The last bit of Paperwork

Signing the contract, Medical check and ARC application.

As you know already, nothing has been settled before you get cleared in you medical check. This is the last hurdle, and trust me it was a piece of cake.

The medical

  1. Upon arrival you will report to a desk specifically for foreign medical check-up. There should not be a line of people waiting, but even if there is,the efficiency in Korea is astounding so don’t worry about it. When we arrived our co-teacher looked really scared and informed us that there is 20 people in line before us and that we will have to wait a ‘long time’. This long time was a total of 40 minutes. In South Africa it would have taken at least 3 hours, if not more. I have been to a number of public hospitals and it never takes less than that. To me 40 minutes counts a win.
  2. The actual medical check will go something like this: Blood test (2 minutes), Chest X-ray(4 minutes), Weighing and height (about 40 seconds), Eye test (1 minute). Done. For the both of us it was a total of 9 minutes. The efficiency in this country is next level! You will now have to the end of the day (around 16h00) to kill some time, since you can collect your results from 15h30 -16h30. We arrived back at the hospital at 15h00 and ours were ready for collection. Do not open your envelope, it needs to be sealed for the immigration office. If you open it they will not accept it.

The ARC (Alien Registration Card) application

  1. This is also very straight forward. Again, you might start to panic because the immigration office will be really busy. We arrived just before 13h00, and we were number 28 in the row. The row moved very fast, on average 3 minutes per couple and 2 minutes for single applications. We were out of there before an hour even passed.
  2. The process is easy. Your employer completes the forms beforehand. You go, with one photo, money, medical form and application form. They will scan your fingerprints and you will pay the amount due. After that you will get a receipt with approval. Now you just wait for the arrival of your ARC. It will be posted to your school. After that you can open a bank account, get a cellphone plan and internet plan and do all sorts of wonderful stuff which requires Identification.

Signing the contract

  1. The Director of the school is usually not in the general office with the teachers and other staff. We have been at our school for week before we actually met him. Prepare yourself for this meeting. I figured that the director will be able to speak English, which he could not. So when I met him my whole speech went sideways.
  2. Dress formally. Even though the heat was really intense, we had to dress in formal business wear for this meeting.
  3. Know your hierarchical structure. Our co teacher nearly kissed the ground when we walked into that office, it it’s expected from you as well. Ask your fellow teacher how you should behave yourself when meeting the Boss man, even if it sound silly to you. This is not our country or customs, but when in Rome…
  4. The actual signing of the contract takes about 2 minutes and the whole meeting will last no more than 5 minutes. Afterwards you will probably have a meet and greet of all the administrative staff member, if you have not met them already.

Now, finally, we are done. No more paperwork. We made it. We are here- and I am extremely thankful.

My post will keep on coming, how regular it will be I cannot say now. Chances are that I start enjoying it so much here that I only post one or two a month, but you’ll forgive me – right?



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