You really shouldn't be using your phone, I thought telepathically to a girl sitting near me in the waiting room of the French Consulate in New York. There are cameras everywhere.
Sure enough, a guard came up the stairs and motioned for her to follow him. She stomped back a few minutes later and warned the girl next to her, "Don't get caught using your phone. They'll take it away from you." The girl next to her looked sympathetic.
This was the only entertainment in a two-hour wait to apply for my French Visa. The guard had made us turn off our phones and nobody was speaking to anybody else. I didn't really mind though because this was finally the last step in being able to go to Aix-en-Provence for the semester. Applications to the Institute for American Universities and Campus France, not to mention clearing all the classes I wanted to take with my home institution, Ithaca College, had me questioning whether I reeeally wanted to study abroad. I decided I did and buckled down to finish all the paperwork. After all I had been talking about this for 8 years.
I began taking French in 7th grade to be able to speak to my French relatives. Although even now I'm almost too shy to speak to them in French, I have loved taking French since middle school and knew almost immediately that I would be studying there during my junior year of college. Now that it is finally almost here, I can’t wait to be in Provence! I’m nervous about the homestay since I’ve never even had a college roommate but I have spoken to people who felt the same way and ended up loving their host family. I am most excited about being able to appreciate everyday life in Aix, but also being able to travel on weekends. My top travel destinations are Italy, Ireland and London.
The paperwork all finished, I have set my motto for my semester abroad: do everything, especially if it scares me. I am determined to return home with no regrets. Now the only thing that remains is to condense two carloads of college stuff into two suitcases, a carry-on and a purse. That may sound like a lot of space, but you've never seen how I pack. I'm going to need all the luck the universe can spare me.