This post is about a several formalities done in the orientation days at the Korea University.
To clarify at the beginning: there are several institutions you have to deal with. First, some events are organized by the university itself, the Korea University (KU). Each exchange student has a buddy from the Korea University Buddy Assistants (KUBA). As there are many exchange students, several groups were formed, and most events were done by the associated group (KUBA group; the buddy is also part of the specific group). All my courses are held by professors of the business faculty, the Korea University Business School (KUBS). The business faculty has another buddy program for exchange students, KUBS Buddy. Each of these institutions (KU, KUBA, KUBA group, KUBS, KUBS Buddy) organized one or more events during the semester.
Orientation day #1
Although I hadn’t had six hours of sleep it was the first time since days that I felt recovered. I prepared myself, wrote a few mails and went to the Inchon Memorial Hall where the orientation phase started. The hall was quite impressive and the seats were comfortable just like in cinemas.
The introduction wasn’t that interesting, especially because all the presented information could also be found in the documents provided ahead. But I got in contact with a guy from the US and another one from China. We were brought together by our KUBA group buddy from the university who will guide us throughout the stay in Korea.
Lunch time followed the introduction. I chose a few things I can’t name and didn’t enjoy any of them – so that’s the first drawback of living in a much different culture. But I already spotted some familiar meals which I plan to take the next time and will try the local meals later.
After another stroll through the campus a short introduction of each student followed. I got to know that nearly all of the other exchange students are in their undergraduate studies and there’s a big age difference as no one was close to 28 years.
Next, the IT-session was on the plan but not very fruitful as I’ve registered on the portals before. At about 15.20 o’ clock the formalities were done and I arranged with my chinese fellow to meet later to go shopping for a few necessary things (like towels in my case). At 16.20 o’ clock I met him and we walked to a Lotte deparment store. A few words about it can be found in the guide.
After the shopping tour we went to a photo copy shop to make copies of my passport and to buy a T-Money-Card which is used as a common payment method. At about 19 o’ clock I arrived at my dormitory, showered and fell asleep on my bed although I only wanted to relax a bit. But well, I haven’t felt so tired in a long time, so I guess the six hours sleep before were not enough anyway.
Orientation day #2
After about three hours I woke up in the night between 1 and 2 o’ clock. I felt that this day will be very exhausting.
Thankfully the problem with my MasterCard could be solved – at least in this way that after clarification no activation of it is necessary and the card seems to work fine. Later I was able to withdraw money from a KEB Hana branch in the rear of the university and made new photo copies that are necessary for the alien registration procedure as well as getting a local bank account.
Fortunately, only the student application and the course registration were mandatory parts to participate in on this day. Between these two a group photo was taken; I guess I’ll get access to it at the end of the semester.
I can take part in all the courses I put onto my wish list. I’ll earn 12 credits which are equivalent to 24 ECTS credits.
Different than originally planned I didn’t take part in the workshop about life in Seoul as I felt very tired and ailing. I went to my dormitory about 14 o’ clock to rest an hour or two and refresh myself for a meeting at 18 o’ clock with my group. But well, I fell asleep again and dreamt a long time – and this was the end for this day.
Alien Registration Card
On the next days, I made an appointment at the local Immigration office to get the alien registration card which is necessary if the visa exceeds 90 days. The e-governance made it possible to define a date online without having waiting time. Instructions could be found in the document provided on the first orientation day.
Registration for KUBS Events
Second, I registered myself for an upcoming Seoul City Tour arranged by the Korea University Buddy assistants (KUBA). A few days later I went to the KUBS office for exchange students to register myself for all upcoming KUBS Buddy events. Most events could be attended for a moderate fee; overall, I paid about 150.000 WON for all events.
Wi-fi on the Campus
Originally, my wi-fi didn’t work on my laptop (but on my phone and tablet). As I talked with several students some remarked that some laptops had connection problems in the past and therefore this wasn’t surprising. The rooms have LAN ports on the floor, but a direct connection doesn’t work either. After contacting my Korean exchange advisor I got a document how to set-up the wi-fi. I followed the instructions, but still couldn’t establish a working connection (it turned out that the document is outdated). After much trial and error on the network settings I finally managed to connect to the Internet, but during my whole study time the internet connection was pretty slow due to my settings.
Getting a bicycle
Last, I decided to buy a bicycle to save some time for daily activities like buying groceries in a department store. I describe here how this worked out. On my way to there, I took an interesting picture of a chuch with a traditional clock tower and a modern building
KUBS Orientation Event
A few days later, another orientation event took place, this time organized by the buddy program for the business faculty. Photos are taken from a closed KUBS Buddy Facebook group.
Featured image – By Ksiom (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons