links i find vital

where it all started for me! (btw it starts off with like a min of music)
a seoul radio station interview about bssk
a bunch of interviews with black expats in soko
find family on facebook: Brothas&Sistas of South Korea

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

opening a bank account

i opened a bank account today. all you need to open a bank account is your passport. I wish i'd known, b/c i would've done it the first weekday i was here. i arrived on a saturday, and i think it was on monday or tuesday that I brought my passport to immigration to get my arc card (alien registration card). i didnt know it was a process that required leaving my passport there, so i was stuck with no passport for several days, unable to change any of my dollars to won. so again, be sure to change some money at the airport, guys!

my job suggested we use woori bank (cdi's official bank). my friend and i  went to a local branch in the area where we picked up our passports and arc cards. the bank teller spoke little english, but we worked it out. we just handed him our passports (with the arc cards in them) and a business card from our employer with the company adrs and phone number on it. we used the school number and adrs for our personal info on the account as well since we dont move into our officetels until next week, and we couldnt effectively communicate that we didnt have adresses and phone numbers of our own yet. anyways, he made xerox copies of everything and gave us bank books and atm cards.

with my job, they asked us to email them our bank account numbers along with the name on the account and they would deposit the reimbursement for our airfare. we'll be paid regularly via direct deposit on the 10th of each month. i imagine this is standard for most schools. just keep in mind the stuff about privacy, and you'll be set. er... if im NOT after a while, i'll be sure to update.

ok to recap; when you go to the bank, it would probably be easiest if you brought with you:
  • your passport
  • your arc card (tho u dont need to)
  • a business card from your employer, w/contact name, adrs, phone number, written in english and korean
  • your money to deposit
  • if you have a korean friend, maybe have them write a note for you to hand to the teller that says you want to open an account. at the bank my friend and i went to, we said the phrases "new account" "savings account" "new account" and he finally got it.
a little update, i opened a second bank account yesterday. There is no woori bank by my place that i know of, but there is a shihan bank on the next block as well as atms throughout my neighborhood and across the street from my job.

the bank teller spoke a lot of english, so he made it all pretty easy. i gave him my passport, my arc card, my adrs, my phone number, the school's (my job) phone number, and a wad of money to deposit.
now i can transfer money from the woori account to the shihan account from any atm machine. this is the same when you pay bills; youre given an account number and then from any atm machine, you can transfer money from your account to the account of whoever or whatever youre paying. easily done in english, b/c you can just press "english" at the start of the transaction.


Amber said...

Hi! I found your blog through the directory on I just want to say how happy I am to see a black female teaching in Korea. I'm a black female myself and I've been thinking about doing ESL in Korea or China, so it was a great surprise to come across your blog. I feel like it will give me some insight on how we're treated in Korea. And not only that, it's just very interesting to read.

I've read a lot about Koreans and racism. Most things that I've come across said that black people are, for the most part, considered to be inferior and may be targets of discrimination. In your opinion, is that true? Have you experienced any racism during your time in Korea?

i_teach_esl said...

hi amber! i tried to go to your blog to leave you a msg but the link isnt working. anyway, i could go on and on about the things ive heard about racism/discrimination in korea... some of them have already occurred... but i dont regret coming to korea, not even for a second. i really like it here. do you have myspace? i started a group for blk folks in seoul maybe you can get some info on others' experiences in korea.

Harvey said...

Dude, are you still alive? You haven't posted for a while! The world is worried.