Kian in Korea

Saturday, August 05, 2006

English Village


My English Village Group
Originally uploaded by kian esquire.
On Friday we took a bunch of kids to an "English Village." English Villages are little theme parks/camps that have an educational bent, and there are a few of them in Korea. The one we went to, Paju Camp, just recently opened. It was built at a cost of 90 billion won! That's $9 million! It definitely looked like it cost as much. The Village itself and the area it was in were both absolutely beautiful.

The entrance to the camp is themed like an airport border patrol area- the staff, all English teachers, ask a few questions and give the kids a visa to enter. Entrance is only 1,000 won ($1), but you also have to pay to participate in most of the activities inside.

My group of kids were the ones who couldn't actually afford to pay for anything beyond the entrance fee, so we wandered around the camp and participated in some of the free activities and watched the street performers. Everything is themed to provide some sort of language learning experience- the restaurants even give mealtime lessons.

We only did the "One Day Experience." There are also camps of varying lengths, where you can go to get an immersive experience without having to travel all the way to somewhere where English is spoken. I spoke to a few of the teachers walking around- the native teacher staff is numbered over 150! Some are street performers who do lessons on the fly, others actually teach the longer-term campers in classrooms, and others are somewhere in between.

I actually applied to a job at this camp when I was originally looking for jobs here in Korea, but I think I ended up not taking it for some reason or another. It would definitely be a different experience because the camp is in the middle of nowhere, but still only an hour away from Seoul, like me. I think the job would have been more fun (and the scenery definitely a lot prettier than my scenery, but working at the English Village would definitely leave out a lot of the 'Korean experience,' if you will.

5 Comments:

  • *follows MeFi link*

    Um, 90 billion won would be 90ish million dollars, not 9....

    By Blogger stavrosthewonderchicken, at 11:34 PM  

  • holy moley, you're right! I missed a zero when I was converting in google (I can't even divide by powers of ten, isn't that sad?).

    I don't know how on earth they're going to make that investment pay off.

    By Blogger Kian, at 7:32 AM  

  • Hows about an update you sexy Mofu?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:38 PM  

  • Hello,

    My name is Marcel and I ll be moving to Incheon for my work within 2 weeks. I found your blog through google. Would you mind dropping me a line, would be great to have a contact in my future city :-)

    my mail is marcel.vanoers@zonnet.nl

    cheers, Marcel

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:56 PM  

  • Kian mate, the world , well me anyway wants to know what is happening with you, please update us/me ;o)

    Love & Light xx

    By Anonymous Scott, at 3:20 PM  

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