Monday, 24 September 2012

Greetings from Cambrai!

I've finally made it to France! After months and months of countdowns and paperwork, I'm here!

I'm currently staying in a little town called Cambrai. My contact person found me a temporary house here that I can live in while I wait for housing to become available in Lille. At first I wasn't too keen on the idea but being here means I'll be tons closer to the schools I'll be teaching at in Caudry. To be honest I've grown fond of the trees and country-ish surrounds of Cambrai in the little time I've been here. 

My first impressions are that everyone is so nice! Everyone I've met has been so helpful, especially my contact person who has gone out of her way to help me and find me somewhere to live. I couldn't have wished for a better welcoming! 

Apart from the people, speaking and hearing French has been both good and bad! I've discovered that my comprehension is better than I thought it was, but my speaking is terrible. You think that you're level back home is pretty good, but when you get here... it's a whole different story! I've got to build up that confidence!

I've spent the last few days in Cambrai just walking and taking everything in. I think I still haven't come around to the fact that I'm actually going to be living here for the next 7 months and it's not a quick holiday. I find myself getting excited about actually putting down roots and putting a life together! I'm sure my tune will change once French bureaucracy starts to ruin my life but for now I am very very optimistic!

Until next time,


Thursday, 6 September 2012

Received my working visa!

Only 5 days after applying for my visa in Sydney, I received my passport and visa! I don't think I've ever gotten so excited over a little sticker before in my life. To explain, the visa is a temporary working visa (travailleur temporaire) and is just a little sticker in your passport that allows you to legally enter and work in France. However, this visa needs to be validated within 3 months of your entry into France. To do this you have to send paperwork to the OFII (immigration office) and then wait to be called upon to attend a medical examination. Once these steps are done, you get another little sticker in your passport that allows you to live and work in France for the duration of your contract without anymore hassles!

Now that I have the visa in my hot little hands, it means that I've jumped through all the French bureaucratic hoops that I needed to before I left. Relief!

Departure is getting seriously close! Only 11 days left until I leave Melbourne for Lille! 

The last thing left to do is pack! Is there anything that I have to take with me, especially for a Northern Hemisphere winter novice like myself? Let me know in the comments below!


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