How to fill out the Korea visa application (Fulbright Korea)

The visa application process is quite straightforward. All you have to do is fill out and submit this visa application form with your passport normally and a passport-sized photograph.

The visa application for Fulbright Korea ETAs is slightly different (but not much). You need to include a copy of your award letter with the form and passport. There were some questions surrounding the application, so I thought I would use this post as an opportunity to clear things up for future Fulbrighters.

Fill Out The Visa Application Form

As I said, filling out the form is pretty easy, but there are some areas that can trip you up. Fulbright will send you a visa template with information on #26, 30-32, and 35. So no need to worry! My personal clarifications will be in italics.

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Fulbright: Paperwork & Preparation

So it has been a few weeks since I received my initial email informing me of my acceptance for the Fulbright to be an ETA (English Teaching Assistant) in South Korea. I have been feeling like I have been on cloud nine with some major senioritis kicking in, but reality has recently creeping back in, especially with all the paperwork that came with my official award notification email…

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Monica Heilman - Hey Cara!
This is my way of giving you my email, and also letting you know you should talk to Kristen O’Brien! (though maybe you’ve already seen her blog: She’s also Korean American and is renewing next year.

Cara - Hey Monica! Thanks! Funny you should say that. I know Kristen quite well actually as she went to my school! I’ve been keeping in touch with her over Facebook :)

Monica Heilman - Haha that’s too funny! Well, glad you’re in touch ^^

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Map for My Travels

I have been wanting one of these for years: a travel map, where I can stick a pin in each place I have visited. I finally got one for my birthday from my amazing parents.:)

I spent the better part of an evening figuring out where to place the pins and if there should be some color-coded method. I became momentarily obsessed. Anyway, I recommend to any fellow travels that having a travel map is a great and memorable way to document your trips.

Go Google Maps Engline

If you are unable to get a physical map to stick a pin in (I got mine from, you can always go the the Google version. Google just released this newest maps feature from beta users: Google Maps Engine Lite.

Not only can you create any number of maps, such as planning road trips and excursions, bookmarking places you wish to travel to on your world bucket list, but also having a digital map to say your travels to. I recommend you give it a try!

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Korea, Here I Come! – Fulbright

I know I haven’t updated this in a long time, as senior year has eaten up ever spare moment, but I am thrilled to announce that today I was notified of my acceptance to the Fulbright ETA in South Korea! It seems this is the beginning of another year-long adventure abroad!

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Fulbright: Paperwork & Preparation » Cara Mooney Photography - […] it has been a few weeks since I received my initial email informing me of my acceptance for the Fulbright to be an ETA (English Teaching Assistant) in South […]

Preparing for Korea and my RA » Cara Mooney Photography - […] more difficult preparations I have had to go through for getting ready to leave for Korea on the Fulbright […]

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How to Make A Good Couchsurfing Profile


My Couchsurfing profile

For those of you who don’t know, Couchsurfing (or CS) is a website that connects users from different parts of the world together. Normally, people use it to find free accommodation and a local perspective of the place they are visiting. Couchsurfing is exactly as it sounds: you stay in other people’s homes (guest beds or couches…) and get to meet different people from all over the world!

While there are many complaints and problems that have risen regarding Couchsurfing, I still believe it is a great website to meet very interesting people, make international friends, and share your experiences. However, as these two articles explains and complains (The Rise and Fall of Couchsurfing and Is Couchsurfing a Sinking Ship?), it has become harder to find an open couch than ever before and the community that makes up Couchsurfing has lost it’s much of its “grassroots” (or as a friend of mine likes to call it: “hippy”) vibe. The people seem less genuine and do not embody what it means to be a Couchsurfer.

Despite these issues, Couchsurfing continues to increase in popularity (boasting 5 million members). While I could write an entire article on what is wrong with the organization, I am focusing on what you as a traveler and couchsurfer can do right to make the place better and how stand out from all the rest. (See my Couchsurfing profile)

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Costa Rica Wrapping Up

Costa Rica overall was a very fun vacation, despite the short time we spent there. I was able to get a lot of use out of my Spanish. This isn’t to say that not knowing Spanish will be difficult, as Costa Rica has such a thriving tourist industry, most of the people involved are at least bilingual in Spanish and English. I did use it quite a lot though, and it was especially useful for dealing with cab drivers who’s English was usually sub-par. It was also fun to be able to put my skills into use. I was surprised at how rusty I had gotten, even though only a year has passed since I was living in Spain.
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Costa Rica: Dolphins & Scuba Diving

Manuel Antionio National Park Dives

Unfortunately, the diving and snorkeling were the most disappointing parts of the trip. It is often said that the Pacific cost of Latin America has very variable diving and often more murkier waters on any given day due to the ocean currents. This could not have been more true for us during our time there. The water was so thick with murky and thick with sediment that visibility was maybe ten feet! It was the worst dive I have ever gone on. There was a lot of swell??? which made it difficult to swim or maintain your depth. Twice the current lifted me up and then quick brought me down again, making my ears pop painfully, and also causing me to push into the volcanic rocks (thankfully, there was no spiny sea urchin to catch me!). This added to the stress of having to keep close to at least another person to avoid getting lost in the low visibly. I was happy about the amount of air I wen through. I started with 3000psi and ended both dives with around 18000-2000psi. I guess my breathing and air regulation has much improved since I last dove!

Dolphins & Snorkeling

The snorkeling was not much better. The day we went the water was only slightly clearer. There were fish, but not in the abundance I am used to seeing, and what few fish there were, were difficult to see with the low visibly.

The best part about the snorkel trip was the views from the catamaran and the dolphins we encountered. I have worked and been with dolphins in capacity, but I don’t think I have ever been so close to dolphins in the wild. This one dolphin hung out with us for a while, playing on the bow of the boat, probably getting a fun ride from us. He certainly gave us nice show.

Matt - Cara-You did a great professional job. Loved the dolphins! Matt

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Like Monkeys in the Trees

A very fun day was had by all. The road – or perhaps trail is a better term – that lead into the rainforest was washed out in places and filled with potholes. We bumped our way along in a vamped up pickup truck, finally crossing a shallow river to stop in the shade of some trees. Getting out, we adjusted our straps and harnesses and started to hike in. We spent the better part of three or four hours, hiking, climbing trees, zip-lining through lush canopy, rappelling down slick waterfalls, and dropping from frightening heights into pools of refreshing water. Here are some of our photos (above).

Achraf from Morocco - Nice blog, and wonderful pictures!

Cara - Thanks!!! :D I’m glad you can enjoy them!

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