An example of what a Korean visa looks like.
Perhaps one of the most important parts of preparing to study abroad is securing your student visa. A visa is required to stay in certain countries for a long period of time and varies from country to country. Obtaining information on how to obtain the visa is the only really difficult part of the process and varies depending on where you live. For me it was as simple as sending my passport, letter of acceptance, passport photo, $45 cash, and a self-addressed express envelope for return of documents. I spent close to $100 after adding the costs, make sure you have more than $45 on you when you are preparing. If you live near a consulate office you can obtain your visa in person, refer to your consulate office for more details. Since I live in Florida, my consulate office is located in Atlanta so I had to mail my information off to them.
The turn-around time was one week for me. These things will vary depending on where you live and what time you decide to apply for your visa as well. Student visas are D-2 visas and you can find general information on obtaining a Korean visa here: http://www.dynamic-korea.com/consulate_service/visa.php. Korean-Americans may also be eligible for dual-citizenship under a new Korean law, you may want to look into that.
There are a total of 10 Korean consulate offices in the USA:
Washington, DC: Serving Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia
Atlanta, GA: Serving Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virgin Islands
Boston, MA: Serving New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont
Chicago, IL: Serving Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin
Honolulu. HI: Serving American Samoa, Hawaii
Houston, TX: Serving Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Texas
Los Angeles, CA: Serving Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, South California
New York, NY: Serving Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania
San Francisco, CA: Serving Colorado, Northern California, Utah, Wyoming
Seattle, WA: Serving Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington
Good luck! Once you have your visa you’ll be on your way to living abroad in South Korea!