Orientation & Reorientation: My Identity Abroad

orientation | noun | /ˌɔriɛnˈteɪʃən / 1: the action of orienting someone or something relative to the points of a compass or other specified positions. 2: a person’s basic attitude, beliefs, or feelings in relation to a particular subject or issue. 3: familiarization with something. Last week I sat in a lecture hall with about 46 other English language assistants from all around the world (Canada, India, Ireland, … Continue reading Orientation & Reorientation: My Identity Abroad

Things You Should Know Before Biking Around Nancy (My List of Pros, Cons, and Tips)

I was never really a bike commuter in Salt Lake City. Probably because the Salt Lake Valley is a stretch of 500-square-mile suburban sprawl with wide roads made for big cars and hills that make people of average fitness level break a sweat. Nancy, on the other hand, is a manageable 15-square-kilometers (roughly 9-square-miles to us Americans) of relatively flat land that makes getting around … Continue reading Things You Should Know Before Biking Around Nancy (My List of Pros, Cons, and Tips)

The Minutia of Living in France Part 2: My Cellphone Debacle and Other Shopping Insights

I can’t believe yet another week has gone by since I’ve moved to France. I was talking to a friend on video chat the other day about how my sense of time and space has drastically changed since leaving the US. On the one hand, I feel as if time is moving more slowly because it takes me about three times the amount of time … Continue reading The Minutia of Living in France Part 2: My Cellphone Debacle and Other Shopping Insights

Minutia of Living in France Part 1: From Banks to Insurance to Red Tape

There is a lot of minutia to living. There are things that I tend to forget about because they’ve become so ingrained in my everyday life. These details, from going to the store, to opening a door, to turning on the stove rarely cross my mind when I’m in the United States. Yet because it is my first time in France, I feel like each … Continue reading Minutia of Living in France Part 1: From Banks to Insurance to Red Tape

5 Random Things I’ve Learned in My First Days in France

Transplanting my life to Nancy, France has put a slight hiatus on my blogging streak from this summer, but alas here I am, albeit slightly jet lagged. Between leaving the US and arriving in France, I’ve experienced a whirlwind of emotions. I’ve been here for roughly 3 days and these are some of the things I’ve learned thus far. 1. The act of leaving gives me … Continue reading 5 Random Things I’ve Learned in My First Days in France

Travel on a Budget: DIY Passport Photos

With cellphone cameras and social media, the days of physically printing a photo seem long behind us. But alas, every once in a while you might find yourself in need of a print. In my case, I needed a passport sized photo for a visa application to live in France. Since I was planning on using this photo for an application, I decided that I … Continue reading Travel on a Budget: DIY Passport Photos

7 Tips on How to Rock Your TAPIF Visa Appointment

Last weekend I took some time off from blogging to travel from Utah to the French consulate in San Francisco to submit my long stay visa application for TAPIF. Being me, I was completely paranoid about forgetting something or messing up the paperwork requirements. My biggest fear was traveling over 700 miles from Salt Lake City to San Francisco and then figuring out that I … Continue reading 7 Tips on How to Rock Your TAPIF Visa Appointment

French Lessons: A Language and Cultural Resource Roundup

As I mentioned in my blog 7 Things I’ve Done En Route to TAPIF, language and cultural preparation has been a big part of my to-do list before departure to France this fall. I thought it might be interesting to dissect that process in a bit more detail in a separate entry. Even though I’m moving to France in the fall, I don’t claim to be an expert … Continue reading French Lessons: A Language and Cultural Resource Roundup

7 Things I’ve Done En Route to TAPIF

In case you haven’t already heard, this fall I’ll be moving to Nancy, France (see map above) for an academic year to be an English teaching assistant at Lycée Frédéric Chopin through a program funded by the French Ministry of Education called Teaching Assistant Program in France. And as such, all my current brain space seems to be completely dominated by thoughts of moving to France. I guess that … Continue reading 7 Things I’ve Done En Route to TAPIF