story started when I decided to spend my last summer vacation in the
countryside of southern France. Before the Chinese New Year, I searched
on the Internet and found the website of La Giraudiere. So I filled in
the application form. It did take quite a long time until I got the
reply of acceptance. But I received Paul’s email before switching my
plan to going to Nepal. Being excited about it, I began the visa
Since I’m studying in Macau, I applied the Schengen visa at the
Consulate of France in Hong Kong and Macau.
How Chinese volunteer obtain Visa
Documents to be submitted:
a form duly filled (to be downloaded or available at the
2 color ID pictures (35x45mm) with white background
Copy and original of:
valid passport (3 month validity considering your return date
in Hong Kong)
Hong Kong ID
Hong Kong visa (3 month validity considering your return date
in Hong Kong)
leave letter from the employer
airline reservation with detailed itinerary or receipt and
itinerary in English from your travel agent
proof of accommodation (hotel booking or lodging certificate)
medical travel insurance
Additional documents may be required if necessary.
your documents organised - for photocopies they check the originals
when you summit the application.
of France in Hong Kong and Macau requires online appointment booking
now. However, they don’t accept application from people who are
non-residents of HK and Macau. For more information about the visa
application, visiting the website of the suitable embassy or consulate
for you is the best way to know how you can apply a visa because
requirement and process vary.
booked my flights online through Air France Hong Kong and got a good
deal – around 6,400 HKD for return flights between Hong Kong and Paris.
It was an e-ticket so I just printed the confirmation letter. Paul sent
me a proof letter of accommodation and I bought the travel medical
insurance from Bank of China, Macau.
The application went fine although the woman in the Consulate was a bit
I got everything ready and since this is not the first time I travel
abroad alone, I don’t have too much problem.
Volunteer in Paris
landed at CDG on a Wednesday afternoon. Thanks to my friend in Paris,
her mom and sister came to pick me up at the airport. I stayed in Paris
for 6 days until I took the train to Chalais. It’s a good idea to stop
in Paris or Bordeaux before you come to Brossac because that gives you
chance to adapt to the new environment, especially for those traveling
from outside Europe. I had very good experience in Paris. And you can’t
tell people you’ve been to France without visiting Paris, right?
Then on a Tuesday, I
took the train from Paris to Angouleme, then to Chalais. Paul picked me
up at the station. Almost the same time, another new comer, Norwegian
girl Therese, arrived from La Rochelle. Then I finally
孩也从La Rochelle坐火车过来。然后，我终于到达了La Giraudiere。
Volunteer arrives at La Giraudiere
was almost eight in the evening when I arrived at LG and everybody else
was waiting us for dinner. I was a bit nervous but I have been feeling
being at home since then. Everyone is friendly and funny. La Giraudiere
is exactly what I’ve imagined, except that there were not as many
animals as I thought, but our lovely Labrador, Sydney, is the greatest
dog I’ve ever met! I haven’t been a dog lover since a terrible
experience back to my childhood time but I love calm dog like Sydney!
The first day was a day-off
for new comers so Therese and I walked to the village centre. It’s
small – there is a butcher shop, a small super market, a pastry store,
a pharmacy, a post office, a bank, a salon, a tourism office (YES! A
tourism office!) and a restaurant. I like this quiet and nice small
village, especially when the weather is pleasant. Here you can
experience the real south-western French culture, which is definitely
different from Parisian.
Working days are from Tuesday to Friday,
with a French class in a morning. And we take Saturday to Monday off
because there’s a market in Chalais every Monday morning. The market is
a very nice place to explore, where there are all kinds of things for
sale, ranging from seafood to fresh fruit and vegetables, roasted
chicken, household items, cheese and many others.
normal working day would be like this: breakfast at around 8:00, work
begins at 8:30, tea break at 10:30, lunch at 13:30, afternoon tea at
4:30 and dinner at around 7:30. Everyone takes turn to make dinner so
we have the opportunity to taste food from all over the world! For our
work, we can do gardening, construction of the old house and paperwork
in the office. Everyone can find what they’re interested in here.
during breaks and meals are always interesting. I benefit a lot from
all the other members’ experience, including their works, their travel
and their studies. We are from different parts of the world, Florida,
Utah, Georgia, Scotland, England, Norway and China. So you can not only
experience the French country culture but also cultures of other
regions. Thanks to Paul, we got the chance to visit nice interesting
places in the surrounding area as well, Aubeterre-sur-Dronne, Pons and
Royan. Some of us also went to the famous city of wine, Bordeaux.
Aubeterre-sur-Dronne, Pons和Royan。我们还去了著名的红酒之乡- 波尔多。
enjoying myself here. Four weeks may not be enough to discover the
region but I will never forget all that I’ve experienced here and all
the friends I met.
Franco Chine Volunteers Alliance
Following the links we are forming in China we are putting in place a
Chinese version of our Website to promote our
alliance and encourage our Chinese Volunteers
is an accredited receiving organisation for the Erasmus Plus
program a program operated by the European Commission under
its Life Long
Learning program. for further detail of what is planned
for 2019 for our Erasmus volunteers and how you could help
Project in France