17 July Getting the visa
Alright, a little update about the visa application. To study in the US you need a M-1 Visa. The I-20 form is issued by the school and this is the basic document to apply for the visa. One also has to pay a SEVIS fee which costs 200 USD at this time of writing. You pay it after you get the I-20 and pay it online. Then you fill out the d160 electronic form on the website of the US consulate. It takes about 1.5 hours to complete.
Once all this is done you have to call a special 15 Euro phone call to make a reservation for the visa application appointment. This isn't hard and all this is done before you have the visa interview. Today I had the actual visa interview so a little more about that now.
I took the day off and went to Amsterdam by 9 for a 2 hour train ride to our lovely capital. I never seen the city during this time of the year and there were lots of tourist roaming the city. I figured I'd join them because I had to leave my phone in a locker at the train station as they aren't allowed in the consulate, I just walked in some streets and saw a lot of Amsterdam I have never seen before. I also stumbled on some hookers in the windows which was a nice surprise. Anyways I went on and made my way to the Museumplein. 4 years ago I had to apply for a J-1 visa and it took 4 hours. This time it only took 5 minutes to stand in line outside and 30 minutes inside! A big improvement. I gave all the papers, none of the supporting documents had to be shown. I answered some questions and the guy behind the desk noted my answers and I was free to go and my passport with the visa in it was going to be sent to me. Afterwards I spend some more time in Amsterdam and went home in the evening.
That's it! I'll get the visa in a few days and then I'm all set to go. I have the tickets from and to the US, the Visa and I'm enrolled into the flight school. Next update will be when I'm in the US! Take care!