After all the preparations for traveling abroad I've been making for the past months, it will be a relief to finally get there, although I'm by no means finished with paperwork. The French are entirely too fond of it. Although I have my long-stay visa, I'll need to apply for a residency permit once I get there, which requires a medical exam and a €55 stamp (which I'm quite curious about). According to the Poitiers transportation website, I need an identity photo in order to get a bus pass for the academic year. I'll need to obtain a French cell phone as soon as possible (in the meantime, I'll be incurring international roaming charges of $1.49 a minute - very short conversations), though I haven't decided between a year-long contract and the pay-as-you-go plans. The normal logistics of college life all seem much more intimidating when conducted in a foreign language.
However, I'm looking forward to meeting my host family and beginning orientation. From the research I've done on Poitiers, it seems like it will be a nice city to live in. The next 18 hours or so, and the leave-taking they entail, seem like the most frightening part of the whole experience. Hopefully that's a good sign, and when next you hear from me, I will be well on the way to immersing myself in la vie poitevine.