how french administration almost stole christmas

Ever since finally turning in my titre de sejour (residency permit) paperwork, I’ve been patiently awaiting the arrival of the glorious card, especially as my récépissé (temporary card) was nearing its end.

Finally, I received the paper in the mail with my appointment (since when did we even need an appointment?) to go in and get it. I was so thrilled until I read the paper. I was summoned to come in December 26 (and only this date) between 2 and 3pm. Yep, apparently, they are busy at work the day after Christmas. For a second, I almost forgot I was in France.

Cue a mad rush of looking up train tickets and debating what to do. We had plans to be down in Franche-Comté from this coming Friday until after the New Year. Train tickets were outrageous for me to come back up and go back down just for a day, so we were facing driving home late Christmas day or early the following day. Continue reading


the masters program not to do in france

I’ve been debating about whether or not I wanted to talk about this on my blog, but I think it might do me some good to go out on a long rant about it. I’m not one to really open up and talk about my emotions. Writing this now is me finally sharing what’s going on.

Recently, we heard on the news that 9 out of 10 foreign students are very satisfied with their program in France. I must be that 10th person, because I am utterly miserable. I will name the program and the university in case any foreign student Googles this program, they can find an honest opinion.

I am doing a Master Management et Commerce International at the FLLASH (though it’s supposed to be also tied with the IAE) at the Université de Valenciennes. I was unhappy during the first year, but I figured things would get better in the second year, and it’d go by quickly. Boy, was I ever wrong. Continue reading


The past few weeks, I was debating whether or not I wanted to prepare a Thanksgiving meal. It’s actually my favorite meal of the year, because I just adore stuffing and sweet potatoes. Unfortunately, the week of the holiday was fairly hectic for me, and the invitations I received to friends’ events just did not fit in with our schedules. So I kept going back and forth over preparing my own feast, not sure if I would really have the motivation even if I bought all the ingredients necessary.

Cut to Thanksgiving day. After a long day (including a presentation in my law class), I felt really depressed that I wouldn’t be partaking in any Thanksgiving festivities. J surprised me with a very pretty orchid, but it didn’t do too much to lift my spirits. For some reason, missing Thanksgiving hits me more than missing Christmas at home. Probably because Christmas is still celebrated here. I ended up consoling myself with a PB&J sandwich for dinner and preparing a list of ingredients for a Thanksgiving feast. Continue reading