Amy Rader, Paris, France

So, I have been home 6 weeks, and it has been incredible. But now my journey continues to Paris, France!
This place has a little bit more meaning to me than Madrid. I have been dreaming of visiting Paris since I was a little girl. It is absolutely a dream come true to have this opportunity. However, it was a hard process to be able to accomplish everything.

Choosing the place was a piece of cake. Getting there, not so much. Unlike Madrid, I need a visa to stay in the Schengen area for longer than 90 days. Which basically is the bane of my existence. There is a huge laundry list of documents needed to obtain a visa and a very strict appointment process. Many documents need to have a copy, some need to be original documents, and if you show up without something, they send you home empty handed. Which is terrifying. Three weeks ago, I, very nervously, took the train with my mom into the Big Apple trying to get the visa. I, unfortunately, was missing a few things that I didn’t think I needed. Luckily, I was told I could return only days before my departure without an appointment, and if I had the missing documents, I would be given my visa that day. Literally stomach churning. However, all is well and I was able to get it. That was the very last thing on the list of things to do before I was ready to go.

As I stated in earlier blogs, trying to get all my paperwork done before I left for Madrid was exhausting. I have never done anything so stressful in my entire life. But it is absolutely worth it. When I tell people that I went to Spain or that I am going to Paris, the usual reaction is “oh my gosh, you’re so lucky” or “I’m so jealous!” however, it is a long and tiring process. Now I urge EVERYONE who has the opportunity to study abroad, but do not be fooled by how glamorous the idea is. It is work, before you go, and while you’re there.

I got all my bags packed (finally under the weight limit), my boarding passes printed (yes, more than one) and I was ready to go. For reasons out of my control, I ended up taking three flights into Paris. It was very exhausting. Since my program doesn’t start until Tuesday, I am staying in a hostel for the next few nights. So far, all I have done is slept. I am very jetlagged and because I don’t have anything that I have to do, I have decided to relax and get as much rest as I can because I know once my program starts, I will be going non stop for a few days.

Welp, that’s all for now, I will continue posting of my Parisian adventures to keep everyone updated!

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  • albrightelcdc  On September 19, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Wow, Amy, I’m happy you made it. The visa process can definitely be stressful–especially in your case where you have such limited time between countries. Really happy that you are in Paris and starting the second part of your journey. Keep us posted–we love your posts!

  • Arcana Albright  On September 25, 2014 at 12:35 am

    Je suis super contente que tu sois finalement arrivée à Paris! Amuse-toi bien!! Et, bien-sûr, apprends beaucoup! Bonne continuation!

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