(Scroll down for various France page options. Enjoy)
We are really lucky, as the University will allow Rod, my husband, another sabbatical, so we are off to France very soon.
On this page, I’ll post our experiences and travels while we are in France from July 22, 2007 to January 25, 2008, for Rod’s sabbatical at INRA.
I’ll probably write about Paris and other trips in France separately, but we’ll see how that goes.
For now, I’ll add notes under this beginning entry. But, if it turns out that this way makes for too much scrolling down I may need to change the system.
PLEASE give me your comments on this, so I know what’s the best way to do it for easy reading/navigating.
June 29, 2007
All countries have some level of bureaucracy and we’ve heard stories about the tangle of French red-tape. We’re about to tackle that, as we embark on the first steps to our sabbatical in France.
Permission received from the university here in Illinois. Permission received from the Institute in France. Next, we needed the formal Lettre d’Accueil from the Institute, inviting my husband, Rod, so we could apply for a long-stay visa. We received the Accueil, embossed and signed with a flourish, very official-looking. This is like our entrance card.
If anyone wants to stay in France for more than 3 months, and if you’re going to work there, you need a long-stay visa, a D visa.
We fill out all the forms, have new passport pictures taken and head off this week for the Consulate in Chicago. The visa agent is late for our appointment and seems very grumpy. Not a good sign. But, we are lucky and have no problems. We get our visas the same day! But, Rod still has to apply for another paper, a Carte de Sejour, once he gets to France, which will actually allow him to work. They tell us it should be easy, so here’s hoping.
So, thus far, we are not tangled up in red-tape.
We have one foot in the door, and it promises to be a door to an amazing opportunity. An opportunity to live in the Paris area and to experience daily life there as a resident, rather than as a tourist or visitor. We’ve visited many times over the years, but have never lived there, or maintained a household there.
Next step, is to finalize plans for our house here in Illinois, and try to pack what we need for 6 months into 2 suitcases!
July 18, 2007
We leave in less than 3 days now, on July 21. We’re trying not to get stressed and think of all that still needs to be done. I’m finding that a good way to achieve this is to work with LISTS. Once we found a housesitter, I started a series of lists: list for the housesitter, what to do at the bank, what needs to happen to all the accounts, what to do in the house (empty freezer and defrost, for example), who to contact etc etc. We’ve added to the lists as we ‘ve begun preparations, and also started ticking off as we achieved something—very satisfying.
Packing still looms, although there are piles of clothes, shoes, vitamin bottles, and toiletry bags strewn around the spare room floor. We need to cover all eventualities for summer, autumn, and winter weather, so it could be an interesting exercise!
More later. Tonight we are still eating up various dishes from the freezer—I just have to make a salad, so it’s very helpful for the time-crunch.
Hope I’ve got everyone’s address. Hope my computer doesn’t crash! It’ll be one of my life-lines in France.
This page has the following sub pages.