Ah, the French. Famously portrayed as the most romantic of all the cultures. Who doesn’t want to be wooed in Paris, with a view of the Eiffel Tower, and isn’t that how it always happens? Well, I’ve been dating my Frenchman for a few years now, and we recently got married, so I’m about to give you the real scoop. Am I promoting clichés? Maybe. But it’s all in the name of fun.
Exercising your right to vote is incredibly important, and as long as you are an American citizen of voting age, you can vote no matter where you are in the world. Voting abroad is easy, I promise!
Within the first three months following arrival to France on a long-stay visa, you must register with the government in order to make your stay legal. There are a couple of steps to validating a long-stay visa, and the procedure you follow depends on the type of visa that you’ve been granted.
We often hear that traveling and living abroad opens our eyes to other cultures, but, just as importantly, it forces us to take a look at our own culture. When you’re abroad and you start interacting with people and watching the news, you get a good glimpse of how your country is portrayed and viewed from the outside looking in.
Naturally, I try to expose Jonathan to the great American culture whenever possible, which usually means presenting him with various preservative-filled and artificially colored food items. My main goal is generally to gross him out and/or shock him, but this seldom works.
A true procrastinator at heart, I’ll admit that I had done little to no planning before securing our wedding date. Given how long it takes for paperwork to be processed in France, I figured I would have a while before our dossier de mariage was approved. And then we got our date, and our wedding was suddenly a little over a month away.
Preparing for marriage in France is a complicated process, even if you’re French. As an American, there were a few extra steps. Knowing that it was my intention to get married ASAP, I had many friends ask me on the regular if I had secured a wedding date yet. Read on to find out why it just isn’t that simple.
When travelling, I think you should do your best to try new things and embrace the culture that surrounds you. However, now that I’m trying to make France my home, I have a slightly different view when going to the grocery store. I have yet to truly explore specialty stores, like co-ops and ethnic markets, but here are a few things that I have to get used to when shopping at the typical grocery store in Paris.
Have I really already been here a month? The past few weeks have been exciting, busy, and exhausting. As this first month in France ends, I’d like to take this time to share a couple of highs and lows from the adventure so far.
In general, my experience opening a French bank account was positive. We spent over an hour there, and I cannot tell you how many papers I signed, but the process was relatively smooth, despite scaring my advisor with my passport…