In continuation of my previous post, this blog post will cover some of the important matters that all the KGSP students would have to do upon their arrival in Korea.
Upon my arrival to the airport, I was given a few forms to fill up (ARC and bank account creation form) by the staff from the international office. They will help us to create a bank account from Woori Bank and I got my bank card and bank account book about 2-3 weeks later.
But upon receiving the bank card, most of us visited the bank to change the bank card to Mastercard/T-money card, which means we can now use the new card to make online purchases and pay for our transport fees (bus, subway). The original card won’t be able to do that.
ALIEN REGISTRATION CARD (ARC)
All of us will have to apply for an ARC and of course, the international office will help us out on that. There was nothing much we had to do, except to fill up the form in the airport and making a trip to the immigration office (the international office will arrange for the trip) to register our fingerprints. We just got our ARC last week, which is about a month and a half after arriving to Korea. Without the ARC, basically we cannot sign up for a phone package and do a lot of other stuff like signing up for membership at Innisfree (lol). If we leave the country without an ARC, I think we would have to re-apply for our visa when we need to come back. But with the ARC, we can leave and come back without having to do that!
For the ARC application, you would need to bring 2 pcs of latest passport sized photos. I forgot to bring mine but luckily there is a photography shop in campus so we can also snap our photos there to submit to the international office later!
SIM CARD/DATA PLAN
Since we all did not have an ARC at the start, the international office gave all of us a sim card with 20,000 won worth of credit in it. Basically it’s a call/data plan (2GB) by SKTelecom and it lasted me for about 3 weeks. However, it seems like some of our cellphones may not be compatible with the sim card provided because some of my fellow scholars were not be able to use the sim card. But for me, I am using a Huawei Honor 8 and it works well for my case.
WHAT TO BUY
The first week is basically spent on settling down and buying necessary items. Since we do not have our bank account or T-money card during the first few days, it is advisable to bring either your credit card or more cash with you when you shop. For me, I went out to a nearby E-mart with my roomie and 2 other friends. We took a cab and it costs us about 2000won per trip to E-mart from Global House dorm.
We can get almost everything we need in E-mart. They have a wide variety of food, clothing, make up products, toiletries, general electrical appliances and bedding products. You may refer to the list below on the necessary items we bought in E-mart:
- Shampoo and Conditioner
- Toilet scrubbing (?) brush
- FOOD like ramen and biscuit. (Catch their 1+1 for cheaps!)
- Toilet paper (the cheapest brand available is a brand called “No Brand” lol #punnotintended)
- Clothes hanging rack (also by No Brand)
So after our E-mart visit, we head back to the dorm to put all our shopping lots before heading out to Daiso!
You can buy basically a wide range of items here, from stationary to toiletries to laundry related items etc etc. The only thing they didn’t have was bedding items like pillows, bed sheets and blankets. Other than that, we can find a whole lot of things here and the items sold here are similar to the Daiso we have in Malaysia.
BUT, may items here are significantly cheaper in comparison to the Malaysian Daiso. Before I left, the price per regular item was RM5.90/item. Over here, items can cost as low as 1000won (about RM3.80) to 5000won. There might be more expensive items lying around too but so far I have not seen them. Another difference is that the Korean Daiso sells a variety of biscuits and snacks too!
So the necessities that I bought in Daiso were:
- Hangers (1000won for a set of 4!)
- Cute Hello Kitty and Rilakkuma plasters (1000won per box!)
- A mirror (duh!) for 2000 won
- An umbrella
- Plastic clips to seal unfinished snacks
- Nose pack (1000won per box)
- A soft toy dog to hug when I sleep haha (5000won for this!)
Subsequently as the days move on, I bought some other things there for cheaps too! For example:
- Steel cutlery set (fork, spoon and chopsticks) – 2000won
- Mini star shaped sponges to wash my cutlery
- Phone stand – 2000won
So about 2 weeks later, we had our campus orientation! More on that in my next blogpost~