Bye bye Korea, for now

Year 2019 is over and my exchange in Korea is over too. I don’t regret anything, and I have so good memories from my exchange time. This is also going to be my last blog post, but I have good tips for you and checklist for you guys who are going for an exchange. First, jet lag is going to be easier when you come to back in Finland from Korea (or when you travel westwards in general). My jet lag wasn’t that bad when I arrived in Finland so maybe it’s going to be easier also others. I just went earlier to bed than others because time difference is 7 hours ahead and my jet lag lasted about one week and after that I wasn’t that tired anymore.

Coming home from Korea.
Picture from Seoul.

Second thing is the shock, and this is also very individual. I got my first shock in Korea couples of days before leaving back to Finland and second shock I got in Finland when got back to my apartment. Some people cry and others just wanting to be left alone. I recommended seeing friends and people that are important to you. Of course, you are going to miss your friends that you got during the exchange, but luckily you can just call or text them in WhatsApp. For me the hardest part was saying goodbye to my friends and live alone again because I had just lived with a wonderful roommate for four months. Also, you might feel loneliness and sadness but that’s normal and I promise that it’s going to be easier when the time passes, and you get used to living in your home country again.

I want to help you make your exchange experience as wonderful as mine was, so here is a short list of things that you have to do/know (JAMK/KNU edition):

  • Check from Asio (Peppi the new system) the time when you must send your application.
  • Check and obtain the required medical certificates and vaccinations for your exchange country.
  • Make sure that you have your important papers with you and copies of them in your email (copies aren’t necessary but if you lose your papers you’ll still have copies).
  • You must apply for your visa for Korea in Helsinki and they can mail your passport back to you if you get an envelope with stamp for your passport.
  • Don’t get the meal plan from the dormitory, the food is not that good and many students don’t finish their meal plan (KNU).
  • You can book your return flight immediately when you know the moving out date from dormitory because in KNU your studies will be over by then.
  • Remember exchange some cash from euros to local currency. About 800€ worth would be ideal as you’ll have to pay for your dormitory in cash very soon after arriving.
  • And btw you’ll be using a lot of cash in Korea anyways, so make sure you can withdraw cash in Korea.
  • Before you leave from your exchange country get the Letter of Confirmation, you find that in Elmo intra. You’ll need this for JAMK.
  • Have fun and if you travel with Finnair remember that the extra luggage cost is 60 euros if you need that after your exchange (I might have needed)😉.

Here is something that is good to remember and know but not everything. Remember to read the Elmo intra carefully and make your own list of things that you have to pack. Also, no matter what obstacles you are going to face, you can get over them. Everybody’s exchange experience is going to be different but it’s going to be worth it. It’s okay to even fear your upcoming exchange a bit, but after going you are going to be stronger person and probably want to go back.

Me and my friends in KNU.

<3 Elina

P.S. Even though this is my last blogpost, if you have any questions about going for an exchange in Korea or KNU, you can message me in Instagram: lelluu_