News and Notes

As readers of this blog know, my plan for the upcoming Spring school semester was to study in Hyderabad, India. Unfortunately, life’s full of surprises and disappointments. But I’m not complaining. Actually, I see it as an opportunity to explore other options. So it is official. Due to bureaucratic reasons, I was informed that my student visa won’t be approved for at least 3 months at the latest, which essentially put in a position of no-go. Sorry to disappoint, friends. You won’t be reading stories about explosive diarrhea or complaints about unsanitary conditions.

Instead, I will continue my education at my current school and hopefully participate study abroad in summer ’09. Stay tuned for that.

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Categories: School/Students, Travel | Tags: , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “News and Notes

  1. Om, I’m very sorry to hear the disappointing news 😦

    With hope, you’ll secure another study abroad gig this coming summer.

    Happy New Year!

  2. cigaal

    Don’t you worry OM. It shall all work out for good, InshaAllah.
    I was away from the blogs and I’m trying to catch up with Ya’All. A Happy New Year OM.

  3. OM,

    I completely understand how you must feel about the refusal of your student visa, or the delay of it.

    For some reason Indian embassies, in North America – i.e Canada, U.S. only, tend to make it hard for international students to obtain Student Visa. I traveled to India in 2007, after the Indian Embassy in Toronto refused to issue a Student Visa for me, despite providing them with admission letter for a well recognized Indian University. Instead they gave me one month X-Visa, which turned out ‘not extend-able’ for student purposes, or changeable to student visa. As a result, I went to a neighboring country, Nepal and got the Student Visa I needed.

    This reluctance to give S-Visas to International students is isolated only to embassies in the U.S. and Canada. I have many friends for other countries who study here in India. They all had no trouble getting their visas. Go Figure.

    Well, next time, just get any visa, and then get the right visa from a neighbor to India. Besides, you got to travel more and air fairs are less than U.S. local flights usually less than $200.00.

    Good luck.

  4. Om

    Happy New Year, ya’ll! Aya, although it was disappointing to not be able to go, I’m glad I didn’t because I’m now applying for a summer program taking place in Tanzania! I’m excited about this program is an understatement:-) I can’t wait, I tell ya.

    Insha’allah, Cigaal. And happy new year to you as well, my friend.

    SBN, you’re absolutely correct on your point. For some reason, these Indian Embassies in North America are the worst kinds. In fact, the visas are not even processed by the embassies themselves- they ‘outsourced’ it to a private company, so the bureaucratic level is that much difficult. I was told, if I were in Somalia, they would’ve approved my visa in 5 business days. Go figure. I’m done dealing with their b.s. Good luck on your studies.

  5. OM,

    Thanks for wishing me good luck! I need it for the next 3 semesters (what’s left of my BSc. Degree). Studying here is hard because of lack of study materials, no official course text books. References are like over 10 to 20 text books as Profs usually teach from a maze of books, so hard to follow the lectures unless you attend each and every one of them and take good notes. Or just photocopy (they all know photocopying as Zerox) an Indian girl’s notes cuz they never miss class.

    Also, Good luck with your hopefully upcoming trip to Africa. Never been to Tanzania but I have a number of Tanzanian friends here in Mysore, India. They seem cool, but they like to party a lot. So watch out, and stay focused on your –whatever that may be — work if you must party too.

    And finally, thanks for coming out to Somchat.com to comment on that article I wrote ‘LAST YEAR’

    And of course, Happy new year!

  6. Om

    Hahaha, I didn’t know Tanzanians were party animals! Now reading your horror story about how the education system works over there makes me feel very happy that my s-visa didn’t come through. I can’t imagine studying under that kind of curriculum, my friend.

    The great thing about the program I’m applying to now is that it’s a summer program, so it’s only 30 days. Second, it’s a group study abroad program, taught by a professor from my university and mostly students from my school, but there will be students from everywhere else. On the party front, well, I’m afraid going to a film festival in paradise island, Zanzibar, is just too good to pass! Besides, I’ve been trying to visit East Africa for a while so this would be like killing two birds with one stone….

    Happy new year:-)

  7. You know it’s all written by a divine hand, it was meant to be and maybe you’ll enter something else that’ll bring you more khair and benefit. Put ypur trust in Allah.

    Gosh, I sound like my mother.

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