i’m still here!

I know, I know. It’s been awhile. For someone who wants to work in copywriting/content creation, I sure do have issues with keeping my own blog updated.

I think a lot of it comes from feeling that my life is really mundane at the moment.

I’m working a dead end part-time job that is severely underpaid for what is expected of me. That really doesn’t do much to boost the morale.

(Though it’s not all bad. Some of the kids are pretty sweet like the one who gave me a flower on her last day of class with me.)

flower almost bilingue

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officially have my first titre de séjour as a conjointe

It’s here! My titre de séjour vie privée et familiale (spousal residency card) is in my possession.

almostbilingue

It took less than two months including holidays since my appointment for it to be ready! Imagine my surprise! I didn’t know the Prefecture could be so efficient!

Last week, I was filling out a form (more on that later) that required my titre de séjour information. I was stressing over that fact. After a call to verify, I learned that I could submit said form with just my récépissé and then send in a copy of my titre de séjour once it arrived to complete my file. The afternoon after submitting the file, I received notice that my actual card was ready. Because of course.

The only thing that bugs me is that my card is valid October 2014 to October 2015. They gave me the right to work retroactively after refusing to give me anything from the time my old card expired until my appointment. Yeah… thanks for that.

I know why they probably did that (because what if we had CAF payments or the like hinging on that fact?), but still, it bugs me. It means basically 4 months of my year card are already over. And I sat around unable to do nothing for months. Last year, they gave me a card valid from when I handed in my paperwork (October) and not when my old card expired (August).

Le sigh.

Next up in the world of French admin, attempting to exchange my driver license.

no longer “sans papiers”!

After waiting almost 5 months for my appointment at the Prefecture to change my status from student to spouse (and two months after my student residency card expired), I finally have something that shows I’m legally allowed to be here (and leave France and come back).

From speaking with people we know and hearing their recent horror stories, we took every single document we could think of that we had in our possession.

The woman we met with was super nice and welcoming. She also seemed to be very efficient. We ended up leaving with more papers on us than what we gave to her, but I prefer to be better safe than sorry. Some of the things on the list of required documents she didn’t even need as I was already in their system. Continue reading

oh, the joys of l’administration française

It’s finally that time of year (for me, at least) where it’s time to go back to school. Even though I’m doing the second year of the same Masters as last year, in France, you have to apply for the second year, and then sign up all over again. You also need to hand in all of your grades from the previous year even though you’re staying at the same university. Somehow, the departments just cannot work together on this one.

To make everything more complicated, I only got my grades for the latest semester yesterday. Yes, yesterday. I may have finished classes in April, but we didn’t have the defense for our “mémoire de stage” until a week ago. Thus, I couldn’t start the enrollment process until yesterday. Because of this, all the other admin type things got put on the back burner (hello, expired visa!) since I need the magical piece of paper that comes from being officially enrolled (will still have to wait on that).

It gets even better. I’m too old for the student health insurance, so I have to provide proof of health insurance for my enrollment. For health insurance, I need to provide a copy of my “titre de séjour” (residency card). To renew my visa for said card, I need to be officially enrolled in school. Yep, that’s pretty much French administration in a nut shell.  Continue reading