Masan Bay, South Korea
|To the non native speaker: I think it depends on which country you are a citizen of. Countries like Australia, South Africa, Canada, England, United States, and I forget the rest. It also depends on your fluency. I'm also a non native speaker but I'm an american citizen and even though I have a slight accent I'm fluent. I found no problem working in Korea and my students didn't notice anything different about my accent.|
Thank you so much!!
OUT + ABOUT (the big skating rink at Lotte World) —— #fmsphotoaday #photoaday #photochallenge #korea #lotteworld #iceskate #seoulkorea
Changwon, South Korea
1. Trying to teach kids that “Zoos” are not pronounced as “Jews” and it makes a very important difference when saying things like “Zoos are unhealthy for wild animals” or “Zoos are dirty” etc.
2. The concept of ‘United Kingdom’ and how the Irish are not British…
This post is dedicated to a very special follower and to all the new EPIK people arriving this Spring. But especially those arriving in Colorful Daegu. Congratulations you made it through the long process. This is a guide answering many of your questions about getting through your first month. This is real stuff. No fluff. And strictly from my own personal experiences.
Gifts for Principal etc.
You don’t have to bring gifts. What I would advise is waiting until your first paycheck and then buying a cake or basket of fruit for the lounge. It surprises them and its equal for everyone to share. Sometimes giving gifts can get complicated. You really won’t know how many co-teachers you will have…I have 6 plus other teachers I really like. So, just wait. Fruit or dessert is always nice.
ARC- Alien Registration Card
If you’re from the USA, this is like your Social Security card. Keep it with you at all times. Or remember your number. This card allows you to get a cellphone and bank account. It takes between 7-10 business days to receive this card after you register a the immigration office. As soon as you arrive in Daegu, tell your co-teach that you want to head over to immigration. Now, I did not need my ARC to get a phone or bank account. I just needed proof that I registered for one. It depends on your co-teacher’s “connections”. When you want to buy train tickets to another city you will need this card. To buy concert tickets you will need this card. THIS CARD IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.
Just get a cellphone in Korea! The Arrival Store is too expensive (you can get most of that stuff here for a lot less). Bringing an unlocked phone may cost you too because you have to break your contract and pay money for that…all us Daegu folks have phones we bought here. Some, well one person has their iPhone and it works just fine although sometimes it switches to 3G or does not connect to the WiFi. Korea is the land of Samsung and LG, so you will be just fine. And you get to pick your phone number!! Yippee!
If you are coming to Daegu, you will more than likely be banking with Daegu Bank. Hours of operation are M-F 9-4:30. 24 hour ATM service. And make sure you get a check card…not just an ATM card. The gray/silver card is the card you want.
It does not have VISA or MASTERCARD on it…just fyi. You can pay bills at the ATM…choose English option…then transfer…choose the bank you want to transfer to (only Korean banks) put in the account number….then the amount…and confirm. DONE. You can set up money transfers to your home bank. make sure you ask your co-teacher for help with this while at the bank so that you understand fees involved.
Your landlord may not speak any English. So make sure your co-teacher gets the following information for you.
-How to turn on the air/heat
-How to use the washer
-How to turn on/off hot water
-Internet cost; if you have WiFi
-How bills should be paid
-When your bills will come
-How to contact the landlord if you need anything.
-Trash! how to get rid of it; where to put it. Trash is very different in Korea. You may need to separate it. Also ask where to buy trash bags and the food can.
I suggest downloading the Daegu Bus App on your smartphone or the Naver Daegu Bus App if your Korean is pretty good. Or just use good old Google Maps…type in destination and you’re set.
Important: Banwaldong and Jungangro are the main downtown areas. We go clubbing here, meet with friends for dinner, go shopping, take Korean classes at the YMCA here. So much stuff here. You will probably spend 90% of your free time here.
Subway~Daegu, as of right now, has two rail lines. The red and the green. A blue is being added. You will need a bus card. It looks like this.
There are machines to load the card in every station. Its the “Add Value Machine” Select English for your fist few times. Some people use their bank cards as their bus card. You can ask for this at your bank when you sign up for an account…and please please please ask them how to load that card using a ATM.
Buses~ A bit more complicated but remember RED BUSES ARE RAPID BUSES (see the pic below)
…they get you to your destination a lot faster. And all of them go downtown.
We get insurance!! Yay!! Ok so for those going to be living in Daegu, Hyosung Hospital is extremely foreigner friendly. Ms. Gu is awesome and there is no wait because hey we are a small population here. This is the best place especially for women.
Hyosung Byung-won (효성 병원) Suseong-gu
Ms. Gu: 053-766-7073
OBGYN: 9:00am-8:00pm / IM: 9:00am-6:00pm / PED: 9:00am-7:00pm
Glasses/Contacts- Walk into any glasses store. They are everywhere!!!!!
Bring medicines that you like from home. You may not find them here. Bring a month’s supply until you can find what you need. There are pharmacies literally everywhere, so you can get basic pharmacy stuff.
Women: If you have certain feminine hygiene products or birth control that you use, bring at least 2-3 months supply to get you through until you find what you need.
Shopping: Homeplus, Emart, Daebec Mart, Costco
Or local mom and pop places that will be around your neighborhood.
Downtown has food galore!! Just be careful about what you eat. Sometimes things are not labeled so please know what you are allergic to. Every week my friends and I seem to find a new place to eat here are some of our favorites:
Traveler’s Bar & Grill $: All American Burgers, Fish and Chips, etc. Trivia Night here is awesome!
Mr. Pig $: All you can eat meat!!! Korean Style do-it-yourself BBQ
Little Italia $: Authentic Italian Food + Really Hot Chef
Tara $$: Indian style Food
Ashley’s $$: Buffet style
Sharonis Resaturant $$: Buffet, Sushi, Pizza, All you need in the world.
Pan-Asia $$: Food from all over Asia
Star Kebab: This place was our late night, after the club place, but it has closed. however, there is another Kebab place, but we have yet to locate it. I will update when we do.
You can find survival Korean everywhere online…USE THEM! Know how to say hello, goodbye, and thank you. If you want to take Korean classes there are too many ways. One way is the YMCA. You can join language exchange groups too. Very easy to find on Facebook.
REMEMBER, YOU ARE COMING TO KOREA! THIS IS REAL-LIFE NOT A KDRAMA!
You will be dealing with people staring and touching you. People saying things that will not fly in the US, UK, South Africa, etc. Be patient, you will find your footing.
If there is anything you need to know, just ask. We all started at the same place, so we can all help each other.