Recently we’ve begun to receive more questions and comment both regarding our articles as well as life in Seoul and South Korea. Of course we’re more than happy to answer most questions and if we don’t happen to know the answer we’ll at least suggest some useful links and give advice on possible ways of finding the full answer.
Here are a few recent questions we have received recently:
(Q) I would like to know how to subscribe phones over there for foreign student? Which would be the best and cheap plan? (from JL)
(A) Having a cell phone these days is a necessity, however in Korea cell phones are quite strictly regulated and you can’t just go into any store and buy one or start a contact. As a foreigner you need to provide an ARC (Alien Registration Card) which as a student you can get once you’ve registered at Immigration within Korea. The ARC processing time is normally between 10 and 20 working days (2 to 4 weeks). The only way to get a phone legally in Korea before is via a rent a phone service which can be found at the airport however they are expensive. There maybe a cheaper service run close to or within your university.
Sadly none of us work in the cell phone industry here and so the best and cheapest plan is a little beyond us, on the whole foreigners can get good/cheaper deals with LG U+ and SK can often be more expensive but it differs from month to month and shop to shop.
(Q) How is the whether now in Seoul? Is it snowing? I am wondering whether to buy boots before or to buy some in Seoul? (from JL)
(A) The weather is slowly improving but there is still a little snow on the ground. Most if not all of the snow should have melted away before the start of March and the weather will be better. Still you’ll need a thick coat and a pair of sneakers should be OK, I guess it depends on how the cold effects you. Boots maybe useful but only for a few weeks, if you’re planning on staying for a full year then you’ll need some for November time. You can buy cheapish boot in a number of places in Seoul (including Supermarkets like eMart and Homeplus) and they aren’t very expensive around ₩50,000 on average.
(Q) Do you know where I can find some audio to go with Korean Alphabet Charts (referring to a chart like the one above)? The problem is that all of the Korean alphabet charts charts I have found are slightly different in how they Romanize the sounds. Because of that, I really have no idea if I’m pronouncing the letters correctly! (from Ryan)
(A) Completely agree romanizing Korean to English perfectly is close to impossible as the phonics are very different. YouTube is maybe the best option if you’re looking for something quick and free. Here are a couple of videos which you might find useful:
This first one is maybe the best and is by Professor Oh:
This second video shows the alphabet chart along with pronunciations, it is however a little slow and draw out at times:
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