Saturday, June 6, 2009

I had an interview yesterday for a position with a private, bilingual school in Paris. I think the interview went well, the woman I interviewed with seemed to like me and my ideas for the class. The school has a really exciting education philosophy and I think it would be a really inspiring and very challenging environment to work in. They would expect a lot out of me. Big problem: they won't sponsor me for a visa. The first thing she wanted to talk about was my visa situation and she said right off the bat that they've sponsored visas for other employees before and it is too much of a hassle and they don't do that anymore.

My only visa option then would be to get a student visa (or get married to a French guy, but that is not happening). I just don't know how much I want to enroll in a program, probably a masters program, and have the hassle of going to classes and writing a thesis just to stay in Paris for another year and have a really challenging job. If I could get a student visa just to take one or two classes, I would do it, but I don't know if that's possible.

The other problem is that I still haven't told my parents that I've been trying to get a job to stay in France for another year, and now that it's getting close to the time that they think I'm coming home for good my mom keeps telling me how excited she is that I'm finally coming home. I just don't know if I can break my mom's heart when she has only been wonderful and supportive to me my whole life (well, except when I was 16 and got my driver's licence and wasn't legally allowed to drive between midnight and 5 AM, but everyone did anyway, but she wouldn't let me. That was frustrating). I was expressing this worry to a coworker who I trust, and even though she's a mom herself (!) she said that I should still think about myself first, or I could end up resentful of my mom. I can't really imagine that I would ever resent my mom for anything (cue shmaltzy music and montage of me and mom photos) but I understand what she was trying to say.

I'm not sure what to do. I'm sad to think about about going home for good, but I'm also sad when I think about how upset my mom - well, both of my parents - will be.

9 comments:

Stacy said...

In order to qualify for a student visa you only need to be enrolled in 20 hours of classes a week (and you don't even necessarily need to attend very often, just depends on how strict the teacher/school is)-- and it can be pretty much anything. So you could always enroll in a basic language program (like at the Sorbonne or Alliance) or something non-intensive and you'd get your visa.

And good luck breaking the news to your mom! I have totally been there! :o)

shannon said...

I second what Stacy says. You do need to be somewhat full-time as a student which is 20 hours in France. Crazy, no uni students in the States take that much a week! Also, what kind of hours would you be working at the school? Remember, you can only work 20 hours a week on a student visa during non holiday weeks.

Ksam said...

I've also known a lot of people who have enrolled in a university just to get visa (and thus the right to work) and then never set foot in a class....

Also, as far as the 20hrs/week - the laws have changed a bit and it's now the total number of hours per year that counts, and not necessarily the number per week.

L said...

You could sign up for L3 Anglophone studies instead of a master. And as for hours, my experience at least was that classes weren't always held every week, and the total number of hours for a particular class was counted over the semester since we might go two weeks at some point without having a certain class. Anglophone studies you could totally ace and never even go to class.

For your mom, maybe play up the "young and great opportunity" aspects. My mom at least is always saying "Oh I wish I were young again" when I talk about visiting castles, eating croissants, and going to free cultural events (normal stuff in France, you know?). Hopefully she'll be alright with the "you only live once" argument.

au soleil levant said...

Wow guys, great comments, thanks!

Stacy - Alliance Fran├žaise is a great idea, thanks for the suggestion

Shannon - The job would only be 15 hours per week (but pays pretty darn well quand meme), so it would work with the student visa

Ksam - good to know that the 20 hour thing isn't an absolute. That is a ridiculous amount of time to spend in classes per week, who could have a job on the side?

L - L3 Anglophone studies is also a great idea, will start looking into those. I know my mom will support me when she sees how much work I did to come back for another year, but that doesn't mean she'll be happy about it...

Andromeda said...

Good luck figuring out visa stuff, I'm in the same boat right now.

I kinda wish my parents were a little more upset about me staying for a while. It's nice that they're so cool about it, so I don't freak out either, but sometimes I'm like, hey, don't you even miss me?? But they have grandkids now, so maybe that's filling the void. Any siblings to take care of that for you?

au soleil levant said...

Thanks Andromeda. I bet your parents are just really happy that you're so happy, and looking forward to visiting you! I am a proud aunt now, but they haven't moved back to MI yet. Maybe after they move?

Zhu said...

Been there done that... It was a little bit difficult the day my parents realized I was going to stay in Canada. Before, it was just "temporary" and I had to go back to France because of my short terms visas... but my mum actually went to pick up my permanent residence visa for me in Paris a few years ago and I only realized what it meant for her when she called me. I was happy because to me, it meant I could stay in Canada as long as I wanted. She wasn't thrilled for exactly the same reason. Life's like that...

Your parents want you to be happy (despite the terrible teen trauma you suffered with your driver's license :D )

The visa thing... that sucks though. It is a hassle for employers I guess but still...!

au soleil levant said...

Thanks for sharing Zhu. I know I would only be staying in France for a year longer because I'll loose health insurance in the US (and loose it for good, no one would ever insure me again), so they wouldn't have to worry about me never coming back to live on the same continent as them. And I know they would eventually get behind me, just that they would voice their initial opposition.