Alright guys, so I have been enjoying the two or three weeks of summer I had between organic chemistry and my trip to France but my departure date is arriving soon and it’s time to get serious. Today, I registered to get an absentee ballot sent to France so I could vote. This process was a breeze; it literally took about seven minutes and I was done. So I guess I will talk a little bit about what has been fairly easy, what’s been frustrating, and what’s been just horrible. Here goes nothing:
Let’s start with the easy stuff, packing, toiletries, flight arrangements, and money have all been fairly non-eventful. As for packing, the program I am doing is through CIEE and they provided us with an amazing list of EVERYTHING you ever wanted to pack (down to battery operated carbon monoxide detectors). So I followed this list and done. Packing was a breeze, granted I haven’t put everything into the bag yet but hopefully it all fits. Next, toiletries, obviously a toothbrush and such are important but I’m talking more like cold medicine and stomach medicine. I was told by one of my friends (who lives in Paris right now) that you can’t find Nyquil or Motrin anywhere in France. So this was helpful, I went to the store, got the biggest box I could find and done. But I think having that information was helpful and so it may be worth it to bug the study abroad advisor’s about these types of medicines because who goes 4 months without a cold? No one. Ok, flight arrangements, I don’t actually know if these were easy because my dad took care of it and just told me when I was leaving, so for me it was very simple. And finally, money, I applied for a credit card last Tuesday, and it is now Monday night and I have my card in hand. It was a breeze.
Now, what has been frustrating is Skype and visiting family. This is sounds a lot worse than I meant it to but hopefully you will see what I mean in a moment. As for Skype, I had to download and teach my mother to use Skype. Downloading it was a breeze, teaching my mom to use it, o my word, it was almost impossible. I don’t know how many times someone can mess up hitting two different buttons but after about 4 hours of trying, I finally got her to do it the right way. Now we will see if she can remember how to do it once I leave. Visiting family is frustrating only because in my family, a visit is 3 or 4 hours….. So while I have 8 million things to do, I am talking to my grandparents and aunts and uncles and such. I definitely think it is worth the time to see everyone before I leave for 4 months but I would definitely recommend having everything much more organized than I do currently. I am very stretched for time.
And finally, the worst things I have had to do in preparation for my departure. The French consulate is the only thing that has been a real HUGE pain in the butt. I went to Atlanta, applied for the visa to study abroad, then left. A few weeks later they called, they had a problem with my visa because my parents are divorced but have the same last name…. I don’t know why this was a problem but anyway a two hour conversation later, it was resolved. About a week later, they called me again, one form said I was leaving the US on the 25th and the other paper said I was leaving the 26th. Now, if this was me I would have thought ok, whatever, this person can leave on the 25th but no….they had to confirm which date I was leaving (at this time I still didn’t have a plane ticket). And another few hours on the phone the problem was fixed. So, with all these problems occurring, I was thinking my visa was only going to last the exact time I was in France. I receive my visa and it’s for 8 months….. Mid June to mid-February….So, why did they care the EXACT date I was leaving???? I have two/three months range! It was ridiculous.
So there are all my struggles and what not. I am very excited to leave on Saturday and ready for this adventure to start. I hope this post was too terribly long, and once again I guess I will get better at this the more I do it. But for now, I am just working out, sleeping, and packing. Waiting for my adventure to begin.