Soccer and Geneva, you’re on my list.

I’m supposed to present at the European Writing Centers Association Conference at the University of Education in Freiburg, Germany, on June 21st. Two former colleagues from the University of Michigan-Flint Writing Center and I will be doing a 90 minute workshop titled “Tutors, Training and Border Crossings: Beyond the Textual Relationship.” I’ll be handling the ESL section on tutoring international students and tutor training.

Problem #1: The European Soccer Championship is being held in 8 cities in Switzerland and Austria during the month of June. This means almost all hotels are booked, even in Germany, because apparently Europeans think they are superior to the rest of the world in soccer and the World Cup just doesn’t matter because there are too many non-European teams mucking up the tournament. But I digress… Of course I still don’t have any hotel reservations anywhere, and it’s only like 3 weeks away! Starting to freak out a little…

Problem #2: I’m going to take a train because it will probably be the same price or cheaper than driving, but it’s shorter to go through Switzerland – which means an annoying change in Geneva. There are trains between Annecy and Geneva of course, but they arrive at the Eaux-Vives station. I will need to be at the Cornavin station for the train that goes to Freiburg. And for some strange reason, there is no train service connecting these two stations! Well, there will be in like 2010 or 2012 , but this “construction” rumor has been going around for the past century (I’m not even kidding). This is why so many people choose to drive to work in Geneva and why construction on a new highway between Annecy and Geneva is nearly finished. Whatever happened to the love of public transportation, France and Switzerland?

Problem #3: I have no money because I have no job. This conference is probably going to cost me more than 200 €, but I’m hoping to network a little and find a job in some academic setting. I miss the world of academia. Though French universities aren’t exactly known for being excellent and I’m not even sure if many of them have Writing Centers, and I’m sort of tied down to Annecy because of David’s job… so my hopes aren’t too high for finding a job. Which means I’ll still have no money because I’ll have no job. It’s a vicious circle.

But hey, I can add this to my resume, I get to visit Germany again (yay Black Forest!), AND I get to see friends from Michigan whom I miss dearly. So it’s totally worth the stress and debt. But it really does make me hate the soccer obsession in Europe even more…

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  • Justin

    My fingers are crossed for you. I was traveling in Germany during the world cup and I know what a nightmare it can be to find a place to stay. Good luck, and I hope you find something soon.

  • Justin

    My fingers are crossed for you. I was traveling in Germany during the world cup and I know what a nightmare it can be to find a place to stay. Good luck, and I hope you find something soon.

  • L

    You can apply for unemployment benefits with the Academie to help until you find other work. I did last year, and I had the right to 400-500€ a month for about 7 months. I registered the first week of July and I got my first check in October (for the period July-Oct), so it’s not quick by any means, but it’s better than nothing.

    As for lodging, if you’re into it, there’s Couchsurfing. There’s a link on my profile, but basically it’s a website to link up people who are willing to host travelers for free, and travelers who are willing to sleep on a strangers couch. I did it in Florence, Boston, and London and had great experiences and I’ve also hosted a few times. It’s always an option if you really can’t find a hotel and you’re willing to sleep on a couch and use someone’s grungy bathroom. Plus it’s free.

    And if there’s on thing I can say from my experience looking for a job, it’s that networking is really important. I think a lot of offers are “coup de piston”.

  • L

    You can apply for unemployment benefits with the Academie to help until you find other work. I did last year, and I had the right to 400-500€ a month for about 7 months. I registered the first week of July and I got my first check in October (for the period July-Oct), so it’s not quick by any means, but it’s better than nothing. As for lodging, if you’re into it, there’s Couchsurfing. There’s a link on my profile, but basically it’s a website to link up people who are willing to host travelers for free, and travelers who are willing to sleep on a strangers couch. I did it in Florence, Boston, and London and had great experiences and I’ve also hosted a few times. It’s always an option if you really can’t find a hotel and you’re willing to sleep on a couch and use someone’s grungy bathroom. Plus it’s free.And if there’s on thing I can say from my experience looking for a job, it’s that networking is really important. I think a lot of offers are “coup de piston”.

  • Baptiste

    For the travel from Anecy to Geneva, there’s a bus line quite cheap (15CHF each way).
    You can check the timetable there :
    http://www.blumaise.org/blog/archives/2007/03/horaires_de_bus_annecy_geneve.html

  • Baptiste

    For the travel from Anecy to Geneva, there’s a bus line quite cheap (15CHF each way).You can check the timetable there :http://www.blumaise.org/blog/archives/2007/03/horaires_de_bus_annecy_geneve.html

  • Jennie

    Thanks Baptiste. I do know about that bus, but it’s actually cheaper to take the train to Eaux-Vives (5,20 €) and then the tram to Cornavin (3 CHF) because I have the Carte 12-25.

  • Jennie

    Thanks Baptiste. I do know about that bus, but it’s actually cheaper to take the train to Eaux-Vives (5,20 €) and then the tram to Cornavin (3 CHF) because I have the Carte 12-25.

  • Milie

    Hi Jennie,
    If you don’t have the unemployment benefits, you may have the right for RMI – Revenue Minimum d’Insertion – ?
    It’s a real vicious circle. But at least you have your partner, and he works ;-0 Courage and patience Jennie!

  • Milie

    Hi Jennie,If you don’t have the unemployment benefits, you may have the right for RMI – Revenue Minimum d’Insertion – ? It’s a real vicious circle. But at least you have your partner, and he works ;-0 Courage and patience Jennie!

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In January 2010, I started focusing more on teaching and learning languages in general. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at the university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling (though now my trips are usually in Australia) and being an American abroad.

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