Unemployed

I said goodbye to a lot of good friends this past weekend. They’re all returning to their home countries soon. Fortunately not everyone had to go. The lucky EU citizens can stay here as long as they’d like, so my British and Irish friends are still sticking around for the summer.

Monday was my very last day of work. The first class didn’t show up and the second class was fine. It was a rather uneventful last day. I received a few presents last week: Savoy candy, Les Expressions Savoyarde en B.D., and cards signed by the students.

I’m not really sure what to do with myself now that I’m unemployed. I try to work on my website as often as possible, but it’s hard to just sit here and type all day. I’m a little preoccupied with my trip back home too. I’ll be in London in 3 days and the US in 5 days.

Tomorrow I plan on packing all day and then Saturday is David’s and my 6 month anniversary. We don’t really have anything planned except going to bed early since I have to take the 7 am bus to Geneva on Sunday morning.

My list of things to do and things to buy in the US keeps getting longer. Sometimes I can’t believe how expensive some things are in France (12 € for sunblock?!?) but then I remember how expensive some things are in the US ($20,000 for one semester of university?!?) Overall, it seems that Europeans have it better since essential things like education and healthcare are affordable. I will gladly pay extra for the little things in order to have health insurance. I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that 45 million Americans have no health insurance, which is more than the entire population of Spain.

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  • Lucas

    Jennie, I love the new layout of your webpage and blog. Nice colors, easy on the eyes. I also wanted to tell you that I’m studying Russian again and your tutorial is where I’m starting. It’s awesome.Congrats on finishing your thesis! I just wrapped mine up to and am defending on Friday. I hope you get the assistantship for next year.

  • Lucas

    Jennie, I love the new layout of your webpage and blog. Nice colors, easy on the eyes. I also wanted to tell you that I’m studying Russian again and your tutorial is where I’m starting. It’s awesome.

    Congrats on finishing your thesis! I just wrapped mine up to and am defending on Friday. I hope you get the assistantship for next year.

  • Ludger

    I just came across an old e-mail from an Indian friend, where he sent me the link to your website about Indo-European languages. And then I see your blog, where you write about struggling to stay in France. I had to smile: A friend of mine from Germany is since about 5 years in the States, working as an assistant at St. Cloud University, MN and studying and teaching Creative Writing. She has just the student permission to stay, has no job for the summer, no health insurance, a big bill from hospital, is about to lose her flat and fears she has to return back to Germany… Quite some mirroring parallels. Myself I’m no longer studying since 25 years, from Germany, but living with my family in Switzerland, and blogging in English blog.good-will.ch Good luck with continuing your studies & stay in France!Ludger

  • Ludger

    I just came across an old e-mail from an Indian friend, where he sent me the link to your website about Indo-European languages. And then I see your blog, where you write about struggling to stay in France. I had to smile: A friend of mine from Germany is since about 5 years in the States, working as an assistant at St. Cloud University, MN and studying and teaching Creative Writing. She has just the student permission to stay, has no job for the summer, no health insurance, a big bill from hospital, is about to lose her flat and fears she has to return back to Germany… Quite some mirroring parallels.
    Myself I’m no longer studying since 25 years, from Germany, but living with my family in Switzerland, and blogging in English blog.good-will.ch
    Good luck with continuing your studies & stay in France!
    Ludger

  • Petra

    Hi Jennie,greetings from Minnesota!I’m the person Ludger is talking about in his previous post :-). How strange those parallels are between us!!! Quite mysterious. How does it feel to be back now? I’m guessing you’ll be in the U.S. when you check in here the next time, won’t you? My situation is reversed to yours. I live in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, and have been here since 2002. After working as a technician in a chemcial lab for 16 years in Germany, I moved here and received my undergraduate degree in Linguistics and Creative Writing. Right now, I’m a TA in the English department where I teach freshmen composition, going for a general master’s degree. I was to be done with the grad program this spring semester, but they offered me a new TA contract for the academic year of 07/08. So, I took that as a sign that I was supposed to stay;-). Ludger is right about almost everything he says about me, except for the Health Insurance part. I do have it, because it’s mandatory for international students. It just doesn’t cover anything that I would need it for (hospital bills and dental costs). You are right, health insurance isn’t anything Americans think of much. However, Europeans live in constant worry about not being “insured” against whatever life is throwing at them. There is a general thinking patterns, I find to be very dominant in Europe, in particular Germany, that concerns matters of safety and security in LIFE in general. I wonder if you feel about Europe the way I feel about the States (?). When I came here five years ago, it felt like coming home to me. Do you feel like that about France? Or is it that you would like to stay there because of your boyfriend? Whatever it is, I wish you good luck on your endeavours!! Keep your head up – your home is where your heart is!

  • Petra

    Hi Jennie,
    greetings from Minnesota!

    I’m the person Ludger is talking about in his previous post :-). How strange those parallels are between us!!! Quite mysterious.

    How does it feel to be back now? I’m guessing you’ll be in the U.S. when you check in here the next time, won’t you?

    My situation is reversed to yours. I live in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, and have been here since 2002. After working as a technician in a chemcial lab for 16 years in Germany, I moved here and received my undergraduate degree in Linguistics and Creative Writing. Right now, I’m a TA in the English department where I teach freshmen composition, going for a general master’s degree. I was to be done with the grad program this spring semester, but they offered me a new TA contract for the academic year of 07/08. So, I took that as a sign that I was supposed to stay;-).

    Ludger is right about almost everything he says about me, except for the Health Insurance part. I do have it, because it’s mandatory for international students. It just doesn’t cover anything that I would need it for (hospital bills and dental costs). You are right, health insurance isn’t anything Americans think of much. However, Europeans live in constant worry about not being “insured” against whatever life is throwing at them. There is a general thinking patterns, I find to be very dominant in Europe, in particular Germany, that concerns matters of safety and security in LIFE in general.

    I wonder if you feel about Europe the way I feel about the States (?). When I came here five years ago, it felt like coming home to me. Do you feel like that about France? Or is it that you would like to stay there because of your boyfriend?

    Whatever it is, I wish you good luck on your endeavours!! Keep your head up – your home is where your heart is!

  • Felipe Alonso

    It’s always a hard thing to deal with… the fact of being unemployed… I graduated last year from university, and I spent the Summer (well, here in Southamerica while you have Winter, we enjoy Summer) looking for a job, and it could be very embarrassing when you’re asked the typical party question: What are you doing right now? and you feel ashamed to acknowledge “not much…”. Well, that was my case until I got the job I’m in nowadays, despite I don’t find it “exciting or mind-blowing”, but it’s a job anyway, and the job situation is not easy for us, Physical Therapists, in Chile… I hope you don’t feel bad for being unemployed… You know that’s something temporary, like everything else in this world… Nothing last forever. At least, you have the chance to live in Europe, and to visit many countries, and that’s not an option for many of us… at least, for a while. I send you a big hug and keep on trying with languages!!! ¡Adiós!

  • Felipe Alonso

    It’s always a hard thing to deal with… the fact of being unemployed…
    I graduated last year from university, and I spent the Summer (well, here in Southamerica while you have Winter, we enjoy Summer) looking for a job, and it could be very embarrassing when you’re asked the typical party question: What are you doing right now? and you feel ashamed to acknowledge “not much…”.
    Well, that was my case until I got the job I’m in nowadays, despite I don’t find it “exciting or mind-blowing”, but it’s a job anyway, and the job situation is not easy for us, Physical Therapists, in Chile…

    I hope you don’t feel bad for being unemployed… You know that’s something temporary, like everything else in this world… Nothing last forever.

    At least, you have the chance to live in Europe, and to visit many countries, and that’s not an option for many of us… at least, for a while.

    I send you a big hug and keep on trying with languages!!!

    ¡Adiós!

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 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 a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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