We were told to expect the worst in Korea in terms of facilities, both in the classroom and at home. Everyone told us that the schools were falling apart and the apartments were so small one person would barely fit. I must be living proof that it's a case-by-case situation. My classroom was finished 3 weeks ago. Although my school itself is 90 years old this year, my classroom overlooks downtown and the mountains. Inside, it is lined floor-to-ceiling with new oak paneling. On one side of the room is an 85" touchscreen blackboard with computer connectivity. On the otherside is a 50" LCD HDTV (likewise with computer connectivity). I also have a brand new computer, digital laser printer and all new furniture including computer desk and chair, podium, multi-colored leather stools, a huge map of the world (pacific-centered), and cabinets lined with plastic food which comprise a supermarket and restaurant. Did I mention the 3 brand new student computers, world clocks from London, New York, Seoul, Moskva, and Sydney and the PA system with wall-to-wall speakers?
Then there's our apartment. After all of the preparation of lowering our expectations for what we assumed would be a chicken coup with a squat toilet, we were taken to our apartment building which was completed in January. Keypad entry system, air conditioning, brand new appliances, huge bathroom, and a patio overlooking the river and downtown Andong. It does not come with a TV, but that's about the only drawback there is. It is also exactly halfway between Sara's school and mine. Wow. We got LUCKY. It is a studio, but a large studio, and Sara and I don't need much room. Even for being a studio, it is by far the largest apartment we've seen. And I'll take one huge room over 2 tiny ones any day.
So thank you, Korea, for proving so many people wrong. Pictures and vidoes to follow in the next few days!