This is just going to be a short post with some advice for y’all in South Korea. Overall, I think most of this stuff is common sense but it doesn’t hurt to mention it anyway.
Alright, first of all, it is very important to be open-minded. You are in a whole different culture and will be surrounded by plenty of new things. There will be A LOT of new foods you have never seen before and habits that you are not used to. Try them out. PLEASE try them out. Yes, it may be a bit odd but you might enjoy it.
Second of all, be social! You will meet people from ALL OVER THE WORLD while you are there. I have friends from Germany, France, Chile, New Zealand, and lots of other places now through my experiences! Plus, it can be fun to do things with other people!
Third of all, be nice to the locals! This one is very obvious but Korean people might seem a bit stern, especially the older generation, but they are very sweet! Usually, they are just trying to help you out and I have received little treats from them before.
This post is going to try and help you guys get started in South Korea. Traveling can be scary especially without your parents and in a foreign country. Luckily, South Korea is pretty easy to navigate and a lot of signs are in English!
So Kakaotalk is basically the main messenger app in South Korea like everyone has it which means you should also probably get it. It also can be used for things like calling taxis or making appointments so overall very useful.
This is how you’re basically going to get around town. You can refill it at any subway station and just tap on your way in and on your way out. Transportation is super easy and fast so don’t worry either!
Usually, you get one of these in quarantine if you’re in a partner program so you should be all set. Otherwise, you can purchase them at pretty much any convenience store such as GS25 or CU
They also come in super cute designs so you can collect and swap!
Kakao Metro App (AN ABSOLUTE MUST HAVE)
This app goes hand in hand with the above T-Money Card, especially towards the beginning. Basically, this is how you will navigate the subway system such as transfers or whatever. When you download the map, it is in English, you can select you from and to the station and it will route you to where you need to go. Thus, you can figure out what subway route to go, whether it be the fastest one or the one with the least transfers!
Kakaomap or Naver Maps
Self-explanatory but google maps isn’t that great in South Korea and these are the two popular alternatives
An app that lets you call for taxis. Trust me, sometimes you will be lazy and taxis are relatively cheap in South Korea so this will come in handy. You can pay for the taxi using your loaded T-money card or hand them your debit or credit cards for them to swipe
Fair warning, taxi drivers are kind of wild over there. I got into a lovely car accident when I was in one, but I am unscathed.
Papago or Google Translate
Luckily, Korean translates very well on language apps so you can always use these to communicate if you have any issues. Papago is notorious for being pretty good in translating.
As you guys probably know, when you enter South Korea (at least until the whole pandemic chaos is over) you will have to quarantine. Right now, you have to only do it for 10 days. I had the absolute pleasure of doing it for 14 days (cries). As someone who has gone through and survived quarantine. I thought that I would make my first post about things you should bring or prepare for the lovely experience.
So first of all, some things to know:
Quarantine is in a hotel
I had my own bathroom, bed, TV, small fridge, kettle, etc
You may or may not have good internet (mine was slowwwwwwww)
Meals 3 times a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
Examples show below, they usual rotate a bit but second week I started getting the same thing you get sick of it trust me
I believe you get tested the first day you are there and the day before you leave
Here begins my tips of what you should do to prepare:
God, do youself a favor and bring some snacks
You will get so sick of quarnatine food, bring your favorite snacks
Chips? Tea bags? Instant noodles? Instant mac and cheese? Literally anything
On that note, bring a bowl so you can cook those noodles in, do not be like me
A lot of apps let you download episodes in advance now whether you like Disney + or crunchyroll or whatever
It’s going to take up space in your phone but like what else are you going to do inside your room really
Internet can be slow so this will keep you from going insane
Bring a book or books
Literally whatever will entertain you
Talk to people
When I was in quarnatine, my program had made a groupchat of the entire ISA/TEAN student body so we spent most of our time suffering together
This is a great chance to make some friends that you can hang out with after quarantine!
Well, that’s all guys! Hope you enjoyed it, if you have any questions feel free to Instagram DM me @kasumiakemi