In this post I will explain how is the arrival in South Korea via KGSP
Pick-up at the airport
During july/august, the representative of your language institution will contact you to organise the pick-up at the airport. The arrival airport may differ depending on the location of your language location. I think it’s Incheon Airport for everyone except for those going to Busan or Daegu. In 2018, scholars were supposed to enter in Korea between 20 and 22 august, it may change.
The university representative will provide you the meeting place few days before the departure 18-19 KGSP PICKUP INfo(Chosun&Cheonnam)
As there are 2 universities in Gwangju (Chosun & Cheonnam) both meeting places and bus to Gwangju are the same. When you arrive at the airport you must directly go to the meeting point. All universities are picking-up foreign students at this period so you will see a lot of foreigners and representatives.
As for me, I arrived early in the afternoon so I was the first one to arrive… and no Chosun representative, neither the Chosun sign you can see on the picture T-T I just waited and they ended finding me^^
The representative will also provide a list with all the pick-up time. Basically it means that twice a day a bus leave the airport to go to Gwangju. With this list you will be able to know when you’ll arrive at the dorm. For instance, those arriving before 12 will arrive during the afternoon while those arriving in the afternoon will arrive at the University around midnight (guess on which bus I was >//<) as it takes approximatively 4 hours to do Incheon-Gwangju.
We arrived at the dormitory very late and were welcomed by previous KGSP students. One thing you need to know about the dorms is that there are nothing….so for those arriving at midnight you will only have a mattress…no need to say that the first night is terrible! And lucky us, this year we were welcomed by a typhoon so despite being in summer, the weather was very cold (no blanket to sleep)!!!
In the following days you will have time to go downtown to buy everything you need in places such as Daiso (details of dorms in another post soon). And you will have free days, enough to leave Gwangju if you want. In fact some enjoyed these free days to go to Seoul or other places. Just keep in mind that the money of the scholarship for Chosun students will arrive very veryyyy late! We were the last one to receive the monthly and the settlement allowances (mid-september) so it means that you need to have enough money to survive one month!
During this meeting, you will have to sign many papers in order to :
-open a bank account in Woori Bank
-obtain a SIM card
-obtain the Alien Registration Card (ARC)
This is also the first time all KGSP students of Chosun Uni are gathered so you will have the opportunity to meet new people!
Few days after “the Chosun Uni orientation” we went back to Seoul (approximatively 4 hours) to attend to NIIED Orientation.
NIIED orientation takes place on several days. We were there with Chonnam students + all the students that directly started with their degree. We arrived during the evening at the NIIED building which basically looks like an hotel. The orientation was the next morning. We received presents from NIIED and learnt how to play Danso (a traditional musical instrument) with a teacher. We went back during the afternoon.
YES! This is definitively not the best part of KGSP but you need to do the check-up again XD The check-up started during the afternoon so it was forbidden to drink or eat for the whole day >//< No privacy, we are in line and one after another we go to the different desk: urine, vision, weight, chest size, blood pressure, hearing, blood test and X-ray. It was not made in an hospital but in a classroom.
Korean proficiency test
This test was made directly after the medical check-up without any notice! So you better be prepared ^^ Most of people are beginners in korean so they just sat waiting for the other to end the test. It was a bit annoying because while I was trying to understand the questions, all the beginners juste kept talking and having fun around me so it was not that easy to stay focus :p The test looked like a TOPIK test with very easy first questions and then more complicated one. In the end you need to introduce yourself in korean.
They said that the test is very important to create the groups and that we won’t be able to change but in fact it is still possible and I will tell you more about the korean courses in another post.
Anyway, keep in mind that you don’t have to worry once you arrive at the airport^^