Since coming back to France in September for my second round as an assistant I've had the question of what to do next year floating around in the back of my head. I sort of idly thought about possibilities for staying in France and what I would do if I went back to the US and left all of my thoughts very undefined, sort of murky and unclear.
I don't have a five year plan for my life, but I do have a big picture idea, if you will, which is eventually becoming a doctor (likely in a pediatric specialty). I'm an untraditional medical student; I decided halfway through university that I wanted to be a doctor, so I finished my politics major and planned to enroll in science classes after graduation to fulfill med school prereqs and be ready for the MCAT. Well, then I decided to go to France and put it off for a year... then I decided to come back to France and put it off for another year...
Logically the best thing to do now is go home and start taking my science classes. There is nothing keeping me in France: no boyfriend, no work contract to fulfill. Yet I still don't feel ready to end my French experiment, or perhaps French experience is a more apt title for the time I've spent here.
I know I don't want to stay in France forever. The thought of putting my children through their educational system makes me shudder in horror. But my time here isn't unlimited either. I absolutely cannot loose my health insurance in the US (thank you pre-existing condition BS). My parents will be forced to take me off the family plan this summer when I turn 25, and then I can get COBRA for 18 months. So I have a little less than two years left to spend in France.
The problem here is that I can't just stay in France because I want to, I have to find a job that will sponsor a visa or enroll as a full time student. Enrolling as a full time student doesn't really make sense with my future educational plans, so scratch that option. But I like the idea of getting started on my medical school prereqs next year because I won't feel like I'm just wasting time in France. I could take physics for non-science people at American University of Paris (non-scientist physics is necessary because I am terrible at math. It just doesn't make sense to me). Unfortunately AUP is pretty expensive. I did see though that Paris 6 offers chemistry as an option for part time students and would be one-third the cost of AUP. I can't decide if taking chemistry in French is a semi-brilliant idea that would shoot me to the top of admissions lists or if it's a really stupid idea. I feel pretty confident about my French these days, but chemistry would involve a whole new set of vocabulary. I liked and was very good at chemistry when I took it in high school (eight years ago!!!!), but I worry that it would be impossibly hard in French.
Then there's the problem of getting work here. I would love to work as an assistant in my schools for another year but I can't renew again. I haven't gotten my CDS yet and I have a small hope that it will end up being a year-long CDS, giving me the chance to be a recruté locale and just renew my card without having to get a new visa. This scenario is not very likely.
The next possibility is being a lectrice at a university, and from everything I've read about it I really don't think I would enjoy the job very much. It is a job that would get me a work visa though. I would have to get my butt in gear to start fixing up my CV and writing letters of intent though. The two cities that would be most logical for me to work in are Paris and Reims, and I feel like it would be very unlikely to get a post in Paris without a masters. I did, however, see three lecteur positions open at one of the Paris universities....
Then there is always the elusive FACC visa program, where I would have to find a French company who wants to hire and sponsor a visa for a native English speaker. I have absolutely no idea how to being going about this one. Do I just wander into an office building off the street and offer my linguistic services? Or should I search job postings, looking for jobs that need someone bilingual and then at the job interview say "hey, there's this super cool visa program that I would need you to do for me...."
No clues. After spending all day on the internet looking at lectrice options my eyeballs feel like they are about to fall out from looking at a computer screen for too long. I'll think about it tomorrow.