This is a post on setting up a bank account in Korea and also applying for the ARC which is a confusing and stressful process for most people…and does not need to be.
Woori Bank Account
While on the program, you have the option to open up a local bank account. Opening one with Woori Bank is recommended since there is one on campus at the Student Union Center and they know what they are doing (because there are so many international students). You tell the receptionist that you want to open a bank account and they’ll give you the forms. The tables near the window have directions on how to fill them out and you just wait until your number is called.
You will need your student ID card and your passport to open the account.
It takes around 25 minutes, depending on the wait etc. and you will be given a bank book and a debit card, which is great if you don’t want to carry cash on you all the time.
ARC (Alien Registration Card)
The ARC is probably the most confusing, least talked about, fearsome thing for students studying the semester or year at Yonsei. It took my friends and I a long time to actually know what it was and the whole process because the school never talks about it-and we had friends who had stayed the summer and participated in the program before.
You need to get an ARC if you are staying within the country for more than 90 days. To attain the card, you must first make an appointment online! Don’t go to the immigration office directly or they’ll turn you away. I’ll outline the steps below:
- Download the most recent version of Internet Explorer (don’t use other browsers). If you have a Mac, just use the dorm computer labs!
- Go onto http://www.hikorea.go.kr/pt/main_en.pt **if your Internet Explorer says that it can’t access the page, click on the settings link that should be on the error page and turn on SSL 3.0.
- Click on the “reserve visit” tab–> “online reservation”–> “non-members”
- Fill this out.
- Select the Seoul Southern Immigration choice for Yonsei! It has to be this one. Set your date, print out the confirmation just in case, print the application form, make copies of your visa and passport. Bring your Yonsei admissions letter (will be given to you during orientation).
- Arrive at the office at the right time or a little earlier if you need to take passport photos (you need two).
**To get to the office, take Line 2 from Sinchon or Edae Station towards Hongik University Station and transfer to Line 5 at Yeongdeungpo-gu Office Station. Get off at Omokyo Station. Walk straight out of exit 7 and just keep on walking straight until you hit a fork (it takes some time so don’t worry if you think you are going too far off) and follow the bend of the road by turning right with it and continue down the road for a minute. Once you reach the end of the sidewalk and pass a tall church you should be able to see the Seoul Immigration Office. It should have the building name in English and it’s around ten stories tall and grey. There are usually vendors outside too!
***For non-Chinese applicants, pay your fee (₩30,000 and +₩3000 if you want your card delivered to you) on the first floor or second floor and go up to the third floor where you will be able to check your assigned number and they will call that number when it is your turn.