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Monday, August 26, 2013

The Best Experience Ever... Not

Last Friday I had the wonderful opportunity to get a health check here in Korea. {please note the sarcasm} 

Last post I talked about all the hoops we had to jump through to get our E2 visas; today I want to talk about one of the steps you have to do when you get to the country. 

The Health Check 

This was one of the things I was most worried about because I could never find conclusive evidence on what the heck happened during said health check. I really didn't know what was going to happen and what they were going to test for. 

Now, it's not like I had anything to hide, but I always get a little paranoid when I don't know exactly what is going to happen. 

All I knew was they for sure tested for drugs and STDs {which I know I don't use/ have}, but other than that it was a mystery. 

So here's the wonderful process for those that are curious about the torture they put me through. 

{How I felt after my exam.} 

{I needed my passport, a passport sized photo, and 80 Won} 

Room One: 
Height and Weight - there was a little confusion as a tried to step on the scale with my shoes and got yelled at by the nurse... oops. But in my defense in America the nurses usually laughed at me if I tried to take my shoes off before getting weighed. 
Bust Size- I don't know what this has to do with my health other than telling everyone I have huge boobs, but they do it :) 
Vision Test- they make you read the line at the bottom... you know the one that just looks like dots. I mean- who can read that line? 
Hearing Test- Like the ones you do in grade school 
Blood Pressure- Pretty standard I would say 

Room Two: 
*The nurse asked me if I spoke Korean. I said no. She said well that's okay. Thanks Nurse. 
Urine Test- again standard. You just go to the bathroom, and pee in a cup. 
EKG- Okay, I was NOT expecting this. I had to lay on an exam table (with my shoes off) and then take my shirt and bra off. The nurse then stuck a bunch of suction like cups to my chest and what looked to be battery jumper cables to my wrists and ankles. I guess at this point my heart rate was going crazy because the nurse told me to calm down. Calm Down! Are you kidding? There was no way I was going to be able to lower my heart rate as I was half naked and had a bunch of stuff strapped to my chest. I guess it finally calmed down enough for her to like the results. Good news is that I have a regular heart rhythm even if my heart rate was elevated. 

*Note- Matt does not remember this at all, so maybe it was just me that had to do this. All I could think of during this was electroshock therapy, and I kept waiting for a shock. 

Blood Work- I don't know exactly what they ran, but I am assuming it was a drug and STD test. I know they check your liver because Matt had to redo that test because his results were a little off. *You have to wait to get your blood work back, so you won't know your results until later. 

Room Three: 
Chest X-Ray- Again, I had to strip off my shirt and bra, but at least this time it was in a little room and I got to put a grown on. I think this is for TB, but again not really sure. 

Room Four: 
Doctor- After all this you go and talk with the doctor as he reads your report. My doctor was really good looking, and nice. He said it looked like I was nervous because of my heart rate, and then he checked my lungs and breathing. And that was that. 

The exam was done. Now, I just wait for the results and then I can move on to the next part of my immigration process. 

I was really lucky because the director of my school came with me, and he was able to take me from room to room. When Matt went he had to go by himself, and I can't even image doing this by myself. 

It really wasn't that horrible, but I wish I had been prepared for the EKG. That was what freaked me out the most. I am actually surprised everyone was so nice (other than the nurse from room two). The information I had found on the internet said that the doctor and nurses would comment on my weight and basically call me fat, but they didn't say anything. Which I am thankful for because I am pretty sure I would have started crying. 

I really hope this information helps someone because I know I was stressed about the health check. 

If any expats have any notes or stories to share, please share them with me! I love hearing other people's immigration process. 


  1. Well you made it through!! It pretty much sounds like torture to me!

    1. Yeah, I made it! It was pretty bad, but I'm glad it's over with.


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