So this will be the second post for my Study in Korea series of tips and cheats for those students who wants or plans to study in Korea. After applying for a scholarship and get accepted in a university, you have to remember few things when getting a visa or booking a flight.
Getting a Visa
In getting a student visa(D-2), you will need to check the Korean embassy in your country for the requirements list. Usually, they ask for the following documents:
- Valid Passport
- Visa Application Form
- Processing Fee: USD 30 (Single-entry) or USD 50 (Multiple-entry) In the Philippines, it’s around 2500php for the single-entry visa.
- The acceptance letter from the school in Korea
- Recent Certificate of School Record
- Bank Certificate. You need to submit a bank certificate containing the account balance of your parent’s/guardian’s/own bank account for the verification of your financial ability to study in Korea. You can visit your bank and ask for this certification.
Getting a visa will be easy if you have enough documents. After submitting all the documents to the embassy, and they approved all the documents, they will give you a claim stub containing the date when you need to go back to the embassy and get your passport. It doesn’t mean that if they get your documents, your visa application will be granted. There are instances that even though you are applying for a student visa, you will be denied.
In my case, it was quite difficult for us to get a visa. The embassy personnel asked for additional documents that supports our scholarship from Hannam University. We needed to inform the school in Korea that we still need a certification of the scholarship grant. After all the hassles and the stress, we were granted a D-2 visa valid for 1 year!
Booking of Flights
Booking of flights is one of the stressful things that an exchange student will go through unless your university in Korea or in your country will take care of it. If your scholarship will waive your airfare, there is a possibility that the institution who gave the scholarship will book the flight for you. If the airfare is not waived, you need to book your own flight.
In our case, there were some misunderstandings between our school and our partner school in Korea. To resolve the problem, our coordinator took care of the flights with the help of a travel agency. We availed an open ticket in Korean Air. An open ticket means you will buy a roundtrip ticket and you will have the freedom to choose when your return flight will be. They say that it is quite expensive but since Hannam University paid for the airfare, we agreed to it. Hannam paid for the airfare before we go to Korea and then we paid them back using the money that we have earned by part-time working at the university.
My other friends booked their flight using Asiana Airlines, Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. Among the four airlines, the cheapest is of course, Cebu Pacific. It is not bad to take Cebu Pacific! In fact, most of my friends who go to Korea always take Cebu Pacific because of their cheap promos. You will just have to endure 4 hours of quite uncomfortable trip to Incheon International Airport.
It is good if you will check the airlines’ websites for flight promos, maybe you can avail a ticket in a cheap price! We avail of the Economy ticket because of course, it’s the cheapest! My experience with Korean Air was the best! Their service was really good! All the food served in the plane are also good especially the Fisher’s nuts. You can also watch Korean movies and listen to Korean songs while in the flight. Our flight was on February 27, 2011 at 11:55PM GMT+8 so we needed to go to NAIA earlier that night. We arrived in Incheon Int’l Aiport on February 28, 2011 around 4:55AM KST.
My return flight was on the evening of December 27, 2011 at 8PM KST and arrived in Manila at 11:55PM GMT+8. I was shocked because when I went to the boarding area, the staff from Korean Air told me that my ticket was upgraded from Economy to Business Class! Imagine that! I paid for an economy ticket but get the freebies of a business class ticket holder! Even my friends and family got shocked with what I told them ㅋㅋㅋ. My only problem during that day was, it was cold when I left Korea so I was still wearing leggings and when I arrived in Manila, it was super hot! Next time, I’ll make sure that I’ll get dressed properly 🙂
Here’s the official website of the Korean Embassy in Manila:
- Address : 122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig city 1634, Philippines
- Tel : (63-2) 856-9210
- Fax : (63-2) 856-9008
- E-mail : email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org (Consular Section)
- Hours of Operation : Monday~Friday 08:30~17:30
- Visa Application Form
Here are some helpful websites when booking flights for your Korea trip:
Korean Air (I think you need help from a travel agency if you want to avail tickets for Korean Air flights originating in the Philippines.)