PS: Open the links; it will help understanding this whole blog 🙂
https://ke.ambafrance.org/Call-for-applications-recruitment-of-language-assistants-3827, I first received this link from my dad, sometime late last year maybe November. (It talked about the program, Language Assistants in France) I opened it but I did not understand half of it, plus it was in French, I don’t think you could translate the page at that time, but even translated I still could not understand how the application worked. It also needed reference from a French Teacher and immediately I felt lazy to do the application.
A few weeks later my French lecturer in school, Dr. Wandia, sent me the same link. I thought this couldn’t be just a mere coincidence. So I looked into it and this time round I contacted my former colleagues at Alliance Française to help me. I later got to see this video, https://www.facebook.com/Ambassade.de.France.au.Kenya/videos/1975109009234841/ , which further explained about the program.
I got the help I needed at that time and made it to the first meeting at the French Embassy. It was just a run through on how to fill in the application plus the most convenient cities to choose to go work, since the application included a section where one was to put their 3 favorable cities/places they wanted. Being the first ever group in Kenya to participate in the program, we had the privilege of meeting the French President, H.E Mr. Emmanuel Macron, during his visit to Kenya earlier this year.
It’s funny because the list of the qualified applicants was out and I never knew it till the day for meeting the president. It should have clicked in my mind that I had qualified, since we were earlier informed that the qualified candidates would receive an invitation to go see the French President. Need I say my name was the second one the list.
So fast forward, I later came to know that I was placed in an Island (Guadeloupe) which made me excited but knowing what I know now versus what I knew before, it would not be in any of my options (no offense). Simply because my flight was difficult to find, most airlines did not reach the Islands and the ones that did, were super expensive!!!!! My flight was like twice or thrice the amount my other acquaintances were paying (oh 70 applicants were selected). No one had informed me about this, looking back I just remember the Embassy emphasizing on not picking Paris as it was expensive to live there and it also mentioned the coldest and warmest regions during winter. I forgot to mention but the Embassy only catered for our Visa fee.
PS: The Schengen Visa allows one to travel to 26 countries commonly known as The Schengen Area.
To add, I will be teaching 3 different schools that are like 15 minutes apart. It will be a new challenge and a whole new experience; however one should note that the pay will be the same as the rest teaching in one school. I would advise anyone interested in applying to consider such factors and ask as many questions as possible. Since I am expected to work 12hrs a week, it has now been divided that I will work 4hrs in each of the schools per week.
In the midst of all that was happening an appointment letter was sent and from it, one was supposed to get the contact information for the school(s) and start contacting them prior to one’s arrival. This was to help on matters accommodation and all that good stuff, so some schools offered accommodation some did not; unfortunately, all 3 of mine did not. However, the Embassy played a great deal in helping people figure out renting places or have a rough idea on how to go about it.
One of the other things that made me nervous was that I needed to make a self transfer from one airport in Paris to another one almost an hour away to get my connecting flight to Guadeloupe, and this had to be done in a span of 3hrs. Meaning I had to check out in Charles de Gaulle airport get my heavy bags and figure out where to buy a bus or a train ticket to Orly airport. Thankfully (haha if this is even English) correspondents from the Embassy, helped in giving a brief orientation on how that would go about it, but as we know guys, the situation on the ground is always different (inside joke).
Months later, 25th September, to be exact, 2 fully packed bags with an excess of 2kgs this Luhya girl was ready for a journey of a lifetime.