Social Issues
The homeless woman and the bus

The homeless woman and the bus

A few days ago, when the Colombian soccer team was scheduled to play Uruguay, some volunteers and I decided to chill at a pizza place and drink a couple beers after class. Wanting to explore the city more, we decided to meet in a neighborhood of Barranquilla called Los Andes, where some of the volunteers...
South Korea's Multiculturalism

South Korea’s Multiculturalism

A few days ago, I wrote a post titled, “‘Because you’re foreign…’ Western, White and English privilege in Korea.” After sharing it on Twitter, a few readers commented and re-tweeted it, and eventually my blog post landed upon the screen of a journalist and TV producer for Al Jazeera English. (And to think that last...
Dear Dahae,

Dear Dahae,

A few weeks ago, I was catching up with a friend who I’d met while studying abroad in 2009 at the Korea National University of Arts. As we were eating slices of Turkish pizza, I casually mentioned my former roommate Dahae. Much to my surprise, my friend suddenly responded, “Oh, she died.” I held my...
4 memoirs portraying the realities of present-day North Korea

4 memoirs portraying the realities of present-day North Korea

With North Korea flooding the news with “threats” and strange photos of Kim Jong-Eun bonding with Dennis Rodman, it’s hard not to think about what life is really like for our northern neighbors. We often hear about nuclear weapons, missile testings and famines, but throughout the past four years, I’ve been curious about what daily...
My ever-growing attraction to Asian men, and how the US prevented it from happening earlier

My ever-growing attraction to Asian men, and how the US prevented it from happening earlier

How can you NOT find these washboard abs irresistible?    “Sarah you’re definitely going to have a Korean boyfriend when you move to Seoul,” my Korea-American friend would tease me back in 2009, as I was preparing for my semester abroad. “No way,” I would respond, laughing. “I’m not attracted to Asian guys.” How wrong was...
Gay in Korea: an interview with an American expat living in Seoul

Gay in Korea: an interview with an American expat living in Seoul

My Korean co-teacher once told me that she had never met a gay person. “You probably have without realizing it,” I responded. She didn’t seem convinced. The gay scene is still quite hidden in Korea, even though this year marked the 13th Queer Culture Festival in Seoul. I recall meeting one gay guy when I...
Dueji and 'Diet' stamps: the importance of weight in Korea vs. the United States

Dueji and ‘Diet’ stamps: the importance of weight in Korea vs. the United States

“What did you do last weekend?” I asked my class of 24 twelve year-old students. “I played with these two pigs!” shouted one of the skinny boys, referring to two of his friends. His friend turned around and slapped him playfully on the head. Later in the day, I was playing a Powerpoint game with...
Promoting Korean Reunification through English Tutoring: an interview with a PSCORE volunteer

Promoting Korean Reunification through English Tutoring: an interview with a PSCORE volunteer

Despite living in Seoul, mere kilometers from the Demilitarized Zone that divides North and South Korea, it’s quite rare to meet North Korean defectors in everyday life. I may have sat next to a North Korean on the subway, or interacted with someone at a local shop, but I wouldn’t have realized it. In magazines...

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