Going Abroad? The Ultimate Checklist

It’s crunch time, and you’re preparing to actually GO ABROAD! It probably feels like everything is happening way too fast… and truth be told, it probably is. With that in mind, here’s the ultimate checklist to help ensure that you have everything covered.

Adventure Teaching Presents: The Ultimate Checklist

1. Documents

Some important items you don’t want to forget:

  • Passport (duh)
  • Copies of your passport – bring with you when you travel, too, in case you lose your actual passport
  • A photocopy of your immunization record –  if you travel to an area where certain immunizations are recommended/required, this is helpful to have on hand
  • Contact info for your friends/family – once you get a cell phone set up, you’ll want all of those phone numbers!

2. What to pack

How do you pack a year’s worth of stuff, when your airplane allowance is 23kg / 50lb?

  • A must: Photos and other small souvenirs from home, and a few of your favorite snacks. DVDs and TV Shows.
  • Items connected to your hobbies. Small instruments. Basketball shoes. Knitting needles. Your Xbox or other gaming console.
  • Extra passport photos – you’ll need 4-8 more after you arrive. They’re handy to have for traveling, too, as some countries will need photos for tourist visas.
  • Gifts for your co-workers – not mandatory or expected of you, but a nice gesture. A small trinket or souvenior from your home town/state/province/country.
  • For everything else: What to pack

3. What you don’t need to pack


  • Bedding: a comforter, a pillow, a sheet
  • A mattress pad
  • Full size bath towels
  • Water filter
  • A cleaning kit
  • A transformer:  are you from the States or Canada? Check the voltage of your electronics. Make sure that they will be able to handle 220V. Double check specific appliances, such as your hair straightener, blow dryer, electric toothbrush and gaming systems.  For these appliances, you will most likely need a transformer.

4. Money

  • Find out what you will need to be able to wire money back home. Bring proof of your bank account. You’ll be able to link your Korean account with your account at home.
  • Make someone at home your power of attorney, so they can have access to your accounts on your behalf.
  • Understand the currency conversion for USD / ZAR / GBP…. to Korean Won
  • Bring enough money to last you until your first paycheck (which you’ll receive about a month after you arrive)

5. Communication

  • Consider buying or renting a phone in Korea
  • Speak with your current carrier about getting your phone unlocked so that it works in Korea (and then set up a phone plan with a Korean carrier after you arrive)


Hopefully some of these tips are helpful. Don’t miss checking out what we wish we had realized before going to Korea.


Did we miss anything? Comment below!


Korean Bank account

How to open a Korean Bank account

One of the first things to do in Korea, is opening a bank account. With so many banks to choose from, it can be quite a mission to decide which bank to go to. It is common for schools to provide assistance or recommendations to banks nearby the school or in the area. Here’s a little bit of information about how to open a bank account in Korea



If you are on a Student or Work visa, it’s pretty simple to open a bank account. You might be more restricted if you are on a Tourist Visa.

To be able to open a bank account, you will need the following:


ARC (Alien Registration Card): Even if you don’t have your ARC yet, you will still be able to open a bank account, but you’ll just be a bit more limited for the first month. You might be able to get a bankbook, and only receive the card once you show your ARC, but you’ll be able to get by without too much trouble

– They will provide you with a form to fill in (Make sure that you have your Korean address with you, and check that your name is written, as per your Passport)


You should be able to receive your Bank card and Pass Book (Bank book) within a few minutes.


Different Banks


KB (Kookmin)

This is the most popular bank, as you will find numerous branches all over Korea.




NH (Nonghyup)

The phone staff is knowledgeable and they provide good service, but doing online banking is a headache. NH is quite popular outside of Seoul.




They pride themselves as a Strong and Healthy Bank that could withstand any crisis. They have branches and ATM’s everywhere




They do not have the best service, as they use translators instead of people, qualified in the banking business, to answer questions. Their website is however compatible with all major browsers, unlike some of the other banks




It is one of the larger banks in Korea with branches in U.S.A.,  Japan and China.




KEB (Korea Exchange Bank)

They provide teachers great service in English and their site is very user-friendly. It’s is the only one that offers foreigners-only bank accounts that record all transactions in English.



Overseas card

Most international cards should work in Korea. It’s possible to withdraw money directly from most of the ATM’s. Make sure that you have one of the following cards though:

– Maestro

– MasterCard

– Cirrus


International transactions

Overseas Remittances

To send money overseas,  it is necessary to designate a specific bank as the one you will use for these transactions. It is advised to bring proof of your bank account bank home, to make transfers in between a lot easier.


Banking hours:

Generally between 9am- 4pm on weekdays, but might vary from one bank to another. Some are open over weekends.