On Monday I received my acceptance letter from the New Asia – Yale in China Program at the Chinese Language Center at the Chinese University of Hong Kong! Very exciting as it is now official!
Since deciding on enrolling at CUHK, I’ve had to do a lot of flying by the seat of my pants, where I really had no idea what was going on (not to say that I know now either). First off, the website is a tad difficult to navigate, and not all the critical information can be found easily — or consistently! I had read again and again that I should get my application in two months in advance of classes to ensure that the school is allowed enough time to also apply for my student visa. I even e-mailed the office to get confirmation of this timeline, but in late June, when I just happened to revisit the website randomly saw two different pages insisting that applications be completed either 2.5 months or 3 months in advance, to allow for the initial class application evaluation, and THEN the visa application.
Oh noes! Was I going to miss my chance to head out to Hong Kong this Fall? I mean, worst case scenario would be a delay to January, but I had my heart set on hitting the HK pavement come September. At that point, I had EXACTLY 2.5 months assuming class started Sept. 7 (which was still listed as tentative on the website).
So always remember – READ CAREFULLY! Look through every page, and every page it leads to, even if it seems tedious or unnecessary – because you have no idea where important information will be buried. Also, try to resist that urge to wait – these things take time, and more importantly, you need time to make mistakes.
I had been delaying because I wanted to take a few weeks to study my old college Mandarin textbooks, so that I could try to start from where I left off. However, I was preoccupied with much of the holiday planning to go to Brazil with Sunil. In any case, I rushed my studies and went forward with the placement exams (there was both a written and oral component), doing that all online; then sent those in with my application and credit card number, and received correspondence on other paperwork needed for both the program and the visa.
I proceeded to fill those out – including circling the option “bachelor/spinster” on the marital status box of my visa application (!!!), and voila – it was all off, via electronic superhighway, to the admissions folk in Hong Kong, and then I was off to Brazil.
Now, I still have some uncertainties looming – like what I’m supposed to do about my visa, which level I was accepted into, and whether or not they can take my credit card payment over e-mail – but that’s minor compared to the complete unknown . And of course, I still have ONE more chance to back out by not paying the balance, but NO! I will go forward and DO IT!
I’m going to Hong Kong, people — SEPTEMBER FIRST!!!