There are many things to take care of before leaving for a semester abroad, and we wanted to highlight a few things and provide a few tips.
1. Getting your student visa
After getting accepted by Yonsei University, you should receive a packet of documents which include things like an acceptance letter, business registration, etc. You will need this packet in order to begin your application process for a student visa.
Once you have this packet, you’ll need to find the Korean consulate closest to your town. For me, since I am from Madison, Wisconsin, the nearest consulate was in Chicago (Link to website). If you are in or near LA, California, for example, the closest consulate would be in LA (Link to website). You will be able to print off an application form.
Here are the following documents you will need to submit with the form:
- Your Passport
- A copy of your passport
- A passport-size picture (2″x2″), attach to your application form (this picture should be less than 6 months old)
- Business Registration Certificate (which you should get from the school in Korea)
- Original Certificate of Admission (which you should get from the school in Korea)
- Proof of Financial Affordability (i.e. bank statement, letter from financial aid office at your university) **
- Visa Fee of $45
- Self-addressed, prepaid return envelope (We highly encourage sending trackable envelopes)
** You will need to have more than $4000 to $5000 in your bank account (the amount needed to pay for living expenses in Korea for the semester) or if you receive financial aid, you’ll need a letter from your school’s financial aid office.
***If you are under 18 years old, you will need your parent’s signature.
****If your parents are Korean-born and are American citizens, the Consulate needs proof that they gave up their citizenship if they do not already have it on file.
2. Alien Registration Card (ARC)
You won’t be able to get this until after you arrive in South Korea, however you’ll need to bring extra copies of important documents.
You’ll need the following:
- Application Form (which you can find here– you’ll have to install the correct plugin for the website to work)
- Copy of your passport picture page
- Copy of the student visa page in your passport
- 2 passport-size photos
- ARC Fee: 30,000 Won
More information will be provided at the orientation for exchange students, but it will make the entire process easier to have most of these documents ready beforehand.
For any other documentation, your school should provide some guidance.
~Lila & Lillian