Friday, June 8, 2012

Studying Abroad: Preparation

The thing about getting a visa at the airport in London is that there's always the chance they can turn you down. They might not like your paperwork or your face. You could say something stupid and get kicked out of the country and have to work for weeks to try again.

All because they didn't like your face.

I don't really like that idea. On the other hand, it's free, as opposed to the $500 charge you incur by sending your paperwork to the embassy in New York and waiting for their 10-100 day response. Still, the chance is kind of a risky one. I hope luck (and my face) is on my side.

Getting all the right paperwork in is stressful. I need letters from both Cambridge and UNM saying I'm allowed to go to England for this program. I need bank statements from my parents to prove I can finance this little expedition. I need transcripts.

Well, need is an awfully strong word. But strongly recommended is basically the same thing. So I'm pretending like I just plain old need them, and can walk in there with a huge folder of private information, along with my passport and suchlike. All for a stamp.

But on the other side of the road... Cambridge University.

I'll be studying three classes there, and two of them I must honestly say I'm far more excited about than the last. The first is Varieties of English, a linguistics class. The second is a supervisory class on creative writing, which is like an independent study with someone who actually knows what they're doing. The last is a class studying how disease such as AIDS, the Black Plague, and cancer affect western culture.

It's going to be a brilliant two months.

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