Saturday, July 17, 2010

Getting my visa

Thursday I went to The Hague to get my visa. That city is about 1,5 hours away and I needed to prepare some documents beforehand. When I got to the city I noticed I forgot my photos. Luckily there was a booth to make photos at the station.

I have no sense of direction at all. And when I went to the South Korean embassy I was kind of lost. First I went with the wrong bus. Then I walked towards the wrong direction. Eventually I got there at 4.30 p.m. The embassy closes at 5 p.m.

When I arrived at the embassy there were two cute Korean ladies. I had all the necessary documents with me such as my bank statement, acceptance letter of Yonsei university, my diploma etc. But the one thing that disturbed me was that they couldn't speak English well. They spoke Korean most of the time. I had to make gestures for them to understand what I was saying. Sometimes I think they understood what I was saying, because they were nodding their heads and bowing.

I hope everything goes as planned and they won't mess up my trip!

Crossing my fingers.

Next Thursday I can pick up my visa.

* update: It turned out the machine to make the visa was broken. After I paid 20 euros for my trip to the Hague I got quite mad. They didn't take the effort to call me and share this information with me. That's why I told them I would pick it up the 16th of August, because then students could travel freely again. And now I have my offical visa in my passport.

Tip for future students. GET YOUR VISA AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My ticket!


I just got my round trip ticket to Seoul. It's getting official you guys. =D. I'll be flying with Emirates Airlines from Dusseldorf International Airport. Now I can take 30kg of baggage with me instead of only 20kg.

Starting August 21st l'll be going to Dusseldorf International Airport in Germany to fly to Dubai. My family in Dubai will pick me up. ( gotta love my family xD). I will then take a nap and afterwards I'll probably act like a major tourist in Dubai and Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates). I'll stay in Dubai for a day and then I'll fly to Seoul Incheon Airport.

Thijs is a student from my school that will also be going to Yonsei University. I will arrive at Incheon Airport on August 23rd at 12:05 hrs and he will arrive at 14:35 hrs. I'll wait for him so we can go to the university together.

We'll probably take the airport limousine bus number 6011. This bus will take us directly to Yonsei University. Or else bus number 6002. This bus will take us to Sinchon subway station. From there we can take a taxi to the university. Both bus fares are 9000 won (about 5.77 euro). The busride will take about 1 hour. Insha'allah everything's going to be great. Next up is getting my visa!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

So much to do!

Preparing for this exchange takes a long time. First of all I need to save money. A lot of money. I don't want to think about money all the time and have issue with that. I hear Korea is relatively cheap when it comes to food and entertainment such as karaoke, cinema, going out etc. But it can be expensive when you're buying clothes. Luckily I'm not thinking about buying clothes over there. Maybe a winter coat and some good shoes.

Saving money can be difficult. I want to save money, but I also want to have a good time here in the Netherlands. Eventually it wasn't that hard for me. But preparing my things for Yonsei University was challenging. The information they show on the website and the information they give in the welcome package differ. This is confusing. For example:

On the website they ask you for 2 more pictures of yourself and a medical examination report 2 months due before checking in the dorms. And sign a contract for the housing.

But this is not mentioned in the handout of Yonsei University they give you in the welcome package. Eventually I didn't have to send my pictures, because they already had 4 pictures of me. And signing the contract is to be done over there. I can also do a medical check up when I'm staying at Yonsei University. I can do this for 3000 won. Now that is cheap! xD

On the website they also talk about a 100,000 KRW fee you have to pay next to the fee of the dorms. But eventually I emailed them and they said exchange students don't have to pay that.

Yonsei University is also very strict on deadlines. So you should hand in everything before the deadline.

They wanted to know a lot of things for my application such as;

My bank statement ( I have to have at least 6000 dollars)
A letter of recommendation
My grades list and then converted into their A,B,C grades
My grade average
4 photos ( small sized )
My application and information
Copy of my passport
And everything signed by me and/or school.
A letter of motivation
And maybe I'm forgetting something?

And I had to send this all the way to Korea. I almost didn't catch the deadline, because there was miscommunication between my school and Yonsei University. Yonsei University told me a week before the deadline what I had to send before the deadline. After much stressing out I sent the documents through airmail which cost me about 70 dollars. Yuck!

I also sent out a mail to Yonsei University with the documents scanned and I also faxed it just to be sure. They said it was fine and were waiting for the real deal, because they needed my photos.

Now it's all about making a good monthly budget and sticking to it. I'm glad I saved a lot of money, so I'll have a great time without worrying. Other people that went to Yonsei University advised me to check my money from time to time. Because Seoul is quite cheap and this makes people spend a lot money after some time.

The next thing I should do is getting my visa and ticket.

I need to hurry up =P