Update On My First Week In Korea With A Video Of My Apartment

Update On My First Week In Korea With A Video Of My Apartment

G’day from Korea! 🙂

I thought I’d share a very quick ‘first week in Korea’ update with a video of my tiny apartment for anyone interested.

I’ve been here in Gumi, South Korea for a little over a week now adjusting to a new lifestyle, new apartment, new job and of course, a completely new language.

So far I’m loving it.

It’s been an intense yet very productive first week – even though I’ve been working normal 8 hour days since I arrived with limited opportunities to get out and explore, I’ve been able to experience and observe many elements of Korean culture and have been able to learn lots of the language already.

I’ve been spending two 15 minute study periods a day gradually working through two books – Teach Yourself Korean and Elementary Korean – while using the rest of my time to practice around the neighbourhood and at work.

Remember that it’s very important to limit your time studying because the more you try to cram in, the less you’ll retain.

One great thing about where I’m working is that I’m surrounded by native Koreans all day who are more than happy to help me (I’m constantly firing off questions while taking notes) and lots of children who as I’ve said before are often the best people to learn from.

Gumi, South Korea

I’ll be starting to post progress videos over the coming weeks so make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel and keep checking back here as well.

Thanks everyone! 🙂

Video of my apartment in Gumi (구미), South Korea

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Donovan Nagel - B. Th, MA AppLing
I'm an Applied Linguistics graduate, teacher and translator with a passion for language learning (especially Arabic).
Currently learning: Icelandic


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I'll be curious to see what you think of TY Korean. The TY series seem to vary so much from one language to another.

In any case, best of luck to you in Korea... have a blast!


Thanks mate!


Fantastic! Before you, I'd never heard anyone propose the concept that children were the best people to learn from, very cool...could you possibly get some video of you talking with some kids to demonstrate the concept? I think that would be awesome and really help you to illustrate what you're trying to say with regards to that, nothing works like a demonstration.

Best of luck to you and I look forward to your updates.



I'll try to do that at the school I work for.

It all depends on whether or not Koreans mind having someone photograph their kids though of course :)


Well, I'm not familiar with the culture, but it's outside the anglosphere so I doubt they'd have a problem with it. The English-speaking countries are the only ones who seem to have suffered from the "pedo scare" where parents have become stupid-paranoid that anyone wanting to interact with their children, god forbid photograph them, just must be a child molester :/



Happy Chuseok, Donovan!!


Thanks Elizabeth!

I had a brilliant weekend in Seoul watching lots of traditional performances. It was a lovely 5 days off :)


안녕하세요! Hi Donovan! I just randomly stumbled upon your blog and I'm glad I did! I live in Yangsan, just north of Busan, and I've been living in Korea for 2 years. I'm an organizer of Languagecast Busan, a casual weekly meeting of polyglots and eager language learners. :)

Hope you've checked out talktomeinkorean.com. There is a pretty strong community of youtubers here and between us all we speak quite a few languages! We'd love for you to connect with us during your stay here. My youtube channel is evannrachel!
만나서 반가워요!


Hi Rachel :)

Glad you found me. I just checked out your blog and YouTube channel - what an awesome job you guys are doing!

Definitely looking forward to coming down to meet up with all of you. I'm still trying to get myself settled before I do but will soon for sure.

If there's ever a weekend meetup or you guys head up around Daegu then let me know!


Awesome! Looking forward to your videos to come too :D

I'll definitely let you know if we go up to Daegu, its only an hour but we've never been! ha!
Keep in touch! :)


안녕하세요? 제가 아까 영어로 글을 올렸는데 지금부터 재미로 한글로 써볼께요ㅋㅋ 저도 호주사람인데 전남광양에서살아요. 이름은 크레익이구요. 나중에 페이스북으로 연락할께요. 한국에서의 삶을 날마다 재밌게... ^^

Richard Dillon

Nice post, Donovan! You seem to be adjusting quite nicely in Gumi. I half expected your apartment to be a little bigger as you’re in a small town, or that maybe you’d have rented a traditional Korean house. At least you can practice your music and blog in peace! I’m not sure if I could live in such a compact space and I’m too afraid to try. I’ve been lucky though – when I lived in Egypt the rentals were phenomenal. I couldn’t believe the amount of space for the price. My colleagues and I lived like kings!


Hi Donovan!
I realize I am replying to an old post, and this may sound like a silly question: but I would just like to know how much stuff you brought with you to Korea. I see you've got books, clothes, even your fiddle. I am about to permanently move to Budapest in 3 months and I am already planning on taking a lot of stuff with me. My language books are a non-negotiable, of course (i have a lot, I'm afraid). 2 suitcases are probably not enough :D Thank you! :)


Good Post. You are amazing! Good Luck and thank you for your YouTube cannal

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world."
- Ludwig Wittgenstein