Saturday, May 19, 2012

1st DC meeting

Well, it has been one week since the meeting in DC and what an eventful time.  I enjoyed getting to meet the IIE Staff members  that I have been communicating with via email, but I especially enjoyed meeting the other Fulbright teachers that are going abroad this coming school year.   I talked quite a bit with KC and Nikki, both of whom are also going to Scotland, Glasgow and Aberdeen respectively.   The orientation was beneficial, particularly the times when we were able to ask questions of Fulbright Alumni.  There were five Alumni total and two of those exchanged to the United Kingdom, so that was very helpful.  I was hoping for more information from the IIE (company who run the Fulbright Program for the US State Department), but apparently we are waiting on a final approval by some congressionally approved committee before we get our final confirmation.  When that happens, I believe we get another big packet of information on all sorts of things such as how to make the plane flight arrangements and how to apply for a visa.  I would assume we get a mini novel of information. 
The other eventful thing that happened this weekend was that I managed to pick up some type of corneal abrasion which has managed to be  a bother this week.  Stacy had to drive home from DC and I missed several days of school.  I seem to be on the mend. 
One last piece of news is that we got Carter and Cara's new passports in the mail yesterday.  They had passports but they would expire while we were in the UK so we had to get them new ones.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Planning & Preparation

We've now known about the Fulbright Teacher Exchange acceptance for just over a month. A little of the excitement aka panic has worn off! We have emailed and skyped with our exchange partner several times, joined a facebook group to discuss & plan with former and going-to-be exchangees, and created several to do lists & planning calendars (I love planning things - can you tell?).
At the end of April we took the kids to get their passports renewed, which is the same process as a completely new application just about. We also went to AAA to get multiple passport photos which we are told we will need for various reasons over there.
We also have chosen neighborhood schools for the kids. Carter who would be going into sixth grade will be an S1 in HIGH SCHOOL! High school / secondary school runs from 6th to 11th grade in Scotland. Carter is SO looking forward to getting to wear a uniform/dress clothes including a tie!! Cara is going to primary school, and because we live within 2 miles of their school, we've found out that they will be walking to school - not much bus transportation provided. I guess I'll get some good daily exercise:-)
We have arranged to purchase a vehicle from a current Fulbright family whom happen to be staying in Dunfermline. We have found homes for our current two vehicles. We still need to meet with our insurance company and figure out what will change & find coverage in the UK (and the list goes on and on and...).
We are looking forward to the coming weekend as Jim will attend a meeting on Friday/Saturday in DC to get more information along with his mentor teacher. The kids and I will get a chance to visit family in MD in the meantime.