Pre-Korea Plan #1


Since tomorrow is Good Friday and despite me having 2 papers on Saturday, i’ve decided to give myself a break and do a pre-korea planning post!

A prelude to this entry:

I wanted to apply for Korean University Summer Program since last year when I found out that I was eligible for exchange-basis and I double-checked with the admin office in December. Meaning that if I was selected, I don’t have to pay the tuition fees which is like 3,100 USD. Well, I could have applied for the semester-exchange too but it was an either or thing. If i apply for semester-exchange, i would not be eligible to apply for the “supposed” fee-waiver summer program. So I decided that 6 weeks was enough in Seoul. So I did not apply for SEP and waited for the application for the KU-summer exchange to open.

So I waited and waited, but there was no email regarding the program! So I email-ed the office! and guess what she told me? There was no more fee-waiver exchange basis to KU for summer program anymore! If I want to go, I would have to pay the 3,100USD school fees, on top of the hostel and field trip fees which amounted to a total of 4,000USD which is approx 5,200 SGD which was just few thousand short of what I pay for a semester in NUS. hmmpf. It was so not worth it right?

At that point in time, i was no longer eligible to apply for the semester-exchange since Korea was a super popular choice and there were no more vacancies. I didn’t even have a chance on the waiting list. So there I was, feeling so hopeless because what I had planned right back in 2010 was torn apart because of a unanticipated change in their summer program terms&conditions. Just my luck. Seriously. I was really upset then. But then again I move ahead with life.

A month later, a series of natural disasters happened and some things around me happened which made me realise that life was really short. Yep so shortly after that, my friend kind of started asking me if I wanted to go Korea again. So at that moment I was like, hmm. This is the last summer that I will be having since I am most probably not doing honours. I’ve been to USA last year, so what should I do this year? I’m that kind of girl who can’t just do nothing at all. lol. Anyway, with zero phone calls from my internship application. I’ve decided to just live for the moment and just spend a fulfilling summer! I would have applied for the mexico one, but the dates kind of clash with my family vacation, supposedly Hokkaido but changed to Turkey.

Well, well, so I wasn’t willing to pay 4,000 USD. We started looking for alternatives.
Seoul National University (SNU) and
Sungkyunkwan University.

Seoul National University (SNU)
(all numbers in USD)
courses cost 700 each (if you take their 2 credit cultural modules) or
1,300 (their normal modules)
5 weeks.
accomodation: 500

Sungkyunkwan University.
Courses  are 700 each
4 weeks

*anyway i disregarded the field trip section because it didn’t really interest me. But KU’s field trip plans were really good! Anyway, in the end we chose SNU tough I would have preferred SKK’s courses because the chances of me mapping it over is higher. but in the end we chose SNU for it’s prestige and 5 weeks was more worth it 😀 anyway, my appeal to map SNU’s 3 credits module failed because I guess my faculty is rather stingy o.0 Together with the cost savings of 600USD per module, I ended up choosing:

Seoul National University (SNU)
1. Korean Language
2. Korean Arts and Crafts

I know some of you must be like WHAT?! but well, i’m treating this as a cultural exchange and a super nice and relaxing holiday. With totally no stress or homework assignments (I THINK). Although learning hangul will probably be a struggle for me but I guess it’s better than taking those Core modules which require papers and projects.

Step (1) Obtain transcript from univesity
Step (2) Obtain Medical Examination Report with Chest Xray: 30 SGD from UHC
Step (3) Photo which we took using my iphone3GS at a random stairway with white background
Step (4) Creating account and filling up all the details
Step (5) Choose your courses
Step (6) Make payment within 2 weeks after submitting application

Total amount I paid:
2 credit modules: 700 each = 1400
application fee: 100 (refundable since i qualify for early bird)
accommodation: 500
Total: 2,000 USD

After bank charges & everything, it was 2,545.31 SGD

3 days after making payment via DBS i-bank, (20SGD wire surcharge + this extra 11.31 i have no idea for what),

I got my

Officical Admission Letter (ISI)

email. After rounds and rounds of trouble, i’m finally done with all the tedious application! And having booked my air tix last night, everything is done right?

I’m gonna spend 47 days in Korea; and i’m flying in 61 days!

I’ve talked too much nonsense that I’ve forgotten the purpose of my entry. It is to BUDGET!

(Estimation done in SGD)
1. Transport: Estimate 4/day  4*47 = 188
2. Food (Bfast: 2; Lunch:5; Dinner:10) 17/day 17*47 = 799
3. Misc (Stationary/Textbooks) 100
4. Hotel/Hostel/Homestay 10*30/night = 300
5. Travel: 400
6. Sightseeing/Attractions Entrance Fees: 200
7. Shopping: 500

Total: 2,487 SGD round up to 2,500 SGD

Let’s see if I manage to keep within the budget =) If you are wondering, yes I do record on expenditures on Excel Spreadsheet. I did one for my USA too. It’s really useful because you will get to know where you spend your money on and even remember what you did on which day!

Now that I’m done with budgeting, I have actually compiled a list of places I would like to visit. It was done last year, if I didn’t remember wrongly, it was examination period too! So now I would like to neaten up the list a little.

Places that I wish to go (Drama inspired)

1. Namsan Tower (BOF,YHN) – the place with locks
2. Building 63 (WGM)
3. Lotte World/Everland/Seoul Land/Caribbean (the water theme park)
a random check says that it will be super super peak prices.
which may cost the same price as my universal studio tix in USA.
4. Hongdae – Find the coffee house for Coffee Prince
5. Bukchon Hanok Village – Find Personal Taste’s House.
6. Ice Skating (either at Lotte World or  City Hall Plaza)


alright, we aim to go at least ONE music show.
M!Countdown -M-Net
Music Bank -KBS,
Music Core – MBC
Inkigayo – SBS


i don’t know how. he’s in China. whatever it takes, somehow.

1. SM
2. JYP
4. YG (not my choice)

** seriously seeking for help in this area. I am totally clueless. I know it is very very very hard, but I guess 6 weeks will be enough? Although I am praying really hard that there will be some mega concert while I’m there (Though I know there will be one in SG while i’m gone T_T) SM Town please!!

Oh wells, my list didn’t include the shopping places because there are simply too many!
At this moment I feel like colouring my hair over there, perhaps try bungee jump. But who knows, these decisions change all the time.. we shall see!

I hope I keep my word of blogging frequently about my trip, since a couple of my friends will be going over for the full semester exchange.  I guess I have to keep my entries neat ant nice and informational 😀

This is my travel blog and I shall not give it up!

(wonders if i will blog about Turkey.. I only have 3 days in between)