So am I going to United States… finally?
I have a really good chance to travel to US as a blogger from Kyrgyzstan.
I have long made my mind that, for some reason, United States does not want to accept me on its territory. Why? When I was a high school kid, I applied to FLEX program several times. The program finalists would live in US and study in public high schools there for one academic year. But I failed both times.
When I was studying in Osh State University, Department of World Languages, I applied three times to IREX undergrad program that sends successful applicants to US universities for one academic year. But I failed all three times… even though I had decent essays and comparatively high TOEFL scores. It must be noted that some students, whom I helped to fill out the application forms and in writing essays, were selected to the second round of the competition each time.
I recently applied to Open World Program run by American Councils. The program is supposed to bring emerging leaders from post-communist countries like Kyrgyzstan to US and have them participate in intensive professional development training. The program is funded by Congress and operated by the Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress. I applied to Program as a young blogger, as the program has several target groups, and one of them is young people actively involved in New Media.
And I got an email from American Councils that I was selected as a finalist of the Program! Reaction of Twitter community in Kyrgyzstan was fast – my twitter page was full of congratulations and wishes of luck. But here it goes again – the next day, the same person from American Councils emailed me and other 2 active bloggers explaining and apologizing that we were selected not as finalists, but only as alternatives, that the first email was a mere mistake. Now, I get a green light only in case one of the finalists will refuse from participating in Program, which, I feel, is not going to happen. Cuz everyone in Kyrgyzstan, where most people cant afford travels abroad, is tempted to travel to US.
Organizers say that, even though I am on alternative list, I have to fill out the visa form to US. So here I go – sitting in front of my laptop and filling out the visa form offered in the website of the US Embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Unsurprisi)ngly, the form requires me to type in dates of my visit to US. I wonder, will it accept “unknown” option?
UPDATE (27/01/2011): I got a call from American Councils that I am on final list. I am going to US soon 🙂