Moving to Korea: The Ultimate Packing List

With the February consumption of latest EPIK lecturers simply across the nook, we determined to place collectively gadgets that ought to be on everybody’s listing to deliver to your new residence in South Korea.

Packing for small journeys could be a daunting process in itself; and packing for a whole yr can appear unattainable. However concern not.

South Korea is a contemporary nation, and most necessities are simply accessible right here. Plus, a lot of what you’ll be able to’t discover in shops or could be purchased by considered one of Korea’s many on-line retailers and shipped to your door in lower than 48 hours.

There are some issues although, that you simply received’t wish to overlook. Belief us.

Preserve studying for a listing of what to deliver, what gadgets to depart at residence, and to seek out the reply to the all-important query of “How a lot cash ought to I deliver?”.

Associated: What We Pack for Lengthy Time period Journey and Eco-Pleasant Journey Merchandise

What do you have to pack whenever you’re shifting to South Korea?

1. Energy Strip

A small energy strip is a should! You’ll be able to plug in your whole home equipment from residence, then use one adapter and converter to plug it into the Korean outlet. This protects you from needing tons of adapters. You should buy one or two of those right here.

2. Unlocked Cellphone

Analysis whether or not you will want your telephone unlocked earlier than you come. If it’ll work to deliver with, it should prevent from having to buy a brand new one – not a small expense (sure, even within the land of Samsung and LG).

3. Photos of residence

Pictures take up hardly any area, so pack a ton! Being away from all of the familiarity of residence can put on on you, and footage (or maps of residence) in your partitions will likely be one thing you recognize. Plus, its an inexpensive method to spruce up these naked partitions.

Tip: Don’t overlook the sticky tack!

4. Mattress sheets

Sure, the rumors are true. Sheets are costly right here and sometimes solely embody the fitted one – not the flat sheet that lays between you and the comforter. Pack a pair units in case you have room. Our condominium doesn’t have curtains, and we’re at present utilizing one sheet to dam out gentle (and the neighbors views) from our bed room window.

5. Towels

Full-size towels will not be actually a factor right here. Should you like wrapping your self in an enormous fluffy towel after a bathe (versus a small, scratchy one), deliver it from residence.

Associated: Take a look at our favourite gear in our on-line storefront!

6. Deodorant

Convey a number of it. Critically. Don’t be that smelly particular person. Apart from expat shops within the largest cities, you should have a really troublesome time discovering deodorant right here. And even for those who do discover some, pickings will likely be slim so it may not be a model or scent you’re keen on. Or you’ll be able to attempt switching to pure crystals that final a very long time.

7. Tampons

Ahem, girls… tampons will not be widespread in South Korea. And as such, they’re extremely troublesome to seek out. I haven’t needed to search too exhausting but as a result of I introduced my very own from residence; however within the little trying I’ve accomplished, I haven’t seen one field.

Or you would attempt a menstrual cup earlier than you go to Korea and see the way you prefer it. It might be a lot much less packing just one factor as a substitute of 12 months of tampons. And it creates much less waste.

(Replace: I’ve heard from pals that yow will discover a small choice of tampons at Olive Younger shops and Costco. My pals have talked about that they’re typically dearer than at residence, and there are only some manufacturers and kinds obtainable.)

8. Ache Remedy & Nutritional vitamins

After a fairly extreme dental an infection left Ben in a ton of ache, our ibuprofen provide was dwindling. We went to a pharmacy to select up some extra and have been shocked by how costly ache meds are in Korea. In actual fact, we obtained a 21-day provide of prescription antibiotics right here for a fraction of what ten tablets of Tylenol value.

Be sensible and convey an enormous bottle from residence so you are ready for the occasional hangover or within the case of an emergency. Moreover, for those who take nutritional vitamins, deliver these from residence as effectively.

9. Toothpaste

I didn’t notice that I’m choosy about toothpaste till I attempted just a few Korean manufacturers. The flavors are a bit unusual. Recent pine, anybody? And even whenever you discover mint, it’s candy. Like sugary candy. No thanks.

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10. Behind the door organizer

Korean-style loos haven’t any separation between the bathe and the remainder of the room. Preserve your toiletries from getting drenched by bringing a behind the door organizer. I believe we obtained ours at Goal for underneath $10, and boy, was it a very good funding. Or discover it right here on Amazon.

11. Spices

The one acquainted spices we have now simply present in Korea are black pepper, dried basil and cinnamon (although cinnamon is fairly costly). Should you like curry or some other unique seasonings, pack them. Hopefully you’ll come to like Korean spices as a lot as we have now, however everybody loves just a little consolation meals that tastes like residence!

(Replace: The Homeplus in our city not too long ago obtained a makeover within the meals division, and now there are spices galore! This isn’t the case for all Homeplus shops, so I might nonetheless suggest bringing your favorites from residence.)

12. Vanilla

Should you wish to bake, make sure you pack vanilla as a result of it’s actually troublesome to seek out right here, and cookies simply aren’t the identical with out it! The baking isles in Korea are fairly well-stocked, except this one important.

13. Wholesome meals

Chia seeds, quinoa, floor flax, stevia, coconut oil – these things are all extraordinarily uncommon in Korea, and costly for those who do discover them.

If any of those are issues you’ll be able to’t dwell with out, pack them alongside. It could not final you a whole yr, however you’ll have a small provide to make you are feeling extra at residence throughout your transition to life overseas.

14. Protein powder

If in case you have a behavior of creating protein smoothies within the morning or after a exercise, you could wish to take into account bringing some from residence.

Whereas protein powder is getting simpler to seek out, it’s fairly a bit dearer than the model we used to purchase within the US. As an alternative of packing the entire container, put the powder in a gallon ziplock bag to avoid wasting area in your suitcase.

Tip: If you’re in want of protein powder whereas in Korea, attempt ordering it from iHerb.

15. Vegetti (Spiralizer)

We packed this little kitchen gadget on a whim, and we’re positive glad we did! I like Korean meals, however I get fairly sick of all of the heavy rice that’s served with each meal.

This small gadget spiral cuts zucchini into wholesome “noodles” that I make each time I want just a little veggie detox. It’s easy to make use of, and and extremely versatile. For a extremely fast meal, add tomato sauce for “fake” spaghetti. Or you’ll be able to add no matter greens you will have mendacity round.

My favourite is so as to add tomatoes, mushrooms, and peppers, after which toss it with garlic, lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper. I generally add rooster to make it a extra filling meal. Zucchinis are simple to seek out and comparatively low cost in Korea, so for those who assume you’ll be needing a break from the rice and pork, take into account packing this helpful gadget.

You should buy a Vegetti right here, or at shops like Mattress, Tub & Past.

16. Winter clothes

Being that we’ve lived by many Minnesota winters, we take into account ourselves fairly powerful. However let me let you know, it will get chilly right here.

Since we moved to Korea in the course of the warmth of August, we didn’t assume an excessive amount of in regards to the winter garments we have been packing, and didn’t deliver almost sufficient. Korea is a rustic with 4 drastically completely different seasons, so be ready!

17. Candles

I sort of have an obsession with candles. There’s nothing that makes you are feeling fairly as cozy on a winter day than a vanilla scented candle burning in your desk subsequent to a bowl of steaming soup and a plate of freshly baked cookies, am I proper? Properly, Koreans have an obsession with Yankee candles — there are whole shops devoted to the model in nearly each metropolis.

However they’re hella costly! And apart from Yankee and a handful of generic ones, candles have been exhausting to come back by in Korea. I’m sort of OCD about what’s within the candles that I’m burning… I don’t wish to breathe these nasty chemical fumes, man. Soy or beesewax, child!

So I actually wished I had packed some top quality, delicious-smelling candles to heat up our condominium in the course of the lengthy winter months.

18. Worldwide Driver’s License

Should you plan on touring a lot in Korea, this could be a helpful factor to have. We stopped by AAA earlier than we moved to Korea and paid $20 USD for a world license.

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We’ve solely used it as soon as to hire a automotive, however we have been glad we’d introduced it. Sure, you may get one whilst you’re over right here for those who deem it obligatory, however you’ll have to get pictures taken and it’ll value a bit extra (plus the trouble of figuring all of it out).

Whereas we do most of our touring by way of trains or buses, there are some locations in Korea which are exhausting to succeed in on public transportation.

What do you have to depart at residence?

1. Go well with Jacket

On the EPIK packing listing, they inform males to deliver a go well with jacket. After inquiring if this was actually obligatory, our recruiter assured us that sure, it was required that Ben deliver this huge, cumbersome article of clothes.

Apart from the day we discovered our placements (and even then it wasn’t obligatory), he has not worn it. Not as soon as. Except you wish to look as for those who work in a flowery workplace constructing, depart your go well with jacket at residence.

2. Most of your dressy garments

On an analogous be aware as the subject above, we introduced approach too many fancy garments. Each of our colleges are fairly informal, and I find yourself sporting denims and a pleasant prime most days. Positively pack some enterprise garments, however don’t overdo it.

3. Most sneakers

Being that I put on a girls’s dimension 9, I knew earlier than shifting right here that I wouldn’t have the ability to purchase any sneakers in Korea.

I reasoned that I ought to deliver each sort of shoe for each event – heels, informal flats, dressy sandals, climbing boots, winter boots, trainers, you title it – I packed it.

Don’t do what I did. Let me break it down: In your Korean college, you’ll put on slippers all day. No, they won’t match your outfit. Sure, they are going to be ugly. And no, you’ll not care.

On most days I solely put on sneakers on my stroll to and from college, making nearly all of pairs I packed pointless.

4. Most make-up

Except for basis (it could be exhausting to discover a match to your pores and skin tone right here), there’s an abundance of all issues vanity-related in Korea.

You’ll discover extra nail polish, bubblegum pink lipstick, and hair merchandise than you ever thought attainable. Convey your favorites from residence, but it surely’s pointless to fill up on a yr’s provide of something. There are tons of shops devoted simply to magnificence merchandise, so that you received’t have a tough time discovering what you’re in search of (plus belongings you by no means knew you wanted).

The shop clerk, in her well-meaning but unfiltered method, will guarantee you that you’ve got wrinkles setting in and sure, you do really want the snail excretion masks.

5. Shampoo

Except you’re extraordinarily brand-loyal or want particular merchandise, plan solely to deliver a travel-size bottle to get you thru your first week in Korea.

You’ll have the ability to discover Pantene and Dove in shops, however you’ll need to be prepared to pay for the Western labels. Korean model hair merchandise are a fraction of the value and work simply high-quality.

6. Hair dryer

Should you deliver one from residence, you will want to plug it into an influence converter and an adapter. Save your self the trouble and buy one right here. You could find them right here for as low cost as about $10 USD.

7. Low-cut tops

In Korea, low-cut tops are an enormous no-no. And it’s not simply cleavage that’s taboo – something beneath the collar bone, actually, could be thought of risque.

Equally, tank tops that expose your shoulders may entice some unwarranted stares. It does rely upon town you reside in. What is suitable in Seoul, for example, will in all probability be frowned upon elsewhere within the nation.

Since you’re a foreigner, you’ll stand out anyway, however simply be ready for the reactions you may entice along with your uncovered décolletage.

8. Start Management

Okay, let me rephrase that… I’m not telling you to not deliver contraception. Should you’re on The Capsule, have a model you want, and your physician is prepared to offer you a yr’s price of the prescription upfront, by all means, deliver it! However for those who’re like me and couldn’t get a full yr forward of time,don’t fret.

Though Korea is a comparatively conservative nation, you may get contraception over-the-counter. And it’s low cost! I might counsel packing just a few months price of tablets, simply so that you don’t have to fret about getting it stuffed instantly.

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While you’re operating low, head to a pharmacy and present them your present prescription’s bundle. They need to have the ability to match the drug, and also you’ll be paying round $6 USD. Not too unhealthy, huh?

How a lot money do you have to deliver?

Many suggestions on-line say to deliver between $500 and $1,000 USD price of Korean received. I might completely lean towards the latter.

You received’t spend something throughout orientation, and if every thing goes easily along with your college, you must instantly get 300,000 received (about $275 USD) with which to furnish your condominium. Should you’re fortunate, your condominium will likely be stocked with every thing to get you began that the earlier instructor left behind. Although you will not be so fortunate.

In our case, we wanted to right away shell out 500,000 received (roughly $460 USD) for a deposit on the gasoline in our residence. Moreover, no instructor lived in our condominium earlier than so it was fully empty – not one single pan or roll of bathroom paper.

For sure, we had fairly just a few purchases to make instantly. Till your first paycheck, it may be troublesome to entry funds from residence. And as a few of our pals came upon, some overseas playing cards (even ones that declare to be worldwide) don’t work right here. $1,000 USD price of received ought to be sufficient to get you thru the primary month.

Web sites to Know in South Korea

Korea has extremely quick transport. Like subsequent day quick. As you could think about, on-line procuring is sort of widespread right here. Beneath are some good websites that will help you discover what you want when you’ve settled into life in Korea.

Gmarket – This web site has every thing. Like significantly, EVERYTHING! And transport is extremely quick.

iHerb – An awesome web site for well being meals and pure merchandise – all of which could be difficult to seek out in shops right here. Delivery on this web site can take a bit longer since a lot of the items are imported from abroad.

What web site to keep away from:

Arrival Retailer – This web site is usually really helpful to foreigners once they first transfer to Korea. You may get the necessities, like bedding and full-sized towels delivered to your college earlier than you even arrive.

The catch? Steep costs and merchandise which are, generally, poor high quality. For instance, a pal bought an costly towel from the location, and the material began falling aside the primary time she used it.

Additionally, watch out for their telephone plans – you’ll find yourself being tied to a contract that’s way more costly than for those who discover it elsewhere. Except you’re in an actual pinch, I might keep away from this web site.

*Useful tip: Have your co-teacher or a Korean pal sort your deal with in Korean characters into the transport data on every of those web sites. (Often folks can have issues shipped to their colleges as a substitute of their flats.) It will make the transport course of quicker, and because you solely need to enter it as soon as, you’ll by no means have to fret about it once more.

Cellphone Quantity to Know in South Korea

Dial 1330 to be linked to a vacationer hotline which you can name any time of the day and ask them actually ANYTHING.

They communicate English effectively and are extraordinarily useful relating to determining transportation and even actions.

Instance of what kinds of questions you’ll be able to ask: What time is the primary bus from Daegu to Busan on Saturday? How a lot does it value? How lengthy does it take? The place will it drop me off? Is there a very good restaurant close by? Like I stated, ANYTHING!

Are you planning a visit to South Korea?

Now we have TONS of assets on journey in South Korea and locations all through the nation. Take a look at our Final South Korea Journey Information for all of the solutions to your most burning questions, or learn a few of our favourite articles beneath.

  • Enjoyable Issues To Do in South Korea

  • Should-Attempt Korean Meals on Your South Korea Travels

  • Simple Cash Saving Ideas for South Korea

  • Distinctive & Enjoyable Issues to Do in Seoul

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