Living in a new country always takes time to adjust and you will no doubt miss some of the things that you had at home. The following information is not exhaustive, but it may help you in your move to Korea. Careful preparation will help you explore in the world of "English Teaching in Korea" If you would like to implement "Show and Tell" activity, all the items you bring will be a great resource for realia, which will help you teach English in Korea.

Things to prepare for entry

Passport: passport number. is to be written on the pocketbook ( a copy is recommendable and identification of visa expiry date and status is necessary)
Flight ticket: identification of flight No./ term of validity/ one way/ round trip is necessary
International driver's license
Documents: contract, certificate
2~3 passport-sized photos are necessary in case of losing passport
cosmetics, sportswear, cook book, nail clipper, towel, sports shoes, low shoes, slipper, shaving razor, writing materials, umbrella, emergency medicine, watch, camera, electronic calculator, cassette or CD, electronic dictionary, book, electronic products(220V), travel guide book, gift, glasses, contact lens, drier.

Money

You will probably not be able to set up a bank account in Korea until after orientation, when you have moved to your place of work. Therefore it is important that you bring enough cash with you to last your first month. Only certain foreign exchange banks can exchange your cash for Korean won, so it may be best to transfer money at the airport when you arrive. There are some ATMs that will be able to access your accounts back home, but these are not common. You will receive your airfare reimbursement or settlement allowance for the to-Korea leg of your trip by the end of your first month.

Clothes

A professional and neat appearance is very important in Korea. Some schools require teachers to dress in suits while other schools are more relaxed. At the EPIK orientation, business casual is appropriate. Korean teachers usually wear conservative clothing, which cover the shoulders and come down to the knees. People who are bigger than the average Korean may find it more difficult to buy new clothes or shoes in Korea. You'll also want to bring shoes that are easy to take on and off easily. Korea has four distinct seasons with a wide variation in temperature and a varied wardrobe is needed. Summer (June - August) is very hot and humid while winter (December - February) is cold and dry. You may want to have bulky winter items shipped to you later.

Toiletries

You can find most everything in bigger cities, but you may not find the same brand- names that you are used to in your country. In other areas of the country, some toiletries are not readily available. Makeup for skin tones other than the typical Korean is hard to find. Please be advised that deodorant is not readily available in Korea. If you use certain things on a regular basis, it's best to bring some with you until you can find suitable replacements in Korea. Because Korea has been a highly advanced country in internet technology, any products as well as toiletries may be available locally in Korea and from overseas countries by internet ordering.

Medicine

As with most cultures, good health is very important to Korean people. You will never be at a loss for medicine and unique cures to any of your ailments, but you may not find the brand names that you are used to back home. With your EPIK health insurance, which you will receive after your contract begins, healthcare and dental work is rather inexpensive.

Household Items

During the EPIK Orientation, every EPIK participant should be given an information about his/her apartment by their POE with the basic furniture of a Korean household. This includes a bed, kitchen gas range, refrigerator, washing machine, and television. Other household items may be provided, but you may need to pay some portion of the price for the items. All apartments are heated by a heated floor system.

Food

Traditional Korean food is delightfully colorful and has a wide array of dishes. Bigger cities have stores and large Korean grocery chains are carrying more and more Western food and snack brands. You can find nearby market or small grocery in other areas as well as bigger cities without taking an automobile.

Most Korean people drink filtered water, which is readily available for free from water dispensers in restaurants and public buildings. All the groceries sell filtered water.

Electricity

Electricity in Korea is 220 volts. A plug has two connected parts, the end of which is in round shape. If voltage or shape of plug is different, it is necessary to bring proper adapters or to buy it.

Others

For more information on Korean life, Please refer to the menu 'Living in Korea' on EPIK home page.

Things to remember to do and bring (please check FAQ section of our website for more information)

a) Telephone numbers and addresses of friends and relatives.
b) Medical and eye prescriptions from your doctor so that you can get refills, or new glasses if needed while you are over there.
c) Leave a photocopy of your personal ID and passport with your family in case you lose anything, then your family can fax a copy to the Canadian Consulate in Korea. It will surely speed up the process of replacing your ID.
d) Get a membership with the International Hostelling Association. There is a good network of inexpensive hotels all over Asia (available at and drivers license office).
e) Pick up a good guidebook on Korea and Japan (Japan is very close).
f) Other things to make sure you have an adequate supply of:
(1) Deodorant
(2) Hair care products (not too many Salon type products are available)
(3) Bedding (we would recommend a comforter and your favorite pillow)
(4) Clothes (if you are taller than 5 feet you have to shop in Tall shops and they are expensive)
(5) Shoes (Korean feet are small and very different, make sure you bring what you need)
(6) Female undergarments (western sizes are very hard to find)
g) As far as luggages go we've found that the best things to take are large hockey duffel bags. They hold a great deal and are virtually indestructible. You are allowed 1 (good sized) carry-on and two bags in total of 140 lbs with most of the airlines. (please check with an airline you are going to use)

Although you do not need shots to go to Korea - it is always wise to get them. The most important vaccinations are:

  Hepatitis A&B
  Cholera
  Diphtheria

BE SURE to check with your family doctor before you go and see what else you may need. It’s better to play it safe!
 
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