Getting Ready to Leave Korea

Now that I’ve gone through the process of leaving, I thought I’d share with everyone what it’s like. First, you have to set a clear date on when you move out and tell your co-teacher. Mone totally forgot and when I told her I was leaving on February 25th, she said that was too late but said I had to leave early morning (even though many other people left on this date so idk).

1. Final Bills

  • Bills cause me headaches. So, before you leave you need to pay your electricity company the money due for the amount of electricity used between your last bill and your leaving date. My landlady just came over, called the company, asked how much it was, and had me pay her in cash to give the company.

2. Leaving Your Apartment

  • At the same time, my landlady came to look at the state of my apartment. My sister was visiting me and all our luggage and stuff was everywhere and she wasn’t pleased. She thought we wouldn’t be able to clear the place up before the next morning. I was like “whatever” because it was dirty, our stuff was just laying out so we could organize everything. She said she would drop by the next day since we said we would leave in the morning. She ended up coming inside while we were still sleeping at like 4 am and promptly left after she saw us. How she got in I don’t know. We said we’d leave in the morning not at freaking 4 am. A few hours after, I called a jumbo taxi, or 대형택시, and paid about 60,000 to get to the bus station. My landlady saw us off with smiles after she saw how empty the apartment was. I did have to pay a 50,000 won cleaning fee, as did everyone else I knew. So, don’t bother making your apartment sparkly clean when you leave since you have to pay for it to be cleaned anyway. Just…don’t leave it in a horrendous state and you’re ok.

3. Getting Your Contract Bonus

  • My school gave me my bonus on on March 7th, which was the date I asked for. Schools vary on this aspect so you’ll have to talk it out. Everyone should get: housing deposit (500,000), contract bonus (one month’s pay), plane reimbursement (up to 1,300,000 I think).

4. Filing for Pension

  • You have to Google the nearest pension office and file at earliest a month before your departure date. I just walked in, no need for appointment. I wasn’t sure what to say so I showed them my application and they understood immediately. You should have the application (my school gave me mine), a copy of your electronic plane ticket, and your passport. You need to know your home bank information as well, so keep that in mind. They told me how much I should expect and by when, which was around the end of March or first week of April (Recieved mine safely ~). The whole process was like less than ten minutes on a weekday.

5. Cancelling Your Phone

  • If, like me, you had to buy a phone and a 2 year contract, you will need to cancel it. I went to my provider’s store (any location is ok!) while I was in Seoul the day before my departure. I paid an unexpectedly small fee, which is just the remainder of how much I needed to pay for the phone. Don’t be a jackass and leave without paying. There are no more cancellation fees that are too costly. I don’t remember how much I paid but I remember how elated I was since I didn’t pay like 300 bucks or something.

6. Cancelling Your Bank

  • I did this the day I left Korea at the airport, but make sure your bank has an office at the airport, not just an ATM, or else you’ll be screwed. To be safe, do it the day before or so. I said I was leaving the country so they cancelled my account and converted that amount into US dollars for me to take automatically. Took about 15 minutes!

7. Getting to the Airport

  • I’m including this because of the crap I had to go through. I found out that there was an early check-in service and Seoul Station for those traveling with Korean Air or two other airlines. You can check in there and just take the train to Incheon Airport and then go directly to security instead of checking in at the airport. See this link for more details. So my sister and I took separate taxis to the station since we had a lot of luggage. We dragged our baggage with much difficulty into the station only to find that they said they weren’t allowing early check-ins for people going to the States. Um…what??? That was NOT stated on their site and I blew a fuse at them. How were we going to make our flight?! We took the next express train to the airport and thankfully arrived 1.5 hours before our departure time. We had to move. So, I recommend either taking a taxi, jumbo or regular, or taking the train. Just…be prepared for any situation.

Also, those with an E type Visa will have to turn those in either to an immigration office or at the airport. I had an F-4 so I was able to keep mine.

I hope I went over most parts of the leaving process! If I forgot anything or if you have any questions, please feel free to ask and I’ll do my best to answer!

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

Hey, it’s been a while since I wrote, I know. I completed my year of teaching and was busy with packing and then readjusting myself back at home. Now that I’m more available I though I should give ya’ll a post!

First off, the temple I’ll be writing about today is by far one of my favorite locations in Busan. While most temple are in foresty or mountainous areas, this one is by the sea!!! But, it can be quite a commute.

I went during this time of year- a bit before the beginning of May when all temples are preparing for Coming of Buddha Day. Admission is free so you can just waltz right in.

As soon as I reached the temple area, I saw vendors selling food and souvenirs. They’re not really worth getting since you can find them anywhere. After that, I walked a bit more to find statues lining a street, and not just any statues either. They were statues of the zodiac. Many people would leave coins placed precariously on their zodiac

Keep walking and you come to a set of stairs leading down to the main temple. The view is breathtaking. No need for words. Here are some pictures!

Many people can be seen admiring the view. Some were adventurous and went down to the rocks by the coast. The sun was starting to set though and cast the temple in shadow. It was also pretty windy since we were by the ocean.

We also explored the temple itself as well.

To get here, take the subway to Haeundae station exit 7 using Line 2. Then walk a bit to find the bus stop and take bus 181to Yonggungsa Temple Bus Stop. It took us over an hour from Deokcheon, so be prepared!!!