Packing to move to another country is always difficult parts, but following this list, we have included valuable information to prepare you.
1. Clothes: Summer gets really hot (30°C/86°F) and Winter gets really cold (-5°C/ 23°F) in South Korea. The temperature in March will be 5°C, 41°F on average. A shirt and a light Jacket will be needed.
2. Bath Towels: Korean has different sizes for bath towels. They are much smaller than the bath towels you may be used to. If you need a bigger sized towel, it is better for you to pack one or more from home.
3. Bed Sheet(s), Pillow and Blanket: If your school is replacing the teacher, some of these items may be left by the former teacher. But if you don’t feel comfortable using used ones, please bring your own.
4. Deodorants: You will find deodorant is quite expensive in South Korea. This is THE must-bring item that other Native English Speaking Teachers who are in South Korea highly recommend you to bring. 100 ml of deodorant is about KRW 6,000 ~ 7,000.
5. Toiletries: The school or the accommodation will not provide you with toiletries.
6. Adapter for Electronics: The voltage for electricity in South Korea is 220V. Electronics you may have that only accepted 110V cannot be used without a transformer. Most gadgets and laptops are designed for international use, so you will not need a transformer for them, however, hair dryers, razors, and old computers usually will not accept a different voltage than in the country they were designed for.
7. Laptop: Remember the computers in South Korea do have English Keyboards as well as Korean characters, but programs including Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, etc. are all the Korean language versions. You can prepare your lessons at school, but soon you may face the trouble translating and finding the functions that you need. It would be much easy for your prepare lessons with your laptop and then transfer it over to the master PC used in the classroom by USB Flash drive or by the internet.
8. Passport Photos: The photos that you had previously submitted along with other documents has been used for VISA application form. After your arrival, you will need more photos to get a health check (2~3), ARC (1), etc. We recommend you to bring 4 extra passport physical photos with you. If you don’t have any, that is fine. You can take pictures in South Korea.
9. Your Flight Ticket, Boarding Pass, Itinerary: Please keep your flight information receipt, itinerary, and the physical ticket (boarding pass) with you to get entrance allowance from the school. The entrance allowance will be paid within a month (30 days) of working at the school. The entrance allowance is only available for the entrance into Korea from home country which should not exceed five (5) days.
10. Residency Certificate: (With the exception of Canadian & Irish applicants & Private institution teachers): To qualify for exemption from Korean income taxes, the candidates from US/AU/NZ/UK/SA are required to submit residency certificate. The document is not required for your application to GEPIK, but it is mandatory if you expect to be exempt from Korean income taxes while living in South Korea. If you do not submit the document, you will simply have a small percentage of your salary (3.3%) deducted each month for Korean income taxes.
Please be aware that you can only be exempt from Korean income taxes for the first 2 years only, and therefore, if you have already worked in South Korea for 2 years or more and have qualified for tax exemption during that time, you will no longer be eligible for tax exemption.
Tax laws vary from country to country, so please contact the tax or revenue authority in your home country for more information on how to obtain the appropriate residency/tax certificate.
* Please make sure to have a photocopy of your residency certificate in any case that the certificate will be lost at your school in the future. *
** This is only applicable to public school teachers **
Money: You can open a bank account after getting an Alien Registration Card (a.k.a ARC), but it will take about a month after arriving. So, please prepare about 1 million KRW cash for your first month in Korea.
Present for your employers: It would be great if you could prepare small gifts for your employers. One for your principal and one for your co-teacher or your director and vice director. This can make a good start and relationship with your employers.