It’s officially been three weeks since I got accepted into the program! The first couple of weeks, I didn’t have much to do besides be relieved/excited/a variety of emotions that I finally knew what I was going to be doing with my life after graduation (and try to combat the constant comments of “You’re gonna marry a French guy!” or “Have you seen ‘Taken’?”). However, there have been a few things I have done to start preparing for the move, and more recently the program has been contacting me for information as well.
As I mentioned before, the day the emails were sent out I was keeping a close eye on the TAPIF Facebook page. I found a few other people who commented that they were going to Nice as well, so I decided to search and see if someone had created a TAPIF – Nice page, and lo and behold, someone had! I requested to join the group and began chatting a little bit with the other people who are going to Nice.
I’ve also been fortunate enough to start making connections in France besides my fellow assistants. I know a few people who live in France from my year as the International House RA, but they’re mostly all around Paris. My French teacher from high school put me in touch with an American friend of hers who lives in the southwest of France (I’ll be in the southeast) and teaches English; she wants to meet up after I move over there. She also put me in contact with the TAPIF assistant at her high school, so I’ve been emailing him too.
I got an email from the TAPIF coordinator this week with some instructions; I had to fill out 4 forms and attach a passport photo to each (It cost me 20 bucks!! What the heck??) and send a copy of my birth certificate and passport. I’ll be sending those to France today! It’s getting official!
Other than that, I’ve basically just been working on finding a job for the summer (things are looking good for me being in the suburbs, but it’s not official yet), slowly moving stuff from my apartment to my parents’ house, and figuring out what I need to buy before I go: namely a phone, camera, and tablet. I’ve been doing research and talking to people to try to decide what would be most beneficial to me while I’m in France, as well as what I can afford.
As far as technology goes, I’m thinking about getting an Asus Eee Transformer Prime tablet (Kind of like an iPad, but with more features. Also, how would one pronounce “Eee”?). I also think I need a nicer camera than my eBayed point and shoot, as much as I love it, but a full DSLR would be too expensive and too intense for what I know about photography. I’m thinking an advanced point and shoot is going to be the way to go. And as far as a phone goes, I have no idea what I’m going to do; I definitely need a new phone, since my enV touch has a nasty habit of turning off on its own, but I don’t know if I should get one in the US with some sort of international plan, or get a pay-as-I-go phone once I get over there, or what. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, since I really have no idea what I’m doing!!