If this is what you think of when you hear the word “couchsurfing,” think again.

CouchSurfing is a website that people who are traveling use to find a free place to stay for a night or two.  You create a profile, add information and pictures, form connections, and then when someone needs a place to stay in a particular city they can look at and see who has a couch available.  You can describe the place you have for people to stay and also set stipulations: only a certain number of nights, only females, etc.  CouchSurfing was started in 2003 and has since grown to have millions of users.  I’ve never used it before (never really needed to), but seeing as how I’m soon going to be living in France and traveling all around Europe, I thought it might be good to get started.  My friend Jennie recently spent a month in France and had several successful CouchSurfing experiences, so she encouraged me to create a profile as well.

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Categories: Funny experiences, Information | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

It’s happening: eye surgery!

(Update: read about my surgery and initial recovery here and my longer-term results here.)

Ever since I was about 18 I’ve been wanting to get LASIK eye surgery.  My mom works for an ophthalmologist’s office where they do the surgery, but she and the doctors wanted me to wait until I was older, until my prescription was more stable, etc.  Ever since I got accepted into TAPIF, I started thinking more seriously about the surgery; it would be so nice to not have to deal with glasses/contacts while I’m in France!  And, you know, for the rest of my life.

After I graduated I made the appointment for a consultation at the end of June.  I had the consultation on Friday afternoon at Virdi Eye and I found out that I am a perfect candidate for laser vision correction!  My prescription is stable, my corneas are thick, my pupils are big (which I had no problem believing after my eyes stayed dilated for 36+ hours), and I have good tear production.  Here is how they tested how many tears my eyes produce:

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Categories: Health, Information | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

I’m going to Nice!

If you follow this blog you’re probably thinking, “Didn’t she tell us she’s going to Nice back in April?”  The answer to that is, well yes, kind of.  When I got accepted into the program I found out that I was placed in the region of Nice, but not necessarily the city; I could have been anywhere in the region, up to a few hours away from the actual city of Nice.  Here is a map of the regions as divided by TAPIF:

Nice is all the way in the bottom right.

Note: my friend Courtney who is doing the same program is placed in Lille.  About as far away from me as you can get.  Ugh.

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Categories: Information, Life in France, Preparations | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

Information about TAPIF

A lot of people have asked for more information about the program in which I am participating: if I’m getting paid, what work will consist of, etc.  More information can be found on the sites listed on my “Helpful Links” page, but here is a summary for your convenience!

What will the work be like?

Assistants are assigned a 12-hour per week teaching schedule that may be divided among up to three schools. Classes are conducted in English. The teaching assistant may conduct all or part of a class, typically leading conversations in English.  Assistant serves as a resource person in conversation groups, provides small group tutorials, facilitates English-language clubs, or works alongside the teacher with the entire class present.

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Categories: Information | Tags: , , , , , | 8 Comments

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