Published on April 24th, 20114
"Apostille", Ashmostille – Who Knew?
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.)