My name is Justine. I am an architect from Colombia. When I heard about Architect-US I was studying English in New York City. It was a very interesting opportunity as a next step but being as distrustful as a Colombian can be, I thought it was too good to be true. Subsequently, I did some research, and to my surprise, they were legit. And as far as I can tell, they are also pretty nice. The process is pretty straight forward, but I will not lie to you, it takes money to make it happen. 

First, you pay the initial fee, you do some paperwork and start the job interview process. Once a company wants you, you pay the cost of the program, do some more paperwork, go to the embassy and you are all set.  I started the process and did some job interviews but then, a pandemic happened. So, as it did for everyone, my life was on pause. A year after, things started to pick up and I found this opportunity at an Architectural Studio in Philadelphia. The interview was great and I got a job offer. It took a while to get all the paperwork ready and I went to the embassy. The interview went smoothly, all questions were regarding my training and my objectives in the US. And finally, my visa was approved.

The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next. Ursula K. Le Guin

You see, here is the thing, before the visa approval everything was uncertain, jus a possibility. But now, I am sitting in my apartment with no clue where to start. Boxes everywhere, decisions to be made and goodbyes to be said.  I am waiting for my passport and I have a million things on my to do list. Almost as much as the things I have in my mind. How is it going to be like? Would I like the city? How work is going to be like? The things I do not know fight in my head with the things I am centain of, like how much I am going to miss my family. I am about to leave to a place I do not know. But this whole experience has been like this, uncertain.

In conclusion, if you like facing uncertainty, you speak English, you have the money and the time to try new things, this process is for you. As for me, I will try to share this new experience the way I wanted to hear when I was starting, as honest as it could be. 

Justine Velasquez

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