Before you go…

Bonjour from France!

When I first came to college I knew I wanted to do something continuously during my time at Linfield that would challenge me. I decided that that challenge would be learning French. I believe that learning a new language is one of the most beneficial things you can do no matter your major or career. It allows you to connect with new people and places on a deeper level.

Studying abroad factored strongly into my plan to learn another language, and I’m appreciative of how easy Linfield made this process. The importance placed on international study was one of the reasons I was drawn to this school. After speaking with my French professors and other students, I decided that Aix en Provence was where I wanted to study. It’s location in the sunny south of France was appealing, as well as the numerous courses on international relations offered at the university. I also liked the appeal of the home stay because I felt like this was a great way to improve my French outside of the classroom.

The hardest part about studying abroad so far has been the visa application process. I was not prepared for how long it would be or how many steps there were. There were multiple application processes that all seemed to ask me the same questions. Getting my visa involved me going to San Francisco to officially submit my application and be finger-printed. The location of the office that you go to depends on where you live. For most west coast residents San Francisco is where you will be going. My advice for anyone about to go through the visa process is to do everything immediately and quickly. Have extra copies of everything and make check lists for each step you need to do. Also have about $300 saved up for the fees affiliated with the process. This is much more than I ended up actually spending, but it accounts for any issues or mistakes arising. I hope this information helps future students navigate this process.

That’s all for now,

Elin Johnson