Papers,Documents, Dossiers, Photos and More

21 Sep

Papers, Documents, Dossiers, Photos and More

During my first entire week being here in Strasbourg, I have discovered a few things, especially concerning bureaucracy and administration. Each country is different; one must be aware and understanding of such differences. However, at times, the administrative system can be too much for one person. It can be enough to drive one crazy.

As I went thru my inscription to the University of Strasbourg, I found that it was far more complicated that I originally thought. I was asked to provide not one but multiple pieces of ID, a French bank account and all its private information( that includes the bank’s number within that bank system,and all those little details), both addresses( here and home), and a photo as well. There was more but I’ve forgotten as the list is pretty long.  This also includes photocopies of passports and etc…Had this been at Purdue, I would have had to show ID, maybe one or two documents (certainly NOT bank information) and perhaps a transcript of sorts. In order to be registered completely with the school and even the residence halls, you have to have a French bank account. International ones are simply not accepted. I find that a little bit extreme; however, it’s simply a French thing. Why so much more in depth information?( Perhaps it’s the socialized system?). While this can be a good thing, this also makes it so that there are multiple situations one can be in. For people with immigrant status, different documents have to be provided than for natives. This makes it very difficult for the people dealing with the public. They have to know their stuff backwards and forwards, which isn’t always the case. It certainly makes me grateful for the fast processing of the United States and at Purdue University when dealing with transcripts, college applications and acceptance letters. I’m also far more grateful for the organization and the planning put into everything. Even BGR week has hours of work put into it, deciding where students will go, will live, what activities they will participate in and what groups they will be put in. It’s a very different change from my first day freshmen year at Purdue.

One simply has to fill out lots of forms, and then be patient. That’s a test in itself. Therefore, until then, I’ll be waiting for my student card (student ID for all Purdue kids reading this). It takes a week normally to receive it; it’s very key for everything here. Without it, we don’t get discounts for transportation on the trams and buses. We can’t enter the dining courts or university restaurants without it( paying in cash is not an option there), you must use the money that’s on your card…we also cannot go to the gym in the meanwhile as we need the sticker on our card as proof that we paid our dues to be able to use the gym. Overall, it’s not a very efficient system.

I had the unfortunate experience of not having official passport photos made for various cards here and that was a mistake. Once I finally had the photos, the chore became carrying them around everywhere with me, as even professors ask for a picture. I find that a bit strange but I suppose that’s something to adjust to and that it helps them learn faces better. When I went to get my culture card made, I had no pictures with me. Roadblock! Being prepared would have saved me a trip back to my room and a good 15 minutes of time.

Therefore, don’t forget your papers, documents, dossiers and more. You never know when you will need them (situations arise all the time. Overall, this is a large change from the Purdue system and I’ll now be sure to keep my papers together and on me, in case they should be needed. Lesson Learned!

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