Thursday, June 9, 2011

Update/Travel Information

I just looked at the calendar and realized I have just over three months until I leave for France.
I am mildly panicking, mostly because I still have fundraising to do, along with getting my visa, setting up my flights, and packing, which I have a feeling will be the hardest. Although school is over (*cheers*), I still feel as though my life is just as busy as ever! I usually have pretty easy-going summers, but this summer is going to be crazy! I have my ACT this week because I won't be here to take it next year. Then it is working plus other fundraising and summer gym (so I don't have to do gym senior year). Plus, I have one of my previous exchange students from Japan coming back to visit, along with hosting a French girl for two weeks in order to get in some French practice, and then helping my mother teach English to the Japanese students that come for a few weeks in August.
Even though I have all this AFS stuff to do, I am so ready to go. If only I could just jump on a plane now!

Anyways, back to the the important information. I scheduled my visa appointment at the French Consulate in Chicago, and just need to wait for the papers from AFS France before I can fill everything out. There are so many papers involved I feel like it will take hours! I am just nervous because no one in my family has a clue what we are doing. It will definitely be an experience for all of us. I am just happy because I get to take the train there :P I hope we'll be able to stop at the Japanese market too because I haven't had okonomikyaki in months.

Other than that, I just got my travel information tonight! I am glad because I really wanted to get booking my flight to New York out of the way. My mother doesn't want me flying alone, so I am looking to go with another AFSer that lives around here. I have to be at JFK airport by 4:00 pm from where all of the AFS students going abroad to Europe will stay over-night for an orientation. Then we have the International flight the next night. I am lucky to get an over-night flight so I can sleep (even though I probably won't xD). Although, I am not flying directly to Paris, I will first land in Zurich, Switzerland where we will hang around for four hours until boarding for Paris. I was excited to see that! My first time going abroad and I will hit two countries in one day! xD Than once I reach Paris, there will be a three-day orientation with all the AFS students in France, and then I will be bussed out to meet my host family, then I will be taken to get registered and so on...

Speaking of orientations, I recently went to my pre-departure orientation last month. It is required by law that we attend these before going abroad, and I have to say it was really helpful. Plus, it was nice meeting a bunch of other students who were all in the same boat as me.


I think that is everything I wanted to say... 

So in that case my ACT study book awaits!

À bientôt!


  1. Hey, Elise! I'm going to France too! I was just wondering where you got the information about the 3 day orientation in Paris when we get there. All I got was the travel date and stuff like that from AFS. Thanks :)

  2. Hi Kevin! Yeah, I can't remember for the life of me where I read that information. It might have been on the AFS website, or in the big packet we were supposed to be sent in the mail... I know it talked about us needing three different outfits and at least 40€ because the AFS students stay in Paris for a two or three day orientation before meeting the host families.
    Hmm... I'll have to look around and see if I can find it :)