안녕하세요! Hello!

I’m Monica Heilman and this blog will chronicle my adventures as a 2014-2016 Fulbright teacher in South Korea. During my first grant year (2014-15), I lived in Gimhae (김해), a suburban placement just outside of Busan (부산), teaching at a co-ed high school. For my second year (2015-16), I am placed in Busan itself, on an island to the south called Yeongdo (영도).

I am a Colorado native, and I graduated from the University of Denver in June 2014, with degrees in sociology and art. I’m hoping to work these two into my Fulbright experience, but I also have an abundance of plans, including dramatically improving my Korean, learning how to teach (as of now my future plans are to become a sociology professor), immersing myself in Korean culture and meeting extended family for the first time!

The title of my blog is my Korean name, 지혜 (Ji Hye). Although my mom is Korean, she only gave my sisters and I Korean names in 2014, at their request. So 지혜 (Ji Hye) is still foreign to me, and I’m not sure if I’ll even use it in Korea, but maybe I’ll grow into it.


On Fulbright:

This site is not an official Fulbright Program site. The views expressed on this site are entirely mine and do not represent the views of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. Department of State or any of its partner organizations.

On Links:

This site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

So whenever you see a link to Amazon, it’s probably an affiliate link. This just means I’ll get a small commission if you choose to make a purchase, at no extra cost to you. But I’ll always let you know if there are affiliate links in each individual post.

12 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Monica!

    Is it common to have Korean Americans get the Korean ETA Fulbright? Or are you at a disadvantage because you have been exposed to the culture previously?

    I ask because I am Korean American and am thinking about applying for the Korea ETA program this year.


    • Hi Sammi!

      It is common! I know a handful of Korean Americans in the program right now, and as far as I know, it’s not a disadvantage. I had the same concerns about already being exposed to the culture, but you’d have to check with someone from the office to know for sure.

      Hope you do give it a try!

  2. Hi Monica,

    Great blog with lots of good content here!
    I also recently got offered a Fulbright ETA and was hoping to ask you some additional questions. Do you mind sending me an email to talk through things more? I just want to get as much insight and perspective as possible.


  3. Hi Monica,
    Thank you for sharing all your insight! I also just got a Fulbright ETA and was hoping I could ask you more about your experience in Korea. If you have a moment, I’d really appreciate if we connect via email.

    Thank you,

  4. Hi Monica!

    I’m applying for a Fulbright right now and have some questions. Would you mind exchanging some emails with me? I would really appreciate it.

    Thank you!

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