Friday, July 1, 2011

more Official notification

Today (well technically, I got it Monday, but My mom had to send it to me in Indiana) I got my official offer of my grant (with how much the grant is for), emergency contact form, travel/arrival information, host country contact & affiliation information, grant deposit information, and fly American regulations.

However, I have a deadline sooner than most, by a few weeks. because I want an eariler start date than is normal in Macedonia. Most have a start date on September 15, I want to start on about September 5ish, so I can get an appartment, set up a language training and get settled before classes start. Classes start on September 15 at the Euro Balkan Insitute.

The official total of the entire grant is $15, 270! Wow! that's a lot of money! Now for the breakdown:

Total: $ 15, 270
Prior to begining the grant: $7, 770
By the end of the third month: $3, 750
By the end of the 6th month: $2, 500
In the last month: $1, 250

Research allowance: $500 (included in the first check)
Base amount: $3, 530
Monthly: $1,250

In the information packet, we had a emergency contact form (do you really need this explained?).

- Travel/arrival information form-
An important part of completing a Fulbright, is the guidelines of Fly America.

Fly America requires that any US Government financed commercial foreign
 air travel shall be flown on a US flagship airline. I must follow a few "principles":
(1) US-flag air carrier service available at point of origin shall be used to destination or, in the absense of direct or through service, to the farthest interchange point on a usually traveled route.
 (2) When an origin or interchange point is not served by a US-flag air carrier, foreign-flag air carrier service shall be used only to the nearest interchange point on a usually traveled route to connect with US-flag air carrier service.

It is important to note that you can not fly on a non US flagship carrier only if it is
more convient

You may fly on a foreign air carrier if:
travel on US air delays you by more than 24 hours
you would have a lay-over of more than 6 hours

I will have to change my flight plans because it is cheaper to buy a round trip ticket and pay a change fee than it is to buy two one-way tickets.

THIS is where I have to make a


No it is not as important as I make it sound. :)

I want to travek in Europe before offficially starting my Fulbright grant. But I have to decide where to fly into before I send this paperwork back in the the IIE (people running the Fulbright). Thus


I have narrowed down my options to Sofia, Bulgaria or Sofia and Bucharest, Romainia. I don't have a burning desire to see either place like I do say, Antartica, but I do want to eventally see both places. Now, Sofia is WAY cheaper than Bucharest.

If I do both cities it will cost $1,774.30. (mostly airfare, which I guess isn't really fair to count, since I won't be paying for that. So about $214.30 for  hotels [4 nights Bucharest, 6 nights Sofia] + $87 for a train to Sofia + $23 bus to Skopje for a total of $327 Plus any extras like food or fun things.)

If I do only Sofia it will cost $1,711. (once again most of that is airfare. $170 for 10 mights hotel in Sofia [well technically hostel not hotel for both] + $23 bus to Skopje for a total of $183 once again plus any extras like food or fun things).

Now that isn't very much of a difference in the long run, but it is for a poor grad student with literally no income besides Fulbright. So, right now I am leaning towards spending 10 days in Sofia with lots of day trips to nearby areas. But I will have to make my decision by the end of this weekend (or at least that is my self imposed deadline).

More DECISION time.

I also have to find an appartment or do the research in Skopje while staying at an hotel/hostel. Currently I believe the best course of action is to just arrive in Skopje and find an apparment once I am there just so I know what I am getting into. However, I have some decent reccomendations about what part of the city to live in (from my Macedonian language teacher to a grad student currently over there). (This is another form that I have to fill out, where will I be staying when I get into Skopje.) So I will have to pay for a hotel room for a few days in Skopje.

So, what do you think?

See you around the globe!

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