Packing checklist for teaching in South Korea

Although most of you will be moving to the other side of the world, it doesn’t mean you need to pack everything you own.  A lot of the essentials, such as electronics, bedding, home furnishings and appliances can all be bought in Korea.  

One thing you should keep in mind however is that Koreans tend to have much smaller body types than Westerners.  As a result, a lot of clothes and shoes that are sold in Korea run small, and if a place does sell larger clothing items they are usually pretty expensive.  

Top Packing Tips:

  1. Two Suitcases: Try to only bring two suitcases. The last thing you want to do after a long flight is to lug numerous bags around.
  2. Seasonal Clothes: Pack only for the first two seasons you will be there for. For example if you are arriving in May, only pack your Spring and Summer clothes. You can have your Fall and Winter clothes shipped later. This is a great way to cut down on the amount of items you bring with you.
  3. Business Casual Clothes: You will need to have this attire for both training week and teaching at the schools.
  4. Formal Outfits: Try to pack one or two formal outfits. This is good to have for a formal event you may attend or something nice to wear if your school has a parent-teacher night.  While this isn’t essential to pack, it is something to consider. 
  5. Athletic Gear: If you are an active person you will probably already pack this, but one thing to keep in mind is some of the most popular activities amongst teachers are in the outdoors. Hiking is very popular in Korea, along with running and biking.  Also, one of the best ways to get to know fellow expats during your time in Korea is by joining social groups that partake in these activities. 
  6. Shoes: As mentioned above, sizes in Korea tend to run small and because of this we encourage people to bring a pair of shoes and sneakers from home.  
  7. Photocopies of Important Documents: Keep copies of your passport and photo ID in a safe place, and leave a copy of them at home.
  8. Converter: Korea uses a different type of power (Korea is on the 220 volt system), so you will need to purchase a converter prior to departing. 
  9. Medication: If you are taking any prescription medication, including birth control, it is best to bring it with you. Doctors abroad are able to speak English, but finding your specific brand may be difficult.
  10. Deodorant: Deodorant can be hard to find in Korea, especially if you like a specific brand.  It is for this reason we recommend bringing a few sticks of your favorite deodorant.
  11. Toothpaste: Toothpaste in Korea tends to be different from many of the Western countries. Like deodorant, if you are loyal to a specific brand or flavor we recommend bringing a couple of tubes of your favorite toothpaste with you.