Travel, Teach, Live in Korea
Many people come to Korea, hear that cell phones play a large role in culture, and decide that since the iPhone is from Apple (and everything that comes from Apple co. is good), they might as well get that phone. There's nothing wrong with this thinking, in fact the iPhone works quite well here. It's not perfect, but what phone is? None.
So how do you get it? Well before we get started, you're going to have to get over one thing: No cell phone carrier will give you a contract that lasts more than one year because they're afraid you'll just leave and not fulfill the contract.
On the same level, they won't give you an iPhone expecting you to pay it down over the next 2-3 years because they have no proof that you won't just leave the country. It's pay as you go for smart phones, or nothing. This means you have no choice but to buy the phone in Korea, or buy it online, have it unlocked and then register it on the Korean networks. That option sounded too complicated to me, so I just bought it at the store for a whopping 915,000 won.
Just do it. It's worth it. Here's how you do it:
Step 1 - Reserve 1-2 hours and head off to Techno-Mart at Gangbyun Station. I'm sure there are other places, but this place will for sure.
Step 2 - Get a friend to go along with you, someone who can speak Korean and translate for you. Now, if you're new to the city, join a church! You'll find a lot of help, support and bi-lingual Koreans there. Especially if you join an English worship service.
Step 3 - Bring your Alien Registration Number, your bank card (to pay) and a bank book that has your name written in it EXACTLY as it's written on your alien registration card (ARC).
Step 4 - Pick an carrier and tell them you want to buy an iPhone on a pay-as-you-go plan. They will look at you bewildered. In fact, your friend will probably be just as bewildered since no one buys the iPhone outright. But you're not just anyone. You know that the iPhone will save you out of many hard situations in Korea.
Step 5 - Go through the process, the paperwork, etc. You'll probably want to have a small data plan of 512Mb transfer per month since the iPhone has email, downloading capabilities, etc.
That's about it, plus or minus a few details. Think about it, it's really easy. All you need is a friend to translate, your ARC and bank account passbook and desire.
Daniel has been teaching since he was a kid and traveling for 5 years. He was accepted to teach in Korea in 2009 and he's been loving it since. Dan teachers Native English Teachers how to survive in Korea by cooking, giving and being loving at their schools. Join his free newsletter here: http://www.survivalinkorea.com