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Journals from Spring and Fall, 2012 South Korea

2012-09-24 Seoul Immigration Office

A couple of weeks ago, I had to renew my alien registration card (ARC) and visa.
But the trick about Korea, is that it is actually difficult to get information that you need to know about the appointment.
Concerning visa renewal, I couldn’t even find one blog or government website that could help me out;
Driving me insane!
Eventually I found out that in Korea, you don’t need to renew your visa; instead the renewal of one's alien registration card acts as the visa.
Fortunately, after that realization, I only needed to set up an appointment and head to the immigration office.
Getting to the office was harder than I thought.
Having already been to the immigration office, I figured it would be quick and easy the second time.
I didn’t realize that a taxi ride versus taking the bus would change my entire perspective.
Just as I reached my final destination according to google maps and a blog to confirm, I realized the directions were incorrect D:
Kind of lost in the middle of Seoul, I decided to find the nearest subway and head home and schedule another appointment another time.

Like many of my adventures, I found my way back and learned about a new area of Seoul.
Many days later, I finally got the chance to go back to the immigration office, but by this time my ARC had already expired so I was praying that I wouldn’t get any fees.
Not knowing the routine of renewing my ARC, I ended up getting to the counter without have a stamp that was needed to mail in all the paperwork to the government.
Out of generosity, the lady at the counter allowed me a few minutes to run up stairs to pick up the 30,000 won (about 30 dollar) stamp needed to send in the documentations.
Pricey, I know, but that was the only thing I had to pay for; no extra fees for being late!
Quietly waiting for my card to be returned to me, I read the Hunger Games (which I am now addicted to considering my club on campus decided to make a movie trailer on it and I actually had to act:
Reminiscing on the weekend spent recording and editing this trailer came up as I waited for my ARC.
Suddenly I realized that it was taking way longer than the girl at the counter told me it would take.
Taking a couple steps closer to the counter, I asked if my card was done yet.
Unfortunately, I ended up waiting an extra 20 minutes because apparently I missed hearing my number being called out.
Vexed about the situation and how I might be late to class, I quickly walked out and headed back to school.
Wishfully thinking that I would make it to class on time, I passed away the time reading some more of my book.
Xerote on the ride home, I decided I would just skip that one class, having friends to take notes for me anyway.
Yonsei was beautiful that day when I returned, so I strolled around campus, visiting areas I don’t get a chance to go to often.
Zealous about improving my Korean (and envious of the four-year students at Yonsei), I returned back home realizing there are only 4 more months before I will have to head home.


Dana Hellie


Dana Hellie

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