There is no question that you will be excited to be going on the adventure of learning in France, but do not get in such a hurry that you leave unprepared to take on your new life as a student in this beautiful country. Before you hurry to the airport and board your plane or ferry, take the time to search through this checklist to ensure that you are fully prepared for your journey. It takes you just a little bit of time to double check things and doing so will enable you to arrive in France completely ready to make a new start in your educational career.
Are Your Applications Submitted and Completely settled?
Of course, it is essential that all of your college applications be submitted and totally settled before you go, as well as an intended location in which you are going to university.
Have You Arranged Housing?
You cannot arrive in France with nowhere to go. We have discussed the many options that are available for housing in the country and it is up to you to make these plans and finalise them far before you plan to leave. You should never board an airplane and head to another country without first having secured housing. With the Internet available it is more than easy to arrange housing before you go, so make sure this is something that you do.
How Much Money do You Have?
We also talked about the costs of attending college in France, the amount of money that you need while you are there to survive and money that you need to obtain all of the extras. Take a look at your bank account and make sure that you are prepared with an ample amount of money. Don’t worry, you can easily exchange your currency into euros before you go or once you arrive at the airport and in the country. Make sure that you are aware of the current exchange rates, as well, as this can greatly affect the amount of money that you find yourself with once conversion has taken place. If at all possible try to have enough money on hand to survive your first few months in the country, and have no less than two months’ worth of money on hand.
Those in France are generally friendly and outgoing. It is easy to make acquaintances in the country. Additionally, you will be happy to know that crime rates in the country are generally very low. This isn’t to say that crime does not exist, as it does. However, the rates are much lower than in a number of other countries. Always use common sense when you go out and about. It is a good idea to always travel with a friend, and you should always let someone else know where you are going and who you are going to be with. Avoid travelling at night whenever it is possible, especially if you are alone.
Will You Be Working?
It is possible to work part-time while you study in France, and if you plan to work while you are there it is a good idea to start the process before you leave home. A CV/resume is good to have on hand if you have any working or volunteering experience, but with the many entertainment, retail, dining and factories available in the country finding employment once you arrive should not prove to be too difficult at all.
If you want to wait until you arrive in the country to complete job applications that is fine, too, but there is nothing wrong with being a well prepared individual. Having a job already lined up when you arrive is a sign that you are one of those well prepared people.
What about Transportation?
We haven’t talked about transportation but it is important that you do familairise yourself with the options for getting around in France before you leave. The choices in transportation that are available will vary according to the location that you are in. Such choices include rental cars, shuttles, taxi, public rail, city bus, and light rail. There are, of course, costs with all of the various transportation options so it is a good idea that you research your options when trying to determine which conveyance is best for your needs.
If you are close to the college that you are attending, why not walk? It is free and has a number of health benefits in doing so. You can also choose to walk when you want to go out after classes and enjoy yourself. Paris is one of the best cities in which you will find walking a good choice.
Many people avoid using taxi cab services in France as it can become very expensive. Travellers are charged a per km rate per destination, although flat rates are possible from certain destinations. Shuttles are limited in their service and may be available only to hotel guests in some circumstances. Most students choose to hire a car while they are there or to use the train and light rail system.
Do you have your Passport and Visa Sorted?
Without these two items you are not going to get very far. You might be surprised at how many people actually forget these and leave them behind every single day. Do not be one of these people, and ensure that it is nearby in a purse or bag for easy access once you arrive at the airport. Make sure that you also have the photographs to go along with the passport. You may need three photos.
Do not wait until the last minute to start getting these things together, either. Procrastination is never a good thing, especially when you’re preparing to go to college in another country. Being well prepared is a sign of future success in your French university.
Is Your Suitcase Packed?
You will want to take a lot of things with you while attending college in France, so make sure that you check the suitcase and check it twice. You will want to bring clothing, of course, but do not forget to put in a few momentous so you can always have your family and friends close to you even while you are away. Whether it is a special teddy bear or a blanket, make sure that you pack it. Because of the strict guidelines on what can be carried on an airplane you may want to leave all of the perfume, toiletries and other items behind and make a purchase once you arrive at your destination.
Have You Checked Out the City and Area?
Thanks to the Internet you can easily browse the inside of the college that you will be attending no matter what university you have chosen. Plus take a look at your new home and the area that you will be residing in. Taking advantage of this before you leave for France will ensure that you are a bit more familiar with the area. When going across seas it can be scary but this process really makes things a little less stressful.
Along with taking a sneak peak at things you can also use the internet to help you find things to do in the area. No matter what area of France you are heading to or the things that you like to do, there is certain to be a wide selection available for you to choose from.
Have You Said Your Goodbyes?
It is really hard for mum and dad to send their babies off to college, especially when that college could be thousands of miles away. Make sure that you spend your last few days in your home country enjoying it with your people. You will miss them while you are away just as they will miss you a tremendous amount. You can treat them to dinner and do an assortment of special things before you say goodbye. And, of course, it is never too early to start planning their visit to see you at university. They are going to want to see their baby and the benefit of seeing France is certainly something worth getting excited about.
Of course, you have a ton of friends that are also going to miss you, so make sure that you take a day to spend with them as well. Yes, you can certainly keep in contact via social networking, postal mail and phone calls, but there is nothing quite like being there together. Make sure that you plan something special for you all before you leave.
If you have the chance to experience the life and culture of France, while also getting an education, consider yourself to be a very lucky individual. It isn’t every day that one can travel far and wide to receive some of the best education in the world, so make sure that you are ready to enjoy the experience. There will be plenty to talk about when you get back home – that is without question. Pack your bags and check them twice and then prepare yourself for an amazing adventure of a lifetime. You will come back an entirely new person once you have had the chance to live it up in France and earn the education that can be found only within the borders of this beautiful country.