A few suggestions about making sure you have what you need when you arrive in South Korea.
While you will be given a settlement allowance and be reimbursed for your flight ticket within the first few days upon your arrival it is a good idea to bring a few hundred dollars with you to exchange at the airport once you arrive. This will be helpful in small expenses and picking up a few incidentals for your first few days or until your first pay period.
While you can find just about everything you need to live , work and play locally in South Korea it is a good idea to consider what you may or may not need while in South Korea. Most major western brand names from computers and electronics to clothing and foot ware are quite popular in South Korea and can be found in most areas. However, western brands will cost a little more than at home due to the import tax so it is a good idea to try and locate these products before coming over.
An important thing to consider is your electronic devices including laptops/computers, digital cameras, small home appliances etc. The voltage in South Korea is 220v. In the west voltage is generally 210v. Meaning you will be able to use your devices and charge them or plug them in but you will need to get a converter or adapter in South Korea. These devices are rather cheap at most electronics store throughout South Korea. In general cell phones from your country will not be able to operate within the South Korean system. Buying one in South Korea is recommended as they are high quality and rather cheap.
South Korea has all 4 seasons so you will need to prepare your clothing accordingly. Winter clothing is necessary from about November through April, while the humid summers call for lighter fare. Most major labels can be found in South Korea so finding what you may need along the way is pretty easy.
You are encouraged to bring your ski’s, sports equipment, inline skates, bicycle, musical instruments, etc., however you need to check with your air carrier before boarding to check the baggage weight limit as you may have to pay a fee for going over the weight limit. (excess baggage fees are non-reimbursable).
A quick checklist of what to bring with you:
- Some cash ($1000 +/-)
- Clothing suitable for work (office casual) and each of the 4 seasons
- Prescription medication and vitamins
- Personal electronics (laptop/camera) and power/voltage converter
- Photocopies of your important documents for your records
- Bank and account information from home (with wire transfer instructions)
- Contact details of your family and friends (don’t forget to write!)
- An adventurous spirit!