Visa process 🇺🇸

This is the way my visa process and application played out. It may or may not be the same steps for others.

The visa process can be very confusing. I was certainly confused about how it all works but I will try and make this sound easier for you as when I was going through the process I wish I had it explain haha.

At the very beginning you start with an application, similar to an application form for work, but this is about yourself and experience / personal information and a bio about you Etc. You will have a sponsor who emails you the required documents and will be with you through out your journey here in the states. My sponsor is AHA ( American hospitality academy) and the next step was to print off evidence documents for my college tutor to sign, and one for my parents to sign. Then you scan it through ( I used a printer at my college) so it appears on your emails to send back to them. Once you have signed and sent back all the documents required and paid the £500 you then patiently wait for your package to be posted with the information you need to book and get your visa. (DS-2019) make sure you keep it safe as these documents are the key to your visa.

Embassy booking – When you have your visa package you then need to book your embassy appointment. This part was the most trickiest for me! So, you first need to make a profile which will be your (160 document) it took me quite a while to find the right website but you will be emailed step by steps in how to find the right website. Once you have your profile set up it will automatically send you to the embassy appointment page where you can choose your day and time and also pay the £180 for your visa. I would recommend booking your appointment as soon as your get your package as the waiting list can take up to about a month. I was quite lucky because I kept checking for others cancellations.

Embassy interview – On the 4th June 2019 I had my embassy appointment. As my lovely Grandmother knows London very well she had nominated herself to come with me as I have no clue how to find the embassy and would probably get lost haha! We got the train down at 7:00am, my appointment was at 12:30pm and we arrived in London around 10:30am. My advice is to get to London as early as you possibly can because it’s better to be early then either be stuck in traffic, can’t find the embassy or a train is late, plus you can always go shopping like I did! The interview went really quick, well quicker than I imagined!

When you get to the embassy there will me 2 hostess at the door and you will need your 160 form with your sevis document (you will be emailed the sevis) when you enter you then wait again for a few minutes to check in and be given a number and you will be directed to some elevators. Once you are in the main waiting area you wait for your number to be shown on a screen and then you walk up to a window and have your initial interview where someone will check your documents to make sure your have the right documents and you will be seated again. After your number is shown for the second time you then go up to the window shown and have your interview, you will be asked what you are doing and just a general chat about what’s going to happen with your visa.

After having the two interviews you will be told if you have been granted the visa and wait a few days for it to be delivered.

I was massively over prepared for this interview. I didn’t know exactly what documents I needed. I brought my birth certificate, bank statements to prove I can provide for myself, proof of ties to the UK, but it turns out I only needed my AHA package.

This doesn’t mean when you have your appointment that you won’t be asked for proof of certain documents, better to be prepared than having a document missing and then booking the appointment again and having to pay again. Your experience may be completely different but this is a good guide for the process.

It seems like a long process but if you are organised like me and having everything signed on time and keep up to date with your emails then you will be perfectly fine. The interview in general was a piece of cake. This is a video I found very useful about the embassy interview.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOHqCigJ6Jk&t=92s

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Hearing about BSG / Finding out I got the job

So… here comes the part where I tell you how I found out about BSG American internships to then becoming an intern in the wonderful state of FL

  • How I heard about BSG – So the first time I heard about BSG was when I was in college attending my normal lessons and we got told a guest speaker was going to tell us about an amazing opportunity. Kerry (A previous BSG intern and now a representative) spoke to us about the amazing opportunity to become a BSG intern in America. She spoke to us about how to apply, the requirements needed / experience. She explained how the price had dropped tremendously from last year. She also explained how to apply if interested which was to send your CV and cover letter to her via email and to set up a Skype account to have an interview of previous documents are successful. Kerry was so lovely and helpful and told us how BSG has changed her life.

By this point I was really interested and when I went home I told my parents “I’m moving to America”. Of course they were very confused lol. I went Straight on my lap top and sent Kerry my CV and cover letter.

Interviews – My first skype interview I was so nervous, but Kerry was really kind and it wasn’t that intense like other interviews I’ve had in the past. We spoke about why I wanted this and about my work but then it turned out I didn’t have the right amount of experience, I was heard broken but it didn’t stop me! Kerry told me there was still time to get the right experience if I really wanted this and I did! A month later I gained another part time job working as waitress in my local restaurant and emailed Kerry straight away! Instead of having another interview with her she passed along my information and CV to Rasheeda (CEO of BSG internships)

I had scheduled my interview with Rasheeda and as previous the interview was introducing yourself, why you want to be apart of BSG, what can you offer to the club your paired up with and then she will decided which country club will best suit you and them. Around a few days later Rasheeda emailed me and a few others about organising time slots to have an interview with a chosen country club that she knows would suit us best (St Andrews country club)

Before I had my interview I needed some advice from my very successful uncle who owns his own restaurant in Newcastle. After my phone call with him and with his help my nerves went down and I had my interview with Reegan and Chantelle – hospitality managers at St Andrews. They asked me various questions like my strengths and weaknesses TIP- When interviews ask you about your strengths and weaknesses they want to know if you know how to develop on your weakness. They also asked if I researched the club and that’s another important thing, make sure you do research, even if they don’t ask you it’s always good to mention highlights that have caught your eye about the club.

Finding out I got the job – So after the interview with the club my parents and I had our fingers and toes crossed waiting to see if I was successful for the job. I thought I would be waiting a while but it turns out it was just the next day Rasheeda emailed me with the most exciting news I’ve ever received in a long time. I made my parents jump with my excited! Me and my parents just burst out crying, I think they were more scared than exited as I’m their “little girl” who’s now going to be living in America for a whole year. My mum was far to excited for me she posted it on Facebook just an hour after I found out haha.

I was so excited, after countless of interviews and patiently waiting I can now say I’m going to be a BSG intern.

2 Months down 10 more to go…

So the end of my second month of living in America is approaching and I’m more confident than ever. I’m still learning and getting used to things but now I can safely say this programme was meant for me.As time goes on things will get easier and clear. You will start to understand each members needs and know exactly what they want before they even sit down! You create a great bond with them as this is there home, you start to create memories that you will cherish forever. Times will be hard but the best days are the most important.

My opinion has changed a lot since I’ve been here. Some days I’m happy and my shifts go smoothly but some days I have quite a bad night and I feel down and just want to go to my mum, but of course that’s not an option as we’re thousands of miles away!

You will miss home but you need to think of how far you’ve come, home will still be there.Advice – My advice if you ever decide to do this internship is to come with an open mind, don’t settle on your first few weeks here, give it a lot of time, even a few months! You will be happy and you will be sad. It’s how you cope with it.

I’ve never been away from home and this has changed my life, my attitude and my personality. I’m now more confident, I feel better in myself for having this amazing opportunity!

Saving / shopping – DO NOT DO A BIG FOOD SHOP! Half the time the food will go of. That’s a mistake I made. At St. Andrews food is provided at work during the morning, afternoon, and the evening so we eat at work and only ever eat at home on our days off or half days. Our hours are long and there for food over here goes out of date pretty quickly.

My opinion may change again but I am exactly where I want to be! It took me about a month to settle into my new apartment and make my room my own, it sounds silly but even a few candles that smell like the ones you have at home really helps after a stressful night!The most trickiest part about living here is food shopping haha. Your more at work then you are at home so you have to keep a close eye on the use by dates. With St Andrews you get food provided at work so you’ll never be hungry. The cakes are delicious!

I’m now looking forward to the cultural trips while I’m here and seeing exactly what Florida has to offer as I’ll never get a chance like this again!

4th July At St Andrews Country Club

As I’m from the United Kingdom 4th of July is just like any ordinary day. But here in America it’s all about commemorating the declaration of Independence of the United States.

So as you can imagine this special day was very new to me on how they celebrate Independence day but I can tell you now St Andrews looked absolutely beautiful for it and the food looked amazing!

Just look at how amazing the food and the decorations look. At St. Andrews I can see how much pride and effort is taken into consideration! We all worked so hard to please the members and they we’re certainly impressed. We had a few members come into the club dressed up in American flags which was so nice to see. Everyone had a great time with our entertainment and the atmosphere was so warm and welcoming. It was a great day.

Me and a few of the girls started the day in cafe blue which is an outside area in the club where members can sit outside with some lunch provided by us, and we had a BBQ going on for the members who are around the pool or to any members that would like some of the BBQ. The heat was so humid I’ve never drank that much iced water in my life. The DJ was good and made the afternoon pleasurable with the music.

As the day was really busy during the afternoon shift we didn’t have time for a break so we had to get changed straight into our formal evening uniform and back upstairs to the restaurant called gallery which is a formal dining area. Yet again the enening went really well. I’ve gotten to chat to some on the members and get to know them. They we’re really interested in me and where I was from and what I’m doing here, also they always try to make me do an American accent which I can’t do but I try haha.

Here’s some more photos of the evening buffet we had going on. Everything was done to perfection, plates all polished and presentable, silver wear in neat rows for the members. Everything was in it’s place ready for the hungry members.

First month of my NEW life!

So today is Sunday 8th April, just over 3 weeks of moving to America and starting my new job at St Andrews Country club and oh my what a life changing feeling it is!

Before I left to start my new life in America I couldn’t describe how I was feeling… So many feelings of excitement! I’ve never been away from home before and I’ve never had any responsibilities like washing my clothes, paying bills, ect. My parents always took care of everything which seems like a dream I know! But I was fully aware that all of that was going to change when I got to America as I know no one will pick my stuff up after me.

On June 13th me and my parents drove down to London for the night to spend our last night together before I jet of to start my new life in America. Saying goodbye wasn’t easy but it was something I had to do to start my career! Leaving home will not only make me grow up it will also help me develope as a person to who I am and the goals I want to achieve! I know I’ll learn a lot being away from my home and out my comfort zone but there comes a time in you’re life where you have to take a leap.

I’ve never gotten on a plane by myself before so that was quite scary but it was pretty easy to do. My mother kept ringing me every 10 minutes to see if I was okay and to make sure I was at the right depature bless her. Travelling alone was a little nerve wrecking but the flight went smooth and the food was okay. Well it’s aircraft food I’m sure you can imagine what it was like. So after a long 9 hour flight which felt like forever I finally landed at Miami airport with my driver waiting for my arrival to take me to my new apartment.

First thoughts about my new apartment was unbelievable, I couldn’t believe this was my new home! Pool, Gym, Free coffee in the club house! Now that is something! The first night in my new apartment was okay, I gotten to know the girls that I will be living and working with. We talked about what we think we’re going to expect on our first day. Our first day is June 18th so we had a few days to get to know our surroundings of the area and where the shops are. We went food shopping and that was a different kind of experience. I didn’t know what to get! My parents used to always do the food shop and make me and my siblings lunch and dinner everyday. Fare to say I have a lot of growing up to do haha!

So our first day at St Andrews was upon us and I was slightly nervous but more excited to see what my new work place looked like in person after constantly searching it. I was not disappointed! It was truly beautiful! The walls are a light beige, the members toilets was like walking into a salon, a piano in the view, countless rooms with amazing venues to take place, card rooms for the ladies and gentlemen, a huge golf course, amazing properties, everything was just unreal!!!

Our first day was an induction day. We gotten to know things abount the club and what the club is all about. We met a loy of people who work here like the chefs and managers and other important people who make the club the way it is today. A lot of pride has been taken into the club and I guess thats why the motto is The Pride Starts Here! Because the pride really does start here. I can see a lot of time and effort has been taken into action with the club and its so special to the members.

I settled in quite well and quickly during the first week of being here. I unpacked all my things, learnt how to cook pasta with sauce haha! And also learnt a lot about the menu at work. Our manager Chenee has been working with us for 2 full days straight teaching us about the menu and my god it isn’t easy. Even though the menu only has a selected amount of meals it goes deeper than that. You have to know everything about the menu before approaching a member. Such as ingredients in the meals, what is comes with, options of sides, how many sides, which sides, temperatures they would like for example and skirt steak! If they are okay with the sauted onions that come with the steak. Literally you need to know everything about the menu and about the meals!

So yeah the first week was quite stressful as everything was explained to us in a grace period but it felt like it wasn’t sinking in. Thats when things started to feel real. That I need to memorise the menu, learn whats in each dish. It’s very important when you go to a member to asking them every question when they are ordering so you get everything right!

By the second week things got a little more intense as we was going up to the members and taking their orders and introducing ourselves. Oh yeah also everytime we get a table we have to do an introduction to them, for example.

Hello my name is Molly and I will be taking care of your this evening. Just to let you know our specials tonight is the prime rib – queen cut of 14oz and a king cut of 120z and our special soup is muchroom barley. Can I get you any beverages to start of with.

Yeah it took me quite a while to get my introductions together ready for the members but it gradually came with time.

Now week 3 has come to an end and I feel so much more comfortable talking to the members and taking their orders. You get to know the members and they get to know you. This is their home and they of course expect the best of the best service and I am so privileged to be working in such a place!

But besides from work I’ve also gotten to meet my new amazing friends!! Even though I havn’t been here that long I’ve been on a few little day trips with the girls. We’ve gone to Devils den and Ginnie springs! I’ve never seen anything more beautiful and I can’t wait to explore some more while I’m living here in Florida! Ginnie springs was so beautiful and full of nature.

Making memories every day!