By Erdoo Yongo (North Carolina State University, USA)
It is the morning before I leave for the US and I am feeling a mixture of emotions – on one hand I am feeling really happy and excited for the adventure ahead, but on the other hand I am feeling quite sad because it obviously difficult to say goodbye to family for such a long time.
It is really strange because I honestly do not understand how quickly I got to this moment – about to leave to study abroad for five months. The University of Manchester application process is still fresh in my mind – I do not know whether that is because my twin sister recently applied to study abroad or because it really was not that long ago.
How it works is after officially getting accepted on to the programme by the University of Manchester:
1. You apply to the university you will be studying at (submitting a or a few bank statements to prove that you have the financial means to survive in the country of your university, a personal statement and selecting your course units).
2. After that you have to wait to get an acceptance letter from your university (which can take quite a while).
3. Then comes the most tedious part of the study abroad – the visa process. I do not know how long it took people going to other places, but for those of you studying in the US, I would say start the visa application as soon as you get your acceptance form as it is all done online and you cannot book a visa appointment without it being complete.
BEWARE you also have to pay for your visa before you can book an appoint at the US embassy and the SEVIS fee (one-off fee for people getting a specific type of visa).
The Visa appointment was the longest of them all – taking approximately 2hrs and 30mins to be seen. As I was waiting for so long it seems that they would go for a full interrogation… Wrong! When I was seen, they asked me a few standard questions and in the space of two minutes my visa was approved. Annoying considering the time I waited. But I know that this can differ for people so all I can advise is go to the US embassy prepared – with all the relevant documents you need.
But enough about visas!
4. The most exciting part is booking your flight. You can arrive a few days before your mandatory university start date and explore. I decided to go to New York for a couple of days before heading to NCSU… You can hear more about New York in my next post!