D minus 9 days!

There are only nine days left until I leave for France! On one hand, it’s a good thing that I still have nine days left, because I still have a ton of shopping and packing to do before I board that flight to l’Hexagone. On the other hand, I’m getting impatient to arrive in Domfront and start unpacking, exploring, and generally getting settled before my first day as a teaching assistant.

Lately my nerves have been getting the better of me and I’ve been panicking a bit about leaving my family and friends and potentially not being able to stay in contact with them due to lack of wifi, but this weekend I finally heard back from my tutrice about the housing situation in Domfront and I feel so much better. She confirmed that there is still a flat available for me, and she says that rent is considerably cheaper than it has been in the past (yay! More money to travel! Or to buy cute clothes and accessories. Or to fund my camembert addiction. The latter option is most likely.) I also learned that there will be a teacher living with me some of the time, which, according to my tutrice, is a good thing because Domfront can be a lonely place during the winter (ha! At least I’ve been warned). I’m actually thrilled that I will have a flatmate, because I’ll be able to get some French practice in and maybe she (or he? I’m assuming she) will be willing to help me set up a wifi connection!

Can you tell that I’m just a little bit obsessed with wifi? I thought so.

Do I actually know what I’ll be paying in rent? No. Do I know whether this apartment is at the collège or at the lycée? Nope.  Do I know anything about my future flatmate? Nein. But I have more information about my future life in Domfront than I’ve had all summer, and it’s a huge relief. Now I can finally start to relax and let the excitement sink in. I mean, I’m moving to France in basically a week! I can almost taste the wine and cheese now!

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Yours truly in 9 days

Between the packing, the shopping, the last-minute errands and the goodbyes, I’ll try to update the blog at least once or twice more before departure day. Now that I know I won’t be completely homeless in France, the whole thing feels so real. Time to give some serious thought to lesson plans and personal goals for my time abroad. À bientôt, mes amis.

Daydreaming about camembert,

Julia

I Travelled All the Way to Vancouver for THAT?! (And an Important Reminder)

The weekend before last, I travelled to Vancouver to apply for my long stay visa at the French consulate. And let me tell you, after all of the preparation leading up to my appointment, and the stress of trying to get all of my documents together, my visa appointment was a bit of a letdown!  Continue reading

Surprise! I’m Moving to the Middle of Nowhere.

After weeks of waiting, I finally received my arrêté de nomination, or work contract, from France!

So where will I be living in less than three months from today? From the title of this post, I’m sure you have some inkling of where I’ve been placed. Yup, that’s right folks, I’m officially moving to the middle of nowhere.

Let me introduce you to my tiny French village, Domfront!  Continue reading

Ma Normandie

Since I received my TAPIF acceptance letter, I have been googling my future home region whenever I have a spare moment (and sometimes even when I really don’t have a spare moment). I still have the occasional wistful thought about Grenoble or Montpellier, but mostly I am just really, really excited to be going to Caen. My excitement has only increased as I connect with other future teaching assistants via Facebook and peruse the blogs of former assistants for any useful tidbits of advice. As I call, text, Facebook message and WhatsApp every one of my family members and close friends to tell them the news, one question keeps coming up: “Where exactly is Caen/Lower Normandy?”  For this reason, I thought I’d write a blog post with some basic information about the region. I’m lucky enough to know a fair bit about Lower Normandy already, not only because I passed through with my dad, but also because I have had to do two major research projects on a region of France since high school, and both times, my region was Normandy (fate? coincidence? You decide!). So without further ado, here are some fun facts about my future home! Continue reading

TAPIF 2015-2016: Accepted!

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Lower Normandy: my new home starting this fall! (picture taken from my trip to Normandy with my dad in September 2012)

Well, it finally happened! After four and a half weeks of extreme impatience, followed by sixteen days of continuous email-checking, I finally received the email I had been waiting for: a message from the French embassy in Canada telling me that I had been selected for the 2015-2016 TAPIF program and was being offered a teaching job in Normandy. Of course I emailed back right away to accept the offer, and so I am happy to announce that I will be moving to France this fall to teach English to high school students! Continue reading