Checking Daegu Bank account balance

Just in case anyone has a Daegu Bank account and needs to check their balance from overseas (or…in country, as well, I suppose)…

I’m sure there are other cheap ways to go about this, but Skype averages about 10 cents for a quick balance check.

This is the basic order things will happen and as menu options are available.  Note, when the system first answers it is all in Korean.  If you speak it, great, if you don’t then go ahead and skip the long message by just pressing 7 for English.

+82 53 742 5050 (this includes the country code first)
1st menu: Press 7 for English
2nd menu: Press 3 for balance
When prompted: Enter first 6 digits of your ARC number (aka your birth date) then # sign: yymmdd #
When prompted: Enter Account number then # sign (inside front cover of bank book)
3rd menu: Press 2 for normal mode
When prompted: Enter 4-digit PIN (the one you use for your card at ATM)
System spells out your name then gives balance

IF you want to work in Korea you need to get F!@#%&*!

Seriously.  If you want to work as an ESL teacher in South Korea then you need to get FLEXIBLE and fast!  I have seen and heard so many people that are frustrated, angry and complaining about their school not providing internet access (or if they have it then it’s not consistent).   Considering all the truly valid concerns that people may have about working in education overseas, this is not one that should be making the list.  My personal experiences have been with DGEV but this applies to so many schools/camps/hagwons and really isn’t even confined to South Korea.

To clarify: I consider myself a loud and proud EdTech cheerleader.  My MSED studies revolve around it!  I absolutely love using technology in the classroom and know for a fact that it really enhances or even completely changes the learning experience.  I prefer having internet 100% of the time for personal and professional reasons.

However, even though this is the 21st century and it is essential that people build technology skills… if it is impossible for you to teach a lesson without internet or tech then you may want to look elsewhere for work.

Perhaps that sounds harsh.  But seriously- just save yourself the stress and always be prepared to teach sans internet and/or tech.  Or if it means THAT much then do like a couple of teachers I know did and subscribe to a phone plan with unlimited data so you always have a hotspot.

But really- please, please have a serious conversation with yourself about this.  Be truthful with yourself- if you are looking to work in South Korea but find it difficult to be flexible then look for work somewhere else.  Not everyone can just ‘roll with it’ and that’s okay!  We’re all different!  But please don’t put yourself in a position where you have to be able to turn on a dime sometimes several times a day.  If you are up to the challenge though, being that flexible and demonstrating your abilities in that way is a mad skill.  You’ll fly away from Korea thinking KNOWING that since you successfully completed your contract then you can do anything.  *^^*

A few of you find this blog while researching about working in the ROK and sometimes even DGEV in particular so thought I would just toss this little blurb up here to chew on.  I may have mentioned this issue before but it bears repeating. Sometimes the information out there is a little sugar-coated and sometimes it’s just nothing but mud slinging.  It’s not all good or all bad.  I enjoyed teaching in Korea and I will work there again.

A bit nervous…

Feeling a bit nervous lately but, fortunately and thankfully, I’ve got an incredible support network and my people always bring me back from the edge.  =D   Still waiting on the visa issuance number but have been reassured that things will all work out on that end so am trusting the professionals.  For the most part.

I’m going to miss my family and friends.

Came across this on, which is great because I was frustrated that Google Street View wasn’t available for S.Korea!

Packing and drugs…

One of the things that impressed me when first reading about DGEV and UCCS was the support system a new teacher is offered before s/he ever steps foot on campus.  I have been set up with a ‘buddy’ (a current teacher that has been with DGEV for a while) and she has been gracious enough to give me some useful tips!

Here are just a few from friends, my buddy, and elsewhere:

  • Bring a step-down voltage converter if you are from a country that normally uses 110V.  Korea is on 220V.  Reading up on the internet, apparently some things can be plugged in to the outlets over there just using a plug adapter but I would rather not take a chance on my things being fried!  Also, don’t bother bringing a hair dryer/curling or flat iron/etc.  Just buy them over there.  No electrical problems that way.  Easy Peasy.
  • Bring a grounded plug adapter.  Korean outlets have two rounded prongs-


  • Shoes- unless you wear a size US8/EU38.5/UK5.5 or smaller, avoid the hassle and bring whatever shoes you’ll need for the year.

(Update:  I just received my order from this company and these flats are incredibly comfortable, cute, and weigh next to nothing!  Also, they are machine washable which means I can wear them without socks in the summer.  Yay!  Note: I am not affiliated with this company in any way.)


  • Clothing- pack 1/3 cold weather and 2/3 warm weather items  (sleeveless clothing is considered inappropriate but I do have some for under other tops)
  • And you’ve read it a dozen times already- but wear your heaviest items on the plane
  • Bring 1 bag for laptop/electronics and stuff your purse items in there (pack a purse or just buy one when you get over there)
  • Bring 1 carry-on bag (weight under 10kg/22lbs and sum of measurements = less than 115cm/45in)
  • Check 2 bags less than 50 pounds each and sum of measurements = less than 158cm/62in each
  • Just pony up the dough for an extra checked suitcase if your airfare only includes one free checked bag


  • Written prescriptions from your doctor if you need them (glasses/medication)
  • Enough money to get you through the first month (you will most likely pay for the health exam and a few other expenses plus household/personal items).  People seem to be recommending $400-$500 (or more).
  • Set of jersey-fabric sheets (I have twin XL since it will fit on regular, as well)
  • (Update) US-size bath towel
  • Tweezers!
  • Wrist watch
  • Mini photo album with pictures of friends and family (old school- printed ones!)
  • (Update) Cold medicine!  My DGEV buddy sent me a note about this and I noticed there were some incredibly good sales on my favorites so went ahead and stocked up today.  I think I have enough to last me a year… if not longer.
  • (Update) Hair color.  =)
  • (Update) Snacks for first few days or so.

Something else I’m keeping in mind- there will be a drug test and apparently the acid blocker ranitidine (found in Zantac) occasionally produces a false positive for methamphetamine!?!  Since that’s what I usually use to treat my symptoms (the Zantac, not the meth) I’ll definitely be avoiding heartburn triggers.

Dividing my shoes/clothing/misc fairly evenly between my bags so if one is lost or delayed then I have the same types of things in my other bag.  Also, carry-on/computer bag have the most important items plus a couple outfits- just in case!

Cyberstalking FedEx…

Even though it would be ridiculous to expect the federal apostille to be completed so soon, I’m still turning into a FedEx tracking page cyberstalker…  I’m really hoping to see it shipped back before the end of the week.

This document round up has been like a game of red-light, green-light.

Wait for it…wait for it……GO! GO! GO! Wait for it…wait for it……GO! GO! GO!


And a link to some great language tutorials (thanks, R!):

WHOOPS! Or Not! (U.S. Residency Certification- IRS form 8802)

From what I can tell, the IRS form 8802 (U.S. Residency Certification) to avoid double taxation only applies to PUBLIC SCHOOL employees so not exactly necessary for me.

Fortunately, there is a phone number for the IRS Help Desk so that the payment can be cancelled… What a doofus I am.

IRS Help Desk:  (267) 941-1000

Application Form PDF:

Application Instructions PDF:

Helpful information on the CR should you need it:

Update (I edit/update my posts a lot, so I’m hoping there aren’t update notices emailed to everyone following this blog- that might get annoying for you!  If so, I apologize!):

Getting things squared away-

My local stationery store has a plethora of legal forms and I was able to get a long-form durable General Power of Attorney for $5.  Sure, researching and typing up my own would have been free but also time consuming.

Purchasing one that was pre-printed on nice paper and only used about 3 minutes of my day seemed like a good use of my time and money.  Definitely worth $5 for the convenience.

Notary service at my bank is free and easy so it will be a simple procedure.

Typhoid vaccination:  Taken care of at my local pharmacy!  Apparently, the oral vaccine requires a prescription (so… doctor visit, extra expense, extra time!) but the injection does not.  If you live in a rural area your vaccine may have to be ordered in.  Allow several days for this.

My insurance covered approximately half of the cost and around here the bottle of vaccine alone is about $95 (not including the associated costs for administering the vaccine which were about $15).

My total out-of-pocket expense for the injectable typhoid vaccine was $60.

Flu shot:  Again, local pharmacy.  $12.

Also, I’ve made an appointment to have a little dental work done before I leave.  I’ve been putting off having a filling replaced, even though it aches, and I finally realized that the last thing I need is an emergency dental visit in the middle of trying to get settled in over there!

Information for wire transfer of funds to my bank:  I went in asking for a SWIFT code but what I got was the routing number for their ‘middle man’ (correspondent institution).  I’m not sure if there is more information that I need beyond this, other than my account and routing numbers, so I will check into this again soon.

It seems as though incoming wire transfers from Korea are not exactly common around here…and I’m pretty sure the information is typed up in Comic Sans (!?!).

But they were nice so I tried not to look ‘askance’ at the paper- not until I was back out in the car, anyway.  ;o)

Update 2:

The wait is over!  FBI Criminal Record Check arrived.  ~7 weeks from when the paperwork was accepted at their facility in Clarksburg, WV.

Final Interview went well! (Well…I *think* it did…)

The final interview was fun!  I definitely felt a bit more relaxed and didn’t lose my train of thought this time around (thank goodness for small favors) and we laughed, a lot.

Ohhhh, but then again… maybe I’m remembering it wrong and I was the only one laughing while he sat there horrified, nervously chuckling while he eyed the power button, wishing he could “accidentally” hit it and run…

Either way, it’s done and I should know in a week.

As a gesture of faith in myself, I ordered a large rolling duffel bag last week that was 70% off.  I’m hoping I will be delivered good news and my new luggage all on the same day!  *^^*

A note about the interview: once again, I prepared for a behavioral interview and also thought out even more, “What would you do if…” classroom management/situation answers.  That was a good thing!

Also, I used my checklist for the first interview and rechecked my Skype settings, background, lighting, all of that.

The questions I wrote down to ask were about (there were more, but were answered in the course of conversation):

  • Contacting current teachers (although, several have blogs and I’ve gleaned a LOT of information from them.  It sounds creepy haha but if the blogs weren’t meant to be read they wouldn’t be out there, correct?).
  • Preparing lesson plans ahead of time (I have a binder full from ed. classes that I’m working on tweaking then scanning/saving on to a flashdrive)

Also, this book was suggested as an excellent reference so I’ve ordered it and will definitely be reading it before I go (as of today, there are quite a few used copies on!

Learning to Think Korean: A Guide to Living and Working in Korea.  Robert L. Kohls

Aaaaaannnnnd DONE! TEFL 140-hour

TEFL certificate is finished (edit: by finished, I mean that I have scanned copies of my certificates and the hard copies will be mailed out in the next couple of days)!  I tried to figure the hours spent and it probably only took about 130 hours total.  Out of that 130, probably 90 hours were intense reading/lesson plan development and the others… well, I may or may not have allowed myself to get sidetracked now and again as I looked through ESL websites.

Overall, I averaged a little over 2 hours a day on all 5 parts plus the written exam portion.  I figured if I’m paying for it I might as well get everything I can out of it!  It feels wonderful to have that behind me.

Could you complete this in less time?  Probably- if you already knew everything and were just going through the motions for the certificate.  However, if you were intent on learning everything possible and developing unique, and usable, lesson plans then I would say give yourself at least 6 weeks.  Also, you will get very helpful feedback on all of your lesson plans.  I submitted mine one at a time as I completed them and the feedback was extremely helpful in fine-tuning each lesson.

My final interview is set for this week.

I am prepared.

I am calm.

I am ready.

(Okay… not *really* calm!!!  So excited!!!)