Sunday, September 28, 2008

Apartment Hunting

I'm in the middle of looking for an apartment with my boyfriend and let me tell you, it's not easy. We've already been to three real estate agencies and visited about 10 apartments. Out of those 10, we only liked 2. It's funny because normally you don't rent the first apartment that you visit. But in this case, it's the only one that we really like. This apartment is amazing!! Everything is brand new!! New kitchen (including a stove!!! which I didn't have last year in my apartment.) Stoves aren't usually standard in apartments in France when you move in. You usually have to buy one yourself. This is why I'm so excited! All of the baking I wanted to do last year I can do this year!! There will be a dessert every week from now on if we take this apartment. There is also plenty of storage space and everything in the bathroom is brand new!! However, I wanted an apartment with two bedrooms so that we could use one as a guest room and also a balcony. This apartment has neither but I'd be willing to sacrifice those things for this awesome apartment. The only problem is that we have my boyfriend's apartment until the end of October so I'm afraid someone else will rent it before we can get to it. We might tell the realtors that we'll take it a week or two earlier just to be sure. Trust me, compared to those other dumps that we visited, this place is like a palace. Personally I would be ashamed to show an apartment where there was 30 year old clown wall paper and disgusting brown stains in the sink, not to mention other places in the apartment. *SHAME*!

Anyways I better get back to studying Spanish...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Au Secours!

Ok had my first day of classes today in LEA (Langues Etrangères Appliquées) 3ème année and all I can say is HEEELLPPP!! Half of my classes are in Spanish (I've never taken a Spanish class in my life!) and it's at fluent level. The rest of the classes will be in English or French which I can obviously handle. This whole program is about having a good grasp on two foreign languages and working them into different areas such as business, tourism, translation, and international relations. My two foreign languages are English (a foreign language because it's in France obviously) and Spanish which I chose because it would be helpful to know Spanish when or if I look for a job in the US and just because I've always wanted to learn it. Unfortunately I was not able to enter into the first or second year of the program due to an administrative problem, so *bam* right smack into the third and last year of the program. But it seems interesting so far. If you'd like to learn more about this program, it's offered at several universities across France. here's a helpful website: LEA

I'm planning on sneaking into beginner classes and at the same time managing to pretend I understand what's going on in my upper level classes. O dios mio...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Back in France

Hello everyone I'm back in France and frankly happy to be here. I got my visa at the consulate sans problème but I was surprised when they told me that they would be giving me an assistant visa..after all that panic. And to make me even more annoyed, they didn't ask for any proof of my enrollment at the French University nor did they ask for the proof of payment to Campus France. I could have killed them. What they did ask for was a copy of my passport and a copy of my arrête de nomination for the assistantship. Of course those were the only two documents that I didn't have any copies of. So the nice man behind the counter just gave me a look like "You should know better" and just turned to make the photocopies himself. I could have kissed him. Make times I've seen people turned away for not having photocopies of their paperwork. I was just lucky I guess. I think he saw my other two French visas and decided that I was ok.

School starts tomorrow for me. I missed the first week of classes due to the visa incident but I don't think I missed much. At French University, the first week is when students sign up for classes unlike in the US when we do it months ahead of time. I'm very nervous about school here. I bet I'll be the only American there but not the only foreigner thankfully. I'm also really nervous about my Spanish classes. I've only been studying minimally all summer and I know the basics, if even. I can't speak or understand orally. I guess we'll see what happens.

That's all for now.
Hasta luego.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Ok, so after not understanding the e-mail from Campus France the first time I read it, the second time I finally realized that it was THE confimation e-mail to take to the consulate to get my visa. I was expecting another sort of e-mail. I don't know what so I don't ask.

I have to hand it to Campus France for helping me out with this one. They processed my request in 1 day as opposed to 2 weeks like it says on the website. Thank you thank you thank you Campus France. Now I can get my student visa in peace (I hope). I also re-read my arrête de nomination for my assistantship and I found out that I have a 9 month contract as opposed to 7 months like I did last year. Wippee! So I'll have a steady salary until June 30th, 2009. This makes me smile.

My time back home is almost to an end and I'm sad about it but at the same time happy to go back to France. I'll miss my family the most even though this was a difficult time. I wish I could have seen more of my friends, and even just see them for longer or more frequent visits but I had so much to do at home.

Hopefully Friday will go smoothly and I'll be on the plane with the visa glued inside my passport by 8pm.

A bientôt la France.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I hate French Bureaucracy!

I'm sure many of you have been through this terrible headache of making the long journey down (or up) to your local French consulate to apply for your visa to live in France. I have already gone through this process two times and did not want to do it again. Here's my most recent story:

While I was in France this summer working at my internship in the south, I was in communication with the Besançon prefecture who granted me my carte de sejour and extended it after it expired to stay in France during the summer. The woman who was in charge of my dossier, my file, apparently was certain that if I sent a letter to the Foreigner Department of the Prefecture that I could obtain a new carte de sejour étudiante since I wanted to restart my studies in the fall. Since I had a lecteur/visteur carte de sejour I would just need to change it over to a student status. She reassured me that there would be NO problem. So I write my letter, I send it in, specifically saying in the letter that if there were any problems to contact me. They did not.

A month later, I come back from my internship, and wait patiently for about an hour in the Prefecture to start the process of transferring my status. I'm leaving for the US the next morning.

When my number is finally called I go in excitedly and show them all of my paperwork. The lady says to me (and btw its not the same lady who took care of my dossier):
"Oh yes, we were told about you coming today. We're sorry but there is no possible way to change your carte de sejour from a lecteur status to a student status. C'est juste pas possible. You need to go home and get a new visa at the consulate," she said bluntly and unapologetically.


I was speechless!! I asked, why did your co-worker tell me that it was ok to change my status before and now its not??

The only thing she said was "She just found out recently."

So without any apologies from the lady, I got up a left in a huff. They have no idea how bad they screwed me over.

So flash forward to today. I'm in the US, I had to extend my plane ticket an extra week, make a last minute visa appointment at the consulate and the register with some terrible website called Campus France. All in all, this set me back about 450€ that could have been avoided if the Prefecture only knew how to do their job.

I'm just hoping theres not problems when I go to apply for the visa because after all, my plane leaves that night.

This is a moment when I could have killed the French.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I'm so exicted!

Ok I just need to talk about the new iPod nano. Look how cool it is!!! I've been wanting to buy a new iPod for a while but due to lack of funds and my boyfriend convincing me that I don't need a new one since I have one from 2005 that "works fine", this completely changed my mind. I know what I'll be asking for for Christmas this year. :) All I can say is thank god I waited because I was not too happy with the previous model.I didn't like the shape and wanted the sleek, thin, old model back but with more memory. Well Apple heard my wish. I can't wait until December 25th! Sorry old iPod but you're just not cool anymore...
Photos courtesy of

My Nouvelle Vie in France

Bonjour everyone and welcome to the new blog. I just want to make a short introduction about this blog and my intentions for it. I'm an American girl in her twenties who currently lives in France. I've already been living here for one year and will thankfully be here for another! Last year I worked as an English assistant in primary school and fortunately have been renewed for a second year. I will also be attending a french university with hopes to obtain a French Undergraduate degree at the end of the school year. (Fingers crossed).

Here are my objectives for this blog:

*Recounting the ups and downs of French life

*Talking about my thoughts and opinions on current events both in France and in the US as a foreign spektator

*Relaying interesting yet insightful thoughts on my job and my university in France

*Talking about my travels in Europe (If I have enough € to travel this year)

and lastly...

*Talking about things I like, for example: music, travel, reading, writing, photography, animals etc.

So with that said I hope you all enjoy it! Profitez-en!*