Just Frances

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A little closer

This entry was posted on Friday, November 1st, 2013 by Frances Ryan.
Tags: travel, scotland, school, phd, moving, immigration, homeland, holidays, happy, goals, expat, celebrations, america

Today is November 1, which is the amended date for the start of my PhD programme in Scotland. Yet I am still in America.

But, much like when I told you of the silver linings from my missed October 1 start date, I have a silver lining for this one, too. And that lining is that I received an email today stating that my UK visa has been issued.

I’m not completely celebrating yet because I don’t actually have my visa in hand, but I am pretty happy. I mean, as happy as someone can be when they’re thinking about the madness that the next week will entail.

So, what happens next?

Well, I need to determine a small timing glitch with my start date first. The date on my sponsorship certificate is November 1, and states that I must register by November 9. The odds of that happening are extremely slim as I still need to wait for my passport to be returned before I can book travel. But I’ve made enquiries into that so will hopefully have some information early next week. (I’m hoping for a week’s grace period, giving me time to get things wrapped up here and to unpack there!)

Once my passport and visa are in my possession, I will book my flights. I’m hoping that all happens in less than 10 days—though I know it will be rushed no matter when it happens.

In between now and then, I will be frantically packing and visiting with as many of my nieces and nephews as possible. After all, I don’t know when I’ll see them again!

Upon arrival in Scotland, I will jump straight to action for the various administrative bits I’ll need to sort out for my PhD: Registration, student ID card, a new rail card, setting up meetings with PhD supervisors, and settling into my office.

Also upon arrival in Scotland, I will have to make my friends head out for drinks. After all, I’ve been missing my Deuchars IPA something fierce!

So... that’s a happy little update to start the month. Expect a few progress reports over the next couple of weeks, and maybe a melancholy post of two about the emotional conflicts of expat life! (But I’ll try for mostly happy stuff. I promise!)

[Image note: That's a drawing of thistles I made in 2011. Thistles, you may know, are the national flower of Scotland.]

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