誒喲，today I submitted all my NSLI-Y update forms. They were due today (summer procrastination is really real y’all), so it was good to get those out of the way. Nothing too exciting, just confirming my contact information, health updates, and the like.
We also got our first Weekly E-Mail from iEarn which we’ll continue to receive until departure. It wasn’t that new-sy though, mainly just telling us how the NSLI-Y chain of command (resident director and program coordinator) works and who we should contact if there are questions or concerns.
What was exciting though was getting Visa information for Taiwan, yay! I already have a lot of the forms in order but am still waiting on my official letter of acceptance from Wenzao. The actual Taiwan visa application looks pretty simple, but there’s one spot that’s tripping me up: it asks you about past nationalities but for “China” only includes Republic of China. As an adoptee born in the People’s Republic of China, I’m a little bit confused about what I should put down. Maybe “Other”? I e-mailed iEarn so hopefully we can get that settled out soon and it won’t turn into an issue. I’m just flashing back to applying for my Chinese visa last summer and having to reapply THREE TIMES, having to send in three different passports, and a whole slew of headaches and delays. Does not need to be rehashed this year. . .
In other exciting news we found out that an eighth person does indeed exist in our Taiwan group! Ever since I was notified of my finalist position I’ve been pretty active chatting with my fellow group members (literally downloaded Facebook to tell NSLI-Y people to add me on Line), however we were only able to connect seven of us, despite iEarn insisting there were eight. Conspiracy theories were thrown out, questions were raised. . .until today when, buried in the visa letter, I stumbled upon a list of all the NSLI-Y Taiwan students this year, including Person Eight! I sent him a message, so hopefully he’ll respond and this will officially be the start of all of us 2017-2018 Taiwan NSLI-Yan’s adventure together!*
The trip is finally starting to feel real! (And consequently so are feelings of missing friends/family before I’ve even left, jealousy at the NSLI-Y summer students for being on their adventure already, thoughts on missing China, a little bit of anxiety over not working/making money for a year, lotsa hunger about all the food I’ll be eating, and a real hefty dose of general excitement. Lots of feels over here. . .)
*For future NSLI-Yans, I definitely recommend reaching out to NSLI-Y同學們 ASAP! Last year I didn’t talk to anyone pre-program and while I was still able to make connections easily regardless, it never hurts to have already built up a rapport with the people you’re spending a considerable amount of time with!