Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Visas: Quick and Painless.. NOT.

     Last week I finally received my study visa, and let me tell you, it was three months of tremendous stress, and that is coming from someone who was organized from the get-go. I mean, look at my organization chart—

     Also, setting up the appointment was no easy task. The action of actually setting it up was fine, but finding a time that works for you is a different story. In my case, I was in Yamaguchi, Japan and needed my passport until the 11th of August. I had to scan the appointment page six times a day for three weeks before I finally found an opening.. Whew!

     Arriving at the Consulate General in San Francisco was overwhelming. The outside is a white building with a black gold-tipped fence. Also, the front door does not work. After learning this the hard way, I made my way to the side door with my parents in tow. The first thing I noticed was that the consulate's associate was behind a wall of glass like the people at the movie theaters. The air in the cramped room was stuffy; the guy didn't seem to want to be there. After I presented all of my things, he took it all and I never saw the actual Consulate General.. I guess that's alright.

Consulate General of San Francisco
     Come two days later, I get my passport with the visa in it. My mother was freaking out. I was delighted! Little did I know that she wasn't aware that visas are placed in the passport, and not a separate entity. After calming down, we indulged in the weight that was lifted off our shoulders after reaching the finish line.

     If you're going to be an exchange student, I recommend that you get organized, not procrastinate, and do everything you can as soon as you can do it. That's all! Arrivederci!

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