It's been two years since I have taught in Korea and finally it's time to leave. However, there are so many things I need to take care of, so I figured I should make a checklist of things to do before I leave:
- Ship boxes home: Surprisingly, I have accumulated so many things, it's pretty much going to be impossible to pack everything with the allotted amount of bags and weight limit on the plane. I'm not one to throw things away so to make sure I don't spend a lot of money, I am going to ship everything home. Shipping boxes from Korea is fairly cheap if you go the standard route. The downside is that it could take up to two months for your box to arrive and there's a slight possibility that the box might get damaged or lost. However, most of my friends who have left before have all done this and all their boxes have arrived safe and in about a month.
- Transfer money: The good thing about my CDI branch is that they will wire my last paycheck to my account back at home. However, I still do have some money in my Korean account. Instead of taking it all out in cash and exchanging it back at home, I'm going to transfer every last penny to my American account. This way, I can use my international Visa card when I travel, if I travel.
- Transfer cable/internet account: This is also applicable to cell phones, but the convenient thing about Korea is that you can have a new English teacher take over your account so you don't have to pay for any cancellation charges. The reason why my cable and internet bills are so cheap is because I signed up for the three year plan. The cancellation fee can be quite high, but it is possible to have someone take over so they can finish your plan with no extra fees!
- Sell furniture: Clothes aren't the only things I have collected in the past couple of years. I purchased furniture, appliances, and bunch of other trinkets. Since there are new teachers to replace old ones, they are more than willing to buy a lot of things. However, in the case of bigger furniture that might not sell between coworkers, you can sell things through Craigslist and other websites too. There are also secondhand stores that are willing to buy your furniture. They will only pay you a fraction, but they will come pick it up from your apartment!
- Buy gifts: All my friends and family back home will be expecting gifts when I return. Dongdaemun and Myeongdong are awesome shopping destinations for cheap souvenirs. Socks are super cheap and come with all kinds of designs. I'm sure my friends will enjoy "Gangnam Style" socks with a cartoon Psy dancing. Beauty items are also cheap and can be bought in bulk. Hopefully I can restrain from shopping for myself!
- Saying goodbye to friends: It will be a long time, if that, before you get to see the friends you have made in Korea again. I did post a while ago a list of places you could go with friends who are leaving. For my boyfriend and me, we are thinking about renting out a cabin on Nami Island with a bunch of our friends. It will be a quick, but fun getaway with close friends. I'll miss them dearly, but I will try my best to keep in contact with them (facebook, kakao, etc).
Aeri Park has had a multicultural history taking her from Seoul to Buenos Aires to Atlanta and back again. She graduated Emory University in 2008 and wanted to experience the culture of the place she was born. Aeri arrived in Suwon in 2010 and is now enjoying her second year teaching in Korea for Chungdahm in Pyeongchon. So far she has most enjoyed the food, fashion, and never ending list of places to explore. Follow Aeri to see where she goes!