Hi Babes!

So I know it's been a while (and with a while I mean like ... a year) since I've posted, and I apologize for that! I've just been very busy (I've just finished my junior year of high school) and if I'm honest, I kinda forgot about this account. *I'm sorry!*

But anyways, I'm back! And I have some very exciting things to talk about. I'm just back from an amazing experience! I went to Boston, to study abroad, and O M G. It was amazing.

I thought it was a good idea to share some of my experiences with you guys, so I've decided I'll start a new series of articles, talking about the different parts of studying in another country.

Today, I'll talk about the preparations, so the VISA and such.

So let's get right into it! Please just keep in mind that these are from personal experience, and that they can vary by the country you live in & the country you want to go to.

I'll be talking specifically for the USA, because that's where I've been.

Enjoy! xx

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This may be the most important thing on the list, because if you don't have one, there is a chance that you won't be able to travel into the country. Like, at all.

A passport is a document that will be issued by the government of your country, and basically tells other countries that you got your governments permission to travel, and that they will protect you if you're in another country. Sounds complicated?

Just remember that this document is basically your safe way out. If suddenly something goes wrong in the country you're visiting, your country is obligated to care for you, for example by getting you into another (safer) country, or by helping you to come back home. This is why a passport is incredibly important!

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Whether you need a visa or not may depend on the country your visiting, the duration of your visit and the kind of course/education you've chosen.

For example, you do not need a visa to visit the USA if your course is less than 90 days, and you're taking classes on a 'basic level'. In that case, you'll need an ESTA instead. You can apply for this document up to 72 before your departure. This is, honestly the easiest way.

If you following an 'intensive course', or you're in the USA for more than 90 days, you'll have to apply for, sigh, a visa, which is what I had to do.

Here are some tips on how to apply, and what to keep in mind:

- Make sure to start your application at least 3 months before your departure, as it can take up to a couple of months before you get your actual visa.

- If your plan is to travel abroad, you'll have to apply for a student visa. In this case, your school will send you the required document, which you will need in order to apply. This is called the I-20.

- Once you get this, you'll have to apply online for a DS-160 document. You'll have to answer a lot of questions, so make sure to take your time!

- Don't try to be funny. Absolutely not. They ask questions about whether you have been to prison, have ever been arrested, or have any kind of relationship with anyone in prison. Things like that. They take this very seriously, and there is absolutely no way they'll appreciate you trying to be funny and answering jokingly.

- You'll have to travel to the American Embassy, and will be asked to take a lot of documents with you. This can be very intimidating. Just try to answer to their questions truthfully. Again, no jokes of any kind.
(don't forget those documents, or there is no way to get your Visa! A girl I met there forgot them, and had to schedule a second appointment. According to her, they weren't happy about it.)

- If everything goes right, your visa will be delivered to your home after a couple of days to a couple of weeks.

- Requesting a visa costs money, even if they end up not granting you one. And I'm talking about $360 just to request your visa. Please keep this in mind.

So yeah, that's a lot of work, but once those documents are sorted, you've completed the most boring part of your preparations!
applause for you!

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There's a big change you'll have to fly to your destination, which means that you have to book a ticket!

Make sure to take your time while doing this, and look at all the options. Plane tickets can cost a lot of money, especially when you're flying to a destination a bit further away.

Next to that, there is also the change that the airport you normally use, does not have any direct flights, but only with stopovers in another country. This can be a problem, as you may have to appeal for a visa in certain countries, even if you're only staying for a couple of hours.

The organisation you're traveling with may offer to book a ticket for you, that is something you have to do some research for. If so, then this is a very easy way to travel, as they have experience with this.

If you're under 18, certain airlines may offer an 'attedant', who will help you with checking in and getting past security. If you feel very uncomfortable, or if this is your first time flying, this may a good idea. Please just keep that, in some cases, this costs money.

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Some 'companies' or organisations may offer a transfer between the airport and the place you're staying (whether this is a host family, on campus or in another residence). This can be a good idea, as there is a big possibility you will be tired after your flight, and you probably don't know your surroundings yet.

Another possibility is to take an Uber. If you do so, just make sure to be careful and tell people where you're going and who you're going with (take a picture of the license plate!), especially if you're the only one taking that Uber.

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So, this has been part 1. What did you think? You can always message my with your thoughts & how you think I could improve my writing. :)

For more of my articles & my account, you can look below.

Bye, and I hope you have an amazing day! โ™ฅ

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