So after a bunch of paperwork fun, I finally got my visa number from Korean Immigration, and sent all my documents off to the Atlanta Korean Consulate for processing there. Of course, the Consulate wants to make things more difficult by having me come in person to interview for my visa, just so they can determine I'm not a sketchy, crazy individual. This makes absolutely no sense, since I live 6 hours away from the consulate. That's why I mailed my documents off to them, rather than bringing them in person. Twelve hours there and back is definitely insane for just a 30-minute interview! (So still trying to work out this detail.)
Otherwise, I have received my itinerary from the travel agent in Korea. Instead of leaving on the 22nd, which is what I was originally told, I'm now leaving on the 29th. (This is still a whole month after what the school had said in the beginning of the whole process; they originally wanted me to be there by the end of January.) My flight departs from RDU at 6:05 a.m. Ouch. I haven't seen that early hour in a long, long time. But, when you're flying halfway across the world, you gotta get started early. From there, I'm headed up to Dulles (my first time in Washington, D.C.!) and on to San Francisco International (my first time there, as well as the first time I've been in CA since 1989). Then is the really long 12 hour flight over the pond to Seoul, where I will meet up with the recruiting people before taking a bus down to Gwangju. So there will be a lot of firsts on this trip. My first time flying in about 15 years; I don't exactly enjoy it, and I have to be on a plane for a combined 20 hours. That's roughly 10,200 miles traveled in total. I think after that point, I won't want to fly again for a very long time. Which is alright, since I probably won't be taking any trips on airplanes for a good while after I arrive.