they practically invented it

there's quite a lot of paperwork involved in the visa application process. print this out, fill it out, make 5 copies and send 3 of them to us, 1 to those people, and keep one for your records. read everything twice, sign it once, and make a copy for your records. fill this out in black ink in capital letters and use X's not check marks. goodbye trees.... however, i've realized that the bureaucracy of it all is extremely typical of european affairs. they want things written down and documented and signed -- do they really have that many law suits?

whether they invented it is questionable, though. they were always happy to adopt oriental practices as their own and act like they invented it. i'm quite sure that china had dreamed up their examination system and historical records long before europe really existed (they were just a bunch of little villages and kingdoms until the romans came to save the day and tax them). but what didn't china do first? [insert witty juvenile joke here].

despite the bureaucratic labyrinth, french universities are far from structured, from what i hear. they do not release a course schedule early on and do not have a ton of deadlines for each step. you get there, start taking classes, and then enroll in the ones you like. the website even says that studying is not the only thing students should do. in fact, it shouldn't even be the priority. now that is something you don't see in america; if students aren't studying, they aren't doing their work, which means they aren't benefiting society. it's a very different view that the french have, even from other european nations. nevertheless, i'm still very excited to dive into this unknown world.

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