5. 7. 4 Visa The Swiss authorities were asked for assistance to facilitate the visa applications for our guests. However, no help could be offered as each application was treated individually and each embassy had different procedures to follow. Additional letter for visa applications were produced upon request only. A total of 22 delegations needed an additional letter. The following partially unexpected situations arose: ▪▪ As not all Swiss embassies followed the same procedures, most letters needed to be adjusted to the specific requirements of the embassy in charge, leading to an unpredicted extra load of work, often during the busiest weeks just before the IBO. Additional documents had to be delivered, often as paper copies. ▪▪ On most letters, all delegation members needed to be listed personally. As in quite some cases the selection of the students (and sometimes even of the jury members) is carried out quite late, the visa letters could be produced often only shortly before the IBO, leading to uncertainties about the participation of some delegations to both the organizers and the teams. ▪▪ Also, all changes of a person registered shortly before the IBO and after the visa letters had already been sent resulted in additional letters that needed to be produced immediately to ensure the person’s participation. As Switzerland is a member of the European Schengen Visa Area this had further consequences for some delegations: ▪▪ Whilst the Swiss embassies usually handle a visa application within 3 days, the Schengen authorities needed up to 15 days for each application. ▪▪ As for the Schengen Visa all persons applying for a visa need to visit an embassy personally, many delegations had to travel long distances for their visa. This was especially burdensome for delegations in whose country Switzerland has no embassy. In those cases, the delegations had to travel to another country to get their visa.
5. 7. 5 Emails Sent According to former hosts, organizing an IBO also means writing a lot of emails. To quan tify this statement the number of emails written to all persons participating in the IBO 2013 (excluding any mass mailings) was monitored. A total of almost 1000 personal mails were written from September 2012 to August 2013. Before November 2012, only a few emails were sent. Thereafter, from December 2012 to April 2013 a steady flow of about 60 emails per month was noted (with a temporary drop during January). The mail traffic increased in May with a jump up to around 150 personal contacts. The monitoring revealed that the main peak of email sent concentrated on June with a total of around 300 mails. It was the month with the highest number of emails sent especially for visa applications. Further, on June 19 most deadlines of the online registration system ended, causing quite some additional email traffic after reminders were sent out to all those not matching the deadline. July surprisingly dropped back to about 125, and once the IBO 2013 was over, August only accounted for less than 50 mails. finalreportIBO | 65