Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My blog already needs a new title…

…or so it seems. Today, I received an e-mail from the head of the Deutscher Praeventionstag (the largest forum for crime prevention in Europe), which seemed to be vaguely interested in offering me an internship in Berlin this summer. Of course, I don’t know when and for what they need people, and I also answered that even referrals to other organizations would be really helpful. But the prospects for a summer internship in Germany seem probable… and so my blog might actually become bERlini and baguette…. This is particularly true because after consultation with my dad I am pretty sure that I don’t want to run the risk of trying to pull the Petersburg thing off last-minute. Suppose the letter of invitation is ready on time and is shipped over within a week, we would receive it around the 28th of April. A normal visa application at the embassy takes 10 (work)days and costs $55, the express application within 3 days costs a whopping $110. And then I would need to find a flight last-minute from Berlin to Petersburg… And what if my passport gets lost somewhere in the Russian embassy and I can’t catch my flight to Europe… Oh, it is so much easier to embrace a couple of summer months in Berlin where I can live with my grandparents and explore my hometown more thoroughly! I will definitely try and apply to more internships, though.

Just cause we’re talking about Europe – wanna know #3 of my favorite things in Montreal? The diversity of cultures and influences! For example, on Sunday I went with a friend to the Polish bazaar in the Polish quarter and we found this adorable yard sale/sale of old Communist badges and sketchy used chapkas/Polish food place/raffle fest! it was great.  GEDC0088GEDC0090


In other news, I found an Honours Thesis advisor, I think! My prof was very open to the idea and said that it was no problem at all as long as it touched her area of expertise. That was  much less complicated than I thought. And I don’t have to worry about it next year!

Also, I went to this info session yesterday, which was actually very helpful – except the 30 minute Canadian Embassy presentation, which was clearly useless to the 2/3 of the auditorium which weren’t Canadian citizens. However, the presenter had a very peculiar style of speech (Quote of my friend Bradley: “She is soo drunk!”) and so even this presentation was vaguely amusing. We could also use the health information about malaria, diarrhea and other tropical infections slightly less, since we are only descending into the Parisian urban jungle. But the academic and bureaucratic information was extremely valuable, and made me research several requirements for visa (as I thought, EU citizens don’t need any either for work or study, although I will have to register as resident at a certain point in time), health care (I called RAMQ this morning to get my ‘departure from Quebec’ form which I’ll have to fill out to be covered in Paris as well), and travel insurance (mine covers unforeseen accidents during travel, though I didn’t see evacuation insurance – but I don’t think I’d have to be flown out of somewhere.. Another good thing about not going to sub-Saharan Africa..). I also made pdf files of all my important cards and documents (think Residency card, health care card) after my last US-Border debacle, and sent a copy to my parents for safekeeping. just in case…

In terms of Sciences Po, apparently I filled out the language test during an hour and a half for completely nothing. The department sent me an e-mail back saying that they don’t process those tests and I should check back to the Exchange student site – where there were just documents of certain requirements and expectancies you have to look over and ‘self-evaluate’ yourself. As in – yeah, I think I can do this kind of grammar and I do know about most of that vocab –I think I am a level 4 student. Then you fill out a little self-evaluation form saying that you think you are a level 4 student and upload that to your application. And that suffices to let you into French lecture classes? I am bemused, but I did exactly the above and concluded that I am probably a level 4 student (it’s the highest level that they give classes in), just because I don’t want to be bored in French class and am confident that I’ll catch onto some grammar as soon as I get there. I do have 10 years of French class under my belt, even it that was 2 years ago. Now that I have all the documents scanned and filled out, I am theoretically ready to fill out my application. My only question now is whether it is worth to pay 190 Euros for a week-long orientation session. It is supposed to introduce us to the French methodology as well as the campus, the surroundings, and the structure of Sciences Po in general. When I think of Discover McGill and Frosh, I did invest in it, but made friends for the rest of my time here – I’m pretty sure that might be the same for the Sciences Po orientation week.

All this is of course happening while I have courses and the like –also two big paper deadlines are zooming towards me more quickly than I’d like them to. Especially since I’m still so behind in my readings that I should theoretically get through a whole book tonight to be on track. Ha. Ha. Ha. At least the weather helps to keep me indoors and busy:


It’s kind of hard to see, but yes, those are snowflakes. The winter has punctually made a return on the first day of Spring on Sunday. Sort of annoying since I had already seen the first spring flowers:  


… But hearing the trees crackle when the cold rain freezes on their branches does have a beautiful feel to it.

No comments:

Post a Comment