Goodbye, Budapest. Hello, Seoul!

As you can probably guess from the title, I’m moving to South Korea! I received a job offer this morning. With the exception of my colleagues, some students, a few close friends, and immediate family members (sounds like a lot, but I promise it isn’t), I have been relatively quiet about the process. It has involved bird poop, a frantic phone call to the FBI, the patience of that man who takes walks with his pet tortoise, and money I don’t have. It will all be worth it in the end.


Me in Seoul. Looks about right.


January 15th – Contacted company inquiring about positions. Sent resume and picture.

January 16th – Was given instructions on how to get paperwork completed.

January 21st – Contacted police officer who was to take my fingerprints.

January 23rd – Sent instructions to my little sister, Amira, on how to get my diploma notarized and apostilled. Sister fronted the notarization cost. I paid for the apostille. Cost: $13.63 (two copies + shipping)

January 28th – Application papers gave me a papercut. Bus was late. I was late. Ran to the police station. Bird pooped on my head. Wiped hair while running. Got fingerprints taken. Cost: $28.75

January 30th – Sent FBI background check application to FBI. Cost: $25 (mail) + $36 (two copies)

March 7th – Received apostilled diploma.

May 12th – Received FBI background check.

May 13th – Sent FBI background check to US Authentication Services to have them get it apostilled. Cost: $25 (mail) $55 (service) $120 (return by FedEx)

May 26th – Received apostilled FBI background check. Frantically called the FBI because I did not think that they put a seal on it. Alas, I was mistaken. Sent it to two other sources just in case.

May 27th – Had passport pictures taken. Cost: $10.75 (two sets of four) Thank you, Carlyn, for the support.

June 3rd – Scheduled interview with HR manager. Canceled due to the MERS virus.

June 19th – Was told that the school I wanted was interested in interviewing me. Contacted vice-manager. Scheduled an interview.

June 23rd – Interviewed. Really liked my potential bosses.

June 24th – Informed that I got the job! Received contract.

I started this process over five months ago, but I still have a ways to go. Tomorrow a courier is coming to my flat to receive the documents and ship them to Seoul. Cost: $65

After my school receives my paperwork, they will apply for my E2 visa. This part should take five to ten days to be completed. Once the work on their end is done, I have to go to the Korean Embassy in Budapest and have them issue my visa. The issuance should take about a week and they will have my passport at this time. Cost: $45

Last but not least, I have to purchase my plane ticket. I will be reimbursed for my flight, but I have to somehow manage to scrape up $650-800. Luckily my dad offered to help me out. Thank you (seriously).

It is strange knowing that I am leaving (hopefully the rest of my paperwork goes through and everything will be okay). Budapest has been my home for the past three years. I will write a post later on about how I truly feel. As for now, I have to figure out how I am going to pay for a new luggage set since the wheels on my suitcases are ruined. International travel has not been kind to them. In addition, getting rid of 80% of my belongings has been a hassle. Material goods will be the death of me.

Overall, I am extremely happy (despite the fact that I am living off of cheap, garbage food). I got a job at a great school in a good part of Seoul. To celebrate, I treated myself to a 200Ft ($0.72) scoop of ice cream. If that’s not living, I don’t know what is. My brain is currently mush (running on four hours of sleep) and this is probably my weakest post yet, but if anyone would like to me elaborate on the process, please email me at quitethelittleescapologist [at] gmail [dot] com.

Last but not least, I would like to thank my dear friends Monica and Brent for helping me out through this process. I am finding it difficult due to a mushy brain to convey how much I appreciate your help, but maybe Tina can assist me: You’re simply the best. SEE YOU SOON IN BUSAN.

Oh, and shout out to Candy.

A Lesson from Miss Jennifer: “It takes money to make money.” Make sure you have the money to make the money though.

13 responses to “Goodbye, Budapest. Hello, Seoul!

  1. Congrats on the new job! I’ll be in Beijing — not too far away (relatively speaking) — if you want to visit!

  2. Fantastic! You’re gonna love it here. Whereabouts in Seoul will you be living? It’s a massive city. Let me know if you need any tips, and maybe we can even meet and have a coffee once you get settled. 🙂

      • Lol, yup we can definitely do food. Lots of good stuff here 🙂 I’m not 100% sure, but I think you’re over on the west side, closer to Mok-dong area. We live over south of the river on the East side, in Jamsil area (it’s where Lotte World, Seokchon Lake, and the new Lotte World Tower are).

  3. Congratulations! The process so far sounds like quite an adventure. I’m looking forward to reading about how it all keeps developing. Moving countries is both a frightening and exciting experience. Just enjoy every bit of it! 😉

    • Thanks, Ana! I am both ecstatic and nervous – Hungary is so comfortable to me and I am about to “start over” again.

  4. Congratulations!!! Looks like I missed out on seeing you in Budapest this year, but I’m so looking forward to hearing about all of your wonderful new adventures 🙂

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