What Shipping Service to Use for EPIK Documents
UPDATE (4/23/2020): Due to the COVID-19 complications I urge you to use FedEx or DHL. Currently mail going through non-private companies is being held up in customs or not even getting through/being returned.
I‘ve been gone for a few weeks working a job at a figure skating camp (more on that in another post) and it was pretty much 24/7 and I had no time to write posts. In August I will be leaving for my job in South Korea as an English teacher. So to start things back up I’m writing this short post as it was surprisingly confusing to find information for this. What shipping service to use for EPIK documents? Find out!
When I needed to ship my valuable documents to Korea I tried to look around for how to send it. So many people said not to use USPS or UPS. Even my recruiter told me to use FedEx or DHL. As there was no DHL shipment center in my small town, that was out. And the local FedEx had some of the worst reviews I’d ever seen.
The reasoning behind not using USPS is that any tracking that is put on your package will end once it enters the new country (as it is handed off to the local post office). As opposed to FedEx and DHL, which have centers in these other countries like South Korea. UPS is apparently just plain bad according to a lot of people.
USPS is by far the cheapest. A package is expected to arrive within about 2 weeks and costs around $24. Everyone else is in the $65-80 range with, generally, shorter timelines of about a week. USPS claims to help refund the cost of some documents, but the main problem is the loss of time as so many people are on a time crunch.
What I Did
I used USPS and it worked out just fine. I recommend this method with a few caveats. If you don’t have a longer timeline (I had a couple months to get it all in order before I needed to worry) and only have a month or so, definitely choose the other shipping services. Anything to save you time in the mail. Additionally, if you are using USPS, look up the address you are sending the documents to in Korean and write it out in Hangul. If you can, also add the local phone number of the recruiting agency if you are using one. This adds an extra level of security and lessens some of the gamble of a Korean mail person being able to figure out your package.
I hope this has been helpful! As I continue to get ready for my move I will be adding posts about taxes and visas so stay tuned. In the meantime, if you are interested in teaching in Korea, check out some of my other posts!