On Friday, my two friends that are also headed to Osaka Kyoiku University and I applied to get our VISAs at the Consulate in Atlanta, Georgia. We left from Charlotte at 5am and drove to Atlanta, trying to avoid most of the traffic. We went in circles for 10 minutes trying to find the Consulate General’s office (it is inside of a very tall building), then we made it!
We have been waiting since the day that we applied for this program to get this important information, and finally the day arrived that we could apply to get it! Now it feels as though we are actually going to Japan–though maybe I should wait until I receive an email or something…
To get a VISA you do not have to set up an appointment with the consulate office, at least not for Atlanta. However, you will have to leave your passport there, so make sure you make copies and if you cannot come back to Atlanta to pick your passport up before your flight, prepare an envelope (FedEx) for them to send your passport in, as well as all the other details on their website (http://www.atlanta.us.emb-japan.go.jp/workvisa.html). Additionally, do not be intimidated by the security guard as I was, apparently the guard is very nice… However, I couldn’t put my phone and wallet in the box he was holding because I was shaking (How am I going to survive TSA’s glares?). Troi was too focused on getting in to the Consulate Office and Jackie was too busy looking for a bathroom to feel the intimidating stare that I felt, but it all worked out in the end!
After applying for our VISAs we went to H-Mart to eat lunch. I got kimchi-jjigae, Korean food is my favorite food, and then we bought some mochi to give to our friend who we were visiting at our home university. Then, on the drive to Western we played shiri-tori, quizzed each other on vocab, and had a little bit of speaking practice with each other. Finally we arrived! We could spend time with our friend. While taking care of some health insurance arrangements we needed to work out, we had a chance encounter with another one of our classmates. We went to eat dinner at Kobe and watched a movie together. It was great to catch up with friends before we separate for a year. (And may I mention, I survived all this without a flare up?! Embrel is really working for me!)
Next time will be in 12 days! The day of my flight to Japan, I will post about my goals, expectations, and fears, which is going to be a more exciting post, I hope!
Talk to you then,