Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Everything is finally coming together!

So many things have gotten accomplished in the past 11 days!

First off - finally got the visa sent off!  After weeks of emailing multiple people, someone finally answered all of our questions and told us what to do.  So, about 20 minutes after getting the email, the padre and I ran around town getting things notarized, getting a certified check, getting more passport photos, etc, until everything was ready.  Then, we shipped everyone off in express mail to New York, so hopefully we'll have the passport back before we go up north next week!

Aaaand, I have my travel date!  August 6th - 47 days away!  I leave Minnesota at 11:20, then a 4 and change layover in Chicago before leaving there at around 5pm.  After that, I'll land in Brussels at a little past 8 in the morning on the 7th (so around 1am here in Minnesota)!  I am so stoked!

My first host family has also been emailing me a bit, and they are absolutely amazing!  They've already found a trumpet I can borrow so I don't need to bring mine over, and they're looking at local music groups to see if I can join.  Even if I can't join any of them, it means so much to me that they're trying to find one.  I feel like this next year is going to be great.  :)

Oh, and I finally went and had lunch with my local club (Coon Rapids), basically just introducing myself and saying where I'm going next year.  Man, that was a blast.  They're such a fun club to sit in with - I hope my club next year is like that.  Plus, that means when I give a presentation about my exchange year to them when I come home next summer, I can make it hilarious/slightly informal without feeling too out of place.

That's about it.  I've basically got this week left in the cities until my grad party, then about a month of being up north, with about a week of coming back to the cities mixed in there.  Then, Belgium!  All I really have left to do before I leave is packing and learning more Dutch.  Man, I am getting so excited for this!


  1. How difficult/time consuming was the visa process? I'm going to Belgium too (but through AFS) and they haven't emailed me yet to start obtaining my visa. I leave a little bit later than you (August 17th) so I have a few weeks more time, but was it a difficult process?

  2. Well, once we figured out that we can just send it to New York without going in person, it wasn't too bad. You will need a notarized medical certificate, but that shouldn't be too hard to get. This website has basically all the information that you need - http://www.diplobel.us/TravelingBelgium/Visas/Students-HighSchool.asp

    If you have any specific questions, you can go on my profile - I have my email listed on there, so you can send me an email. :) Hopefully AFS sends you some information soon!

  3. Thank you so much! I had been doing research but it was hard to tell which sites are right and which aren't! Thanks for the link to that website, it definitely helps.
    And I hope so too! :)

  4. Yay, I'm glad you got all your visa information in! :) I need to still fill out the long term application. I have no clue how to fill out half of it, and the New York consulate is being slow on emailing me back. Could you like forward/send me the e-mail for the person that answered all your questions? That would be awesome :D
    jnn4270@sbcglobal.net is my email. Thanks ! BTW, your lucky you get to go so early! I don't go until August 15 or 16 :3