February has been a pretty quiet month for me in terms of camp things, so this won’t be a huge update. My first step this month was to change my date of arrival – my camp director wanted me out at camp as soon as possible to get going with preparations for summer, so she got in touch with BUNAC and CIEE who said they could start my visa as early as May 1st, which is super exciting!
So that meant getting a new Placement Agreement form signed and uploaded to my CIEE account as soon as possible, so that they can process my visa paperwork and I can organise the last piece of the puzzle – the all important embassy appointment!
Make sure you check your CIEE account as often as possible, as your Placement Agreement form will be uploaded to the ‘Documents’ section – you need to download it, sign it and re-upload the form in order for CIEE to then start the visa process for you.
You’ll hear from BUNAC once your visa paperwork arrives at their office and they’ll give you instructions on what to do next and how to go about applying for your visa.
As I’ve done this same visa application 7 times already now, I figured I’d get a jump on the process and make a start on the online DS160, the application form you have to fill out before you actually go to the Embassy. It’s pretty simple once you know how, but if this is your first time applying for the visa, I’d definitely recommend waiting for the step-by-step instructions BUNAC will send out to you, just to make sure you get everything 100% right, as any mistakes can delay your visa.
One super important thing – when you start your DS160 make sure you write down the application number (it starts with ‘AA’) and save every page. You’ll need this number to get back into the application and to book your Embassy appointment. I would also recommend choosing ‘save to file’ before you exit the application, as this allows you to access the application for longer than 30 days, in case you don’t finish it in time.
So I’ve done as much of the application as I can for the moment… I just need some final details from BUNAC/CIEE (SEVIS and Programme Numbers), and then once I hear that my visa paperwork is being printed and on its way to London, I’ll go ahead and book my Embassy appointment. The Embassy in London has moved and it’s all shiny and brand new, so I’m excited to go for my appointment and see how the new process works!
The rest of the month has just been filled with hanging out with camp friends, and getting excited for summer and my new role. I’m going to be playing a big part in the preparation for summer and running some the staff trainings, so I’ve been reading and researching a lot of fun ideas and coming up with some new ways of doing things that I think could work really well at camp. I joined a group on Facebook called Summer Camp Professionals and it’s full of loads of awesome ideas and advice from camp professionals with years of experiences in the camping industry.
Bring on the summer! Only 59 days to go until I fly!
**I’m returning to camp this summer with BUNAC who have been sending people just like you to camp for many years. Get in touch with them via their website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, by phoning them on +44 333 999 7516 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.**
Disclaimer: BUNAC are waiving my camp fees in return for this blog series, but please rest assured that all opinions are honest and my own.