Coming to an end
Every time I hand my passport to an attendant at the airport before I check my luggage, I can’t help but look at my Visa expiration date before putting my passport back in my purse. It seems like just yesterday I was walking into the U.S. embassy in Paris. Before going in, I was told by my mother that they were just going to ask me a couple of simple questions and let me go.
“They are going to ask you if you plan on staying in the U.S. after completing your degree, and that’s the trick question. A lot of people do not get their visas because of their answer wrong. Remember to say NO.” This is what I did. I had to pretend that I didn’t plan on living in the U.S. after school, when it is all I desire to do.
Why wouldn’t I want to be able to stay? I have a job and contribute positively to the American economy. I am completely integrated in the culture. Plus, I have never participated in any criminal activities.
I feel like I enrolled myself in the temporary American Dream program, and my visa expiration date spells out, “Goodbye, and thank you for your participation.”
I don’t want to leave. I have so much more to accomplish here. Now that the date is approaching, I am trying to remember if I signed any papers back home saying that I will not be returning. I forget I’m on a temporary stay sometimes and I know that I am not the only international student doing it.
This is one of the things we worry about, but not until it feels close to the end. I like to joke around and ask my friends to find me somebody I can marry so I can become a citizen to stay forever. I mean, hey, who wouldn’t want to marry a French woman? Ha.
Many international students go home after getting their bachelors, and are totally fine with it. I believe that I was brought here for a reason. I am here to do something special and it is still in the making. I hate leaving things unfinished. I wish the government would understand that. Having a college degree from an American university is a plus overseas, and that is a fact. However, an international student with an American degree in America should be just as valuable.
In the country of freedom, I do want to be freed, this time. Not knowing if I will be able to come back, I try to make the best out of my days and impact people as much as I can, just to leave my mark. I will be proud to say I wrote many cultural articles for the Grand Valley Lanthorn. Who would have thought?
Friends and strangers always wonder why I want to stay here so much and not go back to live in my home country, guess what I tell them? “Excuse me sir/ma’am, but this is only between me and President Obama.”