As many of us teachers have experienced, many schools don’t turn on their air conditioners in the summer for many different reasons. This often leaves us sweaty, stinky, and in a bad mood. Here are 5 items that will save your life at home or in an office with no air conditioner.

USB-powered Desk Fans

Easily connected by a USB, this fan will save you frustration from the heat. Many of these mini-fans have adjustable mounts and stands which will let you position it closer to you than a normal fan. I have heard many English teachers recommend these. You can even get them for your smartphone as well!

Cool Time Ice Mat/Pads

These cool mats filled with “cool gel” have been trending recently. They are made in a variety of different sizes and can be used in many different ways. People often use them as mats on the floor, or on top of their mattress when they sleep. They even have them as cushions for desk chairs. Some cool gel products are activated by body heat and pressure and don’t have to be placed in the freezer prior to use.

Humidity Absorbers/Dehumidifiers

If your apartment has no air conditioning and you use a fan, your apartment might still feel humid and heavy. Placing a few humidity absorbing boxes (dehumidifiers) from Daiso or Emart will collect the moisture overnight. I placed two under my bed for a night, and was surprised to see both boxes were filled with water the next morning.

Bingsu Time

If you’ve had a long day, you deserve a treat. Head over to your local coffee shop for a delicious serving of bingsu. Bingsu in Chinese-Korean characters literally translates to “ice water”, but in actuality is shaved ice with a variety of different added fillers and flavors. You can order patbingsu (red bean-flavored), mango bingsu, strawberry bingsu, as well as many different others. Not only will the bingsu cool you down, but the coffee shops they serve them in offer free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and other delicious desserts as well. So it’s a win-win situation for all!

Convenience Store Ice Cups

These on-the-go cups filled with ice are ideal for those that grab a coffee or drink in the mornings on the way to work. Not only are they cheap, but Korean convenience stores also have a variety of juices/coffee in a bag that you can also buy to pour into the cup later.


If you haven’t arrived in Korea, I hope these quick and easy tips will help you adjust to Korean weather. It might be quite a change, but you will adjust well! All of us teac hope you have a great time here in Korea and make the best of this weather!