08 June School enrollment and I-20
Now that I have the class 2 medical certificate I'm ready to enroll into flight school and book the flights to and from the US. After a lot of research with the pre and after travelling in mind I decided it's cheaper and more practical to book 2 single tickets from Brussels to NYc and from LA to Amsterdam. The M1 visa does not require having the return ticket booked before you go. So far I only booked 1 single ticket to NYC, its official now I'm leaving on the 23rd of September 2012.
With that settled it's time to enroll into flight school. There are about 4 schools in the US who issue European licenses through the UK. 3 of them are in Florida. 1 of them is in El Cajon (near San Diego) in California. I want to start studying in October and the weather being a big factor in flying I decided that my first choice would be American Aviation Academy in Cali. I sent many emails with them to get a feeling of where I'm going and to get an accurate financial picture. AAA offers good value for money, but as is usually in the US everything is your own risk. They even told me in advance that student housing couldn't be guaranteed but they gave a 99% chance that I'd get the housing requested.
By now I'm enrolled officially and paid the 500 USD deposit to get the I-20 form required to apply for the M1 visa that you need for vocational education in the US for non-US citizens. The official start date is 10 October. But I plan to be there a week before. This is to avoid any visa issues as you cannot arrive a single day later then the date printed on the visa. A lot of red tape but it is easier than it looks.