Day 1 [Flying off, Getting Ready]

Time flies very quickly. 3 days ago, I was still in Singapore and now I am in my dormitory. I bought my air ticket from Koreanair. It requires a transit at Seoul. This transit was kind of different because it required me to collect my baggage and transfer to Gimpo Domestic Airport. Before I flew, I checked with the Changi Airport Counter person if there is any shutter bus to Gimpo Airport and they said there is. When I get to the Incheon Airport, I went to check out with the information counter if there is any shuttle bus to Gimpo Airport and she told me that I had to take either a bus or subway. I was afraid that I will missed my flight so I didn’t bother to find where is the shuttle bus. I ended up taking¬† subway to Gimpo Domestic Airport which cost me 3400KWN. It took about 30 mins to reach Gimpo Station.

 

Subway to Gimpo International Airport Station

From Seoul to Busan, it took about 45 mins by flight. I thought I was going to be late for my flight but lucky there’s still more than enough time though I went to the wrong Airport.

Gimpo Domestic Airport

Gimpo Dosmestic Airport is rather small. There’s nothing much to shop over there. I checked in my luggage once I reached and sat somewhere to read my book.

When I reached Busan, my assigned buddy came to fetch me from the airport. We went around to get the stuff that I need for my dormitory as well as mobile Sim Card. My buddy told me that they will need three days to activate so he lent me the extra Sim card that he is holding.

I went for orientation at 2pm. I almost fell a sleep during the orientation because I never sleep at all when I was in the plane to Seoul. Luckily, the orientation didn’t last too long. It’s probably 1 hour 15 min.

After that, my buddy brought us to a store near Pusan National University for phototaking. They need our passport photo to make our student ID. Passport photo is also required for Alien Registration. The passport photo taken by the korean uncle is nice!

Cheryl and I head to the dorm after everything was settle. I was so lucky to have her as my roomie because we missed the time for roommate registration. Thank god! If not, I would have stayed with some random people!

Toilet

Our Room (Woongbee Hall)

Dinner time! Cheryl buddy brought us to some authentic Korea food store that sells Korea Fried rice (Gugolgi I think). It’s very nice!

How can we miss out Soju when we are in Korea! HaHa. Buddy brought us to another place for Soju. We had Somate (I think this is how it spells), Soju mixed with beer. It’s not bad but very fattening! Haha.

Ended my day with Soju ūüôā Goodnight!

Pusan National University International Exchange Program [Pre-departure]

Now I know why going to exchange is not as easy as I thought because there are a lot of paper work to be done. Previously, I have encountered some issues with my application due to the field of study that I chose. A lot of my friends told me that it doesn’t matter what field of study that I chose but actually it does matter. So this is a note to my SMU junior, if you have no idea what to choose, you can simply put College of Business as your field of study because that’s the most generic ones. If you happen to experience the same thing in the future, please request them to re-evaluate your application with the revised field of study. Pusan National University side will take a while to re-evaluate the application. So do wait for their reply patiently. However, if there is still no response after 2 weeks, please email them again.

There were a couple of things to do before leaving to Busan.

1. Dormitory Registration

I did not go through this process because my application was being delayed on the Pusan National University side. Hence, I missed the Dormitory Registration period. Instead, I was pre-assigned a room. All thanks to SMU International Exchange officer, Li Shu. Without her, I don’t think I will have a room. The dormitory actually includes minimum of 2 meals and maximum of 3 meals. I chose 2 meals, Breakfast and Lunch. If you are going through the normal process, the result of the dormitory registration will be out in 2-3 weeks time.

2. Dormitory Fee Payment

Once my application was approved, I was requested to transfer them 1,114,310KRW (Approx SGD 1200) for the dormitory fee (2 meals) and 10,000KRW (Approx SGD 12) for Korean Bank transfer fee. On top of that, I paid another SGD 30 for Singapore Bank transfer fee. In total , I paid about SGD 1300.

3. Course Registration

Course registration was done by the buddy assigned to me because the course registration site is all in Korean. What I did was to plan out my time table and tell my buddy the courses and the time that ¬†I planned to take. On a side note, the course registration is based on first come first serve basis. Because my application was delayed, my buddy was assigned to me few days before the course registration opens. I was lucky that my buddy response on the day I was assigned to him by the International Office. There are 2 rounds of course registration so don’t panic if you cannot get the modules that you want in the first round.

4. Visa Application

There were a few things that I prepared before going down for visa application.

(a) One completed visa application form with One photo (see attachment)

(b) Original passport

(c) SMU letter to verify your student status, course enrolled and exchange programme.  This letter must beoriginal with the date of issue no more than 1 month from the date of application with us.

(d) Certificate of admission from University in Korea

(e) Your last 3 months bank statements or passbook in Singapore (original & photocopy); eStatement must be certified by bank before submission

(f) NRIC in Sg (original & photocopy)

(g) One copy of re-entry permit to Singapore (applicable to SPR only)

(h) Receipt or Acknowledgement letter for scholarship received or fees paid (if applicable)

For (e), if you wish to submit your parent’s bank accnt in Sg, please further produce your birth cert (original & photocopy) for relationship verification purpose.

NOTE: Visa application with us is assessed on a case-by-case basis.  Our officers reserve the rights to request for additional documents, if necessary.

 

Visa application fees (by CASH only):

– S$66 (single entry)

– S$106 (multiple entry)

The application took 4 days to process. That is provided if nothing went wrong. The collection date was stated on the receipt issued.

5. Purchase Air Ticket

I bought my air ticket from Koreanair at SGD 1009.80 as they provide the cheapest round ticket to Busan. I realised that air ticket to Busan is so much more expensive as compared to air ticket to Seoul. That is because there are limited airline flying to Busan. Alternatively, you can choose to fly to Seoul and take a train to Busan which cost about 30 SGD. It will save about 100 SGD.

6. Roommate Registration

If you are heading there with your friends, do remember to do a roommate registration. The registration was opened on 16 August 2012 0900 – 1600 (Korean Time). Roommate will be randomly assigned to you if you missed the registration period and this was what happened to me. I hope I get a decent roommate..

7. Purchase Travel Insurance

It is a must to purchase a travel insurance just in case something happens in Korea. Pusan National University (if staying in dormitory) and SMU international office requires us to submit a copy of the insurance policy online. This has to be done before we depart.

8. SMU Oasis Checklist

Remember to complete the check list before leaving. Failing to do so will result in you not being able to transfer the credit back to SMU.

I hope I don’t miss out anything. Now it’s time to start packing ūüôā