Monthly Archives: July 2010

New York City – Center of the Universe

This past Tuesday, I went into New York City to apply for my Visa for France.  I didn’t mean to wait so long for my Visa, but the only appointments available when I made the reservation a month ago. I guess it serves me right for waiting until the last minute.

The entire process of getting a Visa is pretty simple but very stressful, it’s just a lot of forms to fill out.  Goucher gave me a list of forms to bring, and I found a list on the French consulate’s website. Of course, they weren’t at all the same and I needed forms from both of them.

Tuesday morning my mom and I headed into NYC on the train. We were running a little late because we thought we needed a health insurance form so we were waiting for the company to fax it. (Turns out we didn’t need the form at all.) It also turns out that we weren’t late, the consulate only lets people in every half hour ( for security reasons). Since my appointment was for 12:00, I couldn’t go in early, I had to go in at 12 o’clock on the dot.  It was nice though because I met some other students and we bonded over how annoying Campus France is and how excited we are to go to France. Once I got into the consulate (it was just me, they wouldn’t allow my mom in since I’m not a minor) it was basically just an hour of waiting in lines and finding the right forms. I had tried to have the forms I thought they would want out and ready in the right order. I should have just kept everything in my binder though, because there didn’t seem to be a specific order or reason for what they wanted. They also got confused because I’m doing two programs and because I didn’t have a letter from France saying where I’m living. But I just kept giving them more letters, and they seemed fine with it in the end.

All in all it took about an hour, I also ended up being one of the last in line so that contributed to it. I have to go back in a week to get the actual Visa, but that should be easier, they said I could go at any time without an appointment.

Here’s a list of all the forms they took. Make sure to bring these, but don’t forget all the ten-billion other forms suggested because they can pretty much request any thing they want for no reason at all. Also, they say to bring 2 copies of everything. They never wanted any of my originals, and they generally only wanted one of the copies.

  • Passport photo (which they staple to the application)
  • OFII form (can find on the consulate website)
  • Visa application
  • Campus France payment receipt
  • Parent’s bank statement (if they’re supporting you)
  • Financial Guarantee (notarized, but they still don’t want the original)
  • Letter from OIS
  • Acceptance letter for GPP and IFE
  • Receipt for Appointment Booking (this gets you into the building)
  • Copy of driver’s license
  • Copy of Identity page in passport (which is apparently the first page even though it’s labeled 3 and 4)
  • e-mail from IFE saying where I’m living
  • Sorbonne acceptance letter
  • Flight itinerary
  • Copy of student ID

Other than that, don’t forget to bring a credit card because they’ll need to take some more moolah from you before you’re done. 🙂

So, that’s my Visa experience/advice.

Since we were in NYC anyway, my mom and I decided to do some shopping and to meet up with Elizabeth and her mom. I went to the 11 story Macy’s for the first time, (although I only went up 8 stories because the top 2 are storage and the 9th is for things like Wig repair). I bought a wool jacket for Paris and browsed through all the purses I would never buy. For lunch we found this magnificent chain called Pret A Manger, which has premade food, but everything is fresh because they donate all unsold food to charity at the end of the night. For dinner we met up with Elizabeth at this cute restaurant called La Bonne Soupe.

Overall, great NYC trip.

A plus tard!

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Visa

Around the end of June I finally got around to making an appointment to get my VISA. Unfortunately I couldn’t get an appointment until a month later (So that’s what they meant by get everything done ASAP, duh).
Tips for the Visa application
-Read everything a couple times, it’s confusing, again.
-Keep Wordreference.com open since the actual application is in French (although it comes with a semi translation).
-Check your consulates website for a list of forms you need, and check Goucher’s list. Guess what, they’re different :-D. I’m just filling out everything.
-Be ready to print, not only do you need 2 copies of everything, but you never know when you’ll find out you need another form.
-Black ink!
-And white out…….
-Don’t leave this until the last minute either, some things need to be notarized etc.

I think that’s it. The application isn’t that hard once you get organized (I’m using a binder with clear page protectors and sticky notes) 🙂

On another note, I found out where I am going to live in France, Foyer Charonne. Which, according to googlemaps is a 20 minute walk from my internship, a 50 minute walk to the Sorbonne, and a 3 minute walk to Christina. I believe Emily is too far to walk to, but I forget.
I went on googlemaps and street viewed my walk to the internship, so now I’m all excited because there are lots of cute little restaurants along the way. 🙂 🙂 J’adore Paris.