March, March, March… Where did you go?!
This month was a pretty exciting one for me, as I could finally say ‘I go to camp NEXT MONTH!‘. I can’t believe it’s almost summer… for me anyway! This is going to be the earliest I’ll have ever gone to camp and I’m so pumped to be there as it starts to get warmer (although a tiny part of me hopes there’s still snow ‘cos camp is just so pretty in the winter!) and things start to come to life when our first school groups arrive mid-May.
But first, back to March. In the last post I talked about filling out my visa application and booking my appointment at the (new) US Embassy. My paperwork arrived from BUNAC shortly afterwards, so I went ahead and booked my appointment for a few weeks later, as well as going back to my DS160 to finish off the last few pages. The booking process is fairly simple, and there are heaps of days and times available to choose from. BUNAC will include some detailed instructions for booking your Embassy appointment in the packet they send you with your visa paperwork, so if you just follow those closely, you’ll be absolutely fine.
Then it was just a matter of printing everything out, then checking and double checking that I had everything I needed for the appointment. Again, BUNAC will provide you with a handy checklist of all the things you need to take with you to the Embassy, so you really can’t get it wrong! You will need:
- US Visa Photos (These are 2×2 square photos, not the regular passport photo size)
- SEVIS I-901 receipt
- DS160 confirmation page
- Appointment confirmation (this should have barcodes on it)
Once I’d booked the appointment, it was just a matter of waiting for the day to arrive. In the meantime I took a little weekend trip to Barcelona with my family. It was so great to be back in the sunshine, exploring a brand new place… it got me all excited for travelling again after camp this year. There’s still so many places in the USA I haven’t been yet!
Finally the day arrived, so off I went to the new US Embassy for my afternoon appointment. If you follow BUNAC on Twitter or Instagram (if not, why?!) you might have seen my face as I posted updates throughout the whole visa experience. I’ll be doing some Instagram takeovers for BUNAC over the summer too, so keep your eyes peeled for some awesome updates live from camp!
Anyway, I LOVED the new Embassy! The closest tube is Vauxhall and then it’s less than a 10 minute walk to the building. You go around the building to the South entrance, where you’ll go up to the desk under the red gazebo. They’ll ask to see some of your paperwork and then you’ll go through security before heading into the main building. Once inside you’ll get a sticker with a number on it and you’ll head up to the 1st floor in the lift, where you’ll sit in any chair and wait for your number to be called. When you see your number come up on the screen, go to the window it says and they’ll ask for your paperwork and scan your fingerprints. Then you go back to the chairs and wait for your number to be called again – you’ll go to a different window and they’ll take your paperwork and passport, ask you a few questions like, ‘Where are you going?‘, ‘What are you doing at camp?‘ and, ‘What are you doing when you leave camp?‘, and then that’s it, you’re all done!
It really is that simple. You’ll know there and then if your visa’s been approved – you can expect your passport to be delivered to your chosen DXDelivery location within about a week. You’ll get an email when it’s on it’s way.
And now it’s just a waiting game. I’ve got my last month at work, and I’m also doing some prep work for camp too, so it’s all a bit hectic, especially since I also want to spend as much time as possible with friends and family before I go!
It’s mental to think that when my next BUNAC update post goes live I’ll be up in the air or maybe even already in NYC already! Only 31 days to go!
**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.