Settle Down

Things to Pack for Korea

Things to Pack


Pack Light!

  • We recommend you only bring a light load of clothing and essentials with you to Korea. You can pretty much find most of items you will need in Korea.
  • You will eventually be leaving Korea. The more you bring, the more you’ll have to take with you or get rid of when you leave. And you’ll shop a lot in Korea.

Items to Pack

  • Digitally Scanned and Printed Copies of important documents as passport, diploma, other photo ID. These copies become invaluable if you ever lose your passport, or misplace your Alien Registration Card (ARC). Storing the scanned copies onto your Cloud storage before departure should be a good backup.
  • Be sure to pack appropriate Clothing for All Four Seasons. Korea has four distinct seasons. Autumn and spring are mild and sunny, so comfortable clothes should be fine. Summer is hot and humid, so bring some cool, summer clothing and a swimsuit. Temperatures below freezing are common in the winter, so you should be prepared to bundle up with winter coat, gloves, hats, scarves, etc. Please note that you can buy necessary clothes that are more suitable for the weather here so pack wisely and lightly.
  • Bring Your Sized Clothes if you are Extra Larger or Taller than the average person.
  • Bras and Underwear. you may be difficult to find depending on your size and build. Korean sizing typically looks like young girls, one-size fits all or grandma sizes. 
  • Bring Shoes for all occasions if your shoe size is 8+ (women) and 11+ (men).
  • Sheets of your preference. Be sure to inquire with your school what size your bed is.
  • Deodorants! Koreans don’t use deodorants!
  • Feminine products of your specific preference as Tampons, Hair, Skin products. But you are also going to come across tons of popular Korean beauty products too!
  • If you are taking Prescribed Medications as Birth Control, Thyroid Medication, Antidepressants, recommend to bring a year’s supply.
  • Bring a bottle of Tylenol or Advil or Ibuprofen or Zyrtec or Melatonin whatever you need. You can find these (except Melatonin) easily at a local pharmacy but expensive in small quantity units. Melatonin is a prescribed medication in Korea.
  • Power AC Plug Adapter for your electric appliances and a Power Strip.
  • Backpack for intermittent trips.

Items to buy in Korea

  • Bulky Stuffs like Sheets, Comforters, Pillows, Bath Towels
  • South Korea uses 220 volt outlets. If your electric appliances use different volt outlets, as Power Converters are usually heavy, we recommend you buy good power converters at stores like Home Plus or emart in Korea for about 50,000 won or $50.00 after arrival. Make sure to bring a power strip if you have numerous items.
  • Hair Dryers, Flat Irons, and Curling Irons might short out power converters and can be easily malfunctioning or broken when used in different counties. You better buy them in Korea locally.
  • A Mattress Pad that bolsters the softness on top of the Korean bed and that can be used as a extra bed for your guests.

By |2017-12-07T07:10:15+09:00September 13th, 2017|Korea Living, Settle Down|0 Comments

Korea ESL School’s Dress Code

Dress Code

Respectful Appearance Preferred

  • Standards of dress code vary from school to school but in general, most schools expect a “respectful” casual appearance. It is always safe and good to wear semi-formal clothes.
  • Keep in mind that you are trying to dress in a manner which presents you as a serious teacher to your students, students’ parents and business directors.
  • Avoid mini-skirts, ripped or torn jeans or t-shirts with offensive slogans, extreme haircuts, tattoos, extra piercings.

Dress Code for Male Teachers

Collared shirts, dress shirts and sweaters with a nice pair of slacks would be ideal. Some schools may ask you to wear a tie, however by no means are they required.

Dress Code - Male Teacher

Dress Code for Female Teachers

Collared blouses, dress blouses and sweaters with a pair of slacks or a nice long (knee-length) skirt would be the best.

Dress Code - Female Teacher

Set Aside a Suit for Formal Occasions

  • It may also be good idea to bring at least one business formal suit or outfit along to Korea for the formal occasions and events. The better prepared you are, the easier you’ll be able to dress appropriately for any situation.

By |2017-12-13T01:56:24+09:00September 13th, 2017|Settle Down|0 Comments

Living Costs in Korea and How Much Can Save?

Living Costs in Korea


How Much Can Save?

living costs in korea

We averaged the general numbers of the living costs in South Korea so that you can expect how much money you can save based on simple formula of Make – Costs – Save.

Here is a breakdown for your quick look.

How Much Make Monthly? $1,900

  • The average starting salary for a 1st year ESL teacher in Korea is around 2.1m KRW per month which is about $1,900 USD. (the conversion rate, 1 USD = 1,100 KRW)

How Much Cost Monthly? $900 ($830 – $1,020)

  • Accommodation: $0
    Your school provides a furnished free housing!
  • Tax: $60
    3.3% of your monthly income
  • Pension: $85
    You pay 4.5% of your monthly income, and your employer matches the 4.5%. Canadian and American citizens can get then total 9% pension amount back when they leave Korea. South Africans have the right to opt out of paying pension, as they do not qualify for getting pension back. Australian, New Zealand, British and Irish employees are required to pay into the pension plan, but unfortunately won’t be able to get it back.
  • Insurance: $45
    You pay 2.24% of your monthly income, and your employer matches the 2.24%.
  • Utilities: $90 – $180
    You will pay utilities between ₩100,000 and ₩200,000 per month ($90–$180) for use of electricity, gas, phone, and internet.
  • Transportation: $50
    Public transportation in Korea is quite clean/advanced/affordable. A one-way ride on the bus or subway is around ₩1,200 ($1), depending where you live.Cabs charge a starting rate of $3 when you hop in, and a 20-30 min cab ride will be around $12-20.A monthly pass averages around $50. If you live within walking distance of work, you might only pay about $25 or less per month for transportation.
  • Food: $200 – $300
    It all depends on how much you want to embrace the local food or not. Eating Korean food is not only cheap, but it’s abundant and healthy. Bibimbap (mixed rice), Kimchi Jjigae (kimchi stew), and Mandu (dumplings), all of which you can get for under ₩6,000 ($6). Most Korean meals are also served with free side dishes. 간편식Cooking will reduce your food costs, especially if your ingredients consist of Korean produce as rice, spinach, onions, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, pork, beans. Fruits and dairy products are expensive in Korea. Buying in bulk at Costco is a great way to save money on food. Costco’s business in South Korea is booming, where the warehouse giant has 16 locations in South Korea, making it the sixth largest Costco market in the world. And its online shopping mall is at
  • Shopping/Heath/Beauty/Nightlife/Travel: $300
    It all depends how much you spend on these extra activities.

How Much Save Monthly? $1,000 ($880 – $1,070)

  • The bottom line is that you’d save around $1,000 monthly after all the costs/expenses considered!
  • This means you can have a rewarding life in Korea in terms of Work, Live, Play and Extra Savings when you get back to home!

By |2020-03-24T00:26:03+09:00September 13th, 2017|Contract Condition, Korea Living, Settle Down|0 Comments

Korea ESL School’s Free Housing

Free Housing

free housing provided by ESL schools in Korea

Free Single Studio Apartment

  • Schools will provide a free single studio apartment (one room plus a small kitchen and bathroom) with basic household furnishings of bed, blanket, pillow, wardrobe, cooking utensils, kitchen table, chairs, two-burner gas hot plate, refrigerator, washing machine, TV, air conditioner, high speed internet and etc.. Couples will be provided with a 2 bedroom apartment.
  • The composition of furnishings can be different by employer so you need to check with the school for exact items being provided while reviewing contract.

Korean Style Apartment – Villa

  • The apartments usually come in the form of a high rise apartment or a “Villa”. Korean villas are actually three or four story apartment buildings that tend to be quieter than the bigger complexes. The apartments are mostly clean, comfortable and furnished with basic needs. And they are usually located near the schools for easy access/commute.

Korean Style Bathroom

  • The bathrooms are almost universally consist of a toilette, sink, medicine cabinet, and a removable shower head. ‘Western Style’ showers are typically only found in newer apartments. The shower is usually the bathroom area itself – not a bathtub or shower stall with curtains or glass walls. The floor will be angled towards a drainage unit and when the shower is on, you’re essentially using the bathroom itself as a showering stall; meaning, when you take a shower your entire bathroom gets soaked. It’s nothing to worry about though, the floor is completely waterproof and tiled from top to bottom so getting the walls, floor and even the sealing wet is perfectly fine! You’ll even see the benefits to how quickly you are able to clean the bathroom!

Utilities and Hanging Rack, Oven, Coffee Maker, Trash Bag

  • Teachers will pay for the monthly utilities (electricity, gas, water, internet) and the bills usually amount to about ₩100,000 – ₩200,000 ($90 – $180).
  • Koreans do not use dryers, so you must hang your clothes to dry near a window (there will be a drying rack that hangs down from the ceiling) or you can set up a clothesline in your bathroom, or get a hanging rack to effectively dry your items, especially during the humid summers.
  • Most of apartments that teachers live in do not have an oven to bake in. If this is something that is important to you, we highly recommend purchasing a toaster oven through.
  • Coffee makers will not be provided but you can find them for a relatively cheap price at stores like emart or HomePlus.
  • The Korean trash disposal system is incredibly particular, and it is very important that you abide by it. You will need to purchase particular government trash bags to use, which are usually found at convenience stores (this is how people pay for trash disposal). Often there are video cameras with surveillance as to who is disposing what and where, so make sure to do your best here.

By |2017-12-07T07:10:16+09:00September 12th, 2017|Contract Condition, Korea Living, Settle Down|0 Comments
Go to Top