Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Getting a German Visa is not easy..

UGH. I hate all of those looong legal processes. They're just a nightmare!

It all started 3 weeks ago when I went to the German Embassy to apply for my visa. Well, first of all, I had to fill in 2 applications IN German, but my knowledge of German is, literally, nothing! So after trying with about a dozen of applications, I completed them. I handed in my guarantee forms with the applications, my birth certificate and my passport, but they told me that I had to translate my birth certificate to German and also that I was missing a letter from my Rotary Club in Germany, so I had to go back home and e-mail my host club asking them for the letter. They replied really quickly and, about 10 days later, I received an e-mail from them with a copy of the letter attached. And last week a woman who speaks German translated my birth certificate, so I had everything I was missing and was ready to apply for my Visa.. or so I thought.

Finally, today I went once again to the German Embassy but, unlike the last time I'd gone, there was a lot of people who were also applying for a Visa, so it took us about half an hour to get in, and an hour or so to get attended. So I handed in all my papers, confident that everything was complete, but the woman that was attending me told me that my letter was missing a text that said it was based on the 84th and 86th articles or something like that, so basically I had to go back to my house (after wasting almost 2 hours waiting) and e-mail once again my host club.
Now I'm scared that I won't get my Visa on time! :/

Friday, 25 June 2010

Second host-family!

So today, after I woke up, I checked and I had a new e-mail, and it was from my second host-father! He told me that his family lives in Vierkirchen, a small village that's only 15km away from Dachau, and there are buses that leave every 20 minutes or so, so it won't be a problem going from one town to the other. I looked for it in Wikipedia, and it has a population of about 4000 people, which is a big change for me, since I live in a city with a population of about 24 million people. He also told me about the family: I will have 3 host-brothers: a 12-year-old, a 14-year-old, and a 16-year-old who will be on exchange in India, and a 3-year-old host-sister! It's going to be great to have younger siblings, since I only have an older sister, so I don't know what it's like to have a brother, and much less a younger one!

Church in Vierkirchen

So I think I'll only have 2 host-families, which is great, because that way I get to have more time with each family (about 5/6 months) and get to know them better.

Ahh, this is one of those moments when I just CAN'T wait to get there, but I still have so many things to do: get my Visa, buy the plane tickets, etc. I'll update probably next week when I go to get my Visa!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Gastfamilie, Stadt, Schule, etc.

Hey everybody! So finally, after months of overthinking it, I decided to keep a blog! I'm writing it in English, so that everyone can understand, so forgive me if there are misspellings or mistakes.

Well, first of all, I'm Alejandra (Ale), I live in Mexico City and I'm going to exchange for a year to Germany with Rotary! So from September 2010 to July 2011 I'll be living with German people, going to a German school, learning German and living as a German!

Mexico City

Studying aborad is something I've been always dreaming about. I was always thinking of studying in a boarding school in England or Ireland, and the idea of an exchange was crazy to me: "Living with strangers in another country? No way!" but then I realized I wasn't going to a boarding school; they were too expensive. So it was either exchange or staying in Mexico with my daily routine. And finally, in October, I told my parents about it, I thought they were going to laugh at my face and tell me I was out of my mind, but they didn't. Instead they told me that I should apply, but they didn't want me to get too sad if I wasn't accepted. In late November, I handed in the extremely long application (filling it was a nightmare! :S) and I had to do a knowledge exam (math, world history, geography, history of Mexico, etc.). That day I was told to choose 3 countries that I wanted to exchange to. My first thoughts were Scandinavia and Russia, but my district didn't exchange with Russia, and the only Scandinavian country they offered was Finland, so it was my first choice. I've always loved the German language, so Germany was my second choice and Austria was the third.

On December 30th, I received an e-mail saying that I was going to Germany! This surprised me a lot because a. I thought I was going to receive my placement in February or so, and b. I was 100% sure that I was going to Finland, don't ask why, I just had the feeling. But I can't say I was disappointed, because I wasn't! So, since that day, I started to get impatient at that point of checking my e-mail 5 times a day, but it wasn't until mid-March that I received an e-mail from the chairman saying I was going to district 1840, in South Bavaria. :D

Districts in Germany

And in mid-May I finally received an e-mail from my first host-family! I will have 2 host-sisters, though one of them will be on exchange in Brazil, a host-mother, and a host-father, but he does not live with them. I will be living in Dachau, a town that's 20 minutes away from Munich, and I will be going to school to Ignaz-Taschner-Gymnasium (ITG) which is only 5 minutes away from where I'll be living.

Dachau Old Town

My school: Ignaz-Taschner-Gymansium

So, it was a long post, but I had to describe what the past few months of my life have been. I don't think I'll write too much until I get there, but if I have some information in the next few weeks, I'll update.

Bis dann! ;)