Aine is currently a student in the BA (Hons) in Culinary Arts who spent her third year abroad, here are her tips on how to apply for an American visa
I was pleasantly surprised by how simple the visa application process was. The process first began online by paying the SEVIS fee (180 dollars) then the DS-2019 fee (160 dollars). You then get a date for your visa interview at the American Embassy in Dublin.
On arrival for your interview, you are required to bring a colour 2x2 inch sized photo which is slightly bigger than a passport photo (I got mine taken at a pharmacy beside the Embassy). You are required to bring a receipt of the paid SEVIS fee. You need to be able to explain how you are financing your trip e.g. bank statements of your own finances or your parents. Proof that you are attending college on your travels. The interview was quick and easy. The Embassy takes your passport and after around 10 working days your passport is dropped off to a selected drop off point and for collection.
There are many other costs involved before you head to college in the USA. Health insurance is the most expensive as I think it is averaging 600 dollars for one term. As we are staying on campus accommodation, vaccines are required if you have not had them before, such as the meningitis vaccine, hepatitis A and B. My advice on the vaccines is to get them early as you can as they can only be taken with a certain amount of time in between. They can work out expensive. I was advised to get them through “Tropical Medical bureau” which have 20 different locations around Ireland, so I am sure there is one near you. I also got a student discount on this which meant I saved a lot compared to my GP ordering them in specially for me.
A lot of preparation goes into getting organised for heading to America so the best advice I can give is to do everything sooner rather than later.
Best of luck!!
Read more blogs like this at http://bacainternational.blogspot.ie/