Why I Studied on a F-1 Visa

Rena with some her friends from school, in front of a Christmas tree.
by Rena from South Korea


First of all, what is an American visa?

It is a permit for you to go to America. This visa lets you study abroad in America legally.

So where do we get these American visas?

There is the American Embassy located in Seoul. If you have all the papers that they require and pass the interview, they will send you your passport with the valid visa in about a week.

In my case, I went to school in Korea until the first semester of freshmen in high school and in August 2017, I got to go to America for the first time in my life. Schools is Korea start in March and end in December. On the other hand, schools in America start in August and end in May.

So, I got to start my first American school life in Missouri. Missouri was countryside and that fact kind of helped me with my first start in America.

Then, the next year, after spending 2 months break in Korea, I’m now spending my 2018 (and 2019) in Arizona. Arizona is more like urban and city-like than Missouri. Also, Phoenix, the city that I’m living in now, is one of the largest cities in America.

When I went to Missouri, I got J-1 visa. I got to live in America with a year valid J-1 visa as an exchange student. What I heard about the J-1 visa is that most of the Korean students that are going to America as an exchange student for a year.

Then, after that one-year experience, you really like American culture and want to live in America. If then, the most typical way is to get a F-1 visa this time.

Now, I really want to share with you guys why I decided to change the visa.

As you’ve read above, I started my first year in Missouri. During that year, I really enjoyed my time with American friends and host family. My first time experiencing the American culture turned out to be awesome. The American food, school, classmates, teachers, everything was great. Yes, sometimes I miss Korea, Korean food, friends, and families. However, I wanted to learn more. I wanted to learn more of America. One year wasn’t enough for me.

That made me stay in America for one more year. I was told that I had to get a F-1 visa for the next years since I already had a year with J-1 visa. Also, unlike the J-1 visa, I got to choose the school to go to, and the state to live in. The only sad thing was that I choose to go to a private school and had to move from Missouri. On the other hand, it was another chance for me to experience other parts of America and I love it!

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