People often say good things come to those who wait, but what nobody knows is what you could learn while you wait. I never thought the process of changing my tourist status to a student status in theUnited States was going to be such a challenge, a long process, with its highs and its lows. Thanks to that experience today, my view of being a student switched dramatically.
By the first half of2010, I decided to apply to be a student in PBSC (Palm Beach State College). Because I’m from Costa Rica, a beautiful country known for its touristic wonders which, ironically, lacks a place to studyhospitality and tourism management, Florida became the perfect option for me, perfect because Costa Rica is also only a two hour airplane trip away.
In the school, I met Mr. Laborde, the headof the International Admissions Department, who gave me all the paperwork and forms that I had to fill in to be able to study in the United States. I remember that all that paperwork looked verycomplicated, so I decided to go for the lawyer route. Therefore, I looked for the assistance of Mr. Levine, Wayne Levine, a kind, honest, and hard working person who I consider one of those panda bearlawyers: an almost extinct species. He helped me with my paperwork, and explained to me all the laws and time frames in which I had to make my moves.
It was exhausting: 30 days to file your I-20form, 3 months of I-94 still valid, 120 point score on my TOEFL test, and at least 90 days in the country. All these numbers and abbreviations made me aware of how exhausting it must be for parents tokeep up with their kid’s new way of texting lingo! LOL.
Silence… No news, letters, phone calls, or emails. School? Nothing. Lawyer? Nothing. From October 2010 to June 2011, I was just waitingimpatiently for an answer. There were mornings in which I would wake up and tell myself there was, probably, many other applications just like mine in line waiting, so it was just a matter of time to...
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