Visa approved

Hey,

today was my appointment at the consulate General in Frankfurt. I got up at 7 which is early considering that I usually sleep until 9 am but regarding stories about people who have to get up at 2 am because they have an appointment at 8 am it is very comfortable. Luckily there is one US consulate General in Frankfurt. The other two where one can apply for a visa are in Munich and Berlin. had no long way to the consulate. My appointmentb was at 10 am. I took three trains early to make sure that I do not miss my appointment otherwise I would have to pay the 160$ again. No thanks, I know better ways to spend my money! I knew that I have to change from train to subway and I have checked it even this morning but I got out at the wrong train station. Because I left my cell phone at home because it is prohibited to enter the consulate with it and there is no chance to give it into a locker I had to search my way by scanning the maps. My mistake was not very fatal and I just had to take the next train and drive one train station further. Fortunately, it drove every 15 minutes so I was still in time. One the right train station I picked the right subway and drove to the Central Cementery, the consulate is opposite to it. There I had to walk round it. I had no watch because I left it at home as well, I was very cautious and did not want to take something prohibited with me and I started to get nervous because I did not know the time. Finally I arrived at the consulate, exactly 15 minutes before my appointment. There was already a queue and I lined up. One get called then to one of the two windows, shows one’s DS160 and passport and gets a number. After this one gets to the first security men who lets one pack all metallic items like belts and keys into a plastic bag and checks if one got a number. After this one lines up again and is allowed to enter in groups of 5. Inside one is greeted by a bulky, strict security men who demands to line up again and to put your belongings onto trays which get checked like at the airport. Oneself has to go through a metall detector (like the one at the airport). The four people before me passed without problems but the dump machine had to beep when I walk through. *Sigh* I had to walk through a second time but it beeped again so the security women said I do not look like I would carry a knife so I was allowed to go through. Then one can grab one’s belongings and continue his walk to the main building. There one can put the things from the plastic bag back to thsir place. One gets to a desk where the women want to see one’s passport, number, DS2019 and DS160. Next one has to go to another counter. There one has to show one’s passport, DS 2019, DS160 and Sevis Receipt to a very grumpy woman. If everything is okay one has to give your fingerprints. If one is finish there one has to go to a third counter (in my case there were sitting a very nice and polite man) where one has to show the passport, DS2019 and DS160. He asks if one got the information leaflet about one’s  rights in the US. After this he directs you to another line (in my case T) for one’s  interview. There are three different lines: yellow, red and blue. Nobody was at the blue line, 5 people were standing at the red one and 20 people and the yellow T line. Great! Fortunately I was standing in front of a very nice girl who applied for the visa because she will make an internship at Harvard and will live three months in Boston. So the time flew by talking to her and later the guy behind her joined our conversation. He has already applied several times for a visa so he told us all the terrible experiences he has already made, for example waiting for more than 3 hours! A few minutes later the guy behind him started talking to us too. It took an hour because there was only one counter for this line. Stupid, there were a lot of free counters! Although I had heard the men behind the glass talking in German to all of of people before me he started talking in.English and asked what the purpose of my journey is. He told.him I want to do a year abroad as an AuPair in Boston, Massachusetts. He then.asked what my childcare experience are. I told him.about my babysitter children and my cousin and sister. He looked at my Passport, took the DS2019, DS160, the number and my Passport and told me my Visa is granted. Yippie! I waited for the girl behind me because I had promised her to show her the way to the Central Station. Her visa is granted, too and we both left.
Afterwards we drove to the Central Station together. She went home and I went looking for presents for my host family. It’s one of the boys birthday soon and I want to.send a parcel with little gifts for all. I even found some little presents and I will send tomorrow.

October

Yesterday I used the whole day to prepare for my AuPair year. I searched for arts and crafts ideas, looked for host family presents, read a lot of AuPair blogs of AuPairs who are currently in the US or go there this year, tried to find a bunch of vegetarian dinner recipes, seeked for travel tips and read up about Massachusetts. Do you know that the chocolate chip cookie was invented in Massachusetts or that the first light house in the US was built in Massachusetts or that Salem is in Massachusetts? I didn’t. Well, while browsing through a lot of AuPair blogs I have not found one single AuPair who departs in October this year. Not one! How frustrating! I hope that I do not feel like an outsider in my cluster if everyone knows each other already! 

By the way, I got my appointment in the consulate today. It’s next Wednesday. I am so excited! 

Hello from London

After I have matched more than a week ago I got my congratulations letter from the German office of AIFS. Included were bag tags, a bracelet, a letter which informed me about writing about my experience publicly to get AIFS points, a info letter “How to apply for the J1 Visa” on Monday. I was very excited but I have to wait for the documents from London. 

On Wednesday, finally, the documents from London office arrived. That means the DS2019 form which I have to sign, a confirmation of my placement, an info letter how my visa has to look like, the Sevis Fee Receipt, letters from the state department (three, about my duties and rights in the US). Now I was able to apply for my Visa. In the instruction manual it said that applying for it in the morning takes not as much time as in the evening. Moreover I had to think of two additional points of contact. The two persons must not be related to me and I have no real friends so it was difficult to think of two. In the end, I asked one of my old classmates, Leonie, and Jaqueline. Leonie agreed straight away but Jaqueline took two days to answer!

On Saturday, I filled out the DS160, which took me one and a half hours. The questions were not difficult and in retrospective I cannot understand why I needed so much time for it… That was just casual stuff, my name, address, my address in the US, my organisation, my parents full name and birthday, etc. 

Yesterday my father paid the money which was not as easy as he thought because he was only able to do it at one special bank. Actually I should be able to set a date for my interview at the consulate today but somehow they say they haven’t got the money. I will wait two days and then I will call the bank. I should not be so excited and in a hurry, I have still 90 days until I will leave!!!