Here's the list, as promised!
Learn some Korean
- There is English in Korea but not a lot. Your best bet to be prepared is to learn some basics before you go. 90 Day Korean can help you do that easily and quickly!
- bring a WARM winter jacket (my North Face jacket was a blessing); it gets very cold here
- if your feet are over size 9 for men, I would bring a pair of shoes. I had a hard time finding size 11 here--I bought two pairs of shoes in Dubai instead. ;)
- I brought one sweater with me for winter and a light zipper sweater to wear at school.
- bring summer clothes...shorts, tshirts, etc
- bring underwear (ladies: bring your thongs as they don't sell them here; they are hard to find)
- bring a couple towels for showers (the ones here are hand towel sized--thanks anonymous)
- bring a single-sized sheet set; pillow cases too (thanks anonymous)
- DEODORANT...bring a year's supply. It can be found here if you search hard enough, but you'll pay a premium. For example, the mark up on a stick of Old Spice High Endurance is double what you'll pay at home!
- bring your favorite cologne--it'll be expensive here
- bring your favorite gel;
- bring your favorite floss;
- bring a travel bottle of Purell along with a larger refill; there is a spray hand sanitizer that can be purchased at Watson's here
- bring your favorite toothpaste, unless you want to try out 2080 or Perioe
- bar soap, shampoo can be purchased here but the selection is limited...Dove, Ivory, and Pantene ProV...unless you must have your brand, bring it! I would recommend going to Watson's and Olive Young to find personal care items
- Qtips can be found here
- if you are used to your OWN brand of a certain thing, bring lots of it!
- Bring lots of bras (they don't sell big bras here...good luck finding C or D cup)
====from anonymous in the comments:
- If you are a woman bring tampons. It's not widely used in Korea.
- Good, moderately priced shampoo in Korea- Elastine/Kerasys/Mise'en scene brands are good as well as Shiseido(Aquair).Unless you absolutely need a certain brand, I think you could use that space to pack other things.
- They have many higher-priced/luxury hair product lines.
- The Body Shop has many stores in Seoul
- L'Occitane and Lush have stores in Seoul as well
- Neutrogena,Nivea, Clean and Clear products are also widely available
- You can find lots of products and foods not in dept. stores on the Namdaemun "black market" on the street behind Shinsegae (main store-near MyungDong)
- plug converters can be found here for cheap, but you might want to bring a couple with you to get started
- leave the cellphone at home; cellphones from back home won't work here; we bought a used phone for $50 at Yongsan and are paying $10/month on a pay as you go plan
- I brought my laptop from home; it's been our entertainment center thanks to the internet; you can buy a laptop here, but Windows will be in Korean
- use Skype or Windows Live Messenger/Yahoo! Messenger (thanks John) to call home from PC to landline for dirt cheap (Skype costs me 2 cents/minute to call Canada)
- bring spices from back home if you want to cook lots
- bring honey (it's bloody expensive), maple syrup (bling bling), and your favorite spices if you want to cook; you can find spices and such at the Hyundai Department Store, but prices are very expensive
- bring a box of your favorite gum...you can find Dentyne Ice at Watson's, Juicy Fruit can be found at Homever, but the majority of gum here is XYLITOL (Lotte)!
- bring some of your favorite chocolate: Snickers, Twix, and M&Ms are here, along with anything cacao-based.
- bring a couple boxes of your favorite tea (thanks lao-ocean-girl)
Drugs, Drugs, and MORE DRUGS!
- you will get sick at one point or another...so it's best to be prepared
- bring some Tylenol/Advil
- bring Dimedapp cough syrup
- bring some allergy medicine if you suffer from allergies
- they have Halls candy here along with Ricola
- bring a big tub of multivitamins (go to Costco if you can)
Anyways, this is what I can think of right now. If anyone else has suggestions on what to bring, please feel free to post them in the comments and I will add them to this post. If you want a more extensive list of things to bring, check out this page from Footprints Recruiting.
It's currently raining in Seoul...get used to putting your wet umbrella in these plastic umbrella bags: