Ask Kiwigirl

Welcome Fellow Web Travellers,

I am putting up this special page dedicated to any questions that you might have surrounding but not limited to:
  • Korea
  • Life in Korea
  • Teaching in Korea
  • Suwon
Please leave your question in the comment section below and I will reply as quickly as possible (which will be pretty quickly as I check my blog almost everyday even if I don't post on it as often as I should).


  1. Hello^,^

    I'm an university student majoring in Tourism and working in a Ramana Plaza Suwon as an inturn.

    I've looked for non-korean who live in suwon or take a trip to suwon because i've wanted to ask their difficulties in suwon.

    I want to guide or recommend good cites, good food, good accommodations etc to travelers in suwon;-)

    I'll wait your reply.
    Have a good day and take care!

    1. Hi
      Well there are many non-Koreans that live in Suwon, between the teachers and the Samsung workers; you should not have any problems with that. If you want me to point you in the right direction I can. I'm happy to recommend some places that I think are good or have heard that are good from friends - most of them are western places or foreigner friendly but to be honest I have not really done that much in Suwon - I'm one of those people who never check out their home town in favour of going elsewhere - I always just think - well I can do that anytime because it's so close. Anyway if you have any specific questions just let me know and I will see if I can help out.


  2. Hi Kiwigirl

    I'm an English boy (with NZ family), just moved to Suwon to teach English. Literally got here yesterday, and its my first TEFL job. I see you're heading home for a wedding next month, but if you've got time to meet up before you disappear, be great to tap into your wisdom!

    (e-mail -

    1. Hi Dave, hope you are settling in ok. I must have just missed you, I had my internet turned off at the end of Feb and I've been at home in NZ since then. I've got about a month holiday at home and then will be back in April. If you have not alredy joined the facebook groups 'Suwon Newbies' and 'Suwon Hump Day' you should do that asap - they are the most active groups - heaps of people to meet and to answer any questions you might have.


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  4. Hi!

    I am in the process of applying to teach in Korea. Just have a few questions about the documents needed for the visa. I've been doing a lot of research but many blogs are North American based. Anyways here's my question, with regard to getting Apostille and Notary stamps for Criminal record check (CRC)and diploma, my understanding is that you apply for CRC and get that fowarded to apostille office am I correct? And with the diploma a notary stamp is needed before sending to apostille office?

    One more question, can we get documents verified for Korea via a Justice of peace or does it have to be a notary public (I'll called around for the fees of their service and it's a sad $60 per signature)

    Sorry for all the questions, if you could help a fellow kiwi out it's be great.

    Thanks in advance


  5. Hi

    You should get your CRC sent to you, once you have that you can take it and a copy and a copy of your diploma (along with the original) to get it notarized. You can get a Notary stamp from Justice of the Peace or a Lawyer who has the Notary authority (I found a lawyer in the phone book). The Notary stamps and signs the copies while looking at the originals so you need to take both. It basically just says that yes this is an approved copy and they are signing that they have witnessed the orignal (if you don't take a copy a law office can make the copy for you)- then you send those copies in to the Appostille Office. They don't want the originals as an Appostille is an authorized copy of your documents and the Notary has already witnessed that it is a copy of the original. It is an expensive process, you have to pay the Notary which I think is a rip off, they make a lot of money just to put their stamp and signature on something and it only takes about 10 min and then you have to pay the Appostille Office too. Unfortunately you can't get around it if you want your documents.

    Anyway hope this helps and good luck.

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  7. Hi! I'm headed to Ilsan to teach English this September. Any info you have on the public transport, night life, amount of English spoken, etc. in Ilsan would be greaatly appreciated! I can't find anything!!!

    1. Hi Campo, congrats on your job. Ilsan is a great place to live and work. There is a good sized foreigner community here as there are a lot of language academies due to the amount of families that reside in Ilsan. Public transport in Korea is some of the best in the world. You have the Seoul Metro which Ilsan is connected to and then you have the bus system. You will have no trouble getting around. Ilsan has a thriving nightlife there are the local foreigner hangouts that everyone frequents. Then of course there is Seoul, a lot of people spend their weekends there. It is so easy to get there and if you go as a group you can get a taxi back after hours and it won't cost you too much. Taxis are quite cheap so that's another transport option sometimes. The cities in Seoul have a lot of English. You can get by with minimal Korean however one piece of advice I can't stress enough is to learn the Korean Alphabet. It is super easy and you will need it for place names. Alot of the buses have English but some don't. If you can read the Korean then you will not have trouble so it may seem weird to learn it as you wont understand most of the words just for reading place names it is worth it.

  8. Hi there Kiwi Girl! I am from Hamilton and am working on my grad dip tesol, hoping to head over to Korea next year. I am in the process of looking at the different areas to live and was wondering about your experiences since you're from the same country and moving over to a country where it has sooo many people... Well my mind can't even comprehend yet! Haha. If you could reply and let me know any hints and tips that'd be awesome!

    1. Reply below, sorry I forgot to hit the reply button when I wrote it.

  9. Hi, good luck on your diploma and future travel plans. The only decision you really need to make about location is the city you want to go to - the main ones are Seoul, Busan and Daegu (In order of size). Incheon is actually the third largest but it's pretty close to Seoul. All of these cities and their surrounding areas have ESL jobs.

    Once you decide on your city you can start applying for jobs and to recruiters, the job you take will decide where you live unless you want to commute. When you are looking at jobs, get the name of the where it is located so you can look it up before you make any decisions. You will find lots of information online about the different areas, you can look if they have facebook communities and check out the local ESL scene. No matter where you go in the cities there will be a foreigner community. If you go to the smaller cities and towns it might be a bit different but the transport system here is so good. Even if you are out of the way you can always travel to meet some groups and be sociable.

    If you pick Seoul, chances are you will actually be in one of the cities that border Seoul, It's the Greater Seoul area - I lived in Suwon which is it's own city right next to Seoul to the South and now in Goyang which is the city to the North. Both are connected to Seoul by the subway and by numerous buses.

    Just be sure to do your research and don't feel like you have to take the first job, or any that are offered. You can say no, and if it does not feel right then don't take the chance. That's how you hear of the horror stories, I turned down the first three that were offered to me and ended up with an awesome job with an awesome company that I have worked for all the time I have been here.

    Anyway good luck, I am sure you will be fine. Just take it one day at a time.

  10. Hi! I am Nerissa, a Filipino living in Italy.
    We just started a website dedicated to the lives of all those living in a country other than the one where they were born. Thru we intend to increase connections, awareness, and understanding among people.
    We would like to ask you to contribute to the website by writing one single post with photos and/or videos about any region of the world. Your post will be linked to your personal websites, blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter account, and/or anything else you like, in order to promote your own activity.
    If possible, we would also like you to write your story (bio - where you live and how you decided to live your life abroad) – example:
    To contribute, it is not necessary to live in a different country from where you were born, but simply to know a bit of the world by having lived, studied, or traveled abroad.
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    Since this website is still under construction, we do not have yet made it available to search engines for indexation. So, to access it, just type
    We are just starting and that is why your help is essential. We would love to see you onboard!
    All the best,