03 September 2008

Getting Ready to, and Leaving

I packed at least a dozen times. After the fiasco with campus france (they send the confirmation letter to your campus france inbox! who'd've thought?) and all the other minor prep tasks, I was ready to go. I revised the packing list every other day through out June and August, planned the obligatory going away party, and even got my visa on the first try (do this early! knowing i didn't have time for a second trip was SO stressful).

I packed relatively lightly, so that I could bring home lots more stuff. (all of my clothes fit into the smaller of my suitcases, a, i think, 25") Google semester packing lists, or 6 month trip packing list, etc for examples.

Personally, I brought:
4 pr pants
1 pr shorts, 1 pr junky jeans
lots of socks and unmentionables
2 layerable long sleeve shirts, 3 sweaters, 3 tank tops and i think 4 regular tops. this way I can mix and match and add on lots of layers.
1 set pajamas (try to pick something multi purpose here-like sweats you can also wear for exercise, etc)
Leggings to allow for layering when it gets cold (we'll see if i need them)
1 pr sneakers, 1 pr flip flops (mainly for shower use), and a pair of comfortable dress shoes/boots
1 '4in1' coat. It's 2 separate layers, and its water proof, so no other coats needed
1 pr gloves, hat
A towel (duh) a blanket, pillow (i plan to leave these behind when i come home)
All of my meds, hygiene products, etc
2 throw away books to read on the plane and leave behind, a pocket fr-eng dictionnary
A copy, or 2, of every paper required for my visa, relevant receipts, and several photos, a copy of my passport, etc.
My laptop, head phones and a converter (make sure yours has a hole for the ground prong)
Passport, ISIC id card, bank cards, extra funds, health insurance card(s), contact numbers for the school, residence, home, bern, etc.
Camera (very important!) and lots of AA's (i got a cheap, AA powered camera specifically for this trip)
Umbrella!! This is ESSENTIAL if you're coming to Lille.
Some pens, pencils and a notebook (general school supply stuff)
Pictures from home!

Things I wish i had brought:

Dishes (in the residence, there's a kitchen, but no cooking supplies, or dishes)
Sheets (i took them out to save weight, but it would've been much cheaper to bring them from home)

Things I specifically did not bring:

A dictionnary- i bought a REAL french dictionary here in france.
A hair dryer, or electronics in general- hair dryers are BAD in france. i have not heard a happy use of an american hair dryer here- so i recommend buying one here if you must have one. Plus, if you don't bring electronics (except AA powered ones) you don't have to buy a transformer

And I think that's it. Something I didn't know when I was packing: if you live in a residence, you'll probably walking to it, with your luggage, so keep that in mind.

So far, the hardest part, must have been leaving. By the time we drove to the airport, I was nearly ready to just turn around and go home. But once settled in, it all gets easier from there.

PS... my residence is having internet issues, so i may be slow getting back entries up, but once i do, i will be posting more regularly.

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