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 🙂