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.
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 😉