Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The Medical Check FEAT fetching gowns!

When an ESL Teacher moves to South Korea they have to obtain an E2 Visa. Once you arrive in the country there is one thing that people with these types of visas HAVE to do no matter what. I mean this literally - its a legal requirement by the Korean Government. Scary stuff right?! Well, kind of. As well as having a degree (in any field) you also have to go for a medical once you arrive in order to be able to stay in the country. Its a pretty long process so if you’re just starting out then get ready for some EPIC forms. Once you have had this medical, you then have to supply the results to the Immigration office within 90 days of arrival. This is to protect the children you’ll be teaching, from contracting either Aids, Ebola or becoming addicted to heroin (how? I really don’t know). So as you can imagine, I was pretty worried. Joookes.

Pyeongchon Hospital

My school took me to the hospital on Friday morning at around 9am. After filling out a couple of forms and waiting for approximately 5 minutes (shortest waiting time EVER) they called me up to the front desk and asked me to go into room number 1. There were about 10 different rooms on this floor, and I was pretty much thrown around from one room to the next as quick as you can say, anti bacterial hand gel! They performed a series of test’s on me that felt similar to what I imagine a small hamster experiences when trying out the new range of Body Shop beauty products. Lovely. It wasn’t too bad to be honest, and it is actually something that I think every country especially the UK should do. To be in a hospital for around 45 minutes, and to have a FULL Medical Check, was truly brilliant.

First of all I was led into a room and asked (in Korean) to take the dreaded urine sample. I guessed this is what she meant anyway, but of course when someone hands you a pot and says ‘half full’, you can only really assume...luckily for me I was correct. In the next room the lady didn’t say one word to me, but instead grabbed my arm, wrapped a long thin tube around my bicep, and then suddenly stuck a mahoosive needle in to my vein. Within seconds my blood started to fill up the syringe as my arm turned a deeper shade of PURPLE...and this is what it looks like now...

Biggest bruise EVER! Is it suppose to still look like this? Is this too much information? I'm not sure.

After this I had a hearing test, a sight test, and my blood pressure, height and weight taken. I was then led into a room where I had to put on an extremely fetching green gown. It was probably at the height of fashion in 1993 but unfortunately it was now 2015 and Jessie from Saved by the Bell was nowhere to be seen. I then had to lean up against a machine, breathe in and hold my breath. This (I was told) was a Chest Xray. I mean seriously, this medical was thorough to say the least. Afterwards I finally saw the Doctor and got the ALL CLEAR. I was sooo pleased about this, which may sound silly, but if there had have been anything wrong with me AT ALL, then I would have been deported and sent home on the next plane back to England. So yeah, it’s pretty serious stuff.

It was a strange experience and not really that rewarding, but it is definitely something that is necessary for both the E2 Visa process, and also for you’re own well being. For any of you that are moving over here to teach then just a word of warning - you do have to pay for this yourself, and the cost is around 120,000 won (about £70). After I left the hospital, my school then sent me home to rest for about 3 hours, how nice of them I thought. They also packed me up some lunch in tupperware (which lasted for 2 MEALS - winner). It was delicious, as you can see...


The next stop is immigration to apply for my ARC card (Alien Registration Card - its genuinely called that). With this card I will be able to finally open a bank account, get a phone contract and do all of the other important stuff that you need to do once you’re here, so hopefully there will be no problems with this. However I’ll be touching wood until that ARC card is literally in the palm of my hand. So keep your fingers crossed for me folks, and your medical checks up to date!!

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