I am now the proud holder of 2 visas. Well technically they’re still at the embassy. But the nice man who interviewed me said that I should be posted them within 5 working days. Or at least they’ll be posted to BUNAC within 5 days and then they’re getting sent to Guildford. So most likely I won’t actually have them in my hand until I leave on the 25th of June, which is also therefore when I shall be literally holding them. But you get the overall impression.
I had to get up at the crack of dawn to get to the embassy in time. My appointment was at 8.30 and they like you to get there half an hour early, and then I had to get there half an hour earlier than that in order to meet with the BUNAC people so that they could go over my paperwork and give me some more new paperwork and get more stickers stuck all over my passport and everything. Soon you’re not going to be able to see the original beautiful burgundy of my passport! Anyway. All this mean that I had to leave Lisa’s house at quarter to six. And that I had to get up at quarter past six. Eeew.
Getting to the embassy was pretty smooth actually. The tubes weren’t acting up or anything and I could just get the Piccadilly line to green something or another and I didn’t have to change or anything. They also weren't as devoid of life as I thought they would be, clearly real people (as opposed to students) actually are conscious in the morning... who knew...
Obviously when I got out of the tube station despite having asked a helpful guard person which way I should go, I still managed to come out of the wrong entrance and then turn the wrong way down the road. It was all a little confusing because none of the roads that I was coming past were on my map. So I had to ask someone. The first person I asked didn’t know. The second also didn’t know, but while we were trying to figure out where we were on the map another lady stopped to see if we were ok and together we figured out how I should get there, after which everything went very smoothly indeed.
Once I got to the embassy I checked in with BUNAC, flew through the security bit, and everything was going very very smoothly and then suddenly I came back down to earth with a bump when I realised I had left my purse at home and I still needed to pay for my second SEVIS fee. Luckily the very very nice girl from BUNAC actually in the embassy paid for it on her card. Which was very very lucky. Since otherwise I would have had to go back again. And done the whole thing again. Which would have been nightmarish. I had also filled in the wrong SEVIS number on one of my forms. But the very very nice guy who was processing my papers changed it all and spent ages trying to figure out the big mess I’d made of my paperwork in amongst my SEVIS fee panic.
Then I went for the actual interview portion of the thing and there was a very very nice American man, who kept telling me how amazing I was for having done both Visas at the same time, and how nice my mother’s handwriting was (she wrote a letter of support for me) and how very intelligent I must be since I was going to Mount Holyoke and it’s a really famous school and only super bright kids like me go there! He was very very nice. I also found out that the finger print collector machine thingyjogs are built for freakishly tall people. Now I am not the world’s smallest person, but I had to stand on my tip toes to get my thumbs up and over far enough for them to be in the correct position to register!
Anyway short and long of this blog post is that I have visas, which means that I can go to the land of the free and the home of the brave (home of the brave and land of the free?) for camp and university (school?) next year! Success!