So You Finally Got That Visa;
Congratulations on getting your visa to South Korea- isn’t it a wonderful feeling- getting exactly what you wanted?
Before you book that flight that’ll take you down to South Korea however, it’s important to understand a few things that would help you get in and settle down easily and avoid getting stranded in South Korea. Here are a few things you need to know:
1. A Visa Doesn’t Guarantee Entry: Yes, the fact that you obtained a visa before leaving Nigeria doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get stamped in easily. Thanks to some of our Nigerian brothers who have given us a bad name over there, the Immigration officials are stricter on Nigerians so expect a thorough scrutiny at the port of entry.
To be able to guarantee easy entry, ensure that you have full details regarding your reasons for visiting South Korea.You must know a few things about your sponsor or educational institution and course and your documents must be genuine and correspond with those used for visa processing at the embassy in Nigeria.
This is very important too- your travel plans must correspond with your visa application details. I personally know someone who was turned back because he applied for a conference visa and was given a 30-days visa.
He decided to arrive a few days after the conference he claimed he wanted to attend had ended and had to go back when they wouldn’t let him in.
To avoid issues like this, make sure you plan your travel accordingly and arrive before your reason for visit is due or expires otherwise, you would be seen as a potential illegal immigrant and may be refused entry into the country.
2. Get Your Basic Travel Allowance [BTA] Ready: Some countries are lenient with BTA policies but South Korea is not one of them. You may get turned back for not being able to prove that you have enough funds to sustain yourself for the period of your stay. To be on a safe side, you should travel with a BTA of at least $700 -$1000.
3. Changing Your Money: When you get into the country, you would need to change your money from US dollars to Korean Won which is the official currency of South Korea.
You can easily find agents at the Incheon airport who would do it for you or you can just walk into any bank outside the airport to change your dollars. The rates are constantly fluctuating so we may be unable to give you a fixed rate but you can check online for current rates so you don’t get cheated.
4. Food: Food is affordable in South Korea and they have a lot of great and delicious cuisines but if you’re just like me who can hardly survive without having a Nigerian delicacy at least once a week, you should arrange for enough Nigerian foodstuff to bring along with you on your journey.
Some airlines are generous with their baggage allowances so you should be able to take a lot with you.
However, if you ever run out of supply and you’re craving Nigerian food, there are a few places in Itaewon where you can get Nigerian foodstuff. There are a lot of African restaurants in Itaewon as well where you can get cooked African meals.
5. Accommodation: As for accommodation, if you’re coming in as a student, you can consider living in the hostel although most school-based accommodation is shared so you may have one to four other people as roommates.
You can also live in a persona; accommodation if you can afford it. In large cities like Seoul, you can get a flat for around $250 per month although you would have to pay about $1, 000 as security deposit in the first month.
This money would be refunded to you when you are moving out of the house provided you don’t damage anything in the house.
If you rent a flat, you can rent out the other room to other people to cut down the accommodation costs. In smaller cities however, you may be able to get cheaper accommodation.
Lastly, there are some churches that offer free accommodation to members but you must be an active member of the church and be attending church services regularly to stay in such places, or if you get an English teaching job, you can be given a free accommodation.