Study Abroad Update #2

Today was a big day.

I submitted my visa application! After weeks of preparing documents and getting everything in line, I finally clicked "submit!" Now, I have to send my passport to the visa application center in Washington D.C., and another round of waiting begins. I got some good news, too! This whole time, I thought I was going to have to pay a visa fee of close to $250. But, the US and New Zealand have a deal where student exchange visas are free! (Yay! )

Also, we bought plane tickets today! I was fortunate enough to get a scholarship a few weeks ago to help me pay for the tickets, which turned out to be a lot cheaper than we anticipated. (Yay, again!) My itinerary is set, and I have a window seat on all my flights! (Even the one across the Pacific Ocean.) I've never been out of the country, and I've never flown longer than a couple hours. Getting to New Zealand will be an adventure in and of itself!  

It's amazing to me how everything is coming along. This week, I met with other UT students that are traveling to New Zealand. Most of them will be in my city from June through July, and the others are studying at different universities across New Zealand. So, it looks like I'm going to be the only Volunteer in Palmerston North for the semester, which is perfectly fine with me! My paperwork is almost complete, and I'm just waiting to hear back from Massey so I can apply for international student housing. I'm incredibly excited about this adventure, and I feel so very blessed to have this opportunity! (I've probably said that a dozen times, but it's worth repeating.) Please pray that everything goes smoothly regarding my visa application and all my other paperwork. 

Advice to high-schoolers: Work extremely hard, make good grades, and apply for every scholarship you can. Maybe one day you can travel the world for (basically) free! 


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