Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Enfin, c'est le début!

Crack open the champagne, and consider this the christening of my maiden voyage! My 'ship' is still 20 days from sailing, but plans for France are finally verified and secure. Today I passed in my student visa application, and after a nerve-wracking thirty minute wait, it was accepted. Just in case you haven't already heard me whine about it, let me give you a quick run-down of the requirements for my visa:

  • 4 part online form, describing all my education to date (includes transcripts, resume, and high school diploma)
  • 2 visa application forms
  • 3 passport photos
  • Provincial heath coverage for a year (required a letter from StFX saying they approved of my exchange, a letter from the French school saying I will be a full-time student, and a letter from St. Clement's saying that I lived in Toronto while attending high school there...)
  • Additional medical insurance
  • Liability insurance
  • Round-trip plane ticket
  • Letter from bank proving sufficient financial means for the duration of the year
  • Further acceptance letters from StFX and CIDEF (French school)
  • Photocopies of all of the above
But enough griping, I now have official permission to go and party learn French in France for a year!

For the past few months, people have expressed a lot of excitement on my behalf. I must say I wasn't really feeling it; I really couldn't bear to let the idea of France sink in until my visa application was accepted. Now that it has, I'm left with 20 days to pack up my life into several suitcases and practise my francais (sacre bleu et merde!).

To everyone reading this, I hope you'll forgive me for not writing you personalised messages, and will instead accept my travel blog as a reasonable substitute. Also, if any of you have tips on traveling abroad, they will be most welcome.

I'll leave you with one of my favourite quotations:
"They change their sky, but not their soul, who run across the sea." - Horace