6 months: 8 countries, 14 cities

My post-grad plan, my redo of study abroad and my year of teaching English in France is over! What an experience, what a trip.



Cities I visited: Reykjavik

Landmarks I visited: Viking World Museum, Blue Lagoon



Cities I visited: Lyon, Bourg-en-Bresse, Paris, Amiens, Grenoble, Annecy

Towns I visited: Oyonnax, Bellignat, Charix, Apremont, Samognat, Creil, Montataire, Nogent-sur-Oise, Pierrefonds, Versailles, Beauvais, Perouges, Villefranche-sur-Saone, Nantua Continue reading

How to extend your visa while in France

When I was surprised by the revelation that it was possible to extend your TAPIF contract for a month, I was super excited about the chance to spend more time teaching English and getting paid to live in France. There was just one problem: my visa was going to expire. 

My temporary work visa would expire on May 19- 11 days before the end of my new contract . Now, as an American I am legally allowed to stay for 90 days without a visa- but I would have to leave the Schengen Zone for 48 hours and re-enter to get my passport stamped as a tourist. Additionally, living as a tourist would pose problems in my ability to get paid, health insurance, and other situations. So I would need to extend my visa.

To do this, I had to struggle- a lot – with the infamous French bureaucracy, but it worked out in the end. I had to go through my local Prefecture, or I guess the American equivalent would be the county office? Its a little different as there are no differences in authority between the region, department, and the country, but the prefecture is the assigned representative of the French government in one of the 101 departements of France. Mine was Ain.  Continue reading

Extending TAPIF for a month

The Teaching Assistant Program in France runs for 7 months- from October 1st until April 30th. I had no idea that some assistants have the opportunity to extend their contracts until May 31, allowing another month of work and travel in France!

Prior to leaving on vacation for Christmas, my supervising teacher mentioned that upon our return, I would be asked to submit an application for a monthlong extension of my contract, if I wanted to. I immediately knew that I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to get paid for another month of work in France, and so was sure I would jump.

I didn’t hear anything right away coming back to Oyonnax- but luckily two of my assistant friends had the same idea and they had been told the application had to be submitted ASAP! I quickly rushed to the administration office to inquire and was handed an application with instructions to return it super quickly, as the deadline was approaching! Continue reading

Color me Rad in Lyon

A lot of you have probably heard of- or seen photos of- the Color Me Rad 5K. Its now a worldwide event that donates some of their proceeds to various charities. To sum it up, its a 5K race/walk that people get drenched in colorful paint or powder, depending on the location. I’ve wanted to run one for a few years and was pretty disappointed when the Color Run in my college town of Geneseo took place when I was studying abroad in France! (I survived, though. I was in France, after all!) So when I heard back in September that Color Me Rad would be coming to Lyon, I signed right up!


Before the race….

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Scholarly in Cambridge


One of the things I knew I wanted to do when planning our spring break trip to London was to take a day trip someplace I hadn’t been. The options were Oxford, Cambridge, and Brighton, and the English teachers I work with solidly voted for Cambridge over Oxford. That settled it! I was super excited to get on a train at King’s Cross Station (just like in Harry Potter, minus the brick wall!) and escape the big city for a day.


Cambridge was beautiful.  Continue reading

Spring break plans!

Tomorrow, I set off for my last 2-week vacation of my TAPIF experience- and I’m heading out of the Schengen Zone! Dont’ worry though, I’m not going far- just to England! I’m meeting up with Adam in Paris, and then we will be taking an 8 hour bus through the Chunnel to London, where we will spend a week with my cousins! I’m very much looking forward to seeing more of London, taking a day trip to nearby Cambridge, and speaking English!

For the second week of break, Adam will be working, so I will stay with him in Creil and adventure on my own to Paris- already have a day trip planned to visit Monet’s gardens at Giverny.  Stay tuned!


2 weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend a Saturday working at the high school where I am an assistant at their annual Open House. Along with the other English teachers that I work with, 2 of my best students joined me to sit behind a table covered with posters my sophomore students had made during a  unit on American Prom and answer questions from prospective students (middle-schoolers) and their parents about what, exactly, the language assistant does!

The students were a big help in answering questions about the exchange programs to Canada, the US, the UK, and Australia that are organized by the high school and which they have had the opportunity to go on, and I had a blast explaining my role as language assistant to parents!  Continue reading

Showing your places to others

One of the best parts of traveling, in my opinion, is getting to bring people to the places you like so much, and I was for sure going for that when Adam visited! He had never been to Lyon or anywhere in the Rhone Alpes region, so I was super excited to show him the city that made me want to apply for TAPIF, Lyon, and in addition the city that I have to pass through every. single. time. I want to leave Oyonnax! (For those of you wondering, that is Bourg-en-Bresse!).


The main place I wanted to take Adam was the Royal Monastery of Brou that I first visited in October. Its free for EU residents under 26, and so we enjoyed exploring the monastery and grounds together.  Continue reading