When I got that little piece of paper with my picture on it last month, the one that gives me the right to work, to study, to live a normal life in this country, I thought the world had opened up to me, and I was ready to seize the opportunity.
Then, the harsh reality came back, and I realized that I have only a high school diploma in a country where the US high school diploma is considered not even to the level of the french high school diploma. A world where education costs next to nothing, and therefore, a diploma for any job other than fast food is not only expected, but required. That because of my lack of this equivalence to the french high school diploma, not only am I in bad shape for finding employment, but no one seems to have any idea how I could go about getting into the university system so I could eventually obtain a diploma and therefore have a shot on the job market.
Not to mention that every anglophone I’ve ever come in contact with in France seems to have had a complicated time finding a job, and often the one they find seems to have nothing to do with their degree in the first place. And I am yet to have ever met an french-residing expat without a diploma, leaving me to wonder if there isn’t a reason for that (perhaps that sends them fleeing back to their home country as soon as their feet hit the foreign soil).
Fellow foreigners, what is your secret? Please, share your wisdom. I could use a hearty dose!