visa acquired!

I finally have my student visa.  The appointment to get the visa wasn’t too bad; I had someone from TU Darmstadt’s international student office there with me to make sure I understood the forms I was filling out and what the foreigner’s office representative I was speaking with was saying.

But now I get to wait more.  There is a lot of waiting involved in studying abroad; I had to wait to get bank information in the mail to verify my German mailing address, I had to wait in a long line to register as an international student, and once I even had to wait nearly two hours to pay my first month’s rent.

money matters: what determines whether my visa will be ok for visiting my parents for christmas

What I have to wait for now is paperwork for a special bank account.  I’m required to make a bank account that has a certain amount of money in it that I can’t access directly.  Every month, a predetermined portion of that money will be transferred into my main bank account.  This kind of account, called a Sperrkonto (blocked/limited-access account) is apparently required for most international students here.

(And by the way, if you are one of the Hokies thinking about studying at TU Darmstadt, Deutsche Bank does Sperrkontos.  Volksbank does NOT.  I’m not sure about Sparkasse. But go with Deutsche Bank from the beginning, and things will be easier.)

Once I get my paperwork for the Sperrkonto and take it to my appointment at city hall, I will be allowed to leave Germany and return to Germany until the end of my visa.

Which is kind of important for when I go home for Christmas.  If you are a praying person, please pray that I can get all the paperwork in time for this appointment.  The Sperrkonto paperwork should be done in 3.5 weeks, but if that is delayed more than two or three days, I’ll have to reschedule my appointment at city hall.  Which could delay me getting my travel allowance, which could make my trip home for Christmas or the return trip difficult.  I’m sure things will work out in the end, but I can’t help but be a bit nervous until I actually have the paperwork turned in.

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