The first stop for those new to teaching English in Korea will be Incheon International Airport. One of the largest international hubs in Asia, Incheon is consistently rated as one of the best and most accommodating airports in the world for international travelers.
As it is a huge and sprawling complex, arriving an Incheon Airport can be intimidating to those new to international travel. If you follow a few simple steps, however, you can ease the stress of your arrival to Korea. Whether flying from St. Louis to Dallas, or from the U.S. to Asia, travel is always made simpler if you go with a plan.
Exchanging Money at Incheon Airport
The first thing you should do is to stop at your own bank and acquire several hundred dollars’ worth of Won prior to your departure from the States. Banks may have a limited amount of Won, but if you can have some in your pocket upon your arrival to Korea it will be an added convenience. Fortunately, after arriving at Incheon Airport, you will easily find a number of sites where the dollar can be quickly and conveniently exchanged for Won if your bank’s supply is limited or non-existent.
Make sure you have all the necessary information for your contacts in Korea. Have them stored on your phone, and have a back-up copy of this information written down just in case your phone were to malfunction or become lost.
Immigration, Baggage Claim and Finding your Bus
Immediately after arriving at Incheon Airport, the first thing you will have to do is to go through immigration, followed by baggage claim to get your luggage. You will then need to find your bus to get to your destination. The buses are on the first floor, right outside the main part of the airport. You can buy your ticket outside in the kiosk in front of the line of buses. Before purchasing your ticket and boarding the bus, make certain to call your contact to let them know you have arrived to confirm a location to meet.
Buss departure points are well-marked numerically on the tickets and if, before your departure from Incheon you have any questions, there are two information desks located between gates 3 and 4 or gates 11 and 12 where there will be people who speak English available to assist you.
After boarding the bus make sure to listen carefully to the on-board public address system as destinations will be announced in English. Keep an open-ear for these announcements so you do not risk missing your stop.
If the trip is well-planned and you are in good communication with your contacts your arrival to Korea will be simple and fairly stress-free. Enjoy your first day, take in the sites and absorb your new environment. Welcome, and enjoy the beginning of your new adventure teaching in Korea.
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