Voting From Abroad – How To Guide for Americans

Moving abroad doesn’t mean you lose your voice. Voting from abroad is now easier than ever. Here is a quick run through of how to apply and vote in US elections while living abroad.

UOCAVA citizens: U.S. citizens who are active members of the Uniformed Services, the Merchant Marines, and the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, their eligible family members, and U.S. citizens residing outside the United States.

The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) supports UOCAVA citizens and election officials by providing necessary absentee voting forms, materials and training guidance.

Voting from abroad requires several steps

  1. Request FPCA
  2. Send FPCA to local election office
  3. FPCA approved by local election office
  4. Absentee ballot sent to voter from local election office
  5. Voter sends completed absentee ballot to local election office
  6. *FWAB can be completed if the ballot is not received 30 days before the election.

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Applying for an International Driving Permit (IDP)

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Countries that honor IDPs

There are only two private entities in the U.S. authorized by the U.S. Department of State to issue an IDP. They are AAA and the National Automobile Club. As Korea is a member of the Geneva Conventions, it’s acceptable to drive for 1 year from the date of entry with an international driving permit issued from other members of the Geneva Convention.

As Korea is a member of the Geneva Conventions, it’s acceptable to drive for 1 year from the date of entry with an international driving permit issued from other members of the Geneva Convention. It is possible to drive in Korea, using an international driving permit issued by member countries of the Geneva & Vienna Conventions

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Goals: Studying for the Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK)

If I write it for others to see, I will feel more committed and actually follow through with it…theoretically. While in Korea, one of my personal goals is to take the TOPIK, aka Test of proficiency in Korean. While many people who take this examination are doing it for academic or career-oriented reasons, my motives are more casual and personal. I know, it sounds strange to take an exam just for fun, but I want to challenge myself. Continue reading

Japan: KAKEHASHI Project Reflections Part II

As you can see from the title, this is the second part of my KAKEHASHI Project reflection. If you missed part one you can check it out here –> Japan: KAKEHASHI Project Reflections

1381759_10205509848696084_3206462469446760849_n.jpgAfter returning to the U.S. and sharing my stories with friends and family (shout out to everyone who put up with that for a while lol), I began planning the lessons I would share at local elementary schools. After several weeks of contacting teachers I was scheduled to give my presentations in December. I think the teachers wanted me to be an end of year treat for their students? I’m not sure, but either way this gave me plenty of time to prepare a powerpoint and an activity related to daruma. Fast forward to December and I conducted several lessons at a public elementary school and a private elementary school. I was surprised with how much the students actually knew about Japan.  I mentioned Pokémon a few times and I had their full attention lol. Continue reading

Japan: KAKEHASHI Project Reflections


Tokyo Metropolitan Building

In 2014 I was fortunate enough to take part in the KAKEHASHI Project, a large-scale cultural exchange program promoted by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The aim of the program is to expand people-to-people relations between the youth of Japan and the United States. During this program, I was dispatched to Tokyo and Shizuoka Prefecture. I realized that I haven’t created a proper post to reflect on the experience itself. Now that two years have elapsed, I feel that mt views have matured and the way I view those experiences has changed as well.

Following a rigorous application process complete with forms, essays, and an interview, I joined the ranks of 26 other undergraduate students from various universities in the state of Kansas. Our flagship university was the University of Kansas (Rock Chalk Jayhawk!). We were joined by University of Califonia (Irvine), University of Pittsburgh, United States Military Academy, Five Colleges Consortium, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Clemson University, University of Hawaii at Manoa, and the University of South Florida during our intake on June 24-July 3. Each flagship university selected for this program was assigned a host university in Japan. Our host university was Shizuoka University.

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