I will never forget the day that I received my offer of admission to AUP. I had no idea whether or not my application was competitive enough to be granted an acceptance, so when I read the email that I was admitted to the university I could not have been happier. I called my close friends and family to break the news and it seemed like nothing could possibly ruin my day. Paris and an incredible masters’ program – what’s not to be excited about?
Soon after the excitement wore off I knew that I had a big decision to make. I had learned not long after hearing from AUP that I was accepted to another masters program that was much closer to home and much more affordable. After months of contemplation (and at the very last minute I could make my final decision) I decided to accept my offer of admission to the American University of Paris. Wide-eyed and dreaming of the career I would start after graduating from AUP I started to make all of my plans to move. Little did I know that it would soon be the reason behind most of my stress for the rest of the summer.
First things first: applying for my student visa. I had a minor panic attack after learning that I would not be able to get my visa appointment until late August. The French are known to process paperwork very slowly, so I was nervous that it would not come in on time. After some email communication with AUP I was reassured that it would come in on time and that I had nothing to worry about. After being rest assured, I booked my plane tickets; however, one feeling of sheer panic led to another: finding housing in Paris.
Finding housing in Paris (as finding housing in any big city) was easily the most difficult part of preparing to move. While AUP does offer a housing service, I was uneasy about coming to Paris and finding housing through the AUP office after I arrived here. I was determined to have an apartment picked out, paid for, and set up before I arrived in Paris so that I would have an easier transition when I got to the city of light. Considering that there is no such thing as Craigslist in Paris for people coming to live in Paris from another country, it made trying to find a place somewhat more difficult. I had consulted with a couple of different agencies about long-term apartment rentals and nothing seemed to be working out. The second that I thought I had a place it fell through. This occurred on more than one occasion (but when you’re moving what can you really expect)? Desperate to not go through AUP and make an attempt at finding housing during the first week of classes, I contacted the service that AUP offers to their undergraduate students. After a few email conversations with an incredibly helpful agency, I finally found an apartment and felt much more content about my move.
After housing was booked and paid for, the next thing I knew it was mid-August – time to head to Toronto for my visa appointment! What a headache. From thinking I had the right paperwork to realizing half an hour before my train that there was a ton of paperwork that I needed to add (which gave me a panic attack) I figured it out just in time. While I still needed to make extra photocopies of things when I arrived in Toronto, I was incredibly thankful for an amazing support system I had getting me on my way.
Packing to move for a year: an even BIGGER headache. From not knowing what to bring, to buying an extra suitcase, to the look of sheer terror on my face when I was told my luggage was to overweight to even bring on the plane at the airport, I finally made it onto the plane (thank you to the amazing woman at Air France for helping me out with dealing with the too-overweight luggage – seriously don’t know what I would have done without you!)
This summer had a lot of preparation to move but I am so happy that I did it. I might be homesick, but moving to Paris for the program that I am enrolled in is undoubtedly the best decision I could have made for myself. Until next time, xx