I feel quite stupid for not saying this earlier (it’s been what, 3 years since my first post on this blog? Unbelievable), but for all of you Singaporeans who are coming to Korea for long-term and wish to get in touch with the Singaporean community, here are some things you might want to register for. (Same goes for those of you who are not Singaporeans, you can do so with your own country representatives!)
1) Join the Singapore Club Seoul (SCS)!
Currently there’s a Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/singaporeclubseoul/ which you can request to join.
You can also email them directly at email@example.com
You can join even if you’re not located in Seoul too! We’re a small but tight-knitted community here I would say, and it does feel a lot more cosy and less “formal” than some other Singapore clubs in other countries that I’ve been to. The staff at our embassy here in Seoul are really kind and fun-loving too, and our ambassador is very friendly and approachable. We join events such as the Seoul Friendship Fair every year, mostly with food booth selling delicious Singaporean food that Singaporeans in Seoul all miss dearly! There are also various events organized by SCS such as potluck bbq and probably the biggest event in the year, the National Day celebrations where it’s another chance to feast on Singaporean food 😀 Do join and keep in touch with the Singaporean community here! There are just times when you need someone to speak in Singlish to and crack jokes that only Singaporeans can relate to, so it’s always good to keep in touch with other Singaporeans in Korea!
2) Register yourself with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Go to https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg/eregisterportal/common/preLoginEregisterView.action and register yourself with the MFA!
You never know when a natural disaster (or man-made maybe) will strike, so it’s always best to have yourself registered with the MFA so that the local embassy can contact you in times of emergency. Don’t make your loved ones worry!
3) Join the Singapore Undergraduates in Seoul Facebook group!
It is still uncommon for Singaporeans to come to Korea to pursue their undergraduate studies (grad students are more common), but we have a little informal grouping on Facebook just so that we can support each other on this tough journey (especially those taking programmes entirely in Korean!) We post up events, share information about internship/job opportunities, and hopefully it can evolve into an alumni network too which might provide future career advice to students. The requirement is that you have to be pursuing a full-time undergraduate degree (usually 3 or 4 years) in Korea! If you wish to join the community, please drop me an email and I’ll link you up with the relevant people ^^
4) For the Underwood International College (UIC) incoming freshmen, you might find these Facebook pages helpful! (Since I’m not sure if other universities have them, you can try to find if your university has similar pages ^^)
- Underwood Global Community (UGC) Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/uic.ugc/
- UGC is a student club that supports international students, as well as promote cultural exchange between students of various backgrounds. They offer a lot of support that you would need when you first enter UIC (such as ARC application, buddy system, etc) and you get to meet many helpful sunbaes online who will give you lots of advice and answer your questions!
- Facebook group for every class
- The class system in Korea is different from many other countries. It depends on the year I enter the school, instead of the year I graduate (because guys take time off to go to military in between so it’s more accurate to have this system I guess) For instance, I entered in the fall of 2011, so I am class of 11.5 (since spring intake is regular intake). Usually once you join UGC Facebook, they will link you to the Facebook group of your class, and there you can start to make friends with other classmates before you even come to Korea! 😀
- UIC Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Underwood-International-College-Yonsei-University/672270806155310
- The UIC Facebook page is regularly updated with information for both prospective students and current students, so it is definitely useful as an information source!
Hope that this was helpful for all of you who are coming to Korea soon, and for those of you who are already in Korea and looking for some support from fellow countrymen! ^^