Okay, so after two weeks I finally feel ready to write about what happened with my recent plans to be in England on a research trip. So... I sent off my visa application which included my passport on July 1st and it was received July 2nd at the consulate office. Online it says that it usually takes a week for a visa to be processed. I fully admit that I sent this visa application in too late and I was making it really tight but I never thought it would be a problem. On the Wednesday before the departure date I called and e-mailed the consulate, I was told it should be done by Friday and with the envelope I sent along with everything it would arrive on Saturday. I tried to breathe and anxiously awaited my visa and passports arrival, but Saturday came and went and it didn't come. On Monday I called again, this time over 20 times until the phone was answered and when it finally was answered I was told that all that needed to happen was have the visa printed off and then it would be done, I knew it would be tight but I just hoped and hoped everything would be in by 11 am, if that happened we would be able to make it to Evansville in time for the flight. Throughout the day on Monday I called Delta many times to see if I could skip my flight in Evansville and possibly just get it in Ohio. Delta said that was not possible, but everyone I spoke to was helpful and understood that this was a unique situation. I also called my university to see if they might be able to help and I was given a lot of advice. Tuesday came and no visa/passport, it was a really hard day but I just kept remembering that this was all a crazy situation with a whole bunch of unexpected factors. I definitely should have sent my visa stuff in earlier but I can't live in the past so I am not letting myself say what if. So, after some unsuccessful efforts to try and rebook my flight for Wednesday, when my visa and passport did arrive, I began the process of cancelling everything. USI was again fantastically helpful and my professor in charge of the trip was very understanding. So since then I have been trying to distract myself, my friend and I decided to take the GRE so that has been a consumer of time. Right now I am awaiting news from USI on what I need to do in terms of the grant I received to go on the research trip, my hopes right now are to do the research while I'm in Belgium and be able to make up for the trip as much as I can then.
As for Belgium related stuff, I have started packing. It's nice to see how much stuff I have planned to take and to see that I should be fine with everything. I am waiting on finding out the final information about my host family. I'm getting really excited and I cannot believe it is already August! AHHHH so much coming up and its going to be incredible!