Well well well,
Welcome all to my new blog!
I’m Joe Riley, a recent graduate from the University of Chester and I have just sent off my essential documentation to Daegu, South Korea.
I am hoping to become an English Language teacher with EPIK (english program in korea, mnenomic, not misspelt) and I await my fate with crossed everything. So far I have had to wake up at 5.30am for a phone interview that never happened, wake up at 5.30am AGAIN the next night for a phone call that went straight to voicemail while I rang the office in Korea (guiltily thinking of my parent’s bill) and explained I would need a call back. It was now 6.30, I was due in work at 7. The interview was a success, now all that loomed was for me to gather my documents.
The pedestrian phrase ‘gather’ doesnt quite give the blood-boiling process its due; to accept you, EPIK need a photocopied, notarised, and apostilled copy of your degree, a CRB check (notarised and apostilled). This is on top of University sealed transcripts and original reference letters from two people who can safely say, that you are not a total paedo.
The ‘apostille’ is the trickiest to handle; without it, your documents are worthless. It is a stamp and a slip of paper from H.M Commonwealth office to say that these documents are real and that they are suitable for the obtaining of visa’s and work-contracts.
Guess where the nearest (and only) Foreign Office is? London? Nope.
Milton Keynes. One of the grimmest and least accessible places in the country. I took a day trip to the office that had a grand total of 3 open office hours, I arrived with my trusty copies in hand and the orderly said:
“I cant stamp that, its only a copy.”
I stood for a moment with an expression of a man who has not only opened up the door to find Piers Morgan stood there, but also wearing assless-chaps and a large oompah hat. I had the copies of the documents notarised by a solicitor, as per quota, so what was wrong?
” You can have the degree-copy stamped” said the orderly, with the hint of a shit-eating smile forming at her cheeks “but I’m afraid CRB checks are done with purely the original document.”
I explained, in a voice not unlike Minnie Mouse’s that I had been on a train since 8am to get to the one place in the UK that could stamp my documents and they were telling me that the copy I had was unsuitable. Would I have to go back home and get it notarised again and endure another trawl through Wembley Central and Leighton Buzzard?
“If you go downstairs” she muttered confidentially “theres an EXCELLENT solicitors, they’ll do it for a fiver if you still have the original document.”
I could have shagged her, but the bullet-proof perspex and her own natural hideousness did their work and two minutes later I was back,with an impressive apostille attached to the pair of said documents, my wallet screamed as I extracted yet more funds and poured them into what was becoming a never ending pot of ‘Korean Ideas’.
What was left was to send them to the Footprints office in Daegu, along with an extensive application form and other documentation to say that I had no stake in the “Free Glitter” campaign. I did this today, on a blustery, shitty November Monday. The man from FedEx arrived on my lunchbreak, though he looked like a man who had not seen soap in a few weeks I could have shagged him too, my documents are on their way. Now all that remains is to see if theres any issues with them (like my CRB running out 3 weeks before we are due to leave, hopefully that can be amended later, AFTER I have been accepted.)
But, this is the first big step. All the talk is over, the doing has begun…stay tuned!
Well well well,