So, now that I've been living in Korea for six months as of April 15th, I can officially tell you this: You will not be uncomfortable living in this little country for at least a year. Once you get the hang of the basics: transportation, housing, banking, food, you'll discover that finding the food you want, learning more about Korea, or just shopping is as easy as owning a laptop or computer. There are very few things I have to do without in this country (none pop into my head specifically right now), and that's thanks to the resources provided by the growing expat community, continuing globalization, and, of course, the handy-dandy internet! Here is my list of the five best resources of expats in Korea as they make home in a foreign country.
These guys are the best. I know they've attracted criticism (fair and unfair) in the past few years, particularly when they moved from being teachers to full-time business owners, but there's no denying they do a lot of the research on what's happening in Korea, whether it be food, trends, or more. They talked about what we all wondered when we watched K-pop videos (SJ, "Because I naughty, naughty" Chincha?). They introduced us to different kinds of foods, trends, trinkets, and more in Korea. They taught us more about Korea from a waygook's perspective with comparison videos, TL;DRs on different topics (everything from teaching to gender relations and more), and gave us a fantastic ramyun hack. The food ones have been especially fun, especially when Martina shows her recipes. That chocolate tofu pudding, on. point.
Dom is an English teacher in Korea, and he's currently engaged to Hyo. While their life as a couple, depicted in his cartoons, is adorable, I really love the site for their infographics on Korean vocabulary! He has a ton, and they're so fun and easy to use. Plus, he obviously has Hyo to make sure everything is correct, so you know you're getting good, easy information. I particularly love the infographics on food vocabulary because often I forget the names or never learn them (it's very easy to point and just try).
It has an English section, albeit some more specific descriptions may require Google Translate. Simply find what you want to buy, add it to your shopping cart (make sure it's domestic, not international), and opt to pay via bank transfer. G-market will give you your own account under the same bank you want to transfer from (so no transfer fees), and simply go to an ATM or your online account, and transfer the money. In about two days (sometimes the NEXT day), you'll have whatever you ordered. The best? Shipping is usually free or the most is around 2,5000 won ($2.50). And you can find almost anything on G-Market. From new booties to camera accessories to lasagna noodles to CDs and more, it's all there.
Great for healthy or more conscious eaters. Heck, if you're in the USA, it's great for you too. You do need your home country credit or debit card (however, if you have a Korean credit card it will work), but it's about 4-5 days delivery to Korea, and it costs about $4.00 for up to 15 lb or $105. The prices on things are better than in Korea (like quinoa, dark chocolate, etc), and you can most likely find random things you won't be able to find at all here easily (like spirulina, actual whole wheat flour, oats).
P.S. Use this code to get $10 off your purchase! LZF040
An awesome site for general questions and a ton of lesson resources. Simply google Waygook and the name of your lesson, and you will be flooded with responses. Heck, even finding food can be helpful (it's how I discovered I can buy lasagna noodles on G-market!)
Have you tried any? I don't know what I'd do without these sites. When I started middle school teaching, I was totally lost until I looked up lesson ideas on Waygook, and iHerb has been crucial into my healthier eating habits!