Preparing for my year in Paris… in Korea!

So, as the title of my first blogpost suggests, I am currently spending my summer holiday volunteering in South Korea (if you’re looking for a slightly more exotic destination for your year abroad, come here, it’s AMAZING….) However, I have not forgotten about Paris – it would be impossible since I’m sharing a room with a real (super lovely) Parisienne here!

I already have my accommodation in Paris sorted – it’s going to be a sublet in the 15th arrondissement, starting in October. Having heard so many horror stories about how difficult it is to find a flat in Paris, I wanted to get it over and done with as soon as I got my exam results. I used a website called Institut Finlandais – there is a petites annonces-section for people (mainly Finns) who are either looking for somewhere to stay or hoping to rent out their rooms/studios/flats in Paris. I have not actually visited the flat I am going to live in yet: that also means I have not signed a contract or paid anything yet – I think it is common sense not to pay anything in advance unless you have seen the flat and met the landlord, just in case! Since my contract is only starting in October, I am staying in an expensive room at CIUP for the first month of my stay – my friend at Sciences Po recommended it! The rooms looked quite cozy and I think it could be a nice way to get to know to some fellow students as well. Anyhow, if you have the chance to actually go to Paris in advance, view the flats and meet the landlords, do that – and bring someone who is fluent in French with you, if possible. Sciences Po housing website has a lot more information about finding somewhere to stay in Paris!

Also, I think it is a good idea for everyone going to Sciences Po to join the university’s Facebook page for exchange students. If I hadn’t joined, I would’ve missed the deadline for the admin registration! (Oops! Well, apparently it wasn’t a strict deadline after all) That was a pretty simple and stress-free process: all they want is a copy of your passport and the European Health Insurance Card (for non-EU-students this was a bit different). But the course registration was, well, CRAZY! Usually the Sciences Po course schedule is published few days before they open the registration, and it is a good idea to start planning which courses you want to take right away! I logged in the university’s (user-friendly compared to MyCampus) online area at 11pm sharp (Korean time) to make sure I got the courses I wanted – and luckily I did. However, some courses were full after only 5-10 minutes, and in one hour pretty much all of them were full! So, unless you want to do the left-over courses during your year abroad, act fast!

I still have some boringish yet important paperwork to do before going to Paris (learning agreements, grant applications etc.) However they must wait, since now it is time for me to enjoy the hot Korean summer(the food is also very hot here… way too hot for me. Especially kimchi… and they eat it every day!!! also I’m really bad at using chopsticks… And I just saw a huge spider in the bathroom!!! HELP!!!)

So 안녕for now!= annyeong, that’s bye (and hi!) in Korean :-)

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