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Veronica: Confirmation

December 2, 2009
Once you’ve been accepted to your program, you have to confirm your place by submitting some stuff to the Learning Abroad Center. This is all online too, but I’ll just describe it a little. There are a few parts to this, and the first part needs to be turned in 2 or 3 weeks after the date you were admitted. They’ll tell you when it’s all due.

You have to pay the University $400 as agreement to pay and confirm. It just gets billed to your student account, so you should probably do this before you’ve paid for everything to make it easier.

There is a form to fill out with your health information. Pretty standard. List your allergies so you don’t end up living somewhere where they will be aggravated. Then there is a release waiver. On that just fill in the information listed on the site. I think it’s just your name, program, where you go to school, etc etc.

You need to submit 5 passport photos, which you can get at the LAC. They aren’t too expensive. $2 or $3 for a sheet of two. You also have to submit a copy of your passport. If you don’t have one yet, just submit a little letter stating that you are in the process of getting your passport and will give them a copy when you get it in the mail. That’s what I did.

There is a form to fill out indicating some subjects/fields you are interested in taking in France. There were about seven spots to fill out. I had a problem with this because I wanted to take 15 different subjects. So I had to narrow it down, but it wasn’t too difficult. There are lists of all the different subjects/classes offered abroad you can look at.

The biggest thing you have to do for this part of the confirmation is choosing your housing. For some, it’s easy. For some, it’s not. It was pretty easy for me. The best way to be immersed in the language and culture, and learn tons more is to live with a family. I will admit that I’m a little nervous about this; I have friends who have either had, or heard, bad host family stories. Not all of them are bad though. Most are really good — I’ve heard lots of good stories too. But it’s possible to get a bad family. The nicest thing (besides speaking French the entire time) is that food is provided for you. And you don’t have to pay rent.
You can live in a dorm or apartment too. I’ve heard the dorms are really nice and all have little kitchenettes, but they aren’t like American dorms where there is a lot of socializing.  It’s not much of a social thing, it’s just a place to sleep. It is the cheapest option though. And even though it’s not social, it has good things. Cheap. Kitchen. Fresh bed sheets and stuff are provided every week (or something like that). It’s on campus.

The apartments are basically just apartments. You have to pay rent, buy your own food, cook for yourself, etc. I think you are assigned an apartment so you don’t have to look for one on your own, which is nice. I also think that the biggest difference is that the way the landlord does things is different, like instead of going to your landlord for stuff you have to find a plumber yourself, for example.

Housing is really important for study abroad, so make sure you really think it over and weigh the pros and cons. Know what it is you want in your living situation and what you want to get from it. Don’t just mark something down because you have to. Feel good and confident in what you choose because otherwise you probably won’t like what you get, which will make a big impact on what it’s like for you abroad.

Like I said before, there are a few steps to the confirmation process, but I’ll put the rest into separate posts to make it a little more relevant since it goes along with other stuff.

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