Tag Archives: visa

Mes pauvres pieds

In Paris, there’s no choice but to walk everywhere: you’ve got to walk to get food, walk to class, walk to work, walk to say hi to a friend, there’s no other way. So, when you’ve been running around town all week, walking to the metro and then work and then standing all day at work, you’re feet aren’t exactly the happiest they’ve ever been. And going dancing last night probably wasn’t the best idea after all that. My feet are officially at the point where no shoe makes them happy, they want to lie in bed for a weekend, maybe more, with fuzzy socks and Advil. Unfortunately, I’m in a bit of a pickle because I still have to eat and do my homework, which includes walking, and if I want to buy new comfy shoes and make my feet happy, that implies lots and lots of walking. So, if anybody knows some magical foot remedies, please let me know, until then, excuse my limping.

On another note, yesterday was good. At mon stage, we just prepared for the workshops that are happening this weekend, lots of cutting and counting. Then we had a meeting about the workshops and the new exhibition. It was really cool to see everything that’s going on, but also showed me that even though I’m there just as long as the others, I still don’t completely know what’s going on. Not sure if it’s the language barrier or just me missing things though.

After work, I ran over to Oberkampf to hand in my birth certificate to get it translated. The company was kind enough to let me in even though it was way past office hours. So far I have a feeling I’m going to want to give them a huge recommendation by the end of all this. I waited until the last-minute to get this done, but they’ve been nothing but helpful so far.

Last night, we decided to go all out, do our makeup, dress up, the whole nine yards. So, facebookers, keep your eye out for some pretty awesome photos soon. We went to an Irish Bar at Bastille, which was free and has great music, I ended up paying only 2 euros for the vestiaire.

Sorry if my writing is getting worse, whenever I’m tired I can see my tiny bit of writing ability go right out the window. But anyway, bonne journée!

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The spread of the silly bands! Run for your lives!

Bonsoir,

Today, Eliza and I decided to tackle the OFII form. OFII is basically something you have to do once you get in France for your VISA. If you’re not staying for long, it’s not as big a deal if you forget about it. However, if you’re like me and Eliza, and want to extend your visa without returning to the US, it’s very very important to complete OFII. So, once we finally got moving and made photocopies of our housing contract, we headed to the OFII office. We thought we had triple checked the list and remembered everything, turns out with forgot everything. So, for future GPPers, here’s the current list, but of course it may change.

  • OFII form (which they will want to change the address from IFE to your foyer)
  • Your actual passport
  • Photocopies of your passport (identity pages, visa, and stamp if you got one)
  • Photocopy of your foyer contract
  • Photo of yourself. Take it in the metro photo booth and use the size that works for passports
  • copy of your sorbonne student ID

I believe that’s all. Make sure you do OFII as soon as possible. The point of going to the OFII office is to get a doctors appointment. My appointment isn’t until November 2nd, which is cutting it close.

After OFII, Eliza and I had a wonderful falafal lunch in the park near my class. We spent most of the time talking in French and it was actually pretty easy. I feel like the only thing stopping me from becoming fluent is the amount of English surrounding me here. All the kids in my Sorbonne class speak English, and it’s very frustrating.

In my grammaire class we had a test on subjonctif/questions/opposition/concession. Then we talked about Newspapers and stuff like that.

After class I went shopping for some post cards to keep in touch with people back home. The cheapest postcards were along the seine, 12 for 1 euro. But they were also the most touristy and photoshopped. Then just walking back from Ledru-Rollin I stopped by three bookstores with postcards. It’s amazing, I never realized how many book stores I pass every day. And not one of them is a chain.

Once I got back to the foyer, I checked my mail and discovered my amazing family had sent me something. Sillybands! Before you freak out that I’m spreading silly bands throughout europe, I have to explain that it was not my idea. One of the guys saw my silly bands, which I only wear because they’re from my work friends and I miss them terribly. He asked if he could have one, and since they’re pretty cheap I said sure why not. So, at dinner I gave everyone a couple silly bands. The difference with silly bands back home and silly bands here is that back home everybody thinks they’re fashionable and actually wears them, here everybody thought “ooo! weapon!” and started having a rubber band fight. Half the silly bands broke, but it was loads of fun so it was worth it. So again, THANK YOU MOMMY for sending me dinosaur silly bands. Everybody loved them, and didn’t actually want to break them, it just happened.

So, that was my day. Bonne nuit!

New York City Squared

Today I went into the city for the second time in order to have my Visa put into my passport. Sounds simple, right? Not!

I was told to go between 9am and 10am with my passport and the receipt they gave me. When I arrived in front of the building at 8:40, 20 people were already standing outside. At first it appeared that they were all there to apply for a Visa, wrong again, the majority were waiting just like me, to get a sticker put in their passport. At 9am they finally open the door (remember this building only opens on the half hour because of “security reasons”), there was a bit of chaos as we all try and get in and the workers try and split the 1st timers from the others. Finally I get upstairs, hand my Passport and receipt in at one of the booths (a bit confusing since they kind of just shoved us all up the stairs), and stand in the little space behind the red line with the rest of the crowd. I ended up waiting for two hours, during which they called my name once (to find out exactly when I was leaving) and added more people to the already chaotic space every half hour. I was going a bit nuts as the people around my gossiped about how it was their third time due to missing forms. Finally, my name was called and I was handed my Visa. Simple as that. It seems it doesn’t get too crazy unless you don’t have all your forms the first time. Then you are given a list of the missing forms to bring the next time, and then they determine if you’re ready to get your visa or not. So, for this I thank Goucher. While I was annoyed copying and finding all the items on Goucher’s list of paperwork for the Visa, it came in very handy when I needed to be prepared for all the things not listed on the Visa website. Such as a copy of your driver’s license. It seems almost everybody needed a copy of their driver’s license, and unless a friend tipped them off, nobody had a clue and were forced to use the 50 cents per page copier in the office.

So, thank you Goucher OIS for being insanely prepared and helpful in my journey à Paris.

Random note: Eat before you go to the consulate. They can leave you stuck in there for hours on end, and if you leave you lose your appointment. I was quite hungry by the end of it today. Same applies to bathroom, there’s one in the building but who knows when they’ll call your name.

After getting my Visa (God, it feels so good to say that!), my mom and I went to the Guggenheim Museum for our annual art fix. I could rant about how confusing and silly the Guggenheim is, but that’s not the point of this blog now is it? My Frenchy museum experience was with the free audio tour they give you. I asked a worker how to switch the language into French, and decided to see how much I could understand. Turns out, my French hasn’t slipped all the much since school. I haven’t magically become fluent or anything, but I could basically understand the tour. This made me feel sooo much better about next week. I still need to figure out the Parisian accent, but it feels great to know I’m starting out in a good place. (And a little note to Madame, I was able to spot a Manet, Monet, Gauguin, and Van Gogh, although I did miss another Van Gogh. UCONN French taught me well. )

That’s all I have to say about NYC. Back on the home front I’m trying to catch up with old e-mails. I don’t know what it is this summer but I just hate responding to e-mails. Must have inherited it from living with Becca for so long. But, if you don’t respond to IFE it turns out they send you another e-mail with URGENT as the subject. I better hop to that.
I’ve been starting to pack. Turns out I can fit all my clothes in a huge suitcase using Space Bags. Also turns out this makes the bag exceed the 50 lb. weight limit. So, I’m working on it. I guess I didn’t really need my fuzzy PJs in France. 🙂

Helpful website

I do not have much to update right now, as I just got back from vacation. However, I did randomly find a blog post about the someone else’s nyc visa experience. So, I figured I would share another persons take on the experience. Here’s the link: http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/jrank2889/1/1261968055/tpod.html

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.