(Some great tips on what to do before departing Singapore has been mentioned here)
There are 5 of us from SUTD in Hanyang University for GEXP2018 so we booked an Airbnb near the school at Wangshimni station for our accommodation. It’s approximately a 10 minute walk away from school.
Even though we were without a SIM card, it was not difficult to find the Airbnb thanks to the instructions provided by the Airbnb owner. Even though taking the AREX and subway from Incheon International Airport might be cheaper and faster, taking the Airport Limousine Bus is also a good option to consider for it is comfortable and there is a space on the bus for passengers to keep their luggage. Each person is issued their own luggage tag so there is no need to worry about the heavy baggage. To top it off, there is Wifi on the bus.
Apart from the hassle from packing and arriving, here are several important administrative things as well to settle upon arrival in Seoul:
1. SIM card
2. Alien Registration Card (ARC)
3. Opening a Bank Account
We initially registered for the SIM card offered by TOWNUS that was sent to us in the emails from Hanyang University. It didn’t take long for us to realise, however, that there are cheaper alternatives available outside the school. A huge data SIM plan was not necessary since there is almost decent Wifi everywhere; in the subway, metro stations, in school, and even in restaurants sometimes when it is near Baskin Robbins. 😉
All of us opted to participate in the buddy program offered by Hanyang University which is pretty useful since the local students are all welcoming to us. We find it easy to ask our buddies questions about school and tips since we can keep in touch on KakaoTalk.
For the ARC, we are dismayed to find that it takes a lot longer for the ARC to arrive than expected. We are expected to make appointments in the hiKorea website a few days after arrival in Seoul (for the system to register our passport numbers) for making the card at the Seoul Immigration Office. Due to the huge number of exchange students, the earliest appointment we could book is one month after our arrival. The ARC is said to arrive only 3-4 weeks after the appointment. We can only get post-paid SIM plans (which are significantly cheaper than pre-paid mobile plans) and leave Korea after we obtain our ARC.
For the making of the ARC, one of the documents needed is the certificate of enrolment which can be printed (paid for with a T money card, their form of EZ-link) from Hanyang Plaza.
The HYU student card can act as both a debit card and a T money card. The opening of bank account can only be done so a week after the collection of the student card.