Crohn's Korea: About Sasha

Crohn's Korea: About Sasha - student project

안녕하세요!
Hello!

My name is Sasha Albrecht. I am a 28 year-old English teacher from Portland, Oregon, currently living in South Korea.

I completed my BA in Psychology and Spanish at Portland State University in 2017 and continued to completed MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) in 2019. I am deeply passionate about learning and education, so if I’d had the choice and resources, I would have probably been a student forever! On weekend mornings you’ll still find me sprawled on the living room floor studying something new with a Skill Share class or pouring over a Korean language book.  

I moved to The Republic of South Korea in 2019, less than one month after graduation, to start my career as an English teacher. I have earned the reputation among my students as the whacky foreign teacher with high expectations and an obnoxious obsession with mind-maps and class projects.  Currently, I’m working as the head foreign teacher at our hagwon (private academy), where I’m responsible for training, managing, and supporting the foreign teachers who work with us.  

My time in South Korea has been anything but conventional. I’ve been learning to navigate Korea as a foreigner during the peak of the COVID pandemic, adding an additional layer of stress, uncertainty, and fear to the whole process of being diagnosed with and treated for Crohn’s disease. Learning to manage your disease while simultaneously learning to navigate a foreign country and overcome a language barrier is overwhelming, confusing, and mentally and emotionally exhausting. After my initial diagnosis, I was incredibly frustrated by the sheer lack of transparent information regarding the Crohn’s disease available to English-speakers in Korea. Furthermore, because the disease is more prevalent in the West, finding doctors who understand and know how to treat it effectively is also incredibly difficult. If this blog can help even one person navigate the physical and mental repercussions of Crohn’s, Colitis, IBD, or IBS while living in Korea, I’ll be satisfied. If you’re interested in reading about my full Crohn’s story, click here.

Because of my history in higher-education, I have an intimate understanding about how to read and digest complex scientific articles and break down pretentious academic language into something that is easier for a wider audience to digest. My main goal is to make information about Crohn’s, Colitis, IBD, and IBS more accessible to expats living in Korea so that they can avoid some of the fear and frustration that I have had to experience throughout this process.

Currently, I’m working on a few independent projects that should be announced within the next year, so stay tuned for some exciting things to come! If you’re interested in learning more about Crohn’s, Colitis, IBD, or IBS, keep in touch with me on Instagram or sign up for my newsletter to keep updated about new blog posts.