is today. Since 1997, Liz has spent 11 summers at Camp Woodland with her most recent summer in 2012 as Program Assistant and a Senior Counselor—and hopefully not her last!  Check out what Liz has to say about her adventures in Korea: 

After experiencing the world with Semester At Sea as a Junior in college, I realized travel was about to become an integral part of my life. I recognized the most feasible way to make this happen would be to find a job abroad. Following a brief stint interning at the U.S. Embassy in Cyprus, I decided I’d prefer finding a job that would allow me to assimilate to the country’s culture and also integrate my passion for working with children.

These days I’m living and working in South Korea as an elementary school teacher! Korea is on the fast track to teaching all of their children English. In order to do this, they hire many degree-carrying, native English speakers! Unlike most schools where English-speaking teachers run General English classes, my school is special. It is an English immersion school—meaning our kids learn subjects such as Language Arts, Writing, Science and History in English! Since September, I have been teaching sixth grade immersion students Language Arts and Social Studies. I’ve also incorporated my love of yoga into a special “club” class for fourth graders every Friday afternoon.

Many ask what it’s like living in Korea. I feel like South Korea lies somewhere between a developing and technologically advanced country. It’s a beautiful and mountainous land about the size of Indiana—making travel within country a snap! The food is good—many spicy noodle dishes, rice, seafood and seaweed. The language barrier is certainly the most difficult thing about life in Korea. Though we are teaching this generation of kids English, we missed a large chunk of the population—adults—so communication is confusing at times, and often comical! Perhaps because many adults speak so little English, education—particularly English education—is stressed heavily in this culture. Almost every child attends an academy after their school day lets out—a place where they take more classes (usually English classes), often taught by native English speakers. Although the culture is very different from that of the U.S., Korea is westernizing at a rapid pace—I feel like it’s becoming more American all the time.  The students I teach could be mistaken for little Americans—their personalities, interests, and jokes are often comparable to what I’ve witnessed back home. These kids love Angry Birds, computer games, and candy! What can I say—around the world, kids just want to be kids!

Holloway Family Met up in Australia – Dec 2012
If you’d like to learn more about my adventures overseas, please take a look at my blog: