Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Red Tape and Hoops

Just kidding! It's not that bad, though it feels like it sometimes.
Waiting is the hardest part.

July update! And kinda late too...
So yesterday I received word which seminar house I'm going to be staying in: number 3! So I'm very excited! It's apartment style, unlike the other three which are like traditional dorms.

I got my COE, (Certificate of Eligibility, which was sent from Japan) on July 5 (I believe that was the day...) and drove to the nearest Japanese consulate to apply for a visa. For me, that meant three hours to Nashville, TN, but it wasn't hard to find the consulate and the people there were really nice! When we got there, I realized I had left my small photograph and the visa application I had already filled out back in Memphis! (... left it on the scanner.) So the security guard at the front desk pointed us to a Kinko's five miles down the street. We drove past it, but eventually found it and got another photo. Luckily I got my visa application in before the consulate closed. Though I was quite perturbed to find out that there was another Kinko's right around the corner from the consulate! Oh well. Last week I drove back to Nashville and picked my visa up. It's shiny! And quite pretty if I do say so myself. ^.^ Some may wonder why I chose to go to the consulate myself, when you can just mail it in. Personally, I didn't want to take the risk of my passport and COE getting lost in the mail. A little paranoid, but "better safe than sorry."

So other than the application process, which was very confusing for me, (I had to fill out an application for my university's study abroad program, ISEP, and Kansai Gaidai, but the KGU application was online and much later. They didn't tell me about it at first and due to an error concerning my email address, I didn't find out about it until it was almost too late. Make sure your email addresses are correct on all applications!) and getting a visa, there really isn't too much red tape. Mostly you just have to keep up with a long checklist of things to do before you go, like registering with the state department or buying the right type of insurance. It really depends on your situation.

I'm starting to pack and working less hours at the bakery so I can get everything together. I must say, I am every shade of excited and nervous inside at the same time. 34 days until I leave. The countdown continues. 34...