May 26, 2013

'Your visa has been approved'

Odlet se nezadrzitelne blizi kazdym dnem, hodinou, minutou, sekundou. Zpatky na predvolbu 415 se tesim neskutecne :-) Co mam vyreseno a co zbyva?

1. Viza - tento tyden jsem byla Americke ambasade v Praze na pohovoru kvuli J1 Work&Travel vizu. Sice jsem v poslednim rocniku, ale vizum mi bylo po par otazkach schvaleno. Pohledny pan konzul po me chtel vedet:
  • Kam letim: Tiburon, CA
  • Zda-li jsem uz tam byla posledne: Ano
  • Co studuji: Informacni systemy
  • Ve kterem rocniku a kterou univerzitu: VSB, magistersky druhy rocnik
Tod vse. Jednoduchy pohovor v anglictine. Byl velice mily ;-) Na ambasade byla, ale fronta jako blazen, a tak jsem se musela predbehnout, abych stihla vlak domu. Bylo to o fous, ale stihla jsem to vsechno.
Na ambasade si zase nechali muj pas. Dle svych smernic na to maji 2 tydny, aby mi byl dorucen. Maji ted, ale fofry s blizicimi se odlety studentu, a tak davaji nejenom extra terminy pohovoru na vyzadani, ale take prislibuji doruceni do 4-5 pracovnich dnu. Ocekavam svuj pas tedy v pondeli nebo utery. Jinak budu zase nervozni :D
2. Pojisteni - mam v ramci agentury Czech-us hrazeno po dobu trvani J1 viza. Tedy do doby kdy jsem legalne opravnena pracovat na uzemi USA. Pokud chci pak jeste cestovat v ramci grace period nebo ESTA musim si pojisteni hradit sama. Normalne stoji pojisteni v tomto programu 1€/den, tak to neni strasne a je to zahrnuto v programovem poplatku, ktery cinil $399. Na cestovani se budu muset poohlednout bud u Generali (u te se pojistuji nejcasteji diky skvelym akcim a vybornym limitum) nebo AXA (byla mi doporucena a mam kupon na 55% slevu).
3. Letenka - tak jako loni vyhrala Lufthansa. Po fiasku, ktere jsem tehdy utrpela s LOT (muj prvni rocnik Work&Travel) jsem se zarekla, ze jiz nikdy vice :D do USA s LOT. Zatim to plnim. Jako spravny vasnivy cestovatel jsem letecke spolecnosti dlouho zvazovala a hledala kombinace, ktere by mi ukazaly neco noveho. Rozumejte pres Frankfurt a Mnichov jsem letela loni. Pokukovala jsem po Amsterdamu a Zurichu, ale ceny a casy byly krajne nevyhodne, protoze cestujeme dve. Tudiz jsem slevila ze svych naroku a alespon pro cestu zpet si dobrovolne pridala prestup ve Washington DC na hodinku. Vse negativni je k necemu dobre, a tak budu mit dostatek casu na spravny duty free shopping ve Frankfurtu pri ceste tam a Washingtonu pri ceste zpatky ;-)
4. Zavazadla - dostavame se pomalu k vecem, ktere jeste nejsou uplne dopilovany. Veci, ktere si chci vzit sebou mam sepsany ve vecnem seznamu - uz asi 3 roky pouzivam jeden diar :D Pripisuju a prepisuju. Nezalezi mi totiz na datech, ale na poznamkach, a tak kde je volno neco pripisu. Svete div se ja se v tom vyznam :-) Jednou ze soucasti je i seznam veci na cestovani - pokazde ho updatuju a doplnuju. Timpadem je to ten nejvychytanejsi seznam na svete. Pokazde se pousmeju nad nekterou polozkou, kdyz si vzpomenu na prihodu diky ktere se na seznamu ta vec objevila! Nicmene uz asi mesic davam veci dohromady na stul a pred dnem odletu akorat pridam nejake to obleceni a bude to.
5. Status student - diky tomu, ze jsem v poslednim rocniku mela bych dnem uspesneho vykonani statnic prijit o status studenta. Bohuzel jsem v dubnu neuspela u zkousky a byla na poslednim pokusu tento tyden. Kdyz to dopadne pozitivne pujdu ke statnicim v zari a jsem kryta po cely program Work&Travel. Tohle je pozitivum, protoze jakmile nemate status studenta musite zacit resit pracovni urad a placeni zdravotniho a socialniho pojisteni. Mam to na seznamu ke zjisteni, protoze me to bude trapit pokud pojedu i do Kanady od listopadu na Working Holiday.
6. Dokumentace - vsechno nekolikrat okopirovat - od pasu, pres viza, smlouvy - proste vsechno. Mnohdy je to zbytecne, a tak se kodrcam s extra kilem papiru v kufru, kabelce a pamalu i v kapse. Jsem hold radeji opatrna. Zalohuju i oskenovane kopie na Google Drive nebo dropbox.
7. Skola - totalne nedoresena vec na kterou cekam a svira se mi z toho zaludek. No tak jsem v pataku to preci nejde :D
8. Ubytovani - bud budu bydlet tam kde loni nebo si najdu neco blize praci. Popravde receno jsem se zamilovala do predstavy bydlet primo v Tiburonu. Ani ne tak kvuli tomu prostredi (v Sausalitu je taky hezky), ale mela bych to o dost jednodussi a komplexnejsi. Po lonsku mam oblast vcelku zmapovanou a jedine co potrebuju sem tam do samoobsluhy (Safeway), ale mnohem casteji do Bloomingdales v San Francisku. Z Tiburonu by to slo lepe - sice z vetsim usilim po svych nebo na kole, ale o to mi prave jde - se hybat a ne vsude autobusem, popr. autem ;-)
9. Staz na Working Holiday - tu jsem si slibila resit az budu mit vyresenou skolu, ale myslim na to!
10. ... pokracovani priste.

Departure is fast approaching day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second. I can't wait to be back with the 415 area code :-) What's solved and what remains?

1. Visa - this week I was at the U.S. Embassy in Prague at the interview because of the J1 Work & Travel visa. Well I'm in my last school year, but my visa was after a few questions approved. The handsome Mr. Consul asked me these questions:

  • Where am I going: Tiburon, CA
  • Whether I was already there last year: Yes
  • What do I study: Information Systems
  • In which year and which university: Technical University, Master's sophomore year
That's it. A simple interview in English. He was very pleasant ;-) The embassy was pretty crowded, so I had to outrun  the queue to catch a train. It was a close call, but I managed it all.
I had to leave my passport back at the embassy again. According to their directives they have 2 weeks to deliver it back to me. They have now a little rush of pending departures of students, thus giving not only the extra dates  to request an interview, but also promises shipping within 4-5 working days. I expect my passport on Monday, or Tuesday. Otherwise I'll be nervous again :D
2. Insurance - I have one within the agency Czech-us paid for the duration of J1 visa. That's the time when I'm legally entitled to work in the USA. If I then still want to travel within the grace period or ESTA I have to pay the insured by myself. Normally it costs under the program around 1 € / day, so it is not thet terrible, and it is included in the program fee, which was $399. For my travels I will have to look either at Generali or AXA.
3. Airfare - Lufthansa again. After the fiasco that I had suffered with LOT (my first year of Work & Travel) I swore that never again :D to the USA with LOT. So far I'm sticking with it. As a passionate traveler, I have long considered Airlines and been looking for a combination that would show me something new. Via Frankfurt and Munich I flew already last year. I had Amsterdam and Zurich on my mind, but prices and times were extremely disadvantageous as I don't travel alone. So I compromised to my standards and at least for the return journey I voluntarily added a transfer  flight in Washington DC for an hour. All negative is good for something, so I'll have enough time to for duty free shopping in Frankfurt the way there and Washington DC on the way home ;-)
4. Luggage - we are moving slowly to things that are not quite set up yet. Things that I want to take with me are listed in my eternal list - for about three years I'm using one diary :D Constantly rewriting the lines. It does not matter what happened on each day, but the notes matter. So wherever I have a little bit space I'm adding my notes. I'm still keeping strack with every single one :-) One of the main things in my diary is a list of things important for my travels - I update this list every time. That means: It's the best list of things in the world. Each time I look at all the items I smile because I remember why and how they ended up on the list! Nevertheless, I'm collecting things for my big trip for almost a month already. So right before departure I'm just going to add some clothes and that's it.
5. Status student - because I'm in the last year I should lose my student status with my final exams. Unfortunately, I failed the exam in April and tried it once again this week. If it turns out positively'll go to the state exams in September. So I'm going to be covered for the whole Work & Travel.
6. Documentation - everything copied several times - from passport, over visas to contracts - everything. Often it is useless and so I travel with extra weight in every single luggage. I also do a back up to Google Drive or Dropbox. 
7. Schools- this is a totally unresolved thing. 
8. Accommodation - either I'm going to live in the same apartment complex as last year or we find something closer to work. In fact, I fell in love with the idea of ​​staying directly in Tiburon. Not so much because of the environment (in Sausalito it's also nice), but it should be a lot easier and more comprehensive. After last year I have the whole area mapped, and all I need is the supermarket (Safeway) and sometimes Bloomingdales in San Francisco. Tiburon would be better!
9. Traineeship for Working Holiday - I'm going to work on that after my school is all set up!
10. ... To be continued.
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