One of the most nerve-wracking aspects of TAPIF is over- I know where I will be living!
I’ve been panicking about finding an apartment- trolling French websites for roommates, spare rooms, and apartment complexes within my price range and wasn’t having much luck. However, after not hearing from my contact people in Lyon for several weeks, I heard about the best option: a dorm. I know, I know, I’m not a college freshman anymore. However, it made the most sense from my vantage point.
It’s really freaking hard to find an acceptable apartment from across an ocean. I’m not saying it’s impossible- I’m just very safety-oriented when it comes to where I live, and I was uncomfortable signing a lease to live in a neighborhood I haven’t seen yet. So. A TAPIF-recommended dorm it is.
When I first received my arrête de nomination I immediately started e-mailing my contact person, in addition to the two schools I’ll be working at, hoping for any bits of information surrounding my living situation come September. Nobody got back to me for several weeks, but when she did- in English!- I was given the e-mail address of the American teaching assistant who had been in the same town for the 2014-2015 cycle. This was absolutely amazing as she informed me that the Lycee I’ll be working at shares a campus with an small engineering and technical university, which means: DORMS. The previous assistant encouraged me to ask about the dorms, saying they were an excellent transition and way to meet new people.
So I jumped. After a stressful night of putting together all my required documents for a dorm room- (Because why let us know ahead of time?) I finally got the news that I do have a room reserved in the Bellignat student residence. I’ve done a little research and I’ll have my own room, with burners, my own bathroom, a microwave, mini fridge, and cabinet space for groceries. No oven though- French apartments and dorms don’t really have ovens! So I’ll have to cut back on the baking- although being in France I’ll just be able to buy some! My contact person told me she has household accessories such as plates and cutlery and linens that she loans to the teaching assistants, so looks like I have a good start!
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!