Had my first day of class today, only 1 but a 3 hour class per day suffices for me! Managing People at 8am this morning. Actually was not too bad getting up that early, got ready in about 30 min, ate a little KIND bar and left for my morning commute. Took about 45 minutes to get to class, including walking so that was not too bad. Showed up and realized I forgot to look what classroom it was in. Thank goodness I saw a new friend and asked what class she had and ended up being in the same one so phewww! Pretty full class, tons of International students but remarkably a lot of French too. Needless to say I did not mind the class one bit, my teacher is hot 🙂 But now that I have that out of the way I can tell you that we were split into 2 teams, about 17 people in each team, and then we are to make up our own company and run it over the next 12 weeks. After he was going over all of the rules I realized how overwhelming it sounded but he also made it sound quite fun! I am interested in seeing how we can make this work however, I did not take the place of CEO. I figured for my first semester abroad and already being overwhelmed that I should probably just settle with manager of a smaller team for this one (bummer I know). This is a 4th level course over in France so even though we have no final exam, this course is the real deal. Excited to get this kind of experience, especially since this is specific towards to my degree.
For the past few days I have spent my time around my dorm just relaxing and trying to get all of the paperwork done as well as “mentally resting”. Who knew there would be so much work just to be “legal” and in school over here! I am working on getting my OFII set up, which is a form needed in order to be a legal student basically (since my Visa is Autorise Travail I can work and extend my Visa if desired). In order to do that I need the form the consulate returned to me with my Visa, copy of Passport, copy of Visa and then copy of Immigration stamp. That one was surprisingly the easiest process but it doesn’t end there. I have to go do a medical check once they get me scheduled, can take up to 3 months to do, then I have to have a tax stamp, housing contract, official picture, official passport and convocation papers. WOWZERS! Now I am also applying for the CAF which since I am Autorise Travail it means I am eligible to receive money that will go towards my rent each month. For the CAF I need the application forms, copy of Passport, copy of Visa, copy of my birth certificate I got translated in French back in the states, ESCE student attestation (stating I am in school at ESCE), French social security and French bank account information. It surprisingly sounds worse typing it all out! That process can take up until the time I leave Paris and I could even receive the money after I am back home, so frustrating! I surely am learning my patience over here though that is for sure. I am so American when it comes to me having a to do list of 10 things in a day and actually being able to achieve all of that. It takes days to pretty much get anything done around here.
I have also been trying to figure out my phone. I suspended my service with AT&T while abroad but they won’t unlock my phone while I am here because I am still under contract, definitely irritating! But needless to say after some digging I think I am able to unlock my phone through a good friend of mine. After I do this I am can get a French sim card to call the US free and unlimited as well as unlimited texting. Only 300MB of data but if I use that just to iMessage I will be just fine! It is not the fact that I have to have a phone over here it just is one of the ways that really makes you feel 4700 miles away. Plus the only way I can talk to my parents is through Facebook for my dad and email for my mom. It would really be nice to be able to text them whenever I want! Although I am not going to lie not having a phone has not been that much of a difference other than feeling out of touch and a little more lonely. That can’t be bad for anyone though right?! 🙂
There are 2 more things that I need to do this week and one of them is open a French bank account. I have to do this in order to get the CAF. Also have to have a doctors visit for my French social security. BLAH!! Bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch lol I am sorry I am not trying to do that I am just merely being honest about the whole process in studying abroad. A lot of people do not realize the time, effort and money this takes and they only see the benefit of being able to live in the City of Love or the City of Light. It is wonderful, magnificent, and beautiful but it also takes a lot of adapting, uncomfortable, different, new, and changing situations and experiences. That is when we grow the most so I know it will all be worth it! After all I am definitely here for the experience so letting go and letting be is at the top of my list!
Tomorrow is the ERASMUS welcome party, basically a shindig for International students studying at ESCE. It should be a blast meeting more people who are experiencing the same thing as me and making new friends! I am sure it will be a crazy, fun night so I will keep you posted on that. Also have class tomorrow afternoon, French Civilization, hoping it is interesting!
I have been keeping up on all of the snow Kansas has gotten the past 24 hours or more and needless to say that makes me homesick. I love the snow, and especially because the past 2 days have been snow days! Mom and dad sent me pics so I enjoyed virtually this year. Here the weather is usually mid 40s and gray. I love when the sun comes out because you do not realize how much you love the sun until you are in a city that is pretty gray all throughout winter. Extremely excited for Spring because that will be BEAUTIFUL! I must say it is indeed warmer here than Kansas has been for quite some time and since you walk everywhere that is a perk for sure.
It is around 9:36 pm or 21:26 shall I say. I think I am going to snuggle up in bed and watch some Netflix! All of my love fellow blog readers, stay safe if in Kansas with all of this weather.