So You've Been Accepted to TAPIF ... Now What?
Hey, hi, hello there!!
Chances are, if you're reading this, you're on the cusp of moving to France in order to play a little game called "Teaching English to Mini French Humans."
(And if you're actually not, don't worry, I'm still enormously glad you're here!)
More likely than not, if you've been accepted and will soon be moving to France, you haven't even had time to let your head stop spinning before immediately thinking, Shit! I have so much to do between now and October!
I mean... there's visa appointments, police background checks, scheduling said visa appointments, waiting for work contracts in the mail, having to wait for said contract in the mail before scheduling aforementioned visa appointments...
The list goes on and on. And it's only the beginning!
With all of that being said, however, the journey is a fun one. Yes, it is grueling at some points. Yes, you will be crazy-frustrated. And, yes, you will get through it - because what lies on the other side is...
...even more paperwork and appointments and documents, oh my!
Okay. That, aaaaand an amazing experience! And the chance to grow in so many awesome ways that your friends in their post-grad office cubicles day in and day out might sadly miss out on.
Anyway, I just wanted to give you a little bit of general advice during this fun + exciting + nerve-wracking time - mostly about keepin' your cool and knowing that everything (seriously, everything!) works out in the end.
(Just a note that this is all very general for the moment, and I plan to delve deeper into certain things in the coming weeks and months! Hopefully I'll see ya back here!)
1. Arrêtés de Nomination // Work Contracts
Please promise me something right now and put this sweet little document as far out of your head as possible. There is nothing you can do about it until this summer, so if once July or August hits and you still haven't received it, then alert the media. Until then, use your precious and finite energy on other worthwhile things! Just be happy once it graces the coziness of your mailbox and/or inbox. Please note that it could very well arrive late. That's okay, it happens. We'll figure it out.
2. And Now, We Wait...
From now until September and October, we play what is known as the Waiting Game. While there is certainly a lot to do in the form of administrative tasks, there is also a lot of time in between each item to be crossed off on our to-do lists. Use this time to soak up all that your home country has to offer - chances are, you might miss some things while you're away...! (I'm lookin' at you, spicy foods and peanut butter!)
3. Study Up!
From now until the moment you jet off on your long flight over to Europe, I highly recommend brushing up on your French. Highly recommend. Grab a livre français. Have daily conversations with your French best friend. Hit up Duolingo. Read and listen to the news on French news websites. Promise me you'll practice and practice because, while you'll absolutely, 100% improve by leaps and bounds while you're here, you'll want to have a good handle on your French for initially conversing with your non-English-teaching colleagues and supervisors (who may not speak English) AS WELL AS for communicating with your students. Yes, you should primarily speak English - but French is also essential for controlling any craziness AND for explaining anything they don't understand!
Just trust me when I say that you're going to want to be strong with it when you arrive (although you will surprise yourself at how much your level improves after even just a few months here).
4. Travel Possibilities!
Start looking up some potential bucket-list travel ideas! What better way to get excited to come over to Europe than to brainstorm some good ol' travel ideas?!
5. Keep Your Cool.
Don't stress or panic. Guys! I'm a firm believer that everything works out and that if you add stress to the equation, it becomes inevitable that more stress arrives. Stress begets stress in my book, so just don't do it! Bring yourself back to reality and think "Dude!! I'm going to go LIVE in France! What the heck! This is amazing!"