Wednesday, July 10, 2013

First Attempt of Korean Visa Application

Failed.

Sometimes I really think that things always don't go smoothly especially important things like this. BAH!

I've been reading a lot of reviews and requirements online for a D4 visa application which is a training visa for people who wants to study the Korean language in Korea for more than 90 days. Most of the reviews recommended to call the Korean Embassy to make sure you have all the documents needed. Of course I don't want to go back and forth with all these applications and I really hate all the hassle. But instead of giving them a call I drop them an email. And here is their reply on the documents needed:

For Malaysians, documents required for student visa application are:

1) Completed application form (download at mys.mofa.go.kr)
2) One recent passport-sized photo
3) Original passport
4) Admission documents from Korean university (original and photocopy)
5) Latest graduation / school-leaving certificate (original and photocopy)
6) Certificate of scholarship (original and photocopy) OR personal bank statements for the latest 3 months, duly certified by bank, with balance not less than amount stated in the certificate of admission or RM10,000 whichever is higher
- if using parents' bank statements, please include letter of sponsorship from parents, copy of parents' IC and copy of student's birth certificate
7) Flight ticket

Additional documents may be requested upon assessment.
Application must be submitted over the counter between 8:30-11:30am Monday-Friday (except public holidays).
Processing takes at least 3 working days.
Fee is RM96 for single entry visa not more than 90 days, RM160 for single entry visa more than 90 days, and RM256 for multiple entry visa.


I looked through the list again and again, double check and make sure I have everything. And turned out all the problem lies here:

My certificate of admission



I've only registered and paid up for one semester (2 months) which technically do not require a visa (less than 90 days) but I plan to study for 6 months so in the form I filled in 7 months. Which pretty much make sense because I will be there 1 week earlier and in between the semesters there will be short breaks. So when the officer saw I filled in 7 months she annoyingly asked , "WHY DID YOU PUT 7 MONTHS?" maybe I exaggerated with the capital letters but that is how I feel. So I explained and she proceeded to look at my other documents. When comes to the bank statement she said you don't have sufficient amount of money in your bank. Turns out the amount on the certificate is in USD not MYR. I got a little pissed and in my heart I was thinking now why did the school do that. Great. And she continued by saying since in your certificate it says 2 months you have to show us a return flight ticket. Double great.

Never in my life I got this feeling that Korea thinks I want to be an illegal worker there. Probably this is my first complain of Korea, hello, don't you want foreigners to spend money and study in your country. Why do you have to make my life so difficult. Just give me the damn visa goddamnit.

Okay now will you excuse me while I go breathe.

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So after considering all the options that I have, been thinking the whole day from getting a return ticket to getting a C3 visa first then change to D4 and all other methods, I've decided to pay up another one semester and request for a new certificate of 4 months so that I don't need to get a return ticket first cos I dont know exactly when I will be coming back. And also get my mom to transfer more money into my account. I feel super bad cos the amount is quite big T_T I think this is the safest way and I don't want to go through more hassle.

Before I do that I am going to wait for that lady to reply my email and ask if I paid up for 4 months do I still need a return ticket. She didnt reply my email since morning and if she doesn't tomorrow I am going to call up the embassy.

Friday, July 5, 2013

My Korean Language Journey So Far

By the time I publish this it will be really near to leaving for Korea to study Korean. This has been something I really want to do since 2009. 4 years of waiting. I am writing this to remind myself that this is what I have been wanting to do since 4 years ago. Life in Korea might not be a bed full of roses but it will be boring if there isn't any challenges right. So I've decided to record down my whole journey to Korea so that this may help some people out there who wants to study in Korea and also what to expect. But first you have to read through about my Korean journey. Heh.

I started studying Korean in my university as one of the electives. Yup! We are free to pick any language to learn as our elective. So I studied for 3 semesters which is about one and a half years but that is just 4 hours per week. Then I took the TOPIK exam which I scored level 2. I did not do much of self studying, all I depended was lectures and notes from the lecturer. After I graduated, I took part time classes which is 2 hours per week for a total of 5 semesters which is about 8 months and now I'm in my sixth semester in a language school in KL. Recently I took the TOPIK exam again thinking that I could pass level 4, that was so naive wtf. I failed the exam not even level 3. I kinda expected that because it was really difficult and all I depended was the part time classes which actually didn't help much and I feel that I hadn't improve much. Yup, so I spent more than 400 bucks every semester in that language school and all I learn is grammar and grammar and more grammar. Well I still attend though because there wasn't any other choice that I can think of.

And then until recently I had the opportunity (guess I'll elaborate on this later in my next blog post). All these while I've been wanting to attend Yonsei KLI cos I heard they had the best Korean language school plus I know some people who attended there. I almost applied for it but somehow when the application opens on that day, I couldn't bring myself to submit the application fee. God must be with me. T_T I hesistated for a few days and then somehow I've decided to casually talk to Jamie who attended Yonsei KLI and she finished level 6 there. She told me about Yonsei KLI and recommended me some other schools which I can consider. After a lot a lot of thinking and reading on the internet about all the other schools, I've decided on Sungkyunkwan University Korean SLI. Yonsei KLI has the most expensive fees and I am on a really tight budget. On the other hand SKKU has the cheapest fees. I couldn't find much reviews on SKKU and was worried if it is a good school or not. Cos I don't want my money to be wasted okay!

I only found 2 reviews and both have good reviews. Jamie said that her friends who studied there seems to be good in Korean as well. Then I spoke to my Korean teacher at the language school and she said most Korean language schools are the same. Then I bug my sister for a few days on which to choose and she said the cheaper one. -___- Then I talked to my mum cos she is going to support me and she said "The cheaper one la, you think I have a lot of money ah." T___T So I've decided on the cheaper one wtf. The semesters in SKKU is different from other schools. Their semester consists of 8 weeks instead of 10 weeks with longer hours everyday which means I could save on living expenses. Less days in Korea less living expenses. T_T

I guess with this choice I can live a bit more comfortable while I am there. So I proceeded with the application and within few hours they replied and said that I am accepted. WOW. That was easy. Lol. And then I proceeded with the tuition and application fee payment and now waiting for the transfer. Yup. A new chapter of my life is about to begin. I am excited and at the same time worried and scared. T_T But I kept telling myself that it's okay I can do it. This is what I want. So from this post onwards I am going to talk about my life there and about the school whether it is good or bad because while I was looking for review of this school there isn't much information I can look for. SKKU Korean SLI students, why you no blog about the program there! Are you guys really busy that you have no time to blog? Please bug me if you don't see me blogging about it in the future because I really want people to know if it is a good school. Or not. =X