Genre: Travel Memoir
“For many young people, the idea of teaching English abroad is an appealing one. In this book you will find out what it's really like to teach for a year in a Korean private school. There will be good times and bad times. But will it be worthwhile?”
A UK native, DJ (Dan) Baird has lived in 6 different countries since leaving university. One of those was obviously Korea. (Canada and the US are two others.) Find out more at his blog.
For those who don't know (I sure didn't) a “hagwon” is a private school in Korea. The one where Dan Baird taught for a year and chronicles his experiences in this book was for young (some very young, nursery or pre-school age) students.
I've read several books like this one where someone is plopped down in a foreign place and expected to teach the locals. They all have some similar qualities. Issues of language, culture, and food are three areas that always come up. Despite this, the specifics are always different. Different places, different people with different personalities and different reactions to the situations they find themselves in. Those differences keep the stories fresh for me.
I enjoy hearing about the different cultures and the logistics of figuring out how things work in a foreign place. One Year in a Hagwon was an interesting and enjoyable read. It's a short, quick read. Yet I didn't feel like there were things that needed to be expanded, so the length seems appropriate for the story the author wanted to tell.
Uses UK spelling conventions.
A small amount of adult language.
A small number of typos and other proofing misses.
Rating: **** Four Stars
Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count:20-25,000 words