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I am starting the New Year with a new adventure. Over the next few months, I am going to be studying in the US at North Carolina State University (NCSU). Throughout my time here I plan to do a lot - road trips, eating, etc. and plan to share it with you. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do and comment and share!

Some of these posts are a little behind, so they read like a narrative but please bare with me...

It was the morning before I was due leave for the US and I was feeling a mixture of emotions – feeling happy and excited for the adventure ahead, but on the other hand feeling sad because it is obviously difficult to say goodbye to family, friends and all things familiar for such a long time.

It was really strange because I honestly did not understand how I got to this moment – about to leave to study abroad for 5 months. The University Manchester application process was still fresh in my mind – I do not know whether that is because Eve 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 program by the University of Manchester:

1. You apply to your 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 wait to get an acceptance letter from your study abroad 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 USA, 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 completing it
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 is the longest of them all – taking approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes to be seen. As you arewaiting 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 2 minutes my visa was approved. Annoying considering the time I waited.However, I know this can differ for each person, so all I can advise is go to the US embassy prepared – with all the relevant documents you need. Enough about visas!
4. The most exciting part is booking your flight. You can arrive a few days before your mandatory university 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.
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