New EPIK Teacher: What to Pack?

What to pack when you’re gonna be gone for a year? If you are a new EPIK teacher, here are some things I would definitely pack:

ELECTRONIC RECOMMENDATIONS

  • 8 GB usb (for lesson plans & teaching aides)
  • external hard drive (personal documents and photos)
  • power bank (a must for travelers)
  • laptop (make sure it is not MAC as they are not compatible with any Korean CD-ROMs or online CD formats)
  • adapters & a converter (you can buy these in Korea too, but it doesn’t hurt to have them just in case you get a rural placement & have no idea where the nearest market is located)
  • pocket flashlight (blackouts/emergencies)

MEDICINAL RECOMMENDATIONS

  • mosquito net (this is a hard find in Korea; better to buy one before you leave your home country–you may need it your first night if you’re arriving anytime other than winter)
  • rubbing alcohol (help reduces  mosquito bites immediately–worked better for me than any cream or ointment)
  • mosquito repellent (I would invest in some citrus candle repellents before you arrive in Korea. Also, the Korean supermarket “Lotte Mart” carries repellent that you can plug into an outlet. These are by far the most effective!)
  • any medicine you are already taking (medicine in Korea is often considered much weaker than the medicine in the USA, so if you’re life depends on it, bring your prescriptions and year supply of medicine)
  • Inhaler (if you are asthmatic, the humidity may irritate your lungs, so pack your inhaler if you have one; you can also get an inhaler for very cheap at a doctors visit, as health care in Korea is extremely inexpensive)

OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS

  • workout clothes (clothes are generally expensive in Korea, especially fitness apparel)
  • full body towel (Korea’s equivalent of a full body towel will leave you feeling bare and cold, so bring a fluffy full body towel because if even if you’re lucky enough to find one in Korea, you’ll be paying a ridiculous amount for it)
  • rain boots (unless you live in Seoul, it might be a little difficult to find a decent pair of fashionable rain boots. The large shopping markets don’t carry them on Jeju. Also, if you are a size 7 in women’s shoes (USA) or larger, don’t expect to buy shoes in Korea as most Korean women have smaller shoe sizes.
  • photos of the people you’ll miss (this is self-explanatory)
  • gifts (bring something native to your hometown that you can share with your coteachers, principal, vice principal, better yet, the whole staff. I’m not kidding– this is important for a good first impression at your schools) *I’ll do another post with good and bad gift ideas for making a good impression.

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