Study Abroad

Customs

Before heading to Strasbourg I considered myself a pretty adaptable person. I felt more than prepared to dive in to this journey. Now that I’m here I’ve realized I was terribly wrong, but I’m happy about this.

I can remember thinking how I would easily get accustomed to life in France. I imagined I would arrive, have no problem since I spoke the language and “knew” about the customs.

As I’ve mentioned living in a city is new to me. I refer to Lafayette and Baton Rouge as cities, but I’ve never lived in a bustling, walking city. A “city” like in the movies.

Honestly, this has been a little hard for me. I hate not knowing where I’m going, I hate being lost, and I hate that despite these difficulties people just disregard the fact that it seems like you may be having troubles.

I hate the fact that when you’re trying to find your way and look around to ask for help it feel like you’re inconveniencing someone because they have earphones in.

I also hate that I always feel tired before I even leave my house because I know as soon as I step out the door I won’t just be walking right to my car.

However, I am getting accustomed to the walking. I can successfully get home now from the city center and I know how to navigate to where I need to be once I’m on main roads. There are 2 main roads here that bring me to where I would want to be (either city center or home, or the tram stations). “Allée de la Robertsau” or “Avenue de la Forêt-Noire” (my university is on this road).

As for how I’ve been the past few days besides the complaint above, Strasbourg in all has proved to be quite lovely.

Although I complain about city living in these posts, it’s a love hate relationship. In a city, there’s always something to do. Since I’ll be getting my student ID soon I’ll receive lots of discounts for events and entertainment around the area!

Not only the city though, but the location!

It’s my first fall!

The trees are changing colors, there are leaves that blow in the wind; it’s beautiful!

As I had mentioned earlier, I hate thinking about leaving my apartment because it means walking and navigating and thinking, and not knowing how long it’ll be till’ you get where you want because you need to leave room for getting lost in the schedule.

However, this past Sunday my housemates and I headed to the Cathédrale de Strasbourg  and I’m sooooo glad that I went. There was a show going on there called “Le Ballet des Hombres Heureuses” (The Ballet of Happy Men). It was a light show where several projectors illuminated the cathedral at night and it went on for 15 minutes, it was incredible! If you’ve ever been to Disney World and seen the Wishes parade with Cinderella’s castle lit up, it was a little like that but soooooo much better. Here is a youtube video with the exact show I watched.

****Watch this because my pictures came out bad, and this is the coolest thing ever, and I wish you would have been there to see it!

There were old people, young people, couples, and tourists all gathered to watch in the square and when the music began everything went quiet and all you heard was the ooing and ahhhing as the lights were projected on to this magnificent cathedral. I debated staying home because I was watching a movie on Netflix but decided to go because I could do that anytime! Plus, that was the last evening of the show!

I was pretty lucky to have had a chance to see it!

Monday was the beginning of orientation we got introduced to the business school’s staff and a rough run through of what this transition to Europe might be for us.

After Monday’s intro to orientation, they had American students stay a little longer in order to discuss our presentations for the study abroad fair we would all be participating in to promote our universities to European students.

It’s mandatory for them to go one year abroad!

Anyway, the women speaking to us had several of us introduce ourselves and essentially wanted us to brainstorm what we would prepare and the things we would discuss about our school.

Y’all….this woman KEPT coming up to LSU students and we kept giving her answers of things we thought made our school attractive -Football, Mardi Gras, Tailgating, Tigerland, Outdoor Sports, etc.

Well, she came up to me once more, and I said food, and she kept the microphone up to my mouth so I just started blurting out cajun dishes, it was pretty awkward, a kid from Tulane stuck his thumbs up pleased to find a fellow Louisiana local .

At orientation I met a girl from Sweden named Mimie and two girls from Mexico named Karla and Valeria.

We all had lunch together and it was a lovely afternoon.

Yesterday and today have mostly been submitting paperwork and paying fees so we won’t begin classes until next week (the latest I’ve ever started a semester!)

I bought a basket for my bike, and rode it to run some errands. We live right near Parc d’Orangerie which is well known in the area and it has a lovely botanical garden, I can’t wait to spend time here throughout the year!

 

Other than this, we’ve been hanging out with our housemates in the evening, and due to their English education in Europe, they use lots of British English words.

I.E. Rubbish can and Queue.

We discuss our differences a lot, and they constantly point out how much we live up to American standards based off of our preferences, mannerisms, etc.

In Europe a to go box is called a “doggy bag”……I’ll just let you think about that.

We were told asking to take food home was not custom and seen as “cheap”

Furthermore, our Parisian housemate said that it was rude to eat everything in your plate and you had to leave something, so it wasn’t too clean like you’d been starving. I’m not sure how true this is but he was very insistent on this cultural difference. Apparently, this is only custom in Paris. Sarah from Le Mans,France proudly cleaned hers till it was shining!

LOL. Imagine if you did this in Louisiana, I know some mama’s and relatives who would not be too enthused if I didn’t clean my plate! (P.S. Momma, I love most of your cooking 🙂

In addition, I had a paper from Vermillionville with Cajun French words and the Standard French ones that I brought to show my housemates. They thought it was interesting and were amazed at some of the words and how old they were saying that their grandparents used this type of “old French”. They did go on to express how this was uneducated “farmer” French, which honestly stung a little. I look forward to this year and enlightening them as well as what the Cajun Culture is all about! I love something that Mavis says at NUNUs all the time!

“It’s our French”.

As many similarities as there are to French customs, the Cajun Culture has evolved and become it’s own, and I love how distinct and unique it is! As much as I enjoy tracing back the roots of some of the customs, I love to point out the ones we’ve made better!

*If anyone has any resources, or history, or family stories about their French Ancestry, I’d love to share.

Other than this, I’ve managed to mount the stairs and not be winded, and conquered my measurements to not overflow my coffee cup in the morning.

For the first day of orientation I woke up late and Abi burst into my room exclaiming that I needed to get ready and my first thought was I won’t be able to “day person” without coffee…….priorities…..I was able to do makeup and all, but it was a close one.

Other than this, politics is a pretty common topic in conversation, which in America, is usually avoided. So this has been something hard for me to get accustomed to as I’m not really interested in debates, confrontation, or trying to prove to someone else that they’re wrong and I’m right (well, maybe sometimes)…

Regarding this, I’ve been doing a lot of listening, which is good. I’m a big talker. Going out of my comfort zone and just being in the presence of a political conversation is huge for me, even though I don’t chime in that much. There are lots of strong feelings, and lots of different views…..very different than the American one’s that have always surrounded me. I’m being exposed to several different perceptions on global issues, as well as European ones.

I hope this encourages me to WANT to watch the news more often so I can chime in…..however, baby steps.

Lastly, I just want to express how much this 7 hour time difference stinks!

It’s hard not being able to talk to my family whenever I want, or my boyfriend. I didn’t think this would bother me or be as hard of a transition as it is, but when you’re telling someone goodnight and it’s your morning, or there’s no real convenient time to have a conversation, it’s a little frustrating.

I’m sure in time I’ll become more acclimated to all of the changes that have happened since moving here.

I’m currently washing clothes, and just want to let you guys know…..dryers are not a thing here……I’m about to hang up a whole load of laundry on a little rack in my room, and I am NOT AMUSED.

PRO TIP:

Macaroon- coconut meringue pastry

Macron- President of France

Macaron- French Pastry Awesomeness

How Emmanuel Macron plans to change France

 

**just in case you didn’t know

 

 

 

 

Study Abroad

This Little Piggy Went to the Market

This morning I woke up and got dressed to go to the Saturday market. It was exactly like in the movies. People rode up on their bicycles. There were people with their kids. There were old people and young people. There was a whole block sectioned off and loads of booths with competitive prices selling all a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, jam, meat, and other goods.

I bought 2 onions, 2 green peppers, a whole stalk of celery, a head of garlic, and a bundle of parsley for 3 euros (equivalent to about $3.60).

 

market 1After returning from the market, I went to my appointment to purchase my bike. I have yet to buy my basket, but that will be soon. Everyone’s bike has a basket here.

It isn’t to look cute either.   People have them on the front and back of their bikes, and you’ll often see them with bags of groceries in both baskets along with a backpack.

I had my little GPS in my pocket, and she talked to me on the way home. It rained a little which wasn’t all that pleasant.  There was no torrential downpour, so I managed to get home mostly dry.

bike

My housemates and I then all went to Kehl, Germany to go “real” grocery shopping. Germany really is a lot cheaper than France, and they have huge grocery stores with lots of options. I was soooooo happy to see Tabasco on the shelf.

In addition, it’s very common to make drinks with “sirop”, comparable to grenadine. There are different flavors, and you simply add water. You can purchase this at restaurants and bars. I purchased maracuja (passion fruit) flavor; this is my favorite juice in Honduras.

We also ate at the food court in the mall, it was the most familiar thing to home we’ve done. It was a Chinese buffet; we got fountain drinks. It was quite amusing to find out, after hearing of the stereotype, that it’s true: There are no refills, and no iced drinks in France. Abi went and asked the cashier if we could get more, and she looked at us very strange.

Last night when I got home I cooked some red beans and rice! I got this German sausage from the deli with Cayenne Pfeffer (pepper), and it was delicious!!!

red beans 1red beans 2

I brought some to Francesca and Sarah. They’ll critique it this evening; home-cooking is always good the day after!

This morning (Sunday), Marie Anne came to do Tatiana’s contract and she tried some Tony Chachere’s because I was eating lunch.

She exclaimed that I need to throw it away because it has way too much salt and is super bad for you.

Her reaction was quite entertaining.

Overall, it’s been a very lazy Sunday. Tomorrow Abi and I begin our orientation week at school.

This evening we plan to go to the church to see the light show. It was explained that they do something similar to in Disney World when they project the lights on Cinderella’s castle.

Fun Fact: Sarah and Francesca have both studied in England, according to them the peace sign in England is like flipping the bird.

The Reason: In the Middle Ages when sword fights were a common practice, knights would throw up “peace signs” or 2 fingers to taunt their opponents to show they hadn’t cut any of their fingers off. There is also another origin often referred to,

In a survey of gestures in Europe in the 1970s, Desmond Morris and his team found that this gesture was almost exclusively found in the British Isles. It is also used in Australia and New Zealand. Folktales of its origins abound, the most popular being that when the English bested the French in The Hundred Years War with their fancy high-tech longbows, the V hand shape of the archers lining up their arrows became a battle gesture. There is no evidence to support this story, and quite a lot of evidence to contradict it, although that doesn’t stop the story being told (Lauren Gawne).

arc-en-ciel

Study Abroad

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Yesterday was a very stressful day. It wasn’t anything in particular. It is just that trying to get acclimated to a new place, that is completely different is stressful.

Let’s talk about how the day started. It started, looking up, then just went barreling downhill.

**Reason why I couldn’t post yesterday.
So yesterday, I was finally able to get some sleep and woke up extremely late. I was well rested and had an appointment at the bank to open up my account—success!
If you’re curious about items you may need to open up a bank account, here is a complete list of the things you need. (Because trying to look stuff up and find information on websites in France is a JOKE people.)

  • Passport
  • Lease Contract or some other proof of residence (utility bill, etc.)
  • Birth Certificate (copy)
  • Proof of Enrollment at your school

In order to do anything here you need a bank account, so I’ve been on standby for getting a phone and renting a bike. Also—as I hope I’ve been able to portray—momma is not about this walking stuff.

After the bank appointment it was the same ole’ no meal routine: starve half the day, try to find a sandwich shop and eat a piece of bread.
Y’all, that’s probably the most frustrating thing. You can’t get a meal just anytime. If you missed the time window, that’s just really unfortunate.
Anyway, once my account was open, Abi and I decided to head to the city center so I could open up a phone service.
Let’s just pause real quick for me to express just how much Apple Maps sucks. Back home in America (in all conversations, we now refer to “back home” as America and each time I say it I always find it amusing, it seems very patriotic and majestic) it works just fine. However, here, it’s another story. You’re trying to walk and look at your phone, and Siri gets confused and turned around every 5 seconds. It’s very difficult to navigate like this when you’re also trying not to step in dog poop, get run over by bicyclists, and pay attention when you cross the street to not get hit by the cars. Even when pedestrians have a green light to cross, the cars don’t stop. Also, when you’re crossing, there is NO WARNING that the light is about to turn red. In the middle of crossing the street, the light will just turn red and you freak out trying to run across because you weren’t prepared for cars to just start coming again.
Anyway, so we’re trying to get to the phone shop, Maps brings us to BFE (sorry mom & dad), and then we get to this abandoned building with socks hanging on the fence and sleeping bags at the entrance and Siri is trying to tell us we’ve arrived. Abi begins to point out how 30 minutes ago she mentioned we weren’t going the right way, but because MAPS is supposed to always be right, I insisted we continue.
Now we’ve been walking, are completely lost, and still haven’t gotten anywhere we need to be and are all the way across the world, AND we’re starting to get irritated with the situation and, in turn, each other.
Well, we started heading back and the frustration is building. After trying to get oriented and walking another 20 minutes or so we’re both so angry and snapping at each other that we end up “cheating” and ordering an Uber.
I say cheating because we’re trying to do as the locals do and get around on foot or via public transportation, but you can only take so many turn-arounds and being lost for so long while walking around aimlessly before someone snaps…so, we called an Uber.
Our Uber driver arrives, and I’ve never been happier to just sit and let someone else drive. We start a conversation, and he asks where we’re heading. We explain how we’re American students trying to set up a phone blah blah blah…
I am still worked up and trying to figure out how to get to the phone place and I curse. He asks what’s wrong and says how he doesn’t speak English, but he knows THAT word.
We break down, and now it’s become a therapy session—with the Uber driver. We start to tell him all the problems we’ve been having, and he’s laughing so hard that he’s almost crying. He starts apologizing because he’s trying to stay professional. We say it’s okay. Our moods are starting to lighten up, and we start laughing, too. It’s contagious.
Now, that we’re feeling better and more comfortable, all of our struggles start pouring out because he seems very sympathetic. So, I end the story explaining how—on top of everything that’s been happening the past 4 DAYS—we haven’t had a meal and have been surviving off of baguettes and cheese!
He starts laughing so hard again, and when he finally composes himself he says he’s going to stop the meter, bring us to the phone place, and help us get somewhere to eat. He then asks if we have money. We tell him it’s very generous but it’s okay, (we’re feeling much more relaxed at this point) and we’ll figure it out. He drops us off, and we start heading to the phone place, FINALLY.
In retrospect, stating that we’ve only been eating baguettes and the fact that he asked if we had money,  I think he thought we were poor which was why he wanted to turn off his meter and wanted to find us somewhere cheap to eat.
Anyway, now we’ve arrived at the phone place.
This place was not like AT&T. It was packed, had two workers, and neither person acknowledged that we had walked in, despite the fact that we were looking at phones.

***I just want to apologize for all the times I’ve shooed away reps wanting to help me because I walked in to this place, ready to hand them some cash for a new phone and service line but that did not happen.

We waited a bit, and then a line started to form. Next thing I know, I hadn’t got in line, and now it’s out the door, maybe 30 people deep.
I start thinking to myself, this guy is jumping around helping people around the store as well as the line, so hopefully he’ll have noticed when I walked in and tend to me shortly…..nope. Then I start to realize that no one in the line is there to open anything; they’re just there to COMPLAIN.
Literally, every person walked up handing their phone to this guy asking how an app worked, or how to do something, or that their internet at home wasn’t working, etc.
I decide to go to the register and ask that guy. Well, I wait behind this lady like 20 minutes, and once I finally get there I say that I just have a quick question. He responds with, “I only take people who have a ticket”.
I swear smoke was coming out of my ears. I walked 30 minutes in the wrong direction, haven’t eaten at all today, and had a breakdown in the back of an Uber to get here. So, I just walk out.
We get dinner (finally), and then head home (in another Uber).
We’re content.

Our 3rd “flatmate” Tatiana arrived yesterday. She’s from Russia. And Francesca’s (our downstairs housemate) roommate, Sarah from France, arrived as well.

We agreed to all meet up and go out together.
Our day ended socializing and laughing at our struggles on a boat on the river. It was a great end to the day!
Now, I’m about to leave my house to try again to get a phone. It’s a new day and different time, and I’ve eaten breakfast and had some coffee.

Check out my new apparatus for making coffee! No more spillage 🤗 (2€)
Study Abroad

American Convenience

So today was much more calm than yesterday. However, I “went to sleep” planning to not set an alarm and wake up whenever I wanted.

I “went to sleep” close to 4am, woke up around 8 and decided I needed a little more time. I ended up getting out of bed shortly after.

The jet lag has been REAL. I usually never get jet lag, but I’ll feel okay in the day then mid-afternoon start feeling super exhausted and then be full of energy in the evenings! I’m hoping this evening will be an earlier one than yesterday.

Today I woke up, and made coffee…..it was pathetic! I called my dad yesterday asking how it was possible to do this without a coffee pot. He told me a story of how my grandpa used to use a sock and I started to get really worried of what these next 8 months were going to be like if I was going to be making “sock coffee”. He then suggested to just buy filters and place it over the cup. Well, obviously they filter coffee but not fast enough so I over flowed my filter in my cup. Hot water and coffee grounds were making a mess all over the counter, mind you my “kitchen” is in my room, so any time I cook or handle food, I need to clean up really well, and that would have been horrible to have coffee and coffee grounds everywhere.

Long story short, that was the hardest I ever worked for a cup of coffee.

HOWEVER, it turned out great and wasn’t a bad coffee!

Then I boiled some eggs on my little plug in burner and life was good. I was feeling put together and got inspired to do a little more cleaning. Y’all….this apartment was soooooo dirty, I usually cringe when I see my mom wiping down walls, because who does that? But this place needs to be sterilized, and that it was. I wiped down the walls…twice. Once for the layer of grime and then again to actually clean. It’s amazing how much happier and satisfied you feel once a place is clean. So now things are looking up, not that I was having a bad day, but after the coffee mishap, I was feeling in control again.

Abi and I decided to get dressed and try to open our bank accounts and phone service…that didn’t happen. We’re going back tomorrow with a group from our school.

The times we have  had to interact with people here, everyone becomes terrified because they’re not sure what language to use/speak, and we don’t know the customs here for businesses and services so an exchange usually begins with an awkward stare-off and then slow mumbling in “Franglais”. It’s very frustrating coming somewhere when you’re trying to learn the language and people automatically begin speaking to you in English, when honestly (this is not meant to be offensive) it would be much easier to understand in French, because most English is very broken or with a thick accent.

Anyway, we then decided to venture out to centre-ville, the heart of the city, to explore. We went with our Italian housemate, Francesca!

Being that I’m not from a walking city this is a huge change for me, and Francesca’s version of a short walk away was not the same as mine….we’re going to have to get used to this.

Abi and I still haven’t gotten a great meal schedule down so our meal times are very random. We set out around 2pm looking for food and unfortunately for us, finding a place to eat between the times of around 2-6 in France is nearly impossible except for sandwich shops, which we were needing something a little heartier than that. I can’t go from eating rice and gravy, and chicken à la king, to one sandwich a day, not happening.

Sadly, we had to settle for a sandwich because after trying a few places, no kitchens were open.

Americans are lucky that we can stop to eat pretty much anytime of the day at our convenience.

*Point for America.

Also, options….

Y’all I’m pretty sure I mentioned this in my last post, but I never realized how much of a luxury having options is. There may be 5 versions of 1 item available at the store as opposed to you’re 50 different options of volumizing shampoo back home.

However, not to worry, I can confirm that they do have dry shampoo here, and it’s Batiste (fun fact that’s a brand form the UK, I never knew). That’s all a girl really needs anyway so I was VERY thankful for this discovery.

Also side note, they have Sephora and McDonald’s almost next to each other, I would say walking distance, but I wouldn’t want to mislead anyone, the phrase “walking distance” has been nothing but false hope lately.

When I’m feeling homesick I know where to go.

All in all there are pros and cons.

Pros:

  • I’m in Freaking Europe
  • I’m living the city life
  • The food is bomb

Cons

  • This involves a lot more walking than what I was prepared for
  • Opening Hours here are SOOOOO INCONVENIENT
  • I need more options at the store, the selection is struggling.

City-life is very new to me,though Strasbourg is nothing compared to say, Paris or New York. However it’s still a big change. I accidentally ALWAYS walk in the bike lane, actually wait for the crossing sign to turn green (apparently that’s not necessary according to some people @Abi), and don’t know how I’ll ever get used to walking ALL DAY.

I was worried before of gaining weight on this trip but that won’t be a problem. Between the 4 flights upstairs and having to walk all the time, I should be beach-body ready come Spring!

This evening, Francesca invited us downstairs to her room for Authentic Italian Spaghetti with a ragu (I thought that was just a brand but apparently that’s the word for meat sauce) her mom made for her to bring here.

It was delicious and we had so much fun visiting with her. She expressed how much she liked American culture, and that “America is a dream”. It was very neat to talk about the American high school experience that according to Francesca young Italians envy such as prom, graduation ceremony, riding the school bus, high school athletics, and basically everything we think is completely traditional to find in a high school. It was pretty amazing. She explained how Europeans grow up and perfect their English by watching American TV shows and dreaming about all of the things they see about life here in America.

I look forward to these discussions as I meet more students and begin classes. Furthermore, I can’t wait ’til I can walk a mile in my docs, because so far those boots haven’t proved they’re made for walking (cheesy joke). Seriously though, I’ve been wearing them every day to break them in but tomorrow I may opt for some tennis shoes just to see if I can get in a couple more miles of exploring before I tire out.

A couple candles, pictures on the wall, cup of tea, and blog post later, I’m starting to feel more at home here.

Next thing I’m looking forward to is Saturday Market!

the riversunflowers-2.jpg

Study Abroad

Applying for A Long Stay Student Visa: France

So applying for my student visa to study abroad this year seemed like the longest process ever! After completing the application with the LSU’s Study Abroad Portal you must wait….

I became extremely anxious because I thought I was cutting it extremely close by not even beginning this process until the summer, but I promise it will be okay. They don’t even let you schedule way in advance so it’s not a big deal.

So once you have your official letter of acceptance for the university in France (most likely an email), you can begin your campus France application which is the first step before you can proceed to making a consulate appointment. Now this part was tricky, it’s not actually at the Campus France website, however you can find a link there, or here. In addition, if you go to this link it provides detailed instructions with photos on how to complete the process for the whole Etudes France application. In addition you have to pay the processing fee there. You can do it online or send a money order. There are two options the regular 3 week and the expedited one. Regular costs $180, expedited is $330. Once you pay you have to print out your application and physically mail it to the Campus France office.

 

Detailed instructions, and address, and payment process can be found here for regular, or here for expedited.  **For payment you need your Campus France ID # if completing online, when you are logged in that can be found in the top right corner of the page.

Ex. US17-XXXXX

I have attached a screenshot of the link to the regular Etudes France application process guide with all the steps, all links in the screenshot are included in the text above. To access this page directly you can click here.

Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 2.47.53 PM

So now once you’ve completed the Campus France application, paid and mailed it in, you wait, again…

I opted the regular route and it worked out fine, I received my “attestation”, no problem,  which was just the email saying that I was approved. This is the document the Consulate wants you to bring when you go to the appointment, so you literally just print out the email. Your Campus France ID # won’t be in the body of the email (which originally had me freaked out) it’s in the subject header.

Yayyy, so we’ve gotten this far, I would assume this whole process has taken a month by now.

Now in your “attestation” email, there was a link to the consulate that will be servicing you, in the case of students from Louisiana that is in Houston.

777 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 600
Houston, Texas 77056

So now you can click the link in the email sent and it will bring you to the page where you schedule your appointment. The beginning of August fills up quickly! So if you’re nervous like me I risked it and made my appointment prior to receiving my campus France approval however, it isn’t suggested you do this because they don’t want you scheduling if you don’t even have all your paper work yet. My appointment was August 10, and I got my passport like 5 days later (it’s suggested it’ll take 2 weeks), the appointment itself was just submitting all my paperwork the whole thing took 12 minutes (my mom timed it).

You must bring an envelope which they are strict in the document section stating there are all these specific requirements of what it can and can’t, be but we bought it the morning of at the UPS store, and they knew exactly what to do. **This is for if you don’t plan to pick it up in Houston and have it mailed to you, it cost around $32. The requirements state to not have it addressed from the consulate office and instead from you to you but apparently in postal requirements it can’t be done, but the people at UPS (in Houston near the consulate) know the whole deal and reassured me that the envelope I needed was the one they were providing me (it was).

So now we’re waiting for the day of the appointment, you have lots of documents to prepare.

Here is the link to the Houston Consulate with all the documents required and a PDF with the list of other documents you need to bring from home. At the bottom of the page there is quick access to the booking page for your appointment.

https://houston.consulfrance.org/spip.php?article1068

I’ll do a quick run through here. With the same requirements document posted to the link above.

  • Printed Copy of “Attestation” email from Campus France, entitled “Your Campus France file has been processed”
  • Proof of Residency : driver’s liscense, state ID, or temporary DMV license/ID, university ID, or lease agreement with full name
  • Original Passport + 1 copy of the identity page, has minimum of 2 blank pages left to affix the visa, must be valid 3 months after return to the USA
    • IF YOU ARE NOT A US CITIZEN – PROOF OF RESIDENCY IN THE USA            A valid US permanent residence GREEN CARD + ONE COPY.                         or a valid work or student U.S. visa + ONE COPY
with valid I-20 if F1 visa or J1 DS document + ONE COPY                                                                                B1-B2 visa holders must apply in their country of residence                            or a valid Advance Parole document + ONE COPY
  • Application Form, filled out completely and signed
  • Passport Size Photograph (CVS or Walgreens approx. $13) 2×2”. No older than 6 months, white background, in color, paste with double sided on top right of application and paper clip the 2nd photo to the application
  • VISA FEE, exact cash or credit card, visa/mastercard only. NO CHECKS.

 

Type of Visa EUROS
Visa de transit aéroportuaire/ Airport Transit Visa (A) 60
Visa Schengen: visa de court séjour/ Short Stay Visa © 60
Visa Schengen (cas particuliers / special cases)

children between the age of 6 and 12 years old

citizens of Albania, Bosnia, Macedonia, Moldavia, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine

35
Visa de long séjour/ Long Stay Visa (D) 99
Visa étudiant/ Student Visa (D) – E-mail from CampusFrance informing enrollment is complete must be provided with the application form 50
Visa pour Départment d’Outre-Mer/ Visa for French Overseas Department (*) 60
Visa pour territoire d’Outre-Mer/Visa for French Overseas Territories (**) 9

***The amount listed is in Euros and you pay in dollars, I was charged $58 to my credit card.

  • Official Letter of Enrollment in a School in France + ONE COPY
    • This was most likely emailed to you so you can just print it out: needs your full name, institutional letterhead, specify beginning and end dates, include full contact info for the individual issuing the offer or acknowledgement, and address of institution, signed and stamped.
  • Proof of Financial Means you must show that you will have access to at least $700 per month, I printed all financial aid documents, as well as most recent bank statement, and did the calculation on a separate sheet. ***See official PDF document for more in depth description
  • Proof of Departure or Airline Reservation: this is your plane ticket to France/Europe, starting date of visa cannot be earlier than 3 weeks before the starting date on your official letter of enrollment
  • OFII Residence Form : upper part filled out only + One Copy : needed for whole year stay
  • Prepaid Envelope UPS $32, can also be picked up at consulate
  • Medical Insurance : only required for students aged over 28, or 32 for PhD
  • Make an Appointment: at least 2 weeks before departure

Finally here is an attachment of a sample VISA Application with the responses requested, some questions were confusing and I wasn’t entirely sure what they were asking for.

Question-Specific Instructions:

Question 2: Only fill out this section if you have changed your last name (i.e. maiden name, alias, etc.)

Question 4: Be sure to enter your date of birth in European format: Day/Month/Year

Question 5: Enter the city and state where you were born

Question 7: Fill in the nationality that is indicated on your passport/travel document

Question 11: Fill in your Social Security Number; I wrote N/A and it was fine.

Question 12: Choose the type of travel document you will be using abroad. For most, this travel document would be an “ORDINARY PASSPORT” (navy blue American passport).

Question 13: note your passport number

Question 14: Indicate the day, month, and year that your passport/travel document was issued to you.

Question 15: Indicate the expiration date of your passport/travel document

Question 16: Indicate the agency that issued your passport/travel document.

This is listed under “Authority”

Question 20: This question is for students who hold a residence permit for the United States. Please indicate your legal residence number, the day, month, and year it was issued, and the expiration date. Please leave this BLANK if it does not apply to you.

Question 21: Note that you are a “STUDENT”

Question 22: Note your university here. Be sure to include the full address. (LSU Address), I used the office of admissions contact info.

Question 23: Check the box for “STUDIES”

Question 24: Host Institution Address (reference your acceptance letter)

Question 26: Provide the date that you will be entering France or other Schenegen country

Question 27: Select the box that applies to your intended duration of stay in France (including possible program extensions, even if they are not confirmed).

Question 28: If you will be staying with members of your family in France, enter their information here.

Question 29: Enter your means of financial support in France. This can be financial aid, scholarships, parents, personal savings, etc. You will need to show proof that you will have adequate means of financial support while abroad. ***I printed financial aid documents on my LSU and did the calculations myself per month with the total amount to show that it was greater than the minimum of $700

Question 30: If you will be supported financially by someone while you are in France, enter their information here.

Question 32: If you have ever lived in France for more than three consecutive months, enter the appropriate information here.

Be sure to enter the city, state, country, and date where you signed your visa application form. Don’t forget to sign your application form!

Download Sample PDF Visa Application

 

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out or comment below!

sources:

http://eap.ucop.edu/Documents/_forms/1213/France/common/visa_app_instruct_1213.pdf

Visit Louisiana

My Goal

People always say you can do anything. We set goals often times but never follow through. I’ve always heard that one of the hardest parts of pursuing a goal is to start, and boy is that true. I’ve procrastinated, edited, and avoided launching {Almost} Cajun for some time. My goal was to use this website as a platform to reach out to anyone interested in the Cajun Heritage and Culture as well as share my personal experiences growing up here in South Louisiana. I will be leaving to travel abroad in 11 days (see countdown for updated days left), and I gave myself the deadline of being prepared to launch prior to my departure so I could just post away about my experiences once school starts.

I’ve doubted my qualification for hosting such a site since I’m only {Almost} Cajun, but I feel like I have a few things to say about my adopted culture. It’s a welcoming community and has come to be known and defined as many things. There are several meanings to the term, however mine is more of a personal definition, and one I’m quite proud to be able to categorize myself as.

I was born in San Pedro Sula, Honduras and grew up in Cecilia, Louisiana. I have been been impacted by MY Cajun culture from the very start. Once I began attending school I was enrolled in French Immersion. In our region there are several French Immersion Schools motivated by a desire to enrich students learning and preserve our Cajun French Roots. On the home page there is a video where several locals discuss their cajun roots and touch topics such as Cajun, Creole, and School back in the day. Now, there is a movement to preserve this culture but in the past we were trying to rid ourselves of ties to anything French. However, we’ve embraced our identity, where we came from, and are proud of our culture and traditions.

There are several reasons I love the Cajun Culture and the traditions I grew up with and I hope to provide you with several examples throughout my posts however something most cajuns refers to is our Joie de Vie (Joy of Life), the Southern Lifestyle, and growing up in a country environment. Everything is much more slow paced, mom and pop style, visit with your neighbor, and talk to people in the grocery store way of life. I love this about Louisiana in general. There’s much to love about places that offer diversity of culture, but ours is so rich and ingrained in everything we do you can’t seem to escape it. No matter where I am, I can be sure to find a friendly face, a nice conversation, good food, and someone who bleeds purple and gold (GEAUX TIGERS) just as much as I do, here in Louisiana.

I love the festivals, the music, the food, the community, and the pride of being who we are, so much I decided to double major in French…..but that’s a topic for another post.

Whether you’re cajun, {Almost} Cajun, or interested in a Cajun (marrying a Cajun would be the best decision you’d ever make).

There’s a place for everyone.