I still haven't gotten everything together to send to Korea to get the visa. I do have most of the required documents/information, however.
I was able to take one day off a little over a week ago. I was able to go to the police station and submit the form to get a police check done. I also included a self-addressed stamped envelope so they could send it to me. I got that back last Wednesday - less than a week later. We have to submit that in a sealed envelope, so naturally I did not open it. I will send it as is when I send out my documents.
I've also been able to get my two reference letters, one from my TESL teacher, and one from my employer. Those, too, have to be sealed. My TESL teacher is sending his letter directly to Korea, but my employer gave me her reference in a sealed envelope and I'll send it as is.
One of the girls who is going to South Korea with me stopped into the university last week and she and the third girl (who happens to work at the university) spoke with the registrar about our diplomas and TESL certificates. You see, we are supposed to submit our originals but we don't want to do that in case they get lost or ripped or damaged in some other way. The school's policy is that you can't get a replacement unless you submit the original first. However, since our situation is somewhat unique, they told the girls that they will get us copies of the diplomas and certificates. The only thing is, we have to pay - which I suppose is fair.
I emailed the woman in the registrar's office who is responsible for getting these documents for us. She said that they were waiting for the paper to print them on, as well the president of the university had to sign them. We should get them at the beginning of this week (I checked my email tonight and there was no word on them yet). I also inquired about my transcripts and those are ready, but this same woman in the registrar's office said she thought maybe I'd want to get everything at the same time, and save a trip into the school. That is fine with me. I just need these documents very soon.
As for the passport, Sarah and I drove up to the provincial capital to the passport office there. We went on a Tuesday morning and submitted our applications. We were told it would take three weeks for us to get our passports. Two weeks and a couple of days later, we got them. Had we sent them to Ottawa (actually I think the passport office is in Gatineau, Quebec which is just across the border from Ottawa I think), we would have had a minimum of 10 weeks to wait before getting the passports. The reason is because very soon (unless it is required now), Canadians will need passports to enter the US via air. As well, in the not too distant future, you will be required to have a passport the enter the US via car as well (right now you only need a birth certificate). I think people are preparing for that, especially with the summer season upon us and many people will be travelling.
Anyway, if you are a Canadian citizen and wish to avoid the long wait when sending your passport application into Ottawa/Gatineau, take it to your provincial office if it is at all possible. You'll have a shorter wait.
So, I am mostly waiting on the diploma and TESL certificates and then I can get those and what I've gathered so far, documentation wise, to send to Korea so they can work on getting the visa. Once I send in, at least, the three important items (diploma, transcripts, and two passport size photos), they can begin the process. I think the rest of the documents are for the Ministry of Education's (in Korea) office files, though to be honest, I am not totally sure about that.
The days and weeks are passing by quickly; June is half over already. I don't know exactly when we'll leave yet, but the orientation starts August 24. I would expect we will leave Canada no later than August 22 (it takes about 24 hours to get there, including stops/layovers or whatnot from what I read).
Two months (approximately) from now, and I head to Korea. I don't think it has really hit me yet. I have a lot to do before then, and I know the time is going to fly by. I'll keep you updated on how things are going prior to leaving. I'll be taking my laptop with me, and we are told that we will have internet access at the schools, and we can have it set up in our apartments; I will be able to blog from there and update on what is going on with me in Korea.
Until then, I'll try to come up with other things to post about as well so I won't be too boring...
Have a Christ-filled day!