Moving to South Korea | Part 2: Communication & registration

Phones and Communication

Mobile phones and sim cards

Cell phones in South Korea are priced similar to other places. Once you have registered with your Alien card, the service providers will help you get the monthly plan most suitable for you along with the phone you buy. You can also choose to purchase second-hand phones because Koreans change their phones as soon as a new model comes into the market. Thus, the second-hand phone is as good as brand new. If you buy a second-hand phone, it becomes much more affordable. 

The main cell phone service providers in Korea are SK telecom, LG and KT. Each telecom company provides different plans so make sure to compare them before you choose the best service for you. Payment for these plans can be made by automatic withdrawals, money transfer (mobile or ATM), credit card, GIRO, etc. So, make sure you always carry your Alien Registration Card and your passport. 

Sim cards are available for a price range of INR 2500 – INR 3500 and offer LTE. 


Additional Information about staying in South Korea

Health Insurance

The National Health Insurance Corporation provides health insurance for international students who stay in Korea for longer than a year. International students and their spouses and children (under the age of 20 years) are eligible for the insurance. The University you are enrolled at will guide you with acquiring Health Insurance. Most universities cover these charges under their tuition fees.  

Opening a Bank Account

Woori Bank, Kookmin Bank, Korean Exchange Bank, Shinhan Bank, Korea First Bank are some of the popular Banks here. You can open a bank account after you are a registered foreigner. Almost all Banks have a similar process, post which you will be given a debit card and access to online banking. Most places also accept International cards.  

Alien Registration and Notice of Entry (important)

As an International student, you need to visit the Immigration Office with proof of residence in Korea in person and go for alien registration within 90 days of arrival. Most Universities will take care of this part and help you prepare paperwork. Your Alien Registration Card has a number, usually associated with your birth date and year. The alien registration card is mandatory to open bank accounts, buying mobile phone plans, going to hospitals, etc. 

Alien registration card

Approximation of Monthly Expenses  

Accommodation: INR 20,000 to INR 60,000 depending on the type

Meals on campus: INR 30,000 

Groceries (when opting out of campus meals): INR 30,000 – INR 50,000 

Medical Insurance: Approximately INR 3,000 

Internet connection: approximately INR 3,500

Phone plan:  INR 3,000       

Transport: INR 4,000

These are approximate prices which will change depending on the city and area you live in. This basic cost does not include eating out, shopping, entertainment, and other activities, of course.

Korea is a wonderful place to live in, with the famous Jeju Islands, the very modern and industrial Seoul, the Bukchon Hanok Village and the Gyeongbokgung Palace to name a few cool places to visit. You will have a wonderful time in South Korea!

The information provided in this blog is the basic information that you will need to get around in South Korea. Read part 1 of the blog to understand accommodation and travel in South Korea.