Constantly checking your email, counting days, searching online to see if anyone else has received placement notices. One of the best ways to deal with the struggle of waiting for your EPIK placement, is by focusing your attention elsewhere. Here, in no particular order, is my list of things you can do while waiting for your EPIK placement!
1. Work on learning Korean
If you haven’t taken the time to learn the Korean alphabet, now is the time! I have heard people who have mastered the alphabet in an afternoon.
From my initial trip to Korea in 2013, I will tell you now that knowing how to read Korean will be so so so helpful. Change the primary language on your phone, computer, and social media to Korean. This will present psychological as well as linguistic benefits.
- Yonsei University (Online Coursera Course) – First Step Korean
- Seoul National University Language Education Center
- TOPIK Guide Vocabulary
- Memrise Korean Courses
2. Health check-ups/Fitness
I mean vaccinations, optical prescriptions, dental appointments, get on it! Have total peace of mind knowing what your body needs before putting yourself in a new environment. Also, this may be your last chance to get this done in native proficiency English. Maybe try out hiking (its a big deal in Korea!)
3. Try out some Korean foods
You will be living in Korea. You will be eating Korean food. Most likely you will be eating said Korean food EVERY DAY. Train your palate and find out what you like and dislike.
4. Get your financial business in order
Paying off debt or dealing with financial woes will only be more difficult if you are half way around the world. Cancel any recurring payments that you will no longer need (why pay for something you can’t use???). Notify your financial institutions of your move, know their policies on international transactions, and ask about their international contact information. Luckily, bank cards in the US have finally caught up and generally include a microchip. I recall in 2013 not being able to use Korean ATMs with my US cards for this very reason. If you have any cards without this chip, ask your bank to give you one.
5. Take care of business / Legal affairs
Power of Attorney – Make sure you have someone back home who can act on your behalf should something happen! You can find the necessary forms for your state by doing a simple google search.
This point Maybe not so much legal matter, but if you are currently employed, prepare your resignation letter so that you are ready to hand it in when necessary as per the regulations of your employer. Also, think of a way to thank the referees who provided you with your letters of recommendation!
6. Sell your stuff
Are you really going to leave your things sitting in an unused room for at least a year? This is a great way to make some extra money. Set up a sell-or-keep system and go through your personal belongings. Donate or give away other items that you can’t sell!
- Craigslist – only exchange at safe public locations!
- decluttr.com – Sell your CDs/DVDs/Electronics)
- Usell.com – Sell your used electronic devices
- SlugBooks.com – Sell your books
- Various facebook buy/sell/trade groups – only exchange at safe public locations!
- Have a yard sale
7. Make connections
Join the facebook group associated with your intake. If you have a recruiter, check and see if they have a facebook group for the program for which you are applying. There are many language exchange websites/apps you can join to make connections in Korea, so give those a try and see what you think.
- KorVia EPIK Facebook Group
- EPIK Fall 2016 Facebook Group *Search your intake. ex: “EPIK Fall 2016”
8. Research Korea
You can do this in several different ways and through a variety of mediums. Go to your local library and check out a few books on Korea and Korean history. Like several Korean news sources on twitter and facebook so you are provided with up to date information on events in Korea as they happen. Maybe even make one of these websites your browser homepage. Also, set up calendar notifications for Korean National Holidays.
9. Voter registration
Who we elect does affect how we are viewed in foreign countries. Make sure that your voter registration is up to date. US citizens ARE allowed to vote when they are abroad. Just because you are living in another country doesn’t mean that laws back home will not affect you. Check with your local elections office to get everything straight.
10. Send off / Meet with friends
Have a going away party/ get together with your friends and family. Not saying this is the main motivation for this point, but you may be able to get some $$$ from this.
11. Try new things
Moving to a new environment, let alone a new country, on a different continent, where your native language is NOT the native language, is going to present challenges. Each day, commit yourself to doing something out of your comfort zone.
12. Join/Download KakaoTalk
Okay, so I couldn’t limit this to just 11, join KakaoTalk. This is going to be your lifeline when you are in Korea. Have your parents / friends set up accounts and make sure they understand how to operate the app before you leave!
Anyway, I hope this list gives you some ideas on what you can do with your time as you wait for your placement notification. If you have anything to add, please feel free to add it in the comment section below^^
Check out my other EPIK application posts! –
Ad astra per aspera,
Check out these other EPIK application related posts! –
- Apostilled Criminal Background Check – EPIK Fall 2016
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- Form 8802 Application – Residency Certification
- Resources for beginner EPIK teachers
- Using KorVia Consulting to apply for EPIK – Fall 2016
- Expedited FBI Criminal Background Check: Accurate Biometrics
- EPIK Timeline – Fall 2016 (An ongoing saga!)
Disclaimer: The review provided in this post should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the mentioned service(s). No compensation was provided in exchange for the review of these service(s).