I’m going to spend my next year in Kenosha, Wisconsin but even though the long journey is yet to come, I already had to invest a lot of time. In this text I’ll tell you about my experiences and things I had to do for my year in America.
First you need to create a profile of yourself with things like a description from your parents, a description by yourself and at least six pictures of your family. But to be honest, all of this is totally worth it.
So after you finished the first profile there are two people that work for your organization (in my case it’s AFS) who visit you to get a closer impression of your family. Then you need to fill out another round of forms that consider your health, host-family and costs like insurances. All in all, the year in the US costs about € 9.900. This often takes a while so you will want to start early enough. I started in winter and I just finished in time for the spring weekend camp that you have to attend.
As I mentioned there is a camp for every province that lasts three days. I am sure this will be a lot of fun because you get to know a lot of new people. The returnees will also be invited to this camp so you can ask them about thing where you are unsure. It’s really exciting because also the students that are in Austria as exchange students attend this camp. On this camp you will do different tasks that may seem a little weird at first but when they explain what just happened everything makes sense.
After you were at this camp you need to apply for a visa. To do that you get a 20-page letter from AFS that explains what you need to do. First you must go to a Photographer to get a picture for your Visa. This picture needs to fill a lot of criteria so make sure you get it right. Then you must fill a long application and electronically sign it. For this stage you get a lot of instructions from AFS so that’s not really hard but it does take about 1-2 hours.
So if you are interested in getting to know other cultures and lifestyles, do a year abroad and just get the things done and have a lot of fun.