Welcome to the co-writers!

Hi everyone!

As some of you may have noticed, some of the ASSIST students 2012/13 have joined this blog! I am so thankful for your help 😀 This blog will become so much more interesting like that! We are from countries from almost all over the world (well, Europe and Asia 😉 ) and we will be scattered all over the U.S.A. The tales couldn’t be more different – some are boarding school students, others are day school students. Some schools are only High schools, others are schools start with Kindergarten and Pre-school, some are co-educational schools, some are not. We couldn’t be more different, and still we are all together in this, which promises to be an exceptional year.

Hereby: Welcome and have fun writing 😉

And news will follow – at the latest at the orientation camp in Boston, to which everyone is truly and eagerly looking forward (I haven’t heard other opinions so far). The time races by….

Alice

Advertisements

Goodbye Europe, hello USA – Part 2

Well, as you may already know (I presume you read Part 1 😉 ), I was granted a (full!) scholarship. There are two kinds of scholarships that ASSIST offers: full and partial scholarships. I received that information in February – I believe you will understand I was extremely excited, and nervous! I wanted to know which school I was going to attend. I was hoping it would be a boarding school on the East Coast. But as things can change very fast, exactly THAT did not happen. After days and weeks and months of waiting I finally received an e-mail telling me which school I was going to attend.

“We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted for admission into Grade 11 to Canterbury School, a day school in Fort Wayne, IN. Congratulations!”

I was a little bit disappointed… at first! As I started to get in contact with the school and one of the ASSIST students that was there at the time, everything became really clear. Canterbury seems to be such a nice and great school and I can’t wait to go there! The contact with Mrs Martin, the co-coordinator for the ASSIST program at Canterbury, has been very nice and she is very patient with all my questions (there were soo many!). To clarify: I am REALLY excited about attending Canterbury!

It really was a lot of waiting, until I knew everything and at some point, it was almost unbearable. Every day could have been THE day when THE information could have come. It could, but it wasn’t most of the time. I sent the application on November 29th, I finally got to know my host family June 27th. But all the waiting was TOTALLY worth it (so far, but I doubt that this opinion will change 😉 )

The contact with my host family is really nice! I must admit, that I was insecure about my staying with a family I don’t know. I think it will still be a little strange, but I don’t feel like I should be insecure about the experience! The contact with Sarah, my host-sister, is so nice. We chatted for three hours the first day 😀 .

Time passes so fast! I can remember the first school day of this year as if it were yesterday. And the holiday will already be there tomorrow! I already miss my friends from Tyrol… But what are Facebook, Twitter and Skype for, if not for maintaining contact to people in Far Far Away?

Well this was pretty much the story up to now… I will edit the entries if anything might have slipped through my fingers!

Auf, auf und davon – Lasst das Abenteuer beginnen in 3, 2, 1…. (1 Monat, 3 Tage)

Alice

Goodbye Europe, hello USA!

Hello and welcome to my blog!

“You will go to the US for one year and you will attend an amazing private school in Indiana.”

If someone had told me that a year ago, I probably would have laughed. I wouldn’t have believed him anyway. I wasn’t even thinking about doing a year abroad at the time!

But things can change… Some research for an English homework brought me to ASSIST, and I started to think about a year abroad only then. The deadline wasn’t far away anymore, but the application arrived soon enough. The Austrian and Slovakian coordinator, Mrs Katarina Krizkova, helped me through everything. Thank you very much 🙂 !

The ball was set rolling and one thing after the other happened. I had been in Vienna only once before. Since ASSIST came into my life, I have been there four more times.

Starting with the SLEP test (Secondary Level English Proficiency test). We needed to take that one in order to prove, that our English level was high enough, to be able to follow-up with high-school English classes. That was the first time, that all the Austrian applicants met. Five in total. There were not lots of us, but we seem to have been the right ones. All of us were accepted and will attend an independent American highschool in 2012/13 – congrats by the way!

Then came the interview, with Mr Woody Rutter and Mrs Krizkova. All fears were unjustified, although a little excitement is completely normal (and good, most of the time…). Both were really nice and it felt more like a conversation than like an interview.

On the 28th of February I finally heard something about the results. I opened the e-mail and started to read.

We are happy to inform you that you have been selected as an ASSIST Scholar in Grade 11 for the 2012/13 academic year. Congratulations! You will receive a full scholarship to attend an American independent school.

You can’t imagine how happy I was!!

And then came one of the most complicated things I’ve ever seen. The visa application. Well, it was manageable (with Mrs Krizkovas help!), but still a lot of work. We had to travel to Vienna (again). But it was totally worth it! (again 😉 ). We had a very nice and kind reception at the American Embassy in Vienna with all the Austrian students, their parents, Mrs Krizkova, Mrs Schmid-Gerlich, Cultural Affairs Specialist at the Embassy and Mrs Marlene Nice, Assistant Public Affairs Officer at the Embassy. Some pictures can be found on Facebook.

ASSIST Students meet US

The only stop left was at the consulate. We were told about interviews, that had to be held and that we had to bring a lot of documents. In the end, it was easier than I thought 🙂

The bureaucratic process from the Austrian side was hereby more or less finished – but that was just a small part!

I wouldn’t have been able to go through this without the help and the support from my parents. I am very grateful that you allowed me to live this big adventure and that you supported me the whole time !

Continuation of the pre-story will follow 😉

Alice