The first thing that happened when I started to focus on plan B rather than plan A is that I needed to find more information on how to get a D-4 visa. This is a type of visa you get when you go study, among other things Korea, in Korea. First stop: the Montreal consulate website, because one would assume that you can find information on all types of visa here…. It seems not, there is absolutely no information on D-4 visas on the website. Let’s be honest that was a little annoying. Since I could not find what I needed I sent them an email asking what the required documents are. Here is their response:
The required document would pretty much be the same as D-2 visa. So the basic requirement is the same (ex. application form, fee etc).
Your school will prepare you the documents which probably will include the following:
- Admission certificate
- A copy of their business registration
- Acceptance Letter
Also, you need to bring in the following:
- Proof of Enrollment or any document proving your final level of education.
- Documents proving your financial statement.
- Training plan (lecture schedule, detailed information on the program that you would be taking etc)
Now that I have paid my tuition I just need to wait for my documents so I can apply for my visa. I am waiting for some final answers to questions that I asked them as well. I am required to provide financial documents that state I have a certain amount in my account, I’m sure there is a maximum date for this document but they made no mention of it. I am also waiting to find out the delay for receiving my visa. The delay is the most important part really, because once I have the visa I can start booking everything and officially give my notice at work. I think doing all that will make this more real to me and help give me a massive kick in the butt to get everything prepared. I mean I’d leave in 10 weeks, that’s coming up really fast!
I’m a little obsessive when I want something or I’m waiting anxiously for an answer for something. You know like waiting to find out if you get accepted to your school, or if you got a job, things like that. So even though it is clearly stated that the processing of application to Yonsei KLI takes 2-3 weeks, every morning the first thing I do is check my email to see if I’ve been accepted.
Well this morning I had a lovely email from Yonsei informing me that I have been accepted in the regular program starting in June (and it only took a little over a week). Yay!!! So now I have to pay my tuition for two semesters to get my visa documents from the school after which I can apply for my D-4 visa. I hope that doesn’t take too long because I ‘m waiting to get my visa before I give my notice at work and before I book my flight.
When I sent in my application and fee I tried to take into account the fee the bank would charge. That did not work…. I had a deficit of about 10$, so now at least I know that the bank charges 30$ (compared to my banks 13.50$). Maybe it costs more to receive than to send international money transfers? Anyway any money I transfer costs me almost 45$, that’s gonna get expensive fast. So try to avoid money transfers is my solution for now…
I have now officially applied for the summer session starting in June at Yonsei’s Korean language institute (KLI). Prior to applying though I wanted confirmation that my certificate of graduation from university would be accepted as a substitute for my diploma or transcripts. Since I went to a French university if they didn’t accept that document (the only document my university produces in English) I would have had to have my diploma or transcripts translated which would have been a pain in the a** and probably quite pricey too. It only took them a few days to respond and I was happy to hear that my document was adequate.
Today I went to get my final paperwork from my bank. Since I intend to apply for a D-4 visa I needed a statement of balance deposit stating I had a certain amount in my account, essentially this is to confirm that I can sustain myself while studying in Korea. So today I sent in all my documents, application fee was sent on the same day I applied so now I am just waiting to hear back from the school to know the next steps.
In preparation of all this I have also started some minor touch ups on the house, that is, some patching of holes and repainting of the living room. There a few other minor things I plan to do before speaking with a property management company to hopefully rent it out during my stay in Korea. I hope to, at the very least, rent it at a price that is enough to cover the cost of my mortgage. Obviously if I can make money on it even better 🙂
I have now officially started working on plan B. I have registered on the Yonsei website and am just waiting on some details from them before I complete my application to start there in June. I have re-registered for the two courses that Yonsei offered on coursera.org so that I can try to get into level two, although I’m not all that confident about that part of the plan. I have also added the level 1 of KLI on memrise, where I discovered there are a lot of things that I will need to learn to get into level 2… Hence the current lack of confidence, but that’s OK, I still have a bit of time to work on it.
I have started my research on getting health insurance while in Korea and am currently leaning towards using the Korean national health insurance for foreign students, it appears to be the cheapest option and since money will be a huge consideration I will most likely go with that option. I have done some online research on places to stay although that would only be finalized once I actually get to Korea. For now the plan is to get an air b&b for a week or so while I look for a hasukjib not too far from campus. After doing some research on types of accommodations I think that hasukjibs gives me the most for my money. Here were the possibilities:
- Hasukjib: sort of like a homestay but where several other people are also staying. It usually includes breakfast and dinner (this was a big deciding factor for me). Price range 250-500 per month.
- One room: a one room apartment, these usually require a deposit between 5 000 – 10 000 so definitely not an option.
- Dorms: they were much more expensive than the other options so I didn’t really consider it, plus you can only stay 6 months (2 terms) so if you plan to stay longer you would have to find something later. Price (depending on the term and single or double) 750 – 2700 per term not including food.
- Goshiwon: a very small room, rooms have described as closet sized and walls paper thin. I don’t fancy hearing all my neighbors, so that was scratched off the list. Price 250 and up.
So one of the points often made on the websites or blogs of those who talk about finding a place to stay is to do so with someone who speaks Korean, this is a bit of a problem for me. I guess I will have to focus my language learning on this particular subject to make my search easier when the time comes. Planning and preparations continue… I am now awaiting a reply from the Korean consulate as to how to obtain a D-4 visa since there is no mention of that type of visa on their website…