Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What do I bring to Korea? A packing list.

Planning on teaching in Korea for a year? What should you pack in your allotted two suitcases?

Before you cram your existent life into your luggage, just know that Korea has almost everything. So, you can leave your umbrella and coffee mug at home. If you can't find it at the local grocery store, you can always take a trip to the foreign markets in Seoul. Just be aware, foreign products cost a pretty penny in Korea. Here are a few essential things you should bring:

 Deodorant is a must. Bring a year supply.
You can definitely find toothpaste here, but if you're partial to a a particular brand, I suggest packing it.
Cosmetics stores line the streets in Korea so finding eye-liner and lipstick won't be an issue for you. But if you have a dark skin tone, then stock up on your foundations.
Face wash isn't hard to find either. But if you're sensitive or enjoy specific products, bring them along.

If you are over a B-cup, pack your bras. Underwear is rather expensive so bring plenty.
If you have long legs, pack some pants.
General rule of thumb- if you don't fit the Asian physic (anything over a Medium) bring your wardrobe essentials. 

 Same with shoes. If you wear over size US women 8 or US men 10, pack 'em.
Winter clothing is a must. A warm winter jacket will save your skin come winter (November-March). Proper winter boots are also a must. Don't worry about scarves, hats, or gloves. You can find plenty of winter accessories here. Keep in mind that Korea has incredibly hot summers and extremely cold winters.

Bath towels and sheets are expensive, so bring them along. Pack Double-size of a fitted, flat, and at least two pillow cases.

You can find almost everything here, especially at the foreign markets or online, but it will be expensive.
If you plan on cooking, bring along your favorite spices
Some pricey treats to consider packing- peanut butter, honey, cheese, dried fruits, nuts and specific tea.

Ladies, bring a year supply of tampons. You can find sanitary pads here.

You can find large(er) condoms here, but they are expensive. 
Pharmacies are everywhere, so don't worry too much about over-the-counter meds like aspirin. If you need specific medication then bring a year supply or work out a shipment plan with your home doctor.

Pictures of friends and family are a must.
Board games can keep you occupied during the rainy season.
bathing suit for when you vacation in Southeast Asia.
Books are nice, but only bring a couple. There are plenty of English book stores here.
** Don't bother with your phone, it won't work in Korea. You will buy a fancy one here.

The last and most important thing to bring is an open-mind and a sense of adventure.

If you ever have questions about what to bring, comment below. Happy packing!

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