With this blog entry I want to tell you something about my trip to Detroit, Michigan. To get across the border to Detroit, I first needed to obtain my ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization from the US Border Protection Agency). As a German citizen, I could easily apply for this online via the official U.S. Customs and Border Protection site. I was able to apply for the ESTA because Germany is in "Visa Waiver Program" with the United States. This allows me to enter the US for private or tourist purposes (not for work) for a maximum of 90 days.
For the online application I had to enter my passport data and answer a few questions regarding my origin; my current place of residence and my stay in the US. It also costs money to process, so you also have to provide a valid credit card. The whole thing took about 30 minutes and was approved within 4 hours, but it can actually take as much as 72 hours.
You must find out whether you are eligible and what steps you must take to enter the US and also to return to Canada in detail before you travel, as entry requirements are different depending on your home country.
There are two ways to enter America by land; the Ambassador Bridge or the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel. We entered via the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel. Then in the US they checked my passport, took my fingerprints and stamped a form called I-94 in my passport. The number on the I-94 form is also known as the exit or entry control number. This stamp contains what is called the "Admit Until Date", it is the date on which I must leave America again because my ESTA expires.
But what did I actually do in Detroit? I went to my first baseball game. The game was on Sunday, June 12 in Detroit at "Comerica Park". The game was between the Tigers (Detroit) and the Blue Jays (Toronto). It was just an indescribable experience. I had no idea about the rules before this game, but the best way to really understand it is to watch the game and have the different plays explained to you during the game. But just the feeling of being in such a big arena with so many people cheering along is just indescribable. Be sure to check the weather forecast beforehand and take sunscreen and a baseball cap or hat with you.
After the game we walked around Detroit a bit and had a look at the city. Honestly, I have to admit that I imagined Detroit to be much uglier than it was. I actually found the city quite beautiful.
The trip back to Canada was quite easy. We had to fill out the ArriveCAN app on your phones before coming back to Canada and the Canadian border guard wanted to see my valid Work Permit and asked me a few questions like "What are you doing in Windsor"; "Where are you living there and how long are you staying in Windsor". Of course, we were also asked if we had bought anything in America and if we had brought alcohol back with us. To both questions we could answer with "no". If you want to buy clothes in America and bring them back to Canada, make sure you know the maximum permitted duty-free value beforehand, otherwise you will have to pay taxes. It is a very serious offense to lie to a border guard – so don’t do it or you could risk your status in Canada and your time at the University of Windsor. Going into the US – if you are caught telling a lie to the US Border Protection Agency, you may lose the right to ever travel there again.
I can recommend a day trip to Detroit to anyone who has the opportunity to enter the United States (and be sure to do all the paperwork before you want to travel).
The Spirit of Detroit is a monument with a large bronze statue created by Marshall Fredericks and located at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center on Woodward Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. In its left hand, the large seated figure holds a gilt bronze sphere emanating rays to symbolize God. The people in the figure's right hand are a family group symbolizing all human relationships. In the background on the wall you can read the following caption:
"NOW THE LORD IS THAT SPIRIT
AND WHERE THE SPIRIT OF THE
LORD IS, THERE IS LIBERTY."
II CORINTHIANS 3:17