Friday, August 21, 2015

language school chosen and visa appointment booked

It's been a couple of weeks since my last update, and I haven't had to do much on my end. Last week, I had to choose a French language school, and I'm not going to lie, this caused me a bit of anxiety and a few hours of frustration. I didn't get a whole lot of direction other than "Here's a list. Take your pick."

My stream of consciousness went a little something like this: Umm...ok? Great. All of these websites are in French. How the heck am I supposed to do this? Why are they all like 3 times what I was told it would cost? I'm not going to be able to go to class during these times... Ooooh they have specific programs just for people working as au pairs. Got it. That makes more sense. Ahh and there was the price range I was expecting. Ok, freak out over.

So after looking at about 20 schools, I chose the least expensive one I could find that was not in a sketchy looking location, but rather in a charming little building within a 15 minute walk to Luxembourg Gardens and a 20 minute walk to the Louvre Museum. Yes, I'm serious. Three times a week, I will hop on the RER (French for Réseau Express Régional AKA Regional Express Network) and head to French class at École L'Étoile in the heart of Paris.

Is this real? I'm still in utter disbelief that I get to do this. I just want to be there. Like right now. But there's still a few items left to do.

I have scheduled my student visa appointment at the French Consulate in DC for September 4th. I wish I could have made it sooner, but the French family and partner agency have to enroll me in the language school I chose and compile the rest of the paperwork I will need for my visa. After September 4th, it will take about 3 weeks for the visa application to be completely processed (and hopefully there won't be any obstacles with that). After it is complete, all that is left to do is obtain an apostille for my birth certificate, which is apparently used to register me with the local police once I get there, then buy my plane ticket! So as quickly as I can get a flight, I'll be on my way!

The fall trimester at École L'Étoile starts September 28th, and I really don't want to miss the beginning, so any prayers that somehow I am able to arrive in Paris by the weekend of the 26th at the latest would be very much appreciated. It won't be a big deal I don't think if I can't make it by then, but it would be nice. If a miracle happened and I could get there during that week or the weekend before, I'd have time to get acclimated to the RER and Metro systems, which would be wonderful since I'll also have to get the boy I will be looking after to and from school. It's going to be a lot to handle in a very short amount of time, but it'll be a challenging experience that I know will be a good one in the long run.

So that's it as far as updates go for now. I still have a lot to work out stateside, but I'm sure everything will work out the way it is supposed to. One more fun thing I want to announce is a new Instagram account I created just for my trip. I didn't want to make my private one public, so I made one that I will use to post lots and lots of photos during my time there. So follow me at @chelseatheaupair on Instagram! There won't be many posts until I'm there, but add me now so you don't miss anything when I am!