how the hell do i get the money to do this, anyway?

As the title says.

For Japan, I got an AFS scholarship that happened to only be for New Jersey high school students, so it wasn’t particularly well-publicized or competitive. That was almost completely sheer luck. I also happened to like Japanese pop and animé so much that I went to Manhattan once a week for Japanese classes. Also luck. My parents are also the kind of people that wouldn’t let me pass up an opportunity like that, even if it meant their teenage daughter’d be on the other side of the globe for a year. That was a TON of luck. At the time, a lot of my friends’ parents were comparatively pretty strict.

France is another problem. I’ll be going to Paris through the Stanford-in-Paris program next quarter (Spring quarter), so that will be covered by my regular tuition fees. But for the fall and winter quarters, I would really like to enroll independently in the Sorbonne. I can take classes at the Sorbonne through the Stanford-in-Paris program, but that means I’d have to pay Stanford tuition (pretty hefty, especially since I’m taking out tons of loans already).

Taking two quarters off and enrolling independently directly in the Sorbonne would

1. Save me tons of money (their tuition is $500!!!)
2. Make me eligible for French national health insurance (Stanford’s Cardinal Care is like $700 a quarter!!!) because I’d be a full-time French student with a temporary residence permit.
3. Keep me away from Stanford students and anglophones, which leads me to
4. Immerse me pretty much completely in French.

But, the drawbacks!

1. Even if I take the same classes at the Sorbonne that I could take through Stanford-in-Paris, I won’t get credit for them if I’m not an enrolled Stanford student.
2. I’d have to find and pay for my own apartment.
3. Stanford can’t help me at all. That means I need to find my own internship if I plan to do one in France, and I can’t take Stanford classes or get assistance or guidance from them.
4. I’d have to deal with the French bureaucratic system on my own. This is actually my biggest worry.

Anyway, as for financing myself just to live there, I have to figure out a way to work from France. My parents probably wouldn’t leave me stranded in Europe until I beg for change, but I need to show them that I’m capable of not having to rely on them for money all the time. I have a job here, but that ends when I leave in three weeks. With a temporary residence permit I can’t work in France, but I think I can have some kind of income if I work online. You know, like PayPal.

So, I’m thinking e-commerce. My dad should get a kick out of it; he’s been in the VoIP and WiFi business for years. Plus I’m a Stanford student, and having your own business or startup seems like a rite of passage. Now to think of a niche and a good business model.

But before that, I’d like to bitch about passports and visas.


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This is a blog of things place-related, by a cash-strapped Stanford grad who's lived in various places and writes about life. She's currently looking for a job in Manhattan or the Bay Area.

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