The nerves and the stress that come with moving out of one place and into a new one are terrible. Especially when you have been living somewhere for a full year, and accumulated so many new items, friends, and tastes. Luckily, moving back to your home after a year in Korea is not too much of a hassle! I've put together a list of five very easy tasks to complete to make sure your return is as smooth as possible. I returned to the United States, but most of these steps are applicable to any return country.
1) Taking care of internet/phone/utility bills
You have a had a utility/electricity bill, an internet bill, and a cell phone bill for twelve months now, how can you make sure you won't be charged any extra amounts after you leave? Simple, for the internet bill, there is a number you can call (found on your bill) to cancel your internet service. They have English speakers ready to help you with any other questions you may have as well. For your cell phone, if you are planning on canceling your phone number, you have to go to the store in person. Depending on which cell phone service you have (LG U+, KT, SKT), you can go into the store and tell them you'd like to cancel. They will need your ARC Card and signature, and then you are done! The only setback is that you cannot make a reservation to cancel your phone in advance. It must be done the day of. For the utility/electric bill, pay it as you usually do, and when you move out of the apartment they will tell you if you missed a month, or how much you owe for the month that they haven't sent a bill for yet.
2) Setting up a wire for your last pay check or tax refund
This one's a little trickier. To figure out your tax refund, Chungdahm will give you a packet of information and instructions. Basically you scan in the documents they have given you and email them to the email provided. You must also transfer money to the accountant mentioned. Pretty easy! However, what if you won't be in Korea when your tax refund is deposited? Never fear! You can keep your Korean bank account open and have a trusted friend wire the rest of the funds home for you, as well as close your account. You must have wired funds home before this point, and then just make sure your friend brings the paperwork for the previous wire, a copy of your passport, and your bank book. Then you are all set. To set up a wire to begin with, make sure you have all of your home bank's information, like: bank name, branch name, account number, receiver name, and the routing number. All of this can be found on your home bank's website. If you're having trouble figuring it out, call them on Skype!
3) Sweeping all the things you've accumulated out of your apartment.
So much can fill up an apartment in one year. I had a lot more furniture than I thought I would have, especially considering that I did not pay for any of it. Foreign teachers are constantly moving in and out as contracts begin or finish. This makes for an interesting furniture and home items exchange. There are several ways to find free/cheap stuff or to sell items. There are groups on Facebook you can find in your area, or there's always KoreaBridge.
4) Eating all your favorite foods one last time.
This is definitely the most fun task to complete. Don't forget to get your last taste of kimchi, bibambop, pajeon, Korean BBQ, all the many different flavors of chips, cookies, candy and ramen. There's so much more. Start early with this task!
5) Saying goodbye to friends and students.
And this is the most heart wrenching task. On my last day of teaching my students bombarded me with letters, hugs, and candy. I left them my email and the promise of a quick response to any English question in return. I will really miss them. I will also miss the friends I have made here. I have made some incredible memories, and I will definitely come back and see everyone again.
After graduating from Emerson College with a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing, Ariel Rosen looked back on the semester she spent traveling around Europe and decided she must explore Asia. Her teaching job with ChungDahm April in Busan allows her to experience South Korea firsthand and with the enthusiasm of all the children she teaches. She is overjoyed to share a class with them and finds herself learning more from them and the bright beach city around her everyday.
Read Ariel’s blog here: http://arieldrosen.wordpress.com/