What some foreign teachers on Jeju want in cultural terms is access to quality Korean films that are subtitled at the cinemas in City Hall and Shin Jeju. They also want access to quality art-house movies as found in Seoul and Busan, not the B-grade American action movies prevalent on TV and in Jeju cinemas.
The rhetoric of Jeju the “international city” is not backed up with Web sites for foreigners for bus information or support organisations, clubs and networks for foreign teachers. I have lived here for 2 months and have elementary Korean language skills but I see Jeju as very culturally isolated and not international at all.
Jeju Island cannot hope to attract and retain quality teachers if it cannot provide more support services and access to more “international” media. Is it not possible to arrange screenings of films through the Jeju National Museum and/or the new Jeju Contemporary Art Museum?
The Jeju Weekly and foreign teachers should lobby the KNTO, the Jeju provincial government and cinemas to provide better access through more subtitling.
(David Hufton is an EPIK teacher from Australia.)
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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