Pre-departure Tips: Yonsei Fall

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Here are some pre-departure tips for Yonsei Fall! I participated with UCEAP which has a lot of connections and tie-ins with the program so some parts we did not need to turn in documents for and therefore…I probably lack some of the application procedures.

Application:

The application period for the fall semester began early January and ended early March. After the initial acceptance into the program, we filled out the Yonsei online application and official admission was released around May. Basically the application process went like this:

Initial UCEAP application➟Acceptance by UCEAP➟Yonsei Online Application➟Yonsei Official Acceptance

For the Yonsei Online Application, you will need to submit a study plan (they will give you a document to download and fill out), a 3.5×4.5 passport photo (you will need a lot of these so just take one and print a lot of copies, trust me), and proof of health insurance (this can also be uploaded at a later date after your acceptance into the program). You may need to upload your official transcript as well depending on your home university and Yonsei.

Accommodation:

You have the option to live on campus at SK Global or I-House or live off campus in a place you find yourself but I recommend living in the dorms because you get to meet a lot of people there.

Application for housing opens in June and fills up fast so make sure you know what date and time (in relation to your time zone) the application opens. Make sure to make an account for the housing page ahead of time! 

SK Global has slightly larger rooms and has doubles and singles. Singles have a mini fridge in them and all rooms have their own restroom.

I-House has double rooms and restrooms are shared with the floor and if you don’t like to clean, this would be a good option. All rooms have a mini fridge.

You need to get a TB test within a two month range from checking in at the dorms so remember to get that and bring proof! No sooner than two months! They’re super strict about this.

  • If you have had a TB vaccine as a kid (which is that raised or weird bump you have on one of your arms) then get the x-ray or TB blood test, NOT the TB shot because that will inaccurately say you’re positive.

If you want to request a specific roommate like a friend, make sure to email I-House or SK Global (depending on which one you chose) and let them know after your payment and housing is confirmed. Include your housing application number in the email.

Room Types: 

You can check you housing status here: 

**Housing status will go to PASS if you got the room and takes a while (like a month) to update! When you pay, you might be overpay or underpay because of fluctuations of currency but you will be paid back/allowed to pay the rest once you get to the dorms!

Visa:

The visa guidelines changed right after I got my visa so I’m not sure how it goes now, but you will be applying for the D-2 student visa and it apparently takes a longer time now with the new process, so plan ahead! You need a visa if you’re staying for more than 90 days. Here are the materials to bring with you to your nearest consulate/embassy:

1. U.S. Passport. It must be valid for at least six months past the date of your visa application.

2. Passport Photo: Attach a passport photo to the application.

3. Application for Visa which can be easily found with Google search (they always change the application so its good to get the latest one).

4. Copy of Travel Itinerary (book a round trip!)

5. Passport Copy

6. Admission Letter from Yonsei University.

7. Bank Statement or Financial Aid Letter. Single term students must have a balance of $5,000. Year students should have a balance of $10,000.

8. Visa Fee. Mine was $45 at the Los Angeles Korean Consulate.

*** ASK for a multientry visa. I know mine was since I applied in the United States (apparently its all multi if you apply for the US) but its good to ask because you will need to apply for an ARC card once in Korea and you might not be able to travel to other Asian countries during the Chuseok holidays which happen in September since the card takes a while to process.

Flight tickets:

My situation was complicated since I was flying to the Yonsei program right after my Pembroke-King’s program ended but I think STA Travel is a good place to start. I recommend Korean Air. Make sure to get round trip since you need it for the visa.

STA Travel: 

Packing:

This program involves summer, fall, and winter so there’s a wide range of clothing you will need to prepare for. I recommend bringing summer clothes, a few jeans and a light jacket and to purchase everything else you need while in Korea. Pack light! Things are cheap here so it’ll be better to buy cheap winter/fall clothes here than to bring it from home and you can leave them after the program ends too. This way your suitcase won’t be overstuffed and you’ll have an excuse to shop! Temperature drops rapidly and suddenly during the transition from fall to winter so make sure to stay warm~

Appliances: 

  • Make sure your hair dryer is the correct power voltage.
  • For phone plans if you have T-Mobile you get unlimited data and text in Korea so you will not need to get a new one. For other carriers, go to the Olleh shop. They have one in SK Global from building with staff that speaks The Olleh SIM card allows you  to get access to the Olleh free wifi around the city
    • 1GB for about 11,000 and 2GB for 22,000.
    • You can charge it whenever you need to and it’s super easy.
    • KT Olleh global centers like in Hongdae or Gangnam have English speakers and you can get a pre-paid sim without ARC using just your passport.
  • If you have a laptop (Mac or other brands) that don’t have an ethernet port, you can purchase an adapter (which is basically a usb with a ethernet port) from Amazon (I have the Anker one) or from Apple. Alternatively, you can purchase a travel router (like the little blue TP-Link one from Amazon) to set up your wifi for your room in the dorm.

Signing up for Classes:

This process always changes…in fact it changed this year during the course registration period. Here is a basic outline to this very confusing process!

You will be given your Student ID number a few days before the first round of course registration which will be used on Yonsei’s online portal. You can browse through example courses that you may want to take during the period before course registration opens to get an idea of what you want.

Use Internet Explorer for best results!

A. First Round of Course Registration

This is NOT a first come first serve basis. Everyone is given around 70 mileage points and you basically apply as many (up to 36 for most courses) as you want to courses depending on how badly you want it. Classes made for study abroad students are usually easier to get into. Students are only allowed three economics or business classes total, and only students under these two majors are allowed to sign up for them.

B. Second Round

After a few days, the results of the first round will come out. Got all your courses? Hurray, you don’t need to go through this second round but if you didn’t, it’s time to fight! This is a first come first serve operation so make sure you have good internet and you’re in front of the computer on time! During this time, students with majors under Underwood (ex. Asian Studies, International Relations, etc.) are allowed to sign up for courses under Underwood-while competing with students all around the world.

C. Add/Drop Period

This is when everyone who didn’t get a course can try to get into one and students who are desperate for Underwood courses can try to get into one!

*Courses with a “2” next to them are taught in English. Unless you’re completely fluent in Korean, it is suggested you take the “2” courses!

**Course levels are divided into 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000. 1000-2000 are usually lower division but credit and ultimate decision lies with your home university!

 

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  • Emily

    Hi Anna! I’m a UCSD student who’s going to Yonsei this fall semester. I’ve been reading many of your blog posts and they’re super helpful! Do you happen to remember when you received financial aid for Yonsei? I was wondering if it will come before the UCEAP tuition due date.

    • Anna Banana

      Hi! Yeah usually the financial aid comes in really late but it’ll definitely come in before the UCEAP tuition due date ^^ i was really nervous about it too, literally asked for every single program but it always came in on time!

      • Emily

        Ok! Thank you so much :))))

        • Anna Banana

          No problem ^^ let me know if you have other questions