Sending money home is quite easy when you have a Korean bank account. You can either transfer the money from your Korean account to your over-seas account, or you can opt for getting the bank to issue a check made out to your bank at home and send it through the mail. If you go with the first option, you will incur the cost of both banks fees, and the second will set you back the cost of a minimal service charge (approx. 15,000 won) plus the mailing charge. Some banks limit the percentage of your wage that you can send home.
There are certain limitations as to the amount you can send home while you are here, as the Korean government would much prefer that you spend your money in Korea rather than take it all back to North America. For those of us on the standard one-year contract with a work visa to go along with it, you are permitted to send home 60% of your earnings. This percentage is not certain... some banks allow you to send 80% others 100% others don't care and don't stamp your passport.
If your stay is shorter than 1 year, then the supposed limit is $10,000.00 US. The bank is supposed to keep track of your total for you. This is good to keep in mind if you have exorbitant student fees payments or some such thing. There are also service charges, of course. The Korean bank will charge a fee to send the money, and your home bank will charge a fee for receiving it. The fees will vary from bank to bank, both here and at home. It's best to try to make as few transfers as possible with as large an amount as possible to avoid these paying these fees often.
Some people that are making extra money and have a surplus to send home will take a trip to Thailand or another country and will wire the money home from there. Legally you can enter almost any country with less than 10,000USD without declaring the money. There are Western Unions all over the place.
Please contact your local bank for more information.
There are Citibanks and Western Unions in Korea.
Park English Team