Twenty-Five. Apartment Hunting (Exchange Prep four)

I’ve been quiet for a while… maybe too long. We should have coffee (or tea) dates more often 🙂

Well, last exchange prep session I was talking about the different parts of the applications I still had to do. Let me tell you not much has changed since then…

I went to my doctor to finish up the medical stuff and just yesterday I mailed off my certificate for authentication by the CPSO (something I still think is completely unnecessary) and when I get that mailed back to me (in my own pre-paid envelope :-P) I’ll have basically everything I need to finally submit my whole visa application. We’ll still need to print out some stuff and actually buy my insurance.

So what have I been doing in the meantime?

Well, I was working full-time hours for two weeks. That was fun, but also tiring and didn’t leave much room for exchange prep stuff, such as trips to school or downtown or whatever.

I did get to Carleton this week though and I picked up my $800 cheque and my official acceptance letter from ULB and I set off to the ServiceOntario desk to talk to OHIP.

They couldn’t help me. The woman said the website wasn’t entirely helpful because they said to “find the location nearest to you” but they should have specified that only the location on Laurier St. downtown could actually help. Oh well.

As it turns out, I probably won’t need to talk to OHIP at all because while my whole trip will be ~300 days, I’m coming back to Canada in December effectively keeping me within OHIP rules of not being gone for more than 212 days.

So enough about that, it’s not interesting.

In my last post, the one about trust, I said I would tell you more about the grant from the French department, but I don’t know what else I can say really since I talked about it in the last exchange prep post. Sometimes I confuse myself.

I guess I could tell you that originally I was a Journalism major with two minors, one in French and one in Political Science. If I kept that, I wouldn’t have qualified for the French grant, so I switched into a double-major.

Now that I’ve deposited the cheque, have you ever deposited $800 at once? It felt pretty good.

You know what else is an amazing feeling? SURPRISE: $3000!

I got an email from Carleton that said

The purpose of this email is to advise you that the Awards Office has completed an assessment of the 2012/2013 academic year (Summer 2012, Fall 2012 and Winter 2013 academic terms) for the Deans' List and/or scholarship eligibility. Please login to Carleton Central to view your status and decision letter.

I had an entrance scholarship going into first year but I lost it because I needed a CGPA of 10.0 and mine was 9.4 so I tried to get my grades up this year in hopes of getting the scholarship back but I thought my CGPA was only 9.6 or 9.8. I don’t know how they counted my CGPA but I’m so thankful to have received the scholarship and to be on the Deans’ List.

Some people would congratulate me on my hard work but I know this is provision from God so I turned to Him and thanked Him instead. I think it’s really important to remember who The Provider really is.

Getting back to my exchange stuff, since the visa application is pretty much finished, I’ve moved on to apartment hunting.

I live with my parents because I go to school in the same city as they (we) live, so it’s easy and cheap. A lot of my friends can’t do that, and I feel bad for them, but for those who CAN but choose not to, I’m so confused! Why on earth would you put yourself through this rollercoaster of house-hunting when you have a place to live!

Looking for an apartment/house/room/bed in Brussels is so hard. Sure, there are fifty-million and one advertisements a minute but for some reason I haven’t found even one ad that fits what I need.

I need to be somewhere close ish to ULB, so I’m looking in the Ixelles region primarily, but I’ll also look at Etterbeek, Auderghem, Watermael-Boitsfort and maybe Uccle, or even somewhere else if the right tram or bus is close-by.

I need a place to stay from Sept 2013 to June 2014. A huge number of the posts I see are for June/July/August or require a minimum of one full year. I also need to consider the budget and while I see lots of offers that fit within it, those same people are not willing/able to negotiate timing or length of stay.

The “old” me is (or would be) ripping her hair out. I’m a new creation in God though and I’m choosing to trust God. I know this trip is from Him so no one can take it away from me so I know He will provide a place for me to live in too. It’s just scary and frustrating waiting in the meantime.

The “old” me is also worried about how long it will take to get all her documents in order or who will process her visa application (like if he might be mean or something) but “reborn” me is praising God.

I had moments when I really was freaking out because nothing seemed to be going right but I made a decision that I would lay my worries at God’s feet.

“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:27 and again “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” Luke 12:25

Can worrying help me find a place to live? Will worrying ensure the Belgian visa agent is kind? No. But you know who is bigger than those problems? God! So I had a long prayer session asking for His guidance, for His provision, for His favor and thanking Him over and over again for everything He has done, is doing and will do.

So anyway, that’s what I’m up to at the moment. Every day I look through postings of rooms for rent, I reply to a bunch, I wait for responses back and I keep going…

I’m also waiting for my medical certificate to be mailed back to me (thankfully I talked to the CPSO agent there and she was very kind) and then I’ll mail off all my documents to Montreal. Then I’ll have to wait for my visa to be approved. I hate waiting. But that’s all we can do sometimes. Wait and pray.

My exchange preparations are almost done, so I might have one more post about that but then I’ll be off to Belgium and the posts will be about the actual exchange experience. I leave in 9 weeks!

Until our next conversation, God Bless all you lovely readers!

PS. a thought occurred to me the other day, I’ve called this blog Coffee with Rita because my style of writing is conversational and this is the kind of thing I would share with a friend as we’re catching up over coffee (or tea). Unfortunately, I don’t actually have each of these conversations with another live person so I can’t record responses or comments. It’s a very one-sided conversation on here. Rest assured, if we were really meeting and chatting, I would love to hear your questions, comments, concerns, and stories! For now, use the comments on the page:-)