Opening a Foreign Bank Account

I’m working hard looking for work. I tried selling some stuff, like my Louvre membership, but none of those ideas proved fruitful. But I am proud to announce a few breakthroughs.

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First, two weeks ago, I received an email from someone who works in the student jobs department of the school. There was an involvement fair a few weeks earlier in which I put my name on a listserv for student jobs. So this email stated that a few students were needed to prepare some “gros mailing” on Friday. I wasn’t quite sure what this was, but I was sure it wasn’t hard to do. After a quick back-and-forth via email, she told me that I needed a RIB in order to be paid. This is a paper with my account information so the pay can be deposited in my account. This meant I had to quickly get a bank account before Friday.

With the Gabriel’s (he’s one of the ISA Paris directors) instructions, got the account set up. One side note: when I meet with the bank associate, she spoke in only French and I thought I could understand her. Gabriel told me to make sure that I don’t get any insurance, but the lady spoke so fast and kept shoving papers in my face, that I signed them anyway. And, that’s how I ended up with insurance for my apartment in case of damages. I don’t even own a fridge, but I had one insured anyway. I went to the ISA office and Christelle (another ISA associate) relayed the info to Gabriel. He wasn’t too happy and he yelled at the bank associate for trying to sell me insurance when I’m only a foreign student. I was supposed to give her a piece of paper stating that I don’t want any insurance, just a check account, but I forgot to do so. After I heard what Gabriel said to the bank associate, I decided not burden him with that tidbit of information. It was for the best.

Friday came around and me and two other guys (one student didn’t show up) were tasked with preparing the “gros mailing”, or college mail – for all of France. We had to put all these college brochures and papers in these envelopes to be sent to every lycée in France. There were close to 2000 envelopes we had to stuff. We worked from 8:30 to 5:30 and we didn’t even finish (ran out of one of the pamphlets). My fingers were tired after that harrowing ordeal. I gave the lady my RIB the following Monday, so now I’m just waiting for all that European money to come in. Still waiting. The French beauracracy is just as terrible as our lovely American version, but it’s a different terrible. Vive la France!

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