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Christmas Party 2016

On Saturday, December 10, 2016 the 18th Annual G.O.A.’L Christmas Party took place at Jack B Nimble (잭비님블) in the Hongdae/Hapjeong area. The party included a buffet dinner, gift exchange, raffle, limbo, and an auction for our top prize! We had over 80 people gather together to celebrate the holiday season, connect to the community, and enjoy time with friends new and old!


Gift Exchange

The annual gift exchange is where participants are able to pick a gift from the pile or steal a gift that was previously opened. Thank you to all that participated and contributed gifts this year!




The dinner buffet included a wide variety of dishes that included selections of Korean and western cuisine.



A tradition at every Christmas party is our fundraising raffle and auction. This year our top raffle prize was an iPad Mini 2. Other prizes included gift certificates, a GoPro Camera, books, wine, and more! A big thank you goes out to all of our very generous sponsors and donors.









The fundraising auction featured gift certificates, an iPad Mini 4, and a MacBook Air.



THANK YOU to our sponsors/donors

MJ and her friends and family

Coree Voyage/Finding Korea

Juno Hair in Sinchon

Board member Philippe Li

Board member Ki-chul Chang

Mr. Kim Jongwoo

Dr. Hong



The Beastro

John Ha (Adoptee)

Vatos Tacos

The Stoop


Alley Bunker

Southside Parlor


It wouldn’t be a G.O.A.’L Christmas Party without the limbo contest!


Outgoing Secretary General Recognition

The community provided a thank you card and commemorative plaque for Nikolaj Leschly, the outgoing secretary general. Thank you Nik for 3 years of service to G.O.A.’L!



Incoming Secretary General Remarks

Also at the Christmas Party, we welcomed our incoming secretary general starting in 2017, AK Salling.


The G.O.A.’L staff thanks you for attending the party and we hope you enjoyed celebrating the holiday season with the community. We look forward to seeing you at future events next year.


For more information about G.O.A.’L’s events, contact the Community Mentor today!

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Adjusting to Korean Life - Things to Know When Job Searching in Korea

To start, depending on your legal status (F4 Visa, Dual Citizen, Korean Citizen, etc), employment restrictions may apply. For F4 visa holders, there are certain restrictions as to what jobs you can legally have. These restrictions especially apply to simple labor and service industry jobs.

Besides how your legal status affects employment opportunities - below are some things to be aware of when job searching in Korea. Finding employment for adoptees can be challenging and I hope the following information will make it easier for you to integrate into the Korean working environment.

Business Card/Name Card (명함)

Since most working professionals in Korea have a business card, have one made to exchange, even if you are not employed. If you are currently job searching, your business card can state your education, qualifications/specializations, and contact information. For your contact information, having a phone number is important; Koreans still call frequently.

When exchanging business cards with Koreans, use two hands when giving and receiving a card. Study the card and pay attention to their name and position. A person’s title and position determines politeness of speech in Korean.

Do not write on business cards in Korea. After speaking with the person, do not put it in your wallet or back pocket; a business card holder/case is best. Showing respect for a person’s business card translates to showing respect for the person you have met.

Korean Language

Even foreign companies in Korea most likely require some level of Korean to communicate with co-workers, management, clients, and other business partners. There are many ways to study Korean and improve your proficiency but below are a few examples:

  • Online resources - websites/blogs, mobile/digital learning tools

  • Attending language classes in Korea - at universities, hagwons, or government provided classes (Global Centers, Korea Foundation). G.O.A.’L offers scholarships to many university programs in Seoul.

  • Taking classes in your home country - at universities or there may be local community offerings as well.

  • Language exchanges - 1:1 or group

  • Private Tutoring - can supplement classes you are taking or if you simply prefer 1:1 lessons. If you are in Korea, G.O.A.’L can help you find a tutor.

  • Studying Korean terms in your career field - especially if you’d like to work in a particular area or specialty.

  • Study for and take the TOPIK II test

    • Level 5 or higher is considered advanced and can vette your Korean ability for companies via this government test. However, some companies will accept a lower score depending on job duties/requirements.


Especially in Korea, it is important to expand your network and make connections. Koreans’ networks are built from three general categories of regional, kin, and school/military. That is, Koreans start building their close network from elementary school and also utilize relationships from their hometown, family, clubs/social groups, military service, and alumni groups for later business opportunities. Here are a few ways to build you network in Korea:

  • Language exchanges

  • Clubs/Interest/Hobby/Meetup groups

  • Professional Organizations

  • Volunteering

  • Mutual Friends

  • Co-workers

  • Classmates


It is a good idea to create a Korean version of your resume. Keep in mind the format is very different from a western-style resume. While there are a few variations, in general, the Korean resume highlights one’s education, skills, certifications, employers, and job titles. The Korean resume does not go into detail in terms of job duties, job descriptions, or achievements. However, it does include a photo and also may include information traditionally not on a western resume (i.e. information regarding your family).

Your Korean self-introduction (자기소개) is where you can go more indepth as to your motivation for applying, relevant experience, your strengths and weaknesses, and your background. In general, the 자기소개 typically includes four basic topics: 성장과정 (Background/”Growth Process”), 성격의 장/단점 (Strengths/Weaknesses), 관심분야(지원분야 위주) 및 경력사항 (Areas of Interest and Experience), and 지원동기 및 비전 (Motivation and Vision). Typically, the self-introduction is no longer than one page in length.

In regards to the photo on the resume, recently legislation has been introduced that would prohibit employers from requesting photos as well as prohibiting employers from asking about family history, marital status, and other factors that could lead to discrimination. However, this legislation has yet to be passed into law.

Business Services

The Seoul Global Center offers a variety of services including start-up incubation. Check out their website for more information. Other major cities have global/international centers that also offer business services.

Searching for Jobs

You can utilize headhunters and recruiters within Korea as well as in your home country. Recruiters are used frequently for placing teachers at private academies as well as public schools in Korea. In addition, headhunters and recruiters are used by Koreans and foreigners alike for other career fields. If you are currently employed in your home country, explore possibilities of working remotely or being placed abroad within your current company or industry.

English Teaching Recruiters - The recruiters’ websites have information and advice about how to acquire a teaching job and receive placement. Below are a few in no particular order:

Headhunters/Recruiters/Executive Search  - There are many other recruiters and headhunting agencies that specialize in job placement for many different industries as well as executive positions. Below are a few in no particular order. For those that I was able to contact for more information, their specifics are listed:

Internet Job Portals/Job Boards - Remember to use common sense when browsing these online job forums and be wary of giving anyone your personal information. Below are a few websites in no particular order:

*NOTE: G.O.A.’L is not endorsing nor has formally vetted any agency, recruiter, headhunter, or website listed above*


G.O.A.'L will continue to advocate for employment opportunities for adoptees. Contact the G.O.A.’L Community Mentor for any questions
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Sightseeing Around Korea (순천)


Sightseeing Around Korea (순천)


Do you want to see more of Korea but are unsure where to go? Do you want to get out of the city and get a breath of fresh air? Today I have another short weekend trip you can take to the southern coast of Korea in the South Jeolla Province (전라남도).

Located close to Yeosu is another city called Suncheon. Suncheon is in the middle of the southern coastline of the Korean peninsula. It was host to the Suncheon Bay Garden Expo 2013 and is known for its scenic coastal wetlands and agriculture.


Getting to Suncheon is not expensive and is quite convenient by bus or train. Personally, I recommend taking the KTX. A one-way fare on the KTX is around KRW 44,000 and will get you from Seoul to Suncheon in less than 3 hours. You can save about KRW 20,000 by taking a slower train but the trip will take between 4 and 5 hours. Buses are similar in price and duration to the slower train.


순천 (Suncheon)


After arriving in Suncheon, the first recommended place to visit is the Suncheon Bay National Garden (순천만국가정원). Constructed in order to help preserve the bay area, the garden hosts many different garden styles, trees, and plants. You can enter the garden from the east or west end, both have parking and ticketing gates. From the train station or main bus station, the gardens are about a 10 minute taxi ride away (Taxi fare should be less than KRW 4,000). Prices to enter the gardens are as follows. Note that admission to the garden includes admission to the Wetland Reserve:



Screen Shot 2016-11-15 at 2.09.43 PM.png



Above is the Suncheon Bay National Garden Map - the gardens are quite large. If you are short on time, I recommend planning out ahead of time what you will want to see as trying to see the whole garden grounds could take a long time. Be prepared to do a lot of walking as bikes are not allowed inside the grounds.



Korean Garden



Above is The Dream Bridge connecting the west and east areas of the gardens. The bridge features tiles with artwork as well as panels with different Korean phrases as seen in the picture above.


Pathways around the hills in the eastern section of the gardens


In the east section of the National Garden are different themed gardens from around the world. One iconic garden area is from the Netherlands and features a large windmill. Other nations featured include Italy, England, Spain, and Japan, among others.



Windmill in the Netherlands Garden


Also within the gardens is the Suncheon Bay Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) SkyCube. The unmanned electric cars can carry six to nine passengers. The SkyCube line features two stations and is 4.64 kilometers (~2.88 miles) long. One station is within the Suncheon Bay National Garden and the other is at the Suncheon Bay Literature Center. Tickets to ride the SkyCube are as follows:





The SkyCube route is highlighted in pink above

Suncheon Bay Wetland Reserve (Formerly Suncheon Bay Ecological Park) (순천만습지 (구, 순천만자연생태공원))

Screen Shot 2016-11-15 at 2.10.20 PM.png


After visiting the national garden, head south towards the Suncheon Bay Wetland Reserve. Depending on the weather and time of day you visit the wetlands, you may be waiting in traffic to get to the main entrance. The quickest way to get to the wetlands is by car, however, public buses are available. Outside the entrance of the wetland reserve, there are are a variety of restaurants, pensions, and cafes. Many of the restaurants serve seafood, especially 꼬막 (cockles).



꼬막정식 (cockles set menu)


Upon entering the wetland reserve, a series of paths will lead you through the tall reed fields. You are also able to climb the mountain within the reserve to reach the Yongsan observatory. This is perfect for taking pictures and taking in the view of the whole reserve. If you don’t wish to or are unable to make the full climb, there are other lookout points along the way. The pathway up the mountain is about 2 kilometers to the observatory.



The elevated boardwalk pathway through the wetland reserve. Many different species of birds and other wildlife call the reserve home.



Mudflats in the Wetland Reserve



View from the Yongsan observatory. You can see the mudflats on either side of the water.


Near the bottom of the observatory path there are pressurized air hoses to blow the dust and dirt off your shoes as the path up to the observatory is unpaved.


Do take note that if you are there near closing time/sunset transportation can be congested. If you drive yourself, you may have to wait a long time to get out of the parking lot. If you rely on public transportation, buses are not very frequent and a long line forms near the main bus stop outside the wetlands entrance. You may not be able to hail a taxi unless it is reserved in advance as it is a smaller town with not that many taxis to begin with.




There are plenty of hotels and guesthouses in the area as well as pensions. You may need to make the reservations in Korean for local guesthouses and pensions. Below are some helpful phrases as well as map screenshots of the locations of guesthouses, pensions, and hotels.




I want to make a reservation

예약하고 싶은데요

From when to when do you want to reserve?

언제부터 언제까지 예약하고 싶나요?


__월 __일부터 __월 __일까지 

How many people are you?


We are ____ people


You can check-in/check-out from___

탑승 수속 시간/체크아웃 시간은 __시부터 하시면 됩니다

Breakfast is from____to____.

아침 시간은 ___부터___까지입니다.











Please take a moment to read about my previous post about traveling to Yeosu here.

Contact the G.O.A.’L Community Mentor for any other questions!



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