Writing with Laira

Join me as I write everything about my multimedia inclinations and crazywhatnots, straight from my journal!


Highway to South Korea

In my previous entry, I’ve told you about wanting to go to SoKor and I thought that the first thing I need to know is how do I get there. No, getting there is easy. You can always book a flight, get a tourist visa and voila! You’re ready for a SoKor experience.

But as for me, I have bigger intentions. I want to go and stay there. That’s the hard part, how do you keep on staying there?

According to some bloggers, there are 2 options; it’s either you study or you teach. Teaching is quite easy if you’re a Native English speaker and have that golden passport. Apply for an English Teaching Job and you’re all set. But since I’m not/don’t have any of those, I’d have to go through the rougher way, so I dug in a little more (actually a whole lot more).

Studying the Korean Language is my master key for opening the gates and staying there longer than the Tourist Visa permits.

The Korean government gives foreigners a Visa specifically for studying the language. They will initially give you 3-6 months to learn and then you can just extend if it’s still not enough.

Here are some guidelines in getting a D4 Visa.

Visa for General Training (D-4)


For persons who study Korean at a university-run language school, persons who study in a qualified educational institute or an educational institute other than an academic research institute, persons who get technical training at national or public research institutes, training institutes, bodies etc. persons receiving payment from research institutes or who have industrial training system qualifications.

How to apply for visa & application requirements
How to apply Applicant submits visa application documents to an embassy or consulate of the Republic of Korea
Documents tobe submitted Valid Passport
Visa application form or Certificate for Recognition of Visa Issuance
Fee: Amount corresponding to USD 50 (single-entry permit) or USD 80 (multiple-entry permit))
Verification of School Entrance or Enrollment (Verification of Training)
Financial Verification (more than USD 5,000 in domestic bank account or certificate of currency exchange) or documentation under a university academic exchange agreement
Identification Verification (for those who cannot verify their financial ability for tuition and living expenses or upon the request of Justice Ministry)
※ Provided that, where you have a recognition of visa issuance or visa issuance recognition number, you only need to submit a valid passport, visa application form, and the visa issuance recognition (or number)


If you are on the industrious side and you would want to continue your education into a higher level, you can get a regular Bachelor, Masters or Doctoral Course from a University, you can actually get a better Visa.

Visa for Regular Educational Program (D-2)


Persons who intend to receive education in a standard course (Bachelors, Masters, Ph. D) or research specialist fields in junior colleges, universities, graduate schools established according to the Korean Education Law, or academic research institutions established under the provisions of a special law of a status as least as high as a junior college.

How to apply for visa & application requirements
How to apply Applicant submits visa application documents to an embassy or consulate of the Republic of Korea
Documents tobe submitted Valid Passport
Visa application form or Certificate for Recognition of Visa Issuance
Processing Fee: Amount corresponding to USD50 (Single-entry) or USD 80 (Multiple-entry)
Admission from the school with its Recognition of the student’s aptitude for study and financial ability
Most recent certificate of school record
Financial Verification (more than USD12,000 or USD13,000(capital city) in domestic bank account or certificate of currency exchange) or documentation under a university academic exchange agreement
Family Registry (Applies to Chinese only; Must include whole family)
※ In case of getting a recognition of visa issuance or visa issuance recognition number, you only need to submit a valid passport, visa application form, and the visa issuance recognition (or number)

*from http://www.studyinkorea.go.kr/en/sub/overseas_info/guide/guide_visa.do*

My dilemma here is how do I keep getting finances without a job. Of course you won’t earn anything without a job. the Korean Government has foreseen this and they give students some working permit to do part time jobs only after staying 4 months. (I’ll give you my insights on job hunting in another blog entry.)

Teaching (English Language, Specific Subjects and\or Professorship in Universities) is the spare key, ladies and gentlemen!

Well of course you won’t study forever and sooner or later you would want to get a better job and most importantly a high paying one. So, you can opt to teach.

You might be thinking, why teach when I have majored in some other field? Why not apply for a job related to that? Well, chances are extremely low my dear. Koreans are hardworking and they know their game, and that’s a competition. Korean companies would most definitely hire Koreans mainly because of the language and I’m gauging that they are more comfortable working with people with the same culture. Unless you do a job that they surely can’t, then chances of getting hired are better.

As I can see, Korea is going forward towards globalization and they are still learning the roundabouts and one of the steps is learning the English Language. And you, who knows English better can provide this to them.

The problem I can see here is that they only give these teaching Visas to Native English Speakers and the highly qualified professors (e.g. persons with Master’s and Doctoral degrees).

But since I’m a very stubborn woman, I won’t stop here. Of course I will dig some more. Some institutions or academies hire Non-Native speakers provided that you have nicer qualifications like TESOL and CELTA Certifications, Majors in Education and some good experience in teaching. (I’ll write another entry for these Certifications.)

Click on this link for some pointers in snagging that E2 Visa. http://www.korea4expats.com/article-E2-English-teaching-visa-Korea.html

I’m still working really hard to get some teaching certifications and diplomas so I’d be ready for some job hunting. What I’m aiming for now is to be able to come up with enough money so I could stay in Korea for 4 months without a job as I study with a D4 visa. If the odds are in my favor I could get a proper job in 6 months.

If you’ve gone through all that trouble, please, I’m begging you, let me know your insights on this so maybe you can help me and many others who dream the same.


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Do You Need to Justify Your Dreams?

I have this long term plan of going to Korea to pursue the career I’ve been dreaming of. My goals are not that big. I would just like to own a small Nursery and become a Professor in a nice University. But what could spice up that simple dream is to bring it and do it in South Korea.

Many people would wonder why; of all places, why Korea? Well, basically it’s because I’ve been seeing these wonderful films and dramas for so many years now and my curiosity hasn’t died out since then. The culture, traditions, language, places, and food entices me and I kept wondering how living alone in this country would be like.

I’ve read some articles and rants about how living and working there is totally different from the things I’ve seen on my laptop screens but I don’t know why it doesn’t affect me at all. I guess I’d have to see for myself to actually know. What I know is that I’d have to try or live in regret for not trying at all. I see life as a huge experiment; an absolute trial and error and I believe there’s always a point where you can return.

My reasons might be really shallow for some but dreams are dreams. I don’t think you can reason out as to why you want a certain thing. Sometimes you just do.

With these, researching about things related to pursuing my career there has become a natural hobby of mine now and I’d like to share what I found and maybe we can all go together.


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Career Shifts!


I recently landed on a wonderful job. I’m currently a Nursery Teacher for an International School. I was a little bit hesitant at first because I was aiming for an office job. I was jobless for a almost half a year so I was terribly desperately eager to do something for a living and be of use. So I accepted the job.

I went to work each day, took care of kids and planned activities for them. It was just a plain as that in the beginning but gradually, I came to love what I was doing and I wanted to be involved in their growth more deeper.  I wish to see how I am contributing to their development and how I’m making a difference. The feeling was amazingly rewarding. It’s like finally being able to finish paying your housing mortgages.

Teaching is more than just a job, it is a vocation and it’ll become a very nice part of you. Just imagining that I can help in molding children to be the future leaders or maybe the next Bill Gates, Newton, Shakespeare, or DaVinci sends shivers in my spine in excitement.

So with all these, my career path clears it’s way and I know where I’m heading now! I want to be a Nursery teacher and it goes along with my goal of teaching in Korea maybe sometime in 2019. With God’s help, I’ll be able to do this! I know I can!

My favorite student addresses me “Mama”, and each time she calls me, I can’t help but put a smile on my face like a complete douche-bag!

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Job VS Vocation

My second day at work as an Assistant Teacher in a Nursery has ended. And I’m dead tired! I’m now wondering how am I able to write this despite the very few energy left in me.

Oh well, I just realized today that new found job is a whole lot of a challenge. My profession still do apply but, nah! Taking care of so many kids can’t be taught by a book or by a class. And that is at least how I feel; this is not a job, it’s a vocation. Meaning blood, sweat and a dam of patience is the key to lasting long.

But I’m not too discouraged because the tasks and the job is very much rewarding. With just a smile from the little monsters sweeps everything away!

Anyhow, I promised myself I won’t back down! I’ll do this all the way!

This career path will lead me to my dreams and goals! Let me tell you about those in another entry, okay? I’ll take my nap now! (my head keeps singing ♪ chick, chick, chick, chick, chick, chicken..lay a little egg for me..♫)

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Unemployed No More…or Not!

Woohoo! Finally! I landed on a job! I started today and it was so hectic! Everyone expects me to know what I need to do on the very first day. Sheesh! But it’s fine, I think it’s an integral part of the learning process.I hoped I could adjust and cope up really well SOON!


I was determined to proceed with the job, so I decided to head for bed early and go to work tomorrow. But I just kept on tossing and turning, my brain just won’t shut up! I kept thinking about my future, computing my supposedly wage every month, application for leave so I could go back in my hometown for Christmas (Geez, Family-less Christmas is like being crucified for me), and will I be able to save up the fund I needed to do my Master’s Degree in the future.


Then I realized, I’m going far away, so distant from the future that I wanted. Everything you do today will surely affect you tomorrow, so I opted to think harder, decide and be firm with it.


But I just don’t think that job is right for me. On my upcoming 2nd day to work I already feel like I will be dragging my feet to work. The cons of the job offer and the pros are not even. I bent so many things for me to fit into my employer’s need. I don’t like this.


I’m a Licensed Medical Professional and it seems that my body is craving for the medical jargon and clinical duties. I don’t know what’s got into me that I easily set aside the course I’ve worked and striven for, for more than 5 years! I spent blood, sweat and tears getting my degree and license.


Yeah, I may be a noob in my career but I don’t think I deserve to be bossed around by so many people in that Construction Site! Medical Professionals are for clinics and hospitals and we take care of the sick, not for a PortaCabin in the middle of the sandy dessert!


I would be so ashamed to face myself in the mirror because I will always see myself as a Nurse.


There are so many jobs , I just have to find it!


Good things come to those who wait, remember that!

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I finally put up the courage and started this blog since my passion for reading and writing recently resurfaced.

My life turned totally into a different direction as I moved into another country (I miss my homeland now!), believing this could bring me much better opportunities and greener pasture. But I wasn’t proven right yet. But yeah! Good things come to those who wait.

Sitting so idly in my bed, I came to discover my newly found wants and ambitions. I graduated as a Medical Professional and eventually got licensed. My Mom did influenced me in taking up that field. But gradually, things got a little confusing for me. I suddenly found my desire to live and work wearing heels and pretty corporate clothes; I want the hectic and tedious cycles the offices bring.

In other words, I want to go from scrub suits, gloved hands and medical jargon to heels, corporate attires and well painted nails.

I’m 23 and I know it won’t be too late. I can still re-align my career and start anew. From scratch! So join me as I marvel along this crazy world and maybe you could learn from me and I could learn from you too!