I’ve started this blog to chronicle the various goings-on of my life, especially as I navigate the entire post-undergrad world, starting with my preparations for studying at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna this September on a Fulbright Scholarship. I’ve got a long list of things I need to do to get ready, including, but not limited to:
- Medical exam and form submission
- Gathering documents for my residency permit application
- Actually completing my residency permit application
- Registering for classes
- Buying my tickets
- Doing some of the entrance exam recommended reading (I don’t have to take said entrance exam, but I’m hoping it will help me figure out what I’ll be expected to know)
- Practicing my German
- Improving my French (y’know, since I haven’t studied the language since high school)
- Practicing my Arabic (since I can take classes through the University of Vienna, and I can’t afford to lose what I’ve learned)
- Figuring out where I’m going to stay during the week of Fulbright orientation, which happens before I can move into my on-campus housing
- And more!
Doesn’t that sound exciting? On the bright side, I’ve definitely started some of these list items. Like the residency permit application: I need a copy of my birth certificate, with an extra stamp (called an apostille) that certifies to foreign governments that it’s legit. Easy-peasy, right?
Wrong! The Commonwealth of Virginia (where I was born), only gives an apostille on documents certified by a Virginia notary in the last 12 months. Which means: I fill out and submit an application with their Records Department (with $12 check and a photocopy of ID), which, 2-4 weeks after receipt, will yield a freshly-notarized copy of my birth certificate. Then, I get to submit this new copy with a different form (and $10 check) to a different department for the apostille. Plus, I have to get a proof of good conduct paper from the local police, which also needs—you guessed it!—another apostille.
So, the moral of today’s story is: bureaucracy sucks. Also, it’s a good thing I have all summer to work on this list. It’s going to take a lot of time (and even more Diet Dr. Pepper) to get through it all.
Coming up next time: medical exams (or, how not to be a Typhoid Mary)