After posting last week about my favorite experiences and activities in Korea during my three years of teaching there, part two of my final reflections will take a more pragmatic tone: advice and information. Specifically, I'm going to focus on moving to Korea and concerns about money. There are definitely a lot of things I wish I'd known before and during my time abroad, so if you have questions, read on and let my experience be a learning opportunity for all.
I'll divide this into sections, with pertinent Aclipse blogs linked within each.
Are you wondering how you're going to tackle the great move to Korea? You're not alone! I know that I was quite concerned with being able to fit everything I needed into my two giant suitcases. However, once I got settled into my life in Korea, I realized that a lot of what I packed was completely unnecessary.
So, to help you avoid the same rookie mistakes, here are two great blogs about what you should not cram into your suitcase. Just trust us on this one. You'll be able to find just about anything in Korea, so save the suitcase space and yourself the hassle of lugging all that weight around.
Then, when the time comes to move back home again, it's likely you'll have accumulated more stuff than you'd realized. Should you need to ship that home, check out this how-to guide for that big move. Just make sure you leave yourself enough time to get all ready to go because rushing around at the last minute is never fun.
Bonus moving tips: in case you want to adopt a cat while you're in Korea, here's handy info for taking your furball home with you after your contract ends!
Whenever I field questions from incoming teachers, the topic of money is always (obviously) one of the most popular. You're moving to the other side of the world and you don't want to be broke -- this is a completely fair concern! Luckily, if you are a teacher at Chungdahm you won't have much to worry about in terms of money during your time in Korea. The cost of living vs. income at Chungdahm is in your favor, and whether you have student loans to pay down or grand post-Korea travel plans, you will be able to stick aside money and still have a respectable disposable income with which to enjoy living abroad. For more information about money in Korea in terms of budgeting and saving, check out this entry from last year.
Or, if you have more general questions, such as getting a bank account, the cost of rent, and other expenses, this Q&A style entry answers a lot of those questions.
Next week, part two will cover a wider assortment of topics related to living in Korea, so stay tuned!
Between studying Japanese and Asian culture in university and setting her sights on a teaching career, it came as no surprise when Zannah Smreker announced that she was moving to South Korea to teach for Chungdahm Learning. In November 2011, Zannah accepted a position through Aclipse with the Songdo branch in Incheon, just southwest of Seoul. When she's not teaching, she keeps herself busy with exploring Korea, eating all the street food, and hunting down strange Engrish shirts. Check out her blog and her Instagram for more of her adventures!