Just Frances

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All entries tagged with “immigration”

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    Third passport firsts - Aug 27th, 2016
    I received my new American passport yesterday. But despite this being my third passport, it will also mark several passport firsts in my life. But then, each of my passports have marked important “firsts” in my life! [more...]

    An American flag in Scotland - Jul 4th, 2015
    Today is Independence Day in America; the day we stood up against The Crown to demand self-rule. As a proud American, this is a very important day for me. But as an expat American living in Scotland, it’s a little difficult to find a traditional Independence Day celebration, so I did something a little untraditional. [more...]

    A year of PhD dreams - Nov 16th, 2014
    Yesterday marked one calendar year since I matriculated as a research student in the Institute for Informatics and Digital Innovation at Edinburgh Napier University. It’s hard to believe that more than 15 years after first thinking about a PhD, I’m finally making progress on one! [more...]

    Just four years - Feb 15th, 2014
    Just Frances is four years old. Wow! Can you believe that I’ve been spewing this utter nonsense for that long? And if you thought I might be nearing the end of rubbish things to talk about, you’re wrong. (No apologies. If you don’t like it, you can just stop reading!) [more...]

    2013: A year in (distorted) review - Dec 31st, 2013
    As 2013 draws to a close, I find myself reflecting on the year’s ups and downs. I’ve been thinking about the good points and the bad points and all of the points in between and I’ve been trying to think of how to recap the year. [more...]

    A matriculated update - Nov 16th, 2013
    Well, I suppose I should give a bit of an update as I’ve not said a word since leaving America. I've just been too frazzled and jetlagged to write. [more...]

    Under attack - Nov 12th, 2013
    Today has not been my best day. I knew it would be a hard one, as I was saying goodbye to my parents ahead of tomorrow’s return to Scotland, but I didn’t expect the day I had. [more...]

    The hard things - Nov 11th, 2013
    I'm packing my suitcases this evening for another return to Scotland. After two months in the Homeland, it's a bit hard to say goodbye again. But it would have been hard after two weeks or two years. It's hard because no matter how much I love Scotland and my life there, I love the Homeland and my wonderful family and friends. [more...]

    It’s finally here! - Nov 4th, 2013
    Excitedly, I have received my new UK visa today—meaning that I have all of the official bits of government-issued ID to allow me to return to Scotland to start my PhD programme. Yay!! [more...]

    A little closer - Nov 1st, 2013
    Today is November 1, which is the amended date for the start of my PhD programme in Scotland. Yet I am still in America. [more...]

    Signed, sealed, delivered - Oct 17th, 2013
    Today I sent off my visa application papers. A couple of days later than I’d hoped, but the delay meant that I had everything I wanted to include in the package. [more...]

    Apply and wait - Oct 11th, 2013
    I have finally applied for my new Tier 4 student visa. Yes, finally. It's something I had expected to do more than a month ago, but plans don't always work out the way we want them to! [more...]

    Home or away - Oct 2nd, 2013
    I’ve been here in the Homeland for nearly a month now, but I’m finding it hard to say that I’m “home”. It’s a confusing and unsettled part about being an expat: I am constantly torn between two homes and I never know which place to call home when I’m asked the question. [more...]

    Frustrations and silver linings - Oct 1st, 2013
    Today is October 1, which was my target date for beginning my PhD studies. Only I'm not in Scotland at the moment because I've not sorted out my visa. It's a little frustrating, but I have found several silver linings to it all, so that's OK I suppose. [more...]

    ATAS girl - Sep 27th, 2013
    Remember how I told you that I had to manoeuvre through an additional obstacle before I could apply for my new Tier 4 student visa? And remember how I said I was ever-so-slightly frustrated about it? [more...]

    The ATAS hoop - Sep 12th, 2013
    Today I learned that I have another obstacle to manoeuvre around prior to applying for my new student visa. Apparently, because I will be in a computer-based programme, I have to apply for a certificate from the Academic Technology Approval Scheme. [more...]

    Hello, America - Sep 6th, 2013
    I am finally back in America after more than two years in Scotland—and after two emotionally draining days of international travel. I can't really say that I'm excited to be home yet because there are just too many uncertainties to face in the days ahead, but I know that I will enjoy my time here visiting with family and friends. [more...]

    Goodbye, Scotland - Sep 4th, 2013
    I’m on the train to England now and will be flying home to America tomorrow morning. It’s weird because part of me feels like I am only going away on a wee holiday, but the other part of me fears this may be forever. [more...]

    Empty fears - Sep 2nd, 2013
    My flat is now nearly empty. The only things that remain (other than the furnishings belonging to the property) are my (nearly) packed suitcases that I’m taking to America. And me. Yes, I have two more nights in this empty flat before I leave Scotland for what I hope will just be a few weeks’ time. [more...]

    The daydream - Sep 1st, 2013
    I daydream. I always have and I always will. I suppose that it’s harmless, though it does sometimes mean that I pin a bit of hope on the happy endings I (almost) always allow myself in my fantasies. [more...]

    Non-goodbye goodbyes - Aug 28th, 2013
    Today was my last day of work. Only I'm technically still working for the organisation until Friday. Only I'm also planning on returning in a month's time. So I kind of said goodbye to my [former?] co-workers today. But it’s weird because it’s not really goodbye. [more...]

    Finding rainbows through the tears - Aug 26th, 2013
    I’m not a big fan of the rain but when the skies open up I do find myself looking—and hoping—for a rainbow. Rainbows make me smile; they make me happy; they warm my soul. So, I’ve decided that I will try something new by looking—and hoping—for a rainbow in my tears. You know, because tears are sort of like rain. [more...]

    Packing up—again! - Aug 18th, 2013
    I am packing my home yet again and it’s filling me with a sense of dread and panic. It shouldn’t be so difficult, but it is—in part because I don’t have a clear path in front of me; I don’t actually know what happens when I leave my flat. [more...]

    Love hesitates - Aug 10th, 2013
    She stood staring at the ticket in her hands, her mouth trembling as she tried not to cry. As she crept further along the security line, she focused her attentions to the terminal ahead. She was too afraid to look back, for if he was there watching her, she might run back into his arms. [more...]

    A world of stress - Jul 31st, 2013
    The world seems to be closing in on me right now and it’s destroying my soul. The only thing that is saving me from a complete meltdown is knowing that soon—very soon—some of today’s stresses will naturally resolve themselves. [more...]

    The hat trick - Jul 24th, 2013
    When I put in my first PhD application, I was filled with self-doubt. But I was accepted. [more...]

    And I wait - Jul 17th, 2013
    And I wait (a poem by Just Frances) I draw in a breath, long and slow / And I wait / Desperately, hopelessly / I wait [more...]

    Waiting for a future - Jul 3rd, 2013
    Waiting has got to be one of the hardest things in the world when your entire future depends on the outcome. But waiting is what I do these days. I wait. And wait. And wait. And as I wait, I stress and worry. But still, I wait. Because sometimes there’s no hurrying the answer; there’s no bypassing the wait. [more...]

    Running nightmares - May 26th, 2013
    As most people do, I have bad dreams from time-to-time—the bothersome little dreams that haunt you all day long: Showing up to a test unprepared; arriving at a party without your shoes or shirt; running through the forest from some unknown monster. [more...]

    Post-phobia - Apr 10th, 2013
    For several weeks now, I have been afraid of the post. If I’m at home when it arrives, I dread walking over to pick it up. If I’ve been at work, I dread coming home and opening my door to see a pile of post waiting for me. [more...]

    Talkin’ tartan - Apr 6th, 2013
    Today is Tartan Day, a day when people around the world celebrate their Scottish heritage and ancestry. I’m not Scottish, but as Scotland is where my heart is happiest, I’m still going to acknowledge the day. [more...]

    Home is where…? - Mar 29th, 2013
    Home is a hard place for me to define; more so as I don’t know where I will be living over the next few months—and beyond. Frustratingly, it has been a difficult place for me to identify for much of my life because home for me is less of a physical place and more of an emotional place. [more...]

    A Wednesday ramble - Mar 27th, 2013
    I’m going to delve into a short(ish) stream of consciousness for a bit here, because there’s a lot on my mind that I’ve wanted to share, but I can’t really put it into a coherent form. At the same time, I have several people asking me how things are going with my visa and what my plans are for the summer. [more...]

    Choosing my own adventure - Feb 18th, 2013
    I’m not a big believer in predetermined destinies. I don’t believe that God has my entire life mapped out and that every little obstacle is a direct result of His work. Certainly, I believe in God and His son—my Saviour—Jesus Christ. [more...]

    I fell - Jan 26th, 2013
    The truth is, I fell. I fell really, really hard and I spiralled a bit. OK, maybe I spiralled a lot. [more...]

    Stepping toward the future - Jan 15th, 2013
    Today was a busy and productive day, despite having nothing tangible to show for it. Still, I’ve taken steps toward tomorrow and that makes me a bit happy—if not slightly nervous and uncertain. [more...]

    Expiration loophole - Jan 11th, 2013
    Regular readers will know that I’ve been stressed and worried about my visa situation for a while now. And a select group of friends know that stressed and worried is an understatement. But, we’ll go with stressed and worried for the purpose of this story. [more...]

    And now we wait - Dec 19th, 2012
    I have finally managed to get all of my visa stuff sent off to the UK Border Agency. There was a bit of a hiccup in the process which means that I will have a bit of time to wring my fingers in worried anticipation whilst I wait to hear the outcome of my application. But at least it’s in progress now. [more...]

    Visa hiccups - Dec 8th, 2012
    It would seem that I am being challenged on my visa journey this time around. And it is so very frustrating! As you may know, I have been trying to switch my visa from a Tier 4 (Student) to a Tier 2 (General Work). But to do that, my employer needed to apply to the UKBA to become a sponsor. [more...]

    October: The missing month - Nov 14th, 2012
    I’ve thought long and hard about how to handle the month of October for my blog. You know, since I only posted twice before the site went down for essential maintenance. [more...]

    Forty-nine days - Sep 22nd, 2012
    My visa expires in 49 days. My employer is working on getting sponsorship approval for me so that I can apply for a new visa, but I don’t know if it will all happen before my current visa expires. I might be entitled to a two-month extension, giving me a bit of breathing room to apply for the work visa, but I’ve not heard back from the Home Office to confirm that. [more...]

    Packing up - Sep 10th, 2012
    I alluded to a big step toward a happier future the other day, but also said I wouldn’t share the big(ish) news just yet. Only I’ve changed my mind because I realised that the little steps needed for the big step are a bit more stressful than I thought, and writing about my stresses often helps to ease my mind. [more...]

    A year later - Aug 12th, 2012
    Today marks one year since I hit the reset button on my future. Yes, it’s been one year since I moved back to my beautiful, beloved Scotland. [more...]

    Heigh-ho, heigh-ho - Aug 1st, 2012
    Today, I woke up at 6.30 and began getting ready for the day. I cleaned my teeth, took a shower, put on a dress, drank some coffee, ate some food, and then made my way to my office. [more...]

    No more teachers; lots more books - May 7th, 2012
    Today was my last day of classes. And that means no more teachers. No more admissions-determined schedules. No more sitting through lectures and seminars. No more compulsory interaction with other students. [more...]

    Applying myself - Apr 11th, 2012
    With less than six weeks of classes left—and less than 20 weeks until my dissertation is due—it’s time to start thinking about the future again. And that means getting a job! [more...]

    Out of place - Mar 31st, 2012
    As I walked into town this afternoon, I noticed a dandelion growing in a wall along the pavement. It was sticking out brightly against the grey stone as if to say ‘Hello! I’m here! I belong!’ even though it wasn’t really meant to be there; even though it risked someone removing it or spraying it with deadly chemicals. [more...]

    Boxed in - Dec 2nd, 2011
    When I moved to Scotland in August, I sent a couple of large boxes by sea—hoping they’d arrive before Thanksgiving. They didn’t. But they did arrive today. (Yay!) [more...]

    Making do - Nov 25th, 2011
    Tomorrow, I will be hosting Thanksgiving for the first time since Paul died*. It won’t be as big of a crowd as our last Thanksgiving together, but I find myself just as nervous about the preparations. [more...]

    Got there - Aug 13th, 2011
    I suppose this is a good time to give an update on my travels, since I’ve arrived in Stirling, Scotland, and am now out and about enjoying the free WiFi access. So, here we go: [more...]

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