Hello! After university, I travelled around the world twice, did a TEFL course...
Member since 10/10/31
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Comments - What to do/bring before you leave...

Ohh, that is pretty awesome! I am pretty certain I have to pay my own bills (well, they're delivered to me!). I think everyone gets a different deal when it comes to appartments. I, personally, would love a bigger appartment just to be able to put visitors up properly or host in a room that I don't sleep in. I only two people with 2 bed appartments, and they both pay for them (the school gives them a stipend, but it doesn't cover the whole rent). I don't know a lot about Ulsan, but most Korean cities have an abundance of "one rooms" (Konglish for studio apartments), and that's what schools tend to provide :)

Merry christmas! Hope your first one in Korea was okay :)

Hi Mahalath

I agree with Ash, great to hear from you!! You're blogs are what insprired me to write mine!! I found them so helpful I wanted to write on my life in Ulsan (so far anyway!)

Ok so in reply to your posts: about the toothpaste, I personally havent tried the Korean brands yet, I only put the "rank" part as that's what my friends have had to say about it haha! Apparently you can get Arm & Hammer out here (just look for the logo) if you don't like the Korean stuff. I am very glad to hear about the Tylenol!! Marvellous stuff!! I had it once when I was travelling, sooooo much better than the UK brands I'll have to say haha I'll be looking out for that myself! Re: the apartments, I have been to a few down in the centre of Ulsan (and heard about one or two here in Hogye) that have more than one bedroom!? I'm not sure on the costs of rent but my general thought on the idea is that they're a bad one as you'll no doubt end up paying more to heat it up! I like my cosy little place as it's sandwiched between two other flats so I never need my heating on, it's always toasty!! The good thing about my new build too is I have since found out that my bills are included in my rent with is paid for by the UMOE so I literally only have to pay for my phone and internet! Sweet huh!? It's worth asking your co-t to read through your apartment contract with you as I only found this out when I asked how i have to pay for my bills :)

Hey Ash

I was actually going to write a post on this early next week. I brought my unlocked (was T-Mobile but unlocked it for my O2 contract) Blackberry out here and even with it being unlocked it didnt work, not with my UK sim card anyway. It wont even pick up a Korean carrier. Might try it with my Korean sim tonight (i pick my new phone up in a bit) and let you know!

I've recently signed up for an iphone 4s and did a bit of background research first because I wanted to buy the handset outright and then get a contract (otherwise you have to sign up for a 2 yr contract) as I might be moving to Oz after SK so wanted a phone i could take there. Now apparently it all depends on whether your phone/carrier is a CDMA or GSM as to whether it'll work. Now i'm not tech savvy so had no idea what that meant, I went on the Apple Support Community ( you have to sign in with your Apple ID and password) for help and got good albeit even more confusing advice. I decided it was all too techy for me to figure out so I just got a regular contract with the cost of my phone included and figured i'd just sell the phone online to someone in Korea before I go to Oz and get a new one there.

I would recommend asking for advice from them as they all seemed to know their stuff even if i didn't. Worse case scenario is you'll have to sell your iphone and get a new one out here!?

Hope this helps!

I have an i phone 4. Gonna have to find some technological wizz kid to give me final say on this. I will only just finish the contract when i leave so dont really want to buy another smart phone lol :P

I am pretty sure that's wrong, unless your phone is swanky enough to be able to pick up networks anywhere in the world (most UK ones are able to just in Europe, America and obviously the UK I think). It is worth a try I guess, but you'll need a Korean contract anyway, and the ones available to foreigners (ie, not the cheapest ones) tend to come with a free phone anyway. It just takes a little while to set up.

Hey mahalath welcome back :)

All good info thankyou! But i had heard my i phone should work out there after being unlocked? Obviously with a Korea sim card. Have i heard completely wrong?

Also, appartments. I only know one person who got more than 1 bedroom without paying extra for it, so I would far from expect it (she had a uni job as well). The only exception is that married couples sometimes get an extra room, but not always. Actually, you're pretty lucky to get that kitchen. Out of a lot of my friends last year my appartment was the biggest, but it was only one room (seperate bathroom and balconies of course).

The last thing I want to say that might help you is that a LOT of furniture can be picked up off the streets. People put it out for recycling and you are welcome to take it. There are often, in appartment complexes, areas for leaving your furniture. If you need stuff, find an appartment complex near you and go free shopping. It is second hand but generally really good quality stuff. 

UK phones don't work period out here. It's a totally different way of recieving signal, so the phones in the UK, generally, aren't built for it.

Tylenol out here isn't too expensive. It's the American paracetamol and it is what you need to ask for in a pharmacy if you need a pain killer. Actually, in pharmacies always try brand names for medicines. I went with my brother to get an antihystemine, I translated on my phone and showed the pharmacist who went "Ah, pir-a-tin" (or possibly "jir-tek", I can't remember which). 

Also, you might find this useful: Most things are spicy, but some are not, and eating in cheap restaurants is something I like to do a lot.

Also, adapters can be found in hi-mart (well, that's where I got mine from! I forgot to bring one). It's a universal one and cost me about 10,000W

Bed sheets should be provided by your hagwon, they are sold in Home Plus, but they are expensive!

Also, a lot of hagwons pay for the health check, so it's worth asking before you go out there :) They're way more likely to say yes then.



Great post! I've not been on for a while, but I'm glad to see you made it to Korea :)

I just want to add a couple of things, firstly, "eop-seo-yo"(없어요, pronounced like up-suh-yo) which is roughly "I don't have". It can also mean "I don't want." I find I use it more than "an-i-yo". For example "Point card-eu issiyo?" "Up-si-yo" in a shop. Another one that is really useful is "Mul-la-yo" (몰라요) which means I don't know. It is a nice way to attempt to politely end conversations with people who are trying very hard to communicate in Korean (for example "korean korean korean korean?" *confused face* "mul-la-yo?") (I find it useful especially in taxis). The other one that's useful for taxis is "eo-di-e" which is "where?" If the taxi driver asks you a question with this in (generally listen for something that sounds like "Oh-dee" then he probably doesn't know where you are going. You can give a nearby landmark, call a friend or get out the taxi and find one who does (yeop-e (옆에) means next to, which is kinda useful sometimes as well.

As for the post, the only thing I really disagree with is that Korean toothpaste is rank. I have no problem with it. I think if you try and stuff enough in your luggage to last the year you'll be over packing. Deoderant is a whole different matter.

Just to add though, in summer be careful! A lot of places a string top is a bit of a no-no and V necks aren't generally appreciated too much (mostly if they show clevage). Winter is COLD! I don't have a hat or scarf at the moment :( My hair froze on my way to work the other morning :(


I've just found this website "Eat Your Kimchi" it has a useful section on what to expect in Korea, take a look...

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