Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chile is a country on the rise. This phrase may be taken both literally and figuratively, as the Andes mountains to its east push the land up to some of the highest elevations of South America, and as its political life, economy, and culture are improving now in ways that may have seemed impossible ten years ago. Indeed, Chile in the 21st Century is one of the single most exciting, beautiful, and worthwhile destinations in the Americas, and spending time there as either a tourist or as a student will reward you much more than you likely ever thought possible.
There is no way to begin a discussion on studying abroad in Chile without first addressing the issue of the country's capital, Santiago. It "was founded by Pedro de Valdivia on February 12, 1541 with the name Santiago de Nueva Extremadura. The founding ceremony was held on Huelén Hill (later renamed Cerro Santa Lucia). Valdivia chose the location of Santiago because of its moderate climate and the ease with which it could be defended -- the Mapocho River split the area in two, and rejoined further downstream, forming an island." Even today, the natural beauty of Santiago is apparent to residents and visitors alike, despite the fact that it has grown to become home to nearly 6 million people, "equivalent to nearly 40% of the total population of the country, making it one of the largest cities in Latin America."
Santiago is a bustling city with two symphonies, a thriving popular music scene, world-class museums, a famously breathtaking view of the snow-capped Andes Mountains, and several dozen universities. Of course, there is much more to Chile than its capital, and the fact that Chile is home to such a world-class urban center as well as gorgeous natural environments makes it a perfect place in which to study for both city-lovers as well as those more enamored of the natural world. For the latter, there is no better place than Patagonia. "The Patagonia region, located in the southern end of South America, embraces partially the territory of Argentina and Chile. Since it was discovered, the single mention of its name wakes up the fascination of the distant, virgin, and unknown...In Chile the Patagonia travels from the VIII Region and down below to Tierra del Fuego island embracing areas of great natural attractiveness and unsuspected beauty, provided with volcanoes, lakes and forests." So for those with a love of adventure and a yearning to explore some of the most pristine, exotic, and exciting locales in the world, Patagonia is the perfect place to visit.
Chile is also known for its wine industry, which is one of the most vigorous in the Americas. In fact, the land and climate in certain parts of Chile are so good for growing wine grapes that some of the most influential French and American wine companies have invested heavily in the Chilean industry. The result of this infusion of both money and knowledge makes Chile an exciting, enriching, educational place to study.
As has been mentioned earlier, Chile wasn't always the peaceful and prosperous nation that it is today. Indeed, it was the home of one of the most despised dictatorships of the second half of the 20th Century -- that of General Augusto Pinochet. Today, however, Chile is home to a democratically elected government, a strong economy, and a thriving cultural life. Combine these things with the fact that Santiago is literally full of universities and the only possible conclusion to reach is that Chile is a great place to study abroad.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Germany Study Visa '

All persons who wish to study at a high school, college or university in Germany are required to obtain a residence permit.
A visa is absolutely necessary under the immigration laws there; Citizens of the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, as well as EU citizens may apply for their residence permit after entering Germany without a visa. All visas are not the same. A ?tourist visa? cannot be converted into a ?student visa? and as a tourist, you are not eligible to study in Germany.
The visa must be issued before you can enter the country; you should therefore apply for it in good time. The responsible body is the German Embassy or Consulate General in your country, which can also provide you with further information. 

Three Types of Visa for International Students

--- A language course visa, which cannot be subsequently converted into a student visa. It is valid only for the duration of the course.
--- A three-month study applicant?s visa, which is valid if you have not yet obtained university admission. After admission, it must be converted as quickly as possible into a resident permit for student purposes at the office for foreigners? affairs.
--- The visa for study purposes, valid for one year. In order to obtain this visa, you must provide proof of admission and financial support for the duration of study.

Documents Required

-- A valid passport
-- Passport Size photos
-- Entitlement to university admission, as recognized in Germany (usually a high school diploma or graduation examination certificate)
-- Evidence of previous academic performance
-- Proof that complete financial support for one year is guaranteed
The visa application is submitted at the German Embassy or the German Consulate in your country of residence ? preferably as early as possible. German Embassy or Consulate personnel can provide further information.

Pakistan Visit  Visa Requirments 

Who requires a visa?
Required by all except the following:
(a) holders of a Pakistan Origin Card (POC) regardless of nationality for unlimited stay;
(b) nationals of Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago for an unlimited period;
(c) nationals of Iceland, Maldives and Zambia for visits of up to a maximum of 3 months;
(d) nationals of Nepal and Samoa, and holders of Chinese passports issued in Hong Kong, for visits of up to 30 days;
(e) transit passengers continuing their journey within 24 hours by the same or first connecting aircraft, provided they are holding onward or return documentation and not leaving the airport;
(f) holders of UN Laissez-passer.

Note: Visitors whose stay in Pakistan exceeds 30 days must report to the nearest Foreigners Registration Office for registration.

Note: Travellers are currently advised against travel to Pakistan until further notice unless there are compelling reasons to do so. Travel to the North West Frontier Province, Baluchistan and the Northern Areas are particularly ill advised.

Restricted entry and transit: The Government of Pakistan refuses entry to nationals of Israel, even for transit. Nationals of Afghanistan are refused entry if their passports or tickets show evidence of transit or boarding in India.

What documents will be required?
Passport valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay required by all.

Application to: Consulate (or Consular section at Embassy or High Commission); see Contact Addresses section.

Application requirements: (a) Original valid passport, plus one photocopy. (b) One application form. (c) Two passport-size photos. (d) Confirmed return/onward ticket. (e) Proof of sufficient funds for duration of stay. (f) Fee payable by cash or postal order only. (g) For business trips, a letter of invitation from a company in Pakistan.

Time required to issue visa:
Depends on nationality (in UK, visas are normally granted within 24-48 hours). Enquire at the nearest Consulate or Embassy. Pilgrim visas require 2 months processing time.

What is the cost of a visa?
Price of visa varies according to nationality. For UK nationals, prices are: Single-entry (£45); Double-entry (£60); Multiple-entry (£81). These prices are identical to those issued for the Visa for Media Professionals, which must be routed through the Information Division of the Pakistan High Commission. For Pakistanis holding dual nationality, prices are: Adult: (£24) Child (up to 18 years old): £12; valid for stays of up to 1 year. Applicants with parents holding Pakistani passports get the same concession, provided they produce the original detailed birth certificate and their parents’ Pakistani passports. Pilgrim (Single-entry): £45. This is issued to those wishing to visit holy places (Shrines/Gurdawaras) in Pakistan and is allowed for groups of pilgrims, normally restricted to a specified period. Business: £68 (Single-entry); £90 (Double-entry); £122 (Multiple-entry). Certain nationals are issued visas free of charge, but they must be obtained prior to travel. For further information, consult the High Commission or Embassy.

How long is the visa valid for?
6 months from the date of issue for stays of up to 3 months. A multiple-entry visa allows six journeys in a total period not exceeding 1 year, with a maximum 3-month stay at any one time.

Other information:
1: Yellow fever vaccination certificate is required of all travellers arriving within 6 days from any part of a country in which yellow fever is endemic. Infants under 6 months of age are exempt if the mother’s vaccination certificate shows her to have been vaccinated prior to the child’s birth. Countries and areas within the endemic zone are regarded as infected.
2: Following WHO guidelines issued in 1973, a cholera vaccination certificate is no longer a condition of entry to Pakistan. However, cholera is a serious risk in this country and precautions are essential. Up-to-date advice should be sought before deciding whether these precautions should include vaccination, as medical opinion is divided over its effectiveness. See the Health appendix.
3: Vaccination against typhoid is advised.
4: Malaria risk exists throughout the year in all areas below 2000m (6560ft). The malignant falciparum strain is present and has been reported as chlorine-resistant.

Food & drink: All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilised. Milk is non-pasteurised and should be boiled. Powdered or tinned milk is available and is advised, but make sure that it is reconstituted with pure water. Avoid dairy products that are likely to have been made from non-pasteurised milk. Only eat well cooked meat and fish, preferably served hot. Salad and mayonnaise may carry increased risk. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.

Other risks: Hepatitis A and E occur and hepatitis B is endemic. Trachoma and typhoid fever are common. Between June and January, Japanese encephalitis is a risk in rural areas. Dengue fever may also occur.

Rabies is present. For those at high risk, vaccination before arrival should be considered. If you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay. For more information, consult the Health appendix.

Health care: Medical facilities can be very limited. There is no reciprocal health agreement with the UK. Travellers are strongly advised to take out full medical insurance before departure.

Note: A certificate proving the visitor to be HIV-negative is required if planning on staying over 1 year in the country.

Embassy contact information:
Please contact the nearest Pakistan embassy for information on what documentation you may require to enter Pakistan.

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