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First month in Korea - A Little Advice
I've been in Korea for a little over a month now. It has been a fairly smooth transition, considering I'm now living on the opposite side of the world. Before I left Colorado I was worried I wouldn't receive my visa on time, I was nervous that my flight would arrive too late for me to catch the shuttle with everyone, and I was worried that I didn't save enough money.
One thing I've learned in the past month is to roll with the punches, also, sometimes you just
have to laugh at yourself or the situtation you are in...it will make life so much easier!
Here is some usefull advice (hopefully) and interesting tidbits.
- Using the Arrival Store to purchase linens, pillows, cleaning supplies, adapters and etc...can be very convenient. You will basically have everything waiting for you once you arrive in Korea.
- I do not recommend purchasing a cell phone from them. You will pay about double if you do. Try and hold out until you arrive here to purchase a phone and a plan, it will certainly save you money in the long run.
- I would suggest having about $1,000.00 set aside for your first month here. Typically it will take a month for your first paycheck and settlements. You can eat here very well for very cheap. Also, the bus system is great and runs for about 1,200 won.
- learn to say yes...to almost everything. You will certainly feel out of your element in the first couple weeks/months. The people are so friendly and very acccomodating, they will invite you to their homes or out for dinner almost immediatley. Although the language barrier can be frustrating at times, I suggest to smile and say yes (in English or Korean will suffice). It will not take long to make friends and enjoy all that Korea has to offer.
If you are worried about the teaching aspect of your big move, EPIK has an amazing training program. We had training for 2 weeks in Daejeon and it was extremely helpful and fun. The classes range from how to teach as a native speaker, to Korean language lessons, to Taekwondo. This is a great opportunity to meet other teachers and learn about teaching in Korea.
I couldn't have asked for more in my first month. Everyone from Footprints, EPIK, and my school have been amazing. I'm looking forward to my adventures ahead (and one day learning how to speak Korean!).