Moving to Korea is a big prospect, but it's something that more and more Americans are aspiring to do. With the ability to teach English readily available to anyone with a TESL certificate, it's possible to create a life for yourself quite easily. While moving overseas is always a challenge, this guide will help you plan out your move well in advance. From finding a place to live to getting licensed to drive a car, you'll find the helpful information you need listed below.
Staying Longer Than 90 Days? You'll Need a Passport and Visa
The United States does fall under Korea's Visa Waiver Program, but only if you plan to stay for less than 90 days. If your work will keep you there longer, you'll need to bring these items with you when you move. If you're on a very short schedule and need to move quickly, your best option is to visit a Department of State Passport Agency in your local area. If you have a bit more time, you may choose to submit your information by mail.
If this is your very first passport, you'll have to apply through a local Passport Acceptance Facility. United States Postal Service offices, courthouses, and Notary Public officers are all classified as acceptance facilities.
Regarding your visa, the category required will differ depending on the details of your move. To apply for a visa, you'll need to visit your local Korean embassy; a list of state-by-state contacts can be found here.
You'll Need A Korean Driver's License Once You Land
Unlike other countries, Korea does not make it possible to gain an international driver's license once you arrive. If you plan to purchase, lease, or rent a vehicle during your stay, you'll need to prepare in advance. Ultimately, you have two options:
Which you choose is up to you, but the process to receive an international driver's license tends to be a bit more relaxed and less specific. Furthermore, knowing that you have your licensing taken care of before you leave can ensure that you're ready to drive the moment you arrive.
Seoul is Expensive; Rural Areas are Easier on the Wallet
Once known as one of the most expensive cities in the world, Seoul's cost of living has gone down over time. That being said, some expats do experience a bit of wallet shock after they land. Essentials like food, toiletries and basics tend to be fairly priced, but apartments and luxuries like iPads, smartphones, and computers can seriously drain your budget. Be sure to consider this before deciding upon a destination.
The best way to reduce your cost of living is to look at residing in a smaller, outlying town, village, or rural area. Not only are residences more affordable, but daily living tends to be more affordable, too.
Is City Living a Must? Look At Villas and Officetels
If you must stay in the city, look for rentals in villas; these tend to be smaller and a little rough around the edges, but are more affordable. If you're just looking for somewhere to sleep that's close to work, officetels are a great choice, too. They're small but just right for singles or even couples.
Living in Korea is a rich experience that's beckoning to more and more Americans every year. Whether you're going to teach English, or you're an importer seeking the best deals, having a base of operations in a new country can be made easier with the right guidance. Interested in gaining help with your move? Using an international relocation company like Hollander Storage & Moving can help to streamline the process from start to finish. Make an appointment today to learn more.Share
8 July 2015
What do you do when you have belongings you don’t want to get rid of, but have no room for? Store them is what you do! My name is Marcy. I never thought having a storage unit would be something I’d be excited about, but I am. This may sound rather odd, but I actually enjoy puttering around in my storage unit. I like to go look at some of my old books, move things around, rearrange stuff, and even visit the people who work there. I was at a loss when I first made the decision to rent a storage unit for my “overflow” stuff. I didn't know anything about the unit sizes, how to pack things, or how to arrange them in the unit. The storage facility helped me with brochures and advice, they are wonderful. I’m going to share some of the tips I’ve learned with you.