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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Add this to your pile of stories. Had my appointment at 13:00 and stood outside waiting like everyone else. Went in, was given a pile of papers, and waiting in a room with others who were also married to a French Citizens. They played the life in France video and the lady began speaking about a bunch of things... I didn't understand SHAT! WELL...maybe a little. There was a man beside me, from Egypt but also had Italian citizenship, who had married his professor...interested I was, indeed!
He was helping to translate some of the things I didn't understand and be began saying that I would take my attestations to the préfecture to get my carte de séjour...i started freaking out until he told me that he had an Italian passport. I explained that it would be different for me and that my visa was my titre de séjour for the first year. Anyways, had the x-ray and then I was directed to a room where the woman was asking for my address, phone number, etc. Then came the questions of "Do you have a social security and if I had a degree!" I couldn't spit out the situation that my husband and I were in the process of trying to put me on his social security and that I will be finishing my degree, online next year, with my school back in states. I'll be honest, this lady was RUDE! It was here and few others taking people in the ask questions... I knew I would get the rude impatient one! Well, she called a number and some British woman was translating for both of us. I knew what she was saying at other times but I didn't know how to respond to all of the questions....AHHH. She had no patience whatsoever but if she had I probably could have spit some understandable sentences out. She then proceeded to give me an appointment to have my french tested on July 6th and said that I wouldn't be able to take my civics classes until September...is that normal? Anyways, I then went upstairs, was weighed, and a blood test given because I'm a little chubby... :-(
I explained that this wasn't my normal weight and that I had gained some weight in the past year. Besides all of that, my blood sugar is fine and my blood pressure is perfect! I also told them that I've been running, which is true!!! I went home back in August, first time in 3 years, and my mother freaked out and kept forcing food on me because I looked too skinny...lol. Before I left for France I also stuffed my face with everything I knew I would miss...anything with pepperoni on it and ranch Hahaha.

Anyways, I then spoke with the doctor and she was amazed with all the metal in my back (I had scoliosis surgery when I was 11) and then she became very interested when I told her I had surgery for Arnold chiari malformation (basically the stem of my brain is longer and bigger because I have extra brain cells. It was blocking the flow of my spinal fluid. This used to be very rare but not so much anymore, but still rare in France.) She stated that she had never seen anyone with the rods in their back but that people have come in with untreated scoliosis. So, it was an interesting day for us both, haha. After everything checked out okay I got my vignette and that was it. Everyone, besides the one lady I spoke of, was very nice. I know a lot of girls can be weird out about showing their boobs but I was perfectly fine since I've had serious surgery before, which required a lot of nudity.


So, is it normal to take the civic courses at a later date? I never even had my thing with pole emploi.....
 

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Yeah, no problem with putting off the civics class until September. We're smack at the start of the summer vacation schedule, and it's nearly impossible to schedule much of anything during the months of July and August. (Vacations are high priority here in France!)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Sounds like my experience but I didn't have a rude lady at all. In fact, everyone was really nice. I spoke enough French to get a "pass" out of the required classes thank god. Ugh. I finally finished all my classes as of last week so I am DONE!

Sept would make sense since we are entering the summer vacation like Bev said. All the immigration requirements (classes and appts) were such a waste of time except the civics class. It was like a college history class and I learned a lot. The "Life in France" class was a total waste and I didn't hear anything I didn't already hear in the civics. Also, we ended 2 hours early and had to sit in the class room and do nothing due to the hour requirements and regulations. Bleah.

Just make sure you keep all your appts and get those pieces of paper that they give you as the end of all appts and classes as you will need those to show to whomever to get your renewal card.
 

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You know, when you're anxious the world seems much less welcoming. So it's possible that, since you were probably more anxious on arrival, that the first lady you saw seemed more rude than might actually have been the case, Just saying.

They will contact you about the dates, times and locations of your various classes, as well as your interview with Pole Emploi.

Don't worry so much (I know, it's easy for me to say that) and try to go with the flow.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sounds like my experience but I didn't have a rude lady at all. In fact, everyone was really nice. I spoke enough French to get a "pass" out of the required classes thank god. Ugh. I finally finished all my classes as of last week so I am DONE!

Sept would make sense since we are entering the summer vacation like Bev said. All the immigration requirements (classes and appts) were such a waste of time except the civics class. It was like a college history class and I learned a lot. The "Life in France" class was a total waste and I didn't hear anything I didn't already hear in the civics. Also, we ended 2 hours early and had to sit in the class room and do nothing due to the hour requirements and regulations. Bleah.

Just make sure you keep all your appts and get those pieces of paper that they give you as the end of all appts and classes as you will need those to show to whomever to get your renewal card.
Ah, well the life in France video was useless to me because I didn't understand half of it...it was a bit hard to hear though because there was a screaming baby in there...

As for the attestations this is what I have so far:
attestation session d'information sur la vie en France
Attestation de dispense d'un bilan de compétences professionnelles
and then I got a paper that shows that I have had my medical called, certificat de controle medical

I'm assuming I need the language attestation and the civics courses one... Is that right? Does the civics class give this attestation? I assume my DILF exam will then be my attestation for knowing enough French. I also have my contract with the French government, lol.

How many attestations did you get?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ah, well the life in France video was useless to me because I didn't understand half of it...it was a bit hard to hear though because there was a screaming baby in there...

As for the attestations this is what I have so far:
attestation session d'information sur la vie en France
Attestation de dispense d'un bilan de compétences professionnelles
and then I got a paper that shows that I have had my medical called, certificat de controle medical

I'm assuming I need the language attestation and the civics courses one... Is that right? Does the civics class give this attestation? I assume my DILF exam will then be my attestation for knowing enough French. I also have my contract with the French government, lol.

How many attestations did you get?
And I just realized that the Attestation de dispense d'un bilan de compétences professionnelles is kind of like the person who helps you with a resume, cover letter, etc. correct? It states "n'est pas soumis à la réalisation d'un bilan de compétences professionnelles"
Which I assume it means that I don't need it or have to have it?
This wasn't pole emploi was it? Dear God I'm confused. I remember the lady showing the papers needed...but there was the screaming baby and I couldn't understand everything!!!


Anyways, I wish I could get this stuff done and over with. My husband and I don't know what to do about vacation because of the French classes... I would assume they would give me days off to spend vacation with the hubby? Or, they won't be open during August? He wants to plan something now but we don't know what to do!!!
 

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If your French assessment is July 6th, go ahead and plan your vacation any time after that (but before September). At the assessment, just mention to them that you have vacation planned from whenever to whenever. It shouldn't be a big problem - chances are, any language classes you would be required to attend can be adjusted for your vacation plans.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If your French assessment is July 6th, go ahead and plan your vacation any time after that (but before September). At the assessment, just mention to them that you have vacation planned from whenever to whenever. It shouldn't be a big problem - chances are, any language classes you would be required to attend can be adjusted for your vacation plans.
Cheers,
Bev
Okay, I'll tell the hubby to start planning. Also, do you know if they will work around my little job? I'm not sure of this, but I typically work from 4 - 7 everyday and I might work from 1-7 on Wednesdays... So, I'm a bit confused with this. Some people told me that they had classes 3 days a week for 7 hours a day...

They also sent me to villejuif... Which is a bit far from where I live. It's farther west than Créteil, I'm seriously wondering if this is the closest place for me to go. This means, for classes from 8 am, that I'll have to get up at 6 am just to get ready, leave by 6:50 to get there by 8 (counting the time I need to walk to each metro station and blah blah). It takes about 40-45 minutes just on the metro. Crazy! There has to be somewhere closer than that.
 

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You know, when you're anxious the world seems much less welcoming. So it's possible that, since you were probably more anxious on arrival, that the first lady you saw seemed more rude than might actually have been the case, Just saying.
In my experience here, it's really just a crapshoot. Some people just are rude/cold for no apparent reason (not connected to me), others are really friendly and helpful, others are kind of friendly-teasing-playful, others are just neutral. Even when it's the same context, with me or whoever being anxious or not. However, yes, one's attitude can impact perception too. And of course it's good to have an open mind and try to let things flow (I've noticed that here...if you question things, even someone who was friendly might turn annoyed lol).

And in any country I'm sure you have the rude ones, the nice ones, etc. !

my two cents!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
In my experience here, it's really just a crapshoot. Some people just are rude/cold for no apparent reason (not connected to me), others are really friendly and helpful, others are kind of friendly-teasing-playful, others are just neutral. Even when it's the same context, with me or whoever being anxious or not. However, yes, one's attitude can impact perception too. And of course it's good to have an open mind and try to let things flow (I've noticed that here...if you question things, even someone who was friendly might turn annoyed lol).

And in any country I'm sure you have the rude ones, the nice ones, etc. !

my two cents!
Yeah, I agree. I actually wasn't anxious...just sat there dumbfounded by some of the things being said...I don't know, the lady was okay until I couldn't communicate. Thinking back now, I realize I was one of the last people. She was huffing and puffing and even got really testy on the phone with the translator because the lady was trying to quickly dot down all the loads of questions and information that I needed. I also noticed some of the other workers peaking in and kind of giggling. Kind of upset me a little because I was really, really try... :( I felt so stupid. My speaking is a bit better because the hubby and I will talk at night before going to bed but I'm not knowledgeable with the terminology in these matters. Surprisingly I can remember the masc. and fem. very easily...so, I have my strong points in the language. Now I do have this issue with 'yaourt.' My husband and I had a lot of fun with this word one night because of the way I said it. Finally got it right after 10 minutes but I have to say it VERY slowly, haha.

Anyways, everyone else was very nice but this woman. Oh well, I can't expect everyone to be nice about the lack of ones mother tongue in their homeland. I know I had my moments when interacting with Mexican immigrants while living in California. I was patient for the most part but it can be trying at times...
 

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Okay, I'll tell the hubby to start planning. Also, do you know if they will work around my little job? I'm not sure of this, but I typically work from 4 - 7 everyday and I might work from 1-7 on Wednesdays... So, I'm a bit confused with this. Some people told me that they had classes 3 days a week for 7 hours a day...

They also sent me to villejuif... Which is a bit far from where I live. It's farther west than Créteil, I'm seriously wondering if this is the closest place for me to go. This means, for classes from 8 am, that I'll have to get up at 6 am just to get ready, leave by 6:50 to get there by 8 (counting the time I need to walk to each metro station and blah blah). It takes about 40-45 minutes just on the metro. Crazy! There has to be somewhere closer than that.
You may have to make arrangements with your job when the matter of classes comes up. The classes are full-day classes. But it's amazing how little French you have to know to get out of them altogether. Take it one step at a time.

If it's the language assessment at Villejuif, it's just a one time thing. Wait until you're assigned to classes and then ask if there isn't another location more accessible from where you live.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Ieatfood,

You will get these "certificates" at the end of each appointment or class. It literally looks like something you could frame. LOL. I got one at the end of my employment appt, civics class, Life in France class and so on... they are super important to keep. In fact, just to be safe, it would be good if you can scan them and keep them on a thumb drive. You can always print them out (in color) later if needed. They will be important when you need to renew after your first year is up. Although someone on here said when they renewed they weren't asked for them. That would actually make me angry as it took a lot of time and effort to get these.

When you renew, you will actually get a card rather than having something in your passport. The first year is hard because of all the requirements one has to fill. As for the languages classes, it's all over the place. I met people in my Life in France class that knew more French than I do and they got stuck with classes! We compared notes and we were all shocked at how arbitrary it seemed. I was really lucky but I took Bev's advice before my appt and brushed up on what I thought they might ask. Simple stuff but it worked.

I'm so glad I am all done because I feel like I can plan things i.e. volunteering at a film festival in another country and so forth... Just make sure you keep all the appts and do that best you can. Go with the flow and you will be done before you know it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ieatfood,

You will get these "certificates" at the end of each appointment or class. It literally looks like something you could frame. LOL. I got one at the end of my employment appt, civics class, Life in France class and so on... they are super important to keep. In fact, just to be safe, it would be good if you can scan them and keep them on a thumb drive. You can always print them out (in color) later if needed. They will be important when you need to renew after your first year is up. Although someone on here said when they renewed they weren't asked for them. That would actually make me angry as it took a lot of time and effort to get these.

When you renew, you will actually get a card rather than having something in your passport. The first year is hard because of all the requirements one has to fill. As for the languages classes, it's all over the place. I met people in my Life in France class that knew more French than I do and they got stuck with classes! We compared notes and we were all shocked at how arbitrary it seemed. I was really lucky but I took Bev's advice before my appt and brushed up on what I thought they might ask. Simple stuff but it worked.

I'm so glad I am all done because I feel like I can plan things i.e. volunteering at a film festival in another country and so forth... Just make sure you keep all the appts and do that best you can. Go with the flow and you will be done before you know it.
Do you mind telling me what the test was like and was they seem to base their questions on? Someone told me to know a lot of vocabulary and verbs... Was it like filling in the blank for the test? Lol

Thanks to everyone for their information. Let's hope I can get out of this thing because I learn better on my own. The French classes I had last summer and the French class I had at University was not help to me. I'm not into the total immersion thing. I'm the type of person that has to study the grammar and such.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ieatfood,

You will get these "certificates" at the end of each appointment or class. It literally looks like something you could frame. LOL. I got one at the end of my employment appt, civics class, Life in France class and so on... they are super important to keep. In fact, just to be safe, it would be good if you can scan them and keep them on a thumb drive. You can always print them out (in color) later if needed. They will be important when you need to renew after your first year is up. Although someone on here said when they renewed they weren't asked for them. That would actually make me angry as it took a lot of time and effort to get these.

When you renew, you will actually get a card rather than having something in your passport. The first year is hard because of all the requirements one has to fill. As for the languages classes, it's all over the place. I met people in my Life in France class that knew more French than I do and they got stuck with classes! We compared notes and we were all shocked at how arbitrary it seemed. I was really lucky but I took Bev's advice before my appt and brushed up on what I thought they might ask. Simple stuff but it worked.

I'm so glad I am all done because I feel like I can plan things i.e. volunteering at a film festival in another country and so forth... Just make sure you keep all the appts and do that best you can. Go with the flow and you will be done before you know it.

Ah, opps! When you said that my experience sounded like yours I assumed you also had to go somewhere to take a test. :)
 

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And I just realized that the Attestation de dispense d'un bilan de compétences professionnelles is kind of like the person who helps you with a resume, cover letter, etc. correct? It states "n'est pas soumis à la réalisation d'un bilan de compétences professionnelles"
Which I assume it means that I don't need it or have to have it?
This wasn't pole emploi was it? Dear God I'm confused.
Hi,

We passed the OFII before yesterday, and she told us that she gave my wife this "Attestation de dispense d'un bilan de compétences professionnelles" because her french level was too little, so she won't have an appointment for the "job day" from their services.

Cheers,
William
 
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