Well, the last blog post just ended up being way too long so I’ve split them up.
Here is the post for the non-clothes things to bring to Korea.
#1 – Don’t bother bringing too many socks with you, they’re $1 each here and are so much cooler than any of the socks you own.
The actual, most hardest thing about packing clothes was what was I going to wear to school. SOOOO many things to consider and was particularly hard packing as we didn’t know where in Gyeonggi we were going, what was the school dress policy like, what the weather was actually like for a whole year and what was appropriate culture-wise.
Bring tops that cover your shoulders/armpits and aren’t too low. Tanks, spaghetti and V necks are pretty much a no go, unless you’re planning on wearing a cardigan all day to cover it up. So good for the 2 weeks of spring you get here. I’ve had kids fix up my tops for me if it starts showing too much skin.
Also if you have tatts, they’ll have to be covered up*. We met someone who has a sleeve and has to wear a cardigan every day to cover it. From memory, you also have to disclose during the interview process if you have any and I think there is also a disclosure you’ll have to sign with EPIK that you’ll cover it up at school. * I know one person who has a small tatt and gets away without covering it up.
One of my schools is a bit less strict on the old dress code and I can wear jeans and a t-shirt most of the time. The other school I just wear a bit nicer tops and pants/skirts.
Good idea to pack something nicer for the open classes and start of semesters.
Dress/skirts- try to have them close to knee length. My legs are particularly long so somewhat harder to accomplish without buying foot-length clothes, which usually end up being too long because I’m not that tall or above my ankles because the legs are too long. No one has said anything either way (not that anything has been particularly short) so as long as it’s presentable.
Shorts- definite NO GO for school for the gents. I haven’t worn any either to school but I have noticed at one of my schools that some of the other teachers wear the nice dressy ones. So another one of those depends on the school situations.
Another recommendation is super breathable clothes for the summer. You may find that the schools don’t start using their air cons until the weather gets really steamy. So in the really hot weather before that stage, you’ll probably just have fans so the school can save on costs. Some schools only let you turn it on when you have students in the class too.
- Don’t bring heels. You’ll break your ankles, the pavement here is ALL over the place crazy. You don’t need them for school either.
- You’ll be wearing room shoes/slippers during the day at school so you won’t need work shoes, just getting to and from work shoes.
- Bring some good runners- you’ll be walking so much more than you could ever imagine.
- I had to find shoes for the monsoon season for my walk to school (about 1km each way) so ended up getting some rubber boots here as the thongs were just not cutting it.
Shopping here in Korea for clothes hasn’t been too bad- they have h&m, Zara and Forever 21 here and I can fit into the bigger sizes they have (I’m between an Aussie 10/12 atm). So any taller/bigger sizes and you’ll want to bring most of your clothes/shop online.
Bras- bring!! they’re pretty damn small here.