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Travel, Teach, Live in Korea

Moving Within Korea
By:Choi P.

In Korea spring is the season of graduations, advancing to higher levels in school, finding employment, being relocated because of work, and the moving of households that occurs because of this.
When there is little to move, your friends may be enough help, but usually people hire a moving company to package things and move them to your new home.
(1) One Month Prior to Moving
Make sure the owner of your current home thoroughly understands your intention to move. If you do not inform the owner that you plan to move, you may have to pay rent for the month after you are gone.
If you are sending belongings overseas, pack ahead of time. Don't forget to have an airplane ticket ready.
Make reservations with a moving company that has a permit for packaging and moving.

(2) Ten Days Prior to Moving
Apply with the telephone company to have your telephone number moved or changed.
If moving to or from a high-rise apartment, reserve use of the gondola or freight elevator with the management office of the apartment complex.
Furniture, home electronics, or other large items that you intend to discard should be dealt with by contacting the neighborhood "long" office. Either the dong office will come and claim these items or you should take them there yourself. Items of particular use may be sold through want-ad publications or "living information publications".
Go to your new home and determine ahead of time where you want to place all of your furniture.

(3) Five Days Prior to Moving
Begin packing everything. Cardboard boxes (golpanji sangja) may be obtained from a supermarket or purchased for a small price.
Determine payments such as electricity, water, and gas with the owner. As there is room for disagreement here, clarify how these things will be determined at the time of contract signing, in cases where there are not separate gauges for each unit.
Finish the process of changing your address for bank accounts, credit cards, and other such things.
Have newspaper and milk delivery stopped.

(4) One Day Prior to Moving
Deal with any remaining food in your refrigerator.
Secure valuables that may be lost in the moving process.
Make sure piped gas is turned off and that other similar things have been checked.

(5) Moving Day
Give the keys to the owner after you have removed your belongings and have the room cleaned of dust or garbage.
Pay remaining fees such as electricity, gas, and water to the owner.
Say goodbye to the owner and all those who have helped. It is a good idea to make sure you have the owner's telephone number in case unforseen issues come up later.

Using a Moving Company

Once you've found a moving company, you need to ask them for an estimate. You can apply for an estimate by telephone or over the Internet.
(1) Estimate
Estimates by the moving company on how much the move will cost should be made at least seven days before the day you intend to move. In Korea people prefer to move on "days where there is no son." Son refers to a spirit that is said to wander North, South, East and West disrupting human activity and causing harm, but only on certain days. On the 9th, 10th, 19th, 20th, 29th, and 30th day of each month on the lunar calendar the son goes up to the Heavens, so these days are called "days with no son." Since moving companies have most of their reservations land on days with no son, you should make your reservations as early as possible.

(2) Consultation
Consultations by moving companies may be given either over the telephone or through a visit by a company employee. If possible, have someone from the company with the authority to make an estimate visit your home to give you an estimate there. This employee will explain what kind of vehicle will be required to move your belongings, how much the move will cost, the methods the company's moving employees will use, and how long the move should take. He will also explain the basis used to calculate the overall cost. If you find that the proposed cost, based on rational calculations, and method of moving, are to your liking, you should then sign a contract with the moving company.

(3) Things To Remember
Since when consultation with a moving company is done you will need to sign a contract, it is advantageous to prepare a contract agreement ahead of time. There must be a written contract. This to lessen the likelihood there will be trouble at the time of the move and to assure your rights as a consumer are respected. Some employees sent to issue estimates will go on at length about options that are unnecessary in order to tempt the consumer. Make sure the contract includes only the services that you need, and discuss what will be done in a case where everything mentioned in the contract are not carried out.
Read the provisions and discuss the need for any changes if there are unreasonable clauses among them or needed clauses are missing. Estimates are issued based on the home you are moving out of. While in consultation with the moving company employee, explain what the working conditions will be like at the home you are moving to. The work of moving will be easier if you are able to explain whether there is an elevator and "gondola" that can be used, whether there will be room to park the vehicles used in moving, and whether there is adequate road access.

When contracting a moving company, sign a written contract, and do not contract a company verbally in person or by telephone.
Accurately describe the situation at the home you are moving to, in order to avoid arguments over additional charges.
If any of your belongings are damaged or lost in the course of moving, get written confirmation of the fact there has been property loss at the site where this occurs, and take pictures if you think it might be necessary. Contact the moving company immediately to demand compensation for damages.
If you had more than one moving company issue you an estimate, be sure to contact the company with which you have not signed a contract to move, to make sure everything has been cancelled. Otherwise, you may be required to pay a penalty for breach of contract if two moving companies show up the day you plan to move.

Moving Overseas

Once you've found a moving company, you need to ask them for an estimate. You can apply for an estimate by telephone or over the Internet.

(1) Things To Remember
Contact the moving company three or four days before you need to have everything packaged, to make sure there are no problems in the process.
The cost of shipped freight is determined not by weight but by size, while the cost of air freight is calculated by weight instead of size.
Farm products and most foods are highly regulated, and require special attention if you are going to avoid penalties from the customs authorities in the locale you are moving to.

(2) Shipping Time
Though there will be differences depending on the shipping company and the time it takes to pass customs in the area you are moving to, shipping usually consumes the following time periods.
Domestic (packaging,transportation,customs,shipping,insurance): 7 to 10 days.
Shipping by sea
- Southeast Asia : 3 to 10 days
- Western North America : 14 to 20 days
- Eastern, middle North America : 25 to 30 days

Source: Korea Immigration

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