Friday, September 18, 2009

Returning to my first love...

Hello! My name is Jay Prosser. I’m in my fourth year at Valdosta State. I’m dual majoring in history and French with a minor in international studies.

I’m originally from Atlanta. I came to VSU because it was, quite honestly, the furthest point I could get from home and still pull the HOPE scholarship. At first, it seemed like I would go four years and out with little excitement. Then the honors director suggested I study abroad. The summer of 2008 brought my first taste of international jaunts when I left for Paris for the summer. I spent five weeks falling deeper and deeper in love with the country and the culture. I came back convinced that I had to return, for a year this time.

I planned and was accepted by International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) for a yearlong study in Grenoble, France. Grenoble is to the southeast of Paris in a region known as the Rhône-Alps. It is nestled at the base of the French Alps and serves as the base for all the busses that run to the ski resorts in the mountains.

This blog will hopefully follow all the exploits I have in Grenoble - from the jazz festival in late fall to the wine tastings in early January to the film festival in May – all designed to keep me involved and make me explore. I want to come back from Grenoble nearly fluent in French and knowing that I truly immersed myself in the culture.

Getting to this point however, was not easy.

The ISEP process is long. It takes nearly half a year to complete your paperwork and receive approval from the Program. Once this is accomplished, you have to work with the Consul General for the Republic of France. Located in Atlanta, the Consulate is in charge of issuing all visas for the southeast United States. They have their own list of requirements necessary for a visa to be issued.

After a hectic summer, it was all taken care of though. I was finally cleared and ready for a year in France.

Mostly ready anyway.

* As part of the International Student Exchange Program, Jay Prosser is studying abroad in Grenoble, France for the 2009-10 academic year.