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Authored by:
Tamika M.

Finally, the start button has been pressed! How can you move on without making a character, though? Sure, maybe you are playing a game that already has main character, but you have to get to know that character first right?

Now you're ready to go to Korea, you think. You are not completely ready yet, though. There is still many things to do such as passport if you do not have one already, getting your visa, buying stuff you may need, and saying temporary goodbyes. Fortunately you chose CIEE, so getting your visa will not be that hard. You can go get it on your own like I did (which might be a cheaper less time consuming option as was in my case). Besides all the technicalities and waiting on Yonsei for all your important documents, what do you really need when you come to South Korea?

It is case by case depending on the person and season and I will tell you now, there is no need to search for long comprehensive lists as they will not help you a lot and may cause you to pack more than needed, but make sure you do not pack too little and just think on your own what you need to make your time in Korea easier. Here are somethings I brought and mistakes I made.

Hair Care Products: For me I had to bring a year supply as I do not have straight hair. If you have hair that is very porous and anything more than straight or very frizzy, you need to bring your own hair care products and probably a good strong straightener if need be.

Clothing: Here is where I made a mistake. I did not bring enough clothing for one year. I brought enough shirts since I do not alternate my shirts a lot and have received free shirts while here. I also figured that I would be wearing jackets as much as I could. I thought that several pairs of shorts and pants would be enough too. However, I ended up having issues starting in August. One pair of pants ripped in the typical place where pant ripping starts. Last week another pair of pants ripped after washing them, but the beginnings of a rip was already there. Because of this I had to buy 4 new pairs of pants. Fortunately for me, Korean sizes are fine, but if you know they will not work for you, PACK MORE THAN ENOUGH! If I had brought more pants, I would not have had to buy any (yesterday as of this post).

Skincare and Cosmetics: I have sensitive and dry skin so I made sure to bring all of my soap bars. I brought all of my own lotion too just to be on the safe side. When it comes to cosmetics, eye, eyebrow, blush, primer, and lip products should be fine (unless you need a tub of cocoa butter and/or vaseline). Foundation and contour might not match your skin tone,  so make sure to bring as much as you can if you use those. I brought two of my favourite lipglosses and bought eyeshadow here. Bring laundry detergent if you have sensitive skin regardless if you have a host family in case your host family's detergent causes an issue.

Overall, you do not need to pack up your whole house, leave reminders of home where they are and only pack what you need and some.

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