Friday, April 13, 2012

The Decision and Applying

Okay, so I've decided to detail for those who don't know as much about the process what it's been like, starting from the beginning. How, you might be wondering, did she decide to do this? Well, it was really my mom's idea. We were on the plane a few months ago coming back from vacation and I was saying that we should do something next year, since she won't be teaching. Go to France or back to Cambridge or something. She said that my dad didn't want to go anywhere because he didn't want to leave his lab. Then she suggested that I do a study abroad program if I wanted to go to France so much. I don't think that she was really serious, but I was and I started researching as soon as we got home, typing "Semester in Paris" into the search box and gradually widening my criteria. The next step for me was deciding what program to go with. I was already set on France because I take French in school and it is the only country that I could see leaving home for that long to visit. I considered a few others that were considerably more budget friendly than AFS but in the end, AFS was the only one that my guidance counselor had heard of and seemed like the only one that was credible. So I did some more research.
In the online application, once I had submitted my preliminary application and received access to the full application, there are 13 sections to complete: Cover (a cover photo), Personal (stuff like family members, address, etc.), Placement (stuff like allergies, religious preference, animals, food), Health certificates, Self intro (my letter to my host family in English and French), Photo (10 photos of me doing favorite activities or hanging out with friends and family), Parent statement, Authorization form, Academic record, Participation agreement, Consent, Letter of recommendation, and Passport. All of the requisite documents had to be scanned in. My application took a few weeks of collecting, printing, signing, stamping, and scanning. When it was finally done, I submitted it--a little more than two weeks before the deadline. Of course, before applying I discussed going to France with my parents. They are a little freaked out by the idea of being empty nesters three years earlier than they thought they would be--and I'm a little freaked out about leaving. But we're all agreed that this is going to be an amazing experience and that it is worth it. They are also sponsoring my trip, and told me that they didn't want me to raise the money myself. Not sure why, but I'm not complaining!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

First Post!

Hi all. Okay, my inaugural post. So here's the plan. Next year in September I am leaving the small quiet town of Princeton New Jersey and venturing into the unknown to spend a semester in France. Don't ask me where, I don't know yet. I have been accepted into a program called AFS (American Field Service) which will send me to France, but as you can see below I do not have a placement yet. My placement could come tomorrow, or on Friday, or the day before I leave. So yeah. I'm pretty nervous about that.
But anyway. I am going somewhere in France for a semester where I will stay with a host family and go to a French school where hopefully I can get academic credit. And I'm going to blog my adventures there. Hopefully. So yeah. I guess maybe in a little while I'll post a bit about me...and of course, next fall this blog should really take off. Until then!