We are 3 Indian students, going to attend a 4-month exchange program at the Korean National Police University, in Asan. We are landing in Seoul on the 21st of February. However, because of a last-minute change in the academic calendar, due to the Winter Olympic games, the university can only accommodate us in their dormitories from February 27th. So we have to spend 6 days by ourselves and while that's awesome, there's not much clarity available on a few important things.
We don't have any internationally working debit/credit cards at the moment. We are planning on carrying 500 USD each in cash at the time of arrival at Seoul. However, we would need to be able to receive money from our bank back home and withdraw cash later. Our university will help us apply for an Alien Registration Card, but it hasn't really shone any light on how we can open bank accounts there. We would appreciate any clarifications about what we need to do in order to have access to banking services during our stay there. Also we would like to not use credit cards if it is possible.
Would we be able to obtain domestic SIM cards, which can be used to make international calls and also provide data access, immediately after we land, without having obtained an Alien Registration Card?
We are all currently using Xiaomi phones. We have been unable to find out whether they will function on the respective South Korean 2G/3G/LTE bands. From what we were able to find out, it seems that data and call tariff plans there are bundled along with the phones themselves. Couldn't find any mention of unlocked Xiaomi phones working. If you think those phones wouldn't work, please suggest any places where we may be able to purchase cheap smartphones for the duration of our stay. Would purchasing an unlocked iPhone or Samsung phone from India be advisable?