Its been a while 🙂
In the period since my last post (sans the financing my MBA post), I have resigned my job, obtained my visa, booked my flight home (I’ve got some free time to spend with the family) booked my flight to Chicago and finalized my living arrangements. I’m going to give a brief description of the Visa process & apartment hunting (it may not be useful to some) but …
Surprisingly,getting my visa was really easy and straightforward. The journey to that point? not so much. In fact, it was really stressful. I was ready to apply for my visa in June but that was the same time the US embassy had the security glitch that caused them to stop giving visas for a while. By the time they opened up the system there was a long buildup. In the 3 hours it took me to get on the website (from when I heard visas were being issued) all appointment slots in July were taken. I booked for August 10, the first available date then made a habit of checking the site regularly till I got an appointment for July 20. I experienced a short-lived excitement as that date was later declared a public holiday.
The embassy did me the “favor” of rescheduling my appointment to August 24. Even though I could see earlier dates on the site the same moment I got the email. And guess what? I had to pay another MRV fee to reschedule to any of the earlier dates I saw on the site. Being myself, I tried to reason with the call representatives but I’m certain I’d have had better success talking to walls than I did with them. So I paid again and booked an earlier appointment. In case you can’t tell, I’m still angry at that treatment. It was totally unfair and unnecessary, if any appointments have to be rescheduled due to national holidays or any reason not directly related to the applicant, I think it is only fair to give then the first available slots. Really US embassy, you should learn to stop treating Nigerians badly in our own country.
On the actual interview day, I got in about a minute early (not really my fault but 6:30 am is extremely early. I know a lot of people get to work in Nigeria by that time to avoid traffic but I pay a premium to live close enough that I don’t have to leave home by that time). There was a crowd of people there, som with 10am appointments, I don’t understand that. Anyway, we went through security checks, confirmed apointments then waited till about 7:30 when we went through biometric capture and then the actual interview. My interview lasted all of 2 minutes and was mostly an abbreviated version of my MBA interview with added emphasis on funding my MBA. I picked up my Visa 3 days later.
I got an apartment in the loop. Which is where I wanted to live but I didn’t get a studio so I am sharing with another Boothie. The process was a bit stressful mostly because I kept finding places that were available much earlier than I wanted or were much pricier than I could afford. I was tryingto keep below the estimate provided by the school or at the very worst within $100 per month over it but that proved impossible according to the brokers I talked to. So I decided to split an apartment (starting on the path to getting out of my comfort zone a lot earlier and more differently than I planned). I’ll be on ground for my next apartment search when needed and I have a feeling it’ll be much easier.
I’m all set to travel now. Just enjoying a few days with my family (the new puppies will not stop barking at me, no odea why).
I have no idea if I’m going to continue updating this blog and I’m not making any promises to that effect. I’d also like to apologize to everyone that has been sending me emails; I haven’t read them. I’m going to try to read them over the next week and respond if I can.
Class of 2018 applicants: Good luck and hope to meet some of you in Booth.