The State Department application procedure is kind of long and time consuming, so I would advise people to start the application process as early as possible.
After you finish applying it takes a couple of months to find out if you have an internship or not- I found out late April that I had one, but I knew people who didn't find out until May or June. Then you have to go through the Security Clearance which involved a lot of time on the online form. I would advise you to have a list of every where you have lived in the past 7 years as well as people who knew you at those places- address, phone numbers, etc... That is the part of the process that really takes the most time and be sure to contact them every couple of weeks to know how far along you are with waiting and everything.
So I did all that and got my arrival date for September 3rd!
I got into Vienna around 1-ish on Thursday September the 3rd and was taken to my apartment. That was basically all that happened that day because I fell asleep almost immediately. So I woke up around midnight, could not fall asleep (thank you jet lag) and got up to go to my first day of work around 7am. It wasn't really work I found out, because I was running around between UNVIE (US Mission to Int'l Organizations) and the embassy working on badges and security stuff, etc... So i got all that done and barely made it to the grocery store to buy some milk and cereal before it close around 7 that night. That weekend, I really did not do anything but sleep and try and get over my jet lag. although I did go out Friday night (yes, the night after I got into the country...) and went to a few bars/clubs with some Americans, but that was basically it.
Photo by www.skyscraperpicture.com/vienna.htm
On Monday, work(my 1st official day) started with a bang because the Board of Governor's (BoG) meeting was that whole week. Well that was basically a jump into the deep end for me because I had no idea what was going on, or really even what the Board was... But it was very interesting! My job was to go around after during the talks (every 45min or so) and pick up copies of each country's statement. That brought me way out of my comfort zone! While it took a couple of days to get used to listening to the statements, which could take be up to 10min long, when I get used to them, what the different countries were saying was really interesting. That was basically all that happened that week- lots and lots of statements.
Photo by: The Human Trafficking Project
The weekend after the BoG was finished, I went out and go to know some colleagues better over drinks and went to the Notre Dame/Michigan football game that Saturday (even though they were not playing my game... UT vs. UCLA...) it was still a good time and lots of fun! Didn't really do anything on Sunday....mostly because there's not really that much to do since all the stores are closed, and only the tourist stuff is open, but I went out and walked around the city a little bit just to look around. I did make it to Schonbrunn Palace, just to the state rooms though, to break it up into a couple days of sightseeing because there's a lot to see there.