Hurdle after Hurdle: things no one tells you

Hello all! I have been in Strasbourg since September 15th but this is my first post since I have arrived! I apologize for that, but I also have my reasons for not posting.  That main reason is that honestly, I have not had all that many positive things to say. That is why today, before you read further, I will warn you: this will not be a positive post. Yes, I am happy to be here. No, I do not want to go home. However, since no TAPIF blog I have read has warned me of stumbling blocks or non-positive things, I am going to talk about them frankly. So, here we go.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am still happy to be here, it’s just that I seem to have the worst TAPIF luck known to man. Let me explain:

  1. Finding an apartment in Strasbourg in October is NOT all daisies and sunshine.
    1. I have been in the city for close to a month now, and I still have have absolutely no luck finding a place to live.  In fact, even getting people to call me back seems to be a struggle.  Most people I have visited either said “no French garant, no apartment”, or if it was a colocation chose a French applicant over an American.
    2. The other problem with finding housing now is that the university students have already returned to school, and taken 95% of the affordable apartments.
  2. I didn’t know I could get a bank account without an address through Credit Mutuel Enseignants.
    1. This is a hurdle because I would have had one A LONG TIME AGO. However, I never bothered to make an appointment for a French bank account, because other banks require a permanent address, which I do not yet have. Now I face the possibility of not being able to be paid in the month of October. So future assistants, don’t be me. Just go to CME in the beginning, and don’t wait for them tell you about it at orientation.
  3. My phone got stolen when I spent a weekend at Oktoberfest.
    1. Yes, you heard that right. I lost my phone. My lifeline. My baby. My connection to the world.  Again, don’t be like me. Keep your cell phone safe, because it make everything you have to do much more difficult if you have to do it without a cell phone for any period of time.

In closing, I do still think this is a good program. I still like it here, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. However, I do hope that me speaking frankly like this will help future assistants have better luck then me!

One comment

  1. Oh no!! Firstly I’m sorry about your phone. Did you file a police report ? This can help greatly in regards to insurance purposes.

    Second, UGH about banks and apartments. That BLOWS. However great information about CME; I’ll have to include that on my blog.

    TAPIF is anythingg but sunshine and roses. I tried to stay as honest as I could becaise things were rough for me at first, too. Good luck, bon courage !! You can do it (also, at my school I know that the school can give you a kind of loan to cover expenses if you’re not getting paid.. you just have to write them a check that they won’t cash til you get your money and are then paid the following month… maybe you can inquire about that?)


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