I’ve been working hard prepping to study abroad. I never realized how much work went into spending a semester in another country. I am spending my spring semester in Granada, Spain. When I began, I had to apply to my university first. Once they accepted me, I had a few short weeks to apply to the affiliate program that I wanted. After consulting my peers. classmates, friends, and the study abroad office at my university, I decided to use API- Academic Programs International. Their application was quite lengthy. I needed multiple letters/forms of recommendation, multiple applications, my transcript, grade reports, and a few other things. I submitted my application on October 15th, 2013 and heard from them by the end of the month! I was thrilled when they finally accepted me!
What was even more daunting than their application process was their post-application process. I had about 15 documents I needed to send them within two weeks including things like a transcript release form, a copy of my passport, medical records, housing preferences, course requests, and flight information.
Once I finally submitted all of the information required of me, I had to visit the Spanish Consulate General in Boston, MA to submit my visa application request. I honestly think that this was (and may will be) the most challenging part of my journey. The Spanish Consulate General was incredibly picky with the information they needed (and there was a lot of it). In the end, I waited in line multiple times (after making a few corrections) for about 3 and a half hours. I am still waiting to hear from them about the status of my visa, but I am hopeful that they will accept it. I have some advice for anyone who ever applies for a Spanish visa–MAKE SURE YOU PHOTOCOPY EVERYTHING, TWICE! Or you will be sent away!
Now, I have begun a blog, gathered a few items that I will be using abroad (camera, crossbody bag, etc.), and have submitted paperwork through my own university to ensure that my courses will transfer back to my home institution.
I will definitely be documenting my later preparations as my departure becomes closer!