I have almost finished my first week here in Canada. It still hasn’t sunk in yet what I’m actually doing living overseas.. I wanted to throw in this post a few thing that Kody and I have experienced in our organisation of this trip that have caused us a bit of stress so you guys might be able to avoid it, check these out:
– Study/holiday/working permits or visa’s. This has been the most major stress for us. We have been in Canada for a week now and we still haven’t received our permits. I have applied for a student permit obviously and Kody a working holiday. We applied for these permits under the one application and still don’t have them 7 weeks later. We had a bit of trouble coming through customs without them. The customs officer who was processing us was pretty good though. As long we promised that we weren’t going to study or work without first having the permits confirmed by Canadian customs. weWwere okay once we told him we had plenty of funds saved to look after us in Canada for a period of 6 months without working. I plan to meet with my designated international student advisor to explain my situation to him. The customs officer has told us that once we receive the permits we have to leave the country and re-enter through customs to have the permits approved. I’m hoping to find a way around that. Kody and I are also planning to enter and re-enter the United States during our trip. We also have had to organise holiday visa’s to enter the United States more than once. The reason we have had to do this is because if we do have to leave and re-enter Canada once we receive our permits we will need to enter USA twice. Its a really long and complicated situation and one which I recommend heavily you be really well versed with during your planning to exchange overseas. Apply the second you are able to!!! Once you receive your acceptance letter from your host university, get on it! It takes ages and you may need medicals, interviews and other really stressful hoops to jump through. =/ Try not to rely on others to assist you with your permit/visa applications, study the information for yourself, a great website is smartraveller.gov. There are lots of websites out there and it can become totally overwhelming, but take your time & follow the steps.
– Have your home lifeline. This is your mum, dad, sister, brother or close family friend who is really supportive of your adventure and someone you trust a lot. Have your means of direct and instant communication with them and keep your lifeline updated every step of your way. Your lifeline will come to your rescue when you have a stress attack, somehow run out or loose your money, miss your flight, get denied entry to your host country through customs and every other unimaginable nightmare that will plague your thoughts until you arrive safely at your new home. Leave some money with them and have a good way to communicate. Kody and I have her mum and we used Skype primarily once we crossed into Canada. Luckily we had no major hiccups yet but we knew and know that she is there for us to help come up with a contingency plan if anything goes wrong.
– The more electronics the better. I love my tablets, smart phones, iPods and all that stuff. When your good on your electronics they can save you a lot of stress. Airports will have always have free WiFi and well as cafés and Maccas etc. Take advantage of these and if you can have WiFi in the hotels your going to stay in all the better. Most of us control a lot of our money online and its a great resource you can use for communication that won’t give you outrageous roaming charges. Because I have a bit money on my Skype and WiFi everywhere I go I still haven’t needed to get a phone. Eventually I will buy a sim to put in my phone when I get to uni but that just convenience to contact Kody and others here in Canada. In addition to that it always helps to have the greatest library in the world at your fingertips when you need it most. A powerful tablet can replace your laptop, uni books and stacks of other paperwork you really don’t need to take with you to the other side of the world.
That’s it for Grants moving oversea tips but I’m happy for anyone to contact me and ask about advise to help solve problems you might be having or concerns you can’t get out of your head. One to grow on would be to double whatever amount of money you think you need for your trip but I’m sure you all know that =)
Here’s a few photos from this weeks adventures on the snow fields =)
Never mind how weird we look in snow gear, you get really red after a long day skiing and stuff lol =)
Here’s a great photo of our lifeline lady haha!
That’s it for today guys, stay fly =)