Published on April 24th, 2011


"Apostille", Ashmostille – Who Knew?


My bright shiny golden “apostille” seals

Ever so incrementally, I’m slowly chipping away at the many nattery chores that necessarily come part ‘n parcel with moving to some distant corner of the globe.  The latest tiresome bit of drudgery is all about getting my official ducks-in-a-row to meet the (still decidedly murky) requirements to teach English in Vietnam.Suffice I’ve scoured the EFL forums for some sense of just what paperwork might be needed, and opinions on the matter vary dramatically (gee, what a surprise!)  But it does seem as if one can’t be overly fastidious about such matters when it comes to the whims of foreign (and especially Vietnamese) bureaucrats.

I’ll need notarized copies of my two degrees of course.  But apparently mere copies might not pass muster, so I best tuck in the originals just in case.  As I somehow managed to misplace these over the years, I had to order new ones – each at 50 bucks a pop.   I also need a full composite transcript showing my college coursework, grades, etc.  This proved easy enough to do through the University of Oregon, but it turns out that all three (the B.S., the M.S. and the transcript) ideally best also be “apostilled” to prove to some government lackey somewhere in Asia that they’re the real deal.

Now I don’t know about you, but the word “apostille” had never before crossed my linguistic radar.  Indeed, reading it for the first time in the international EFL forums, I at first thought it was just one of those cute British terms akin to our Yankee “notarized”.  But nope.  It turns out that it’s far more lofty than that.  Think of it as a super-duper authentication by the Secretary of State (in this case, the state of Oregon) – resplendent with a shiny gold seal and everything.

Good grief what next – an embossed stamp from Hilary Clinton and the Medal of Honor from the White House???

(P.S. I checked Wikipedia for this “apostille” nonsense and it turns out the designation/stamp (a.k.a. “superlegalization”) is only valid for foreign nations party to the 1961 Hague Legalization Convention, which uh, turns out (not surprisingly?) Vietnam is errr, not a signed member of.)

Oh well.


About the Author

Off-the-beaten-path travel is my passion,and I’ve always lived life “like-a-kid-in-a-candy-store” – eager to sample as many flavors as I can. Indeed, my life motto has long been: This ain’t a dress rehearsal, folks!

4 Responses to "Apostille", Ashmostille – Who Knew?

  1. TravelnLass says:

    Now, now boys – don’t you know it’s not nice to make fun of the old and decrepit?

    Besides, you youngsters should only HOPE to be as adventuresome and “young at heart” when you get to be as old as this ol’ dame! 😉

  2. Raymond says:

    I saw that “State of Oregon 1859” seal on there and thought that was perhaps the year you graduated. 🙂

    I don’t feel as bad now though since I saw that feedingsquirrels thought you were around in biblical times….

  3. Oh – I kind of thought this post was going to end with you needing a copy of your diploma signed by one of The Apostles. (I’m not implying you’re that old, of course.) Happy Easter.

    • travelnlass@gmail.com says:

      LOL FS! Though I never met Matthew, Mark, Luke nor John personally – I surely ain’t no spring chicken. I just don’t have the good sense to settle for a riveting game of bingo every Tuesday! 😉

      Have a great time in Portland!

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