(Photo by Alexa: featured image is my passport a few days before I left for Morocco, one year ago)
Sciences Po emailed me! I read the entire email in French before I realized there was an English translation attached. I was really proud of myself for understanding it, though, so I figured hey, might as well complete this application in French! I got about halfway through when I struggled with the phrase “lettre de motivation”. I discerned, from a bit of Googling, that this was the French version of a cover letter. But I still wasn’t sure if I should let a little creativity show, or if I should keep it strictly professional. I found some middle ground, uploaded a photo, answered some questions, self-evaluated my French level, and sent off my application for some faraway Parisian to approve. I hope. The deadline for the Sciences Po application is May 2. Maybe I’ll get bonus points for being early. That’s my usual line of thinking, anyway.
This week, I need to stop by the Center for Global Education office at Rutgers and drop off some more documents: a copy of my completed Sciences Po application, a copy of the identification page of my passport (already done), my current CV (that’s my resume, but doesn’t CV sound so much cooler?), and a passport-sized photo (also done).
(photo by: www.southafrica.campusfrance.org)
I still need to carve out time to meet with someone from the Journalism department to talk credit transfers. I also still need to send in my program deposit. But I’m a little less enthusiastic about that one. And, there’s something called an ISIC (international student identity card) that I need to apply for online. Perks include discounts to museums, concerts, restaurants, and transportation. Fine with me. It’s also an extra layer of traveler’s insurance.
So with that application out of the way, I embarked on yet another journey (such joy): applying for a student visa. I knew this would be the most annoying step, so I really didn’t even want to start. Campus France’s website is a mess. A vast, text-heavy one. I sifted through pages of help guides and even a video (yes, a visual aid for filling out an application) and finally started to understand. Students who want to study in France for more than 90 days must first register with Campus France in order to, eventually, obtain this elusive visa. According to one guide, I should do this as soon as I receive a copy of my official host university acceptance letter. It warns me: this fun little visa process “can take up to 5 weeks!” and “the Campus France application process can be confusing!” They also want $100 in the form of a money order for their time and my subsequent confusion. Lovely.
(photo by: blog.studylink.com)
Well. Considering I can’t actually be accepted by Sciences Po until after the deadline of May 2 (I’m assuming) and the Campus France application process takes 5 weeks, that brings us to around June 9. So much for getting things done early. But, I may never understand why it is such a dang hassle to study abroad in France. I think I need another chat with Lauren. ASAP.
So long, spring break.