I mailed my visa to Hollywood, Florida and a few days later I received an email stating that I forgot to sign one section (oops), my medical documentation was not good enough, and I was missing the $132 money order.
Prior to this I had always been informed that the student visa was free, it even says so on their website so I was not concerned about they, they probably just made a mistake. I could fax them the page I was missing so that wasn’t a big deal either. Now the insurance. Ah TriCare, your coverage is great but dealing with you sucks.
I called the DMDC and told them I had to have something that said I am covered for at least $50,000. They transferred me to TriCare overseas, which was the wrong number, so I was then transferred to another number. They told me they could not write anything, that the DMDC must do it. Or I could fax a letter to a number and they would take care of it.
So I wrote a letter, faxed it (around 4 pm), and then the wait began. The next morning at 11 am nothing had been sent to me. So I called the DMDC again and asked to speak to a supervisor. Would they connect me? NO not without be explaining my long drawn out story. I finally got to a supervisor who told me what everyone else had been telling me, that they cannot write any dollar amount. She connected me to Tricare and we had a three-way call. Tricare said I have unlimited coverage as long as it is medically necessary.
I then called the Austrian Consulate in Hollywood, Florida to explain this to them. They answered the phone in GERMAN! Ahh it made me so happy haha. But I answered them in English. the man I spoke to was hilarious. I told him my name was Megan Saunders and he said "Ahh, yes, you live in Orlando and you go to UCF, correct?" "CORRECT!" he explained to me that my visa did have to go to Washington to get approved so he sent it there for me. SO I needed to call Julia Ontewager. he had trouble finding her number but made jokes the entire time about how typical it was for the government to be transferring me all over the place. Oh if he only knew.
At this point it was around 1:00 PM, he finally found Julia's number but it was too late. "They are the real diplomats in Washington so they only work three hours a day, sucks for the rest of us", in his super thick accent. I was dying. hahaha
So I called Ms. Ontewager the next day. I explained to her the whole Tricare shenanigans and she said she must have something, even for them to write "unlimited coverage" would be fine. I called the DMDC again and told them to write it down. The supervisor said, don’t you remember the Tricare woman said the consulate can call her. I said "So TriCare knows how to speak but they don't know how to write? Why cant they just write it down?" She did not like this response and I hung up the phone and called back Julia. She then looked at my repatriation coverage and told me to just send her a link and it would be fine.
I then asked her about the fee. To which I was then informed that on January 4, 2011 the rules changed and student visa's are no longer free. So basically had I not been worrying about other people and done what I wanted to do on my own time I would have saved $132. Lesson learned. I will never rely on people for anything important ever again.
On Saturday I moved out of my apartment and now all of my belongings are in a teeny tiny 5x10 storage unit. I feel homeless. I have a room at my moms house and at my dads house but nothing in either of those rooms really belong to me. I guess I should get used to this feeling though because I will not feel "home" again for about six months.
In the meantime I am really happy. I am still nervous to leave and lonely because I don’t have a place of my own but I have been spending quality time with my dad and soon I will be spending time with my mom and brother, which I haven’t done in a while. It is long over due.