The vast majority are 5-10 minutes away, usually by foot, sometimes by bus or subway.
99.5% of apartments are studio apartments (called bachelor apartments) unless you're a couple.
The last 0.5% have two bedrooms and accommodate two foreign teachers.
Your school will furnish your apartment with at least basic furniture:
Table and chair
Stove/hot plate/microwave/cooking apparatus
Access to a washing machine (either in your room, building or nearby)
Anything beyond this will either by a perk offered by the school or left to you by the teachers who lived there before you. An air Conditioning unit is provided in most apartments.
Yes, please do!
Your options include:
Language exchange with a Korean person: you help them with English and you learn Korean.
Once you have your Alien Registration Card, you will be able to open a Korean bank account, usually with the bank that your school deals with to make payroll easier. You'll receive a bankcard and bankbook and will be able to use your money as you would in your home country.
If you wish to send money home each month, you will be able to do so directly from your Korean account via wire transfer.
You can wire money directly from your Korean bank account, to your account back home. Then you can pay with Internet banking.
To save some fees, you can also buy a bank draft at your bank in Korea, and mail this draft to your parents back home to put into your bank account for you.
We have heard that Citi bank in Korea will let you wire money back to American accounts, with no service charges.
This is something that you will have to discuss with an accountant back home. If you're planning to be in Korea for a while, you will want to avoid paying taxes in your home country. However, make sure that you are well informed beforehand.
It is possible to bring pets to Korea but you'd have to clear it with your school to make sure they allow pets in the apartments - each school is different. Also be aware that your pet will need to be quiet, so as not to disturb other tenants in the building.
You must make sure that your pet has been vaccinated and has received its rabies shot at least 30 days before arriving in Korea. There is also a fee charged by the airline, and certain restrictions may apply. You should be able to find out information about bringing a pet through your local airline.
Here is a link to Incheon Airport's policy on bringing pets and getting vaccines:
A Couple Considerations:
1) Some advise to have their pets sent over to Korea a week or two after they arrive. I guess a plane can only take on 2-3 pets per flight, so there is a chance that with teachers booking last minute (unavoidable) that they may not be able to bring pet with them.
2) Also check what needs to happen for your return to your home country - your pet may have to remain in quarantine for 6 months, something some pet owners really do not want to do.