So as I’ve started this whole process I’ve made lists, lists, and more lists of things I have to do, send out, and accomplish before I get on the plane.
What no one told me was how difficult, time consuming, and expensive a lot of this is. I took for granted being able to easily call your university or swing by the office to clear up your business. Now, I have to go through a university messaging center and it can take days for someone to get back to you. And calling? Who wants to rack up a bunch of international calling charges? Thankfully, the one time I had to call the lady in the office was a gem and tried to make the call as swift as possible while getting me the information I needed.
Visas. Dear Lord, applying for my visa was by far the most difficult thing. There is absolutely no help to be found on the internet for applying for your visa. The questions are convoluted and wordy. After searching and searching, I finally found a pdf on Oxford’s website that gave me any sort of guidance. Then came the payment which had my eyes bugging out of my head at the amount. Next was the biometric appointment. That was an adventure in itself. Note for future reference: make sure you double check all your documents and have them all for your appointment so you’re not running 5 blocks to get to a library to print in 98 degree heat and then running back 5 blocks to your appointment building. The appointment itself was painless and quick,
although the paper said it should take an hour, it took 5 minutes tops. Finally, I sent it all off with a kiss and a prayer to the NY visa office.
Maybe I’m being whiny, maybe I’m being ranty but I’ve felt so lost and confused at times. I am extremely thankful that the staff at Strathclyde are very helpful and kind. I am also thankful for Oxford for posting that pdf because, man, I was panicking. Despite the confusion, tears, and even sweat, I’m lucky and excited about my studies. I’ve crossed out most of the items on my lists. Now, I’ve just gotta get that whole international phone business taken care of!
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