So, today has been an interesting one… we got the ferry into Caen at half past 9 last night (Wednesday the 4th) and stayed at an F1 hotel supposedly 20 minutes away from the port. Awkward that it took my mum and I an hour and a half to get there as we forgot to print off directions, also, it was dark, AND everything was in French. Shocking. Anywho we headed off this morning and drove down to Rennes. When we eventually found Rennes 2 Villejean campus (not an easy task I tell you!) my mum parked up near building I, the international office. I went to find room i107 as I had been told only to find out prior to this I needed to enrol. Right, back to the car to tell my mum then head to room s202 to fill in some more forms; the French sure like their paperwork! Almost completed the form but apparently I’m missing my term time address. Well, I’m aware of that, I don’t have my key yet. Now I find having a room number is obligatory to enrolling, excellent… Off to building P where apparently a colleague will help. Will they though? It’s been a shambles so far.
I then met Chloé outside building P who basically saved me as I still felt reluctant to speak French, although I wanted to, every time I tried I just stuttered and then headed back to slow English with exaggerated hand gestures. Chloé took me to the residence reception and helped me fill out yet more forms. It was all looking up when I was told I needed insurance to get my key. At this point I was starting to worry because in half an hour the key office closes! I go back to the car to get my ID and just broke down in tears. There’s so much paperwork, it’s so complicated, moving to another country for a year is hard enough! After a few minutes calming down I decided I need to man up. Right then Chloé comes back over and tells me I don’t need insurance details as long as they’re in by the end of the first week! So I finally got a key and the next task (possibly the hardest task of the day) began… moving all my stuff up three flights of stairs due to the lack of escalators!
When finally settled (ish, there’s still full bags and suitcases everywhere!) we went to get food and I ran into some other Erasmus schemers! Fanny from Finland (who lives right near my cousins!), and Liza and Ann-Sophie from Belgium. They invited me out to have food and we found crêpes. They’re a first for me, like most foreign food and in fact a lot of British food, but I gave them a try and mine was lovely. I even ordered in French. Not well, that’s a given, but it was a good try! We had a really enjoyable evening and had a variety of different languages going on all at once, which I’m sure doesn’t help us learning our French but it was good fun.
I’m now back in my room and am retiring to bed after a quick few skypes to Emma and Matt back home. Overall, I’m happy now. Today could have gone a lot worse, and I only cried once. And only a little bit; it hardly even counts!
Au reviour x