Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Preparing to leave AU

If you're getting ready to go abroad this January, you've probably already heard from Anissa R'Mili. She's the head of international students at RBS. She sent out tons of emails to help students along with dates, deadlines, housing, etc.

Anissa is very nice in person, too! She was the first person on campus I met - I went to her office to pick up my residence room key and other important papers. She even explained how to use the bus, where to buy a bus ticket, and much more!

Back to the original subject - preparing to enter French territory!

The French government indeed asked for quite a few payments...They required at least $60 to sign up on the CampusFrance website, which just tells the French government that you are coming to their country and is not something you use ever again (except the CF email receipt to get a visa). Then there's the visa fee plus a nice $70 or $75 tax (the numbers might be off by a dollar or two, I didn't keep the receipts). I had a difficult time at first figuring out where to pay on the CampusFrance website, but after a phone call to AU Abroad, someone was able to tell me what was wrong.


French Consulate
I went to the French Consulate (on French Embassy property) while in DC over the summer to apply for my visa. At first I was slightly worried about the whole process, however, because AU Abroad announced that someone else had claimed that the Consulate might not give you back your passport!

Thankfully, this was false, in the end, and the choices I had were to leave my passport with a pre-paid and pre-addressed envelope for them to mail with my visa attached, or to take my passport with me, wait for a letter with a secret code from them, and then bring my passport + letter back to the consulate to have my visa put in. I chose the second, and got the letter really quickly.


The next step was to transfer $2200, or about 1600 Euros, into a French bank account given to me after I received my housing assignment. The money made it overseas safely within a few weeks.


Course selection
There seems to be a RBS course catalogue somewhere in Internetland, but I was not aware of it when trying to get my courses approved through Kogod. I found courses by emailing Michel Motte several dozen times about management, marketing, itec, etc., and one by one pieced together my options.

I am taking:
  • Essentials of Project Management - once a week for three hours, taught in English by a French airplane seller
  • Marketing - a first-year course, once a week for three hours, taught in French
  • Français des Affaires - 2x a week, void of in actual in-class learning, but the book is great!
  • Français des Affaires Atelier - 2x a week, fantastic French professor!
  • Advanced Information Technology - 4-week course to begin mid-November
  • Italian 2 - once a week for 3 hours (which I will stop once Adv. IT begins)
  • Arabic 4 - once a week for however long we want!

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