My study abroad application process certainly had its challenges. I initially was interested in applying to the Paris + London Dual City summer program, which would be a perfect fit because I am a D&M major. But after my best friend mentioned the possibility of going to Korea, since I’ve been dying to go there for ages, I was inspired to look at programs offered there. I was in luck because the Korea program I found was offered in the fall and spring and its classes aligned with my plan of study. It was like killing two birds with the same stone: going to my dream country, and studying abroad. So I opened my application around July which gave me around 2 months to draft and edit my essays. I was so emotionally invested in this application that when I got my first acceptance I cried so much that when I called my mom to tell her she thought someone died. After two months of stress over perfecting my essays and application, I had to go through the challenge of losing and reapplying for a new passport.
After I got my passport in the mail I had to immediately mail my visa application. By this point, I already spoke with the Korean embassy and figured out the application requirements, and how much the fee was. One of the requirements for the application was to send a notarized copy of my passport, I had absolutely no idea what the notary was and I didn’t bother asking, because I admittedly have a big enough ego to think I could manage the application independently. So after mailing all of my initial papers in priority express mail, the embassy emailed me the next day that I need to send a notarized version of my passport. So I finally swallowed my pride and asked my dad for help, so he took me to a notary office and got my passport copy signed and sent it again. sent my passport copy on Wednesday and it was supposed to reach the embassy by Friday, but it didn’t. I got an email almost a week later from the embassy saying that they just received the mail, and my heart literally dropped. I thought there was no way I would be able to get my visa on time, but thankfully the embassy they said they count 14 days from the day that they received the initial application.
The closest Korean embassy is in New York. You have the option to either mail all of your paper works or go to the office and personally drop it off. No matter which one you do it will take the embassy 14 days to process your application and send you the visa. They will email you when your visa is ready and you will able to print it out from the embassy website, but they won’t send you a hard copy.
I emailed SNU telling them that I won’t be able to send a copy of my visa on time so they thankfully extended my deadline. In the end, everything worked out, but it was definitely a challenging application process that required a lot of planning, but it is what got me to be able to study abroad in Korea, so I’m grateful for that!