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F.A.Q

STUDENT LIFE F.A.Q

What are average living expenses in Paris for the academic year?

Expenses will vary depending on each student’s living and spending habits.  Below is a brief breakdown of an average expenditure per month indicated in EUROS.

  • School provided housing : 800 – 1100
  • Groceries : 400
  • Transportation : 65
  • Health Insurance : Must be purchased to qualify before arrival in France).

How do will I get around in Paris, once I’m there?

Your mode of travel here will be the same as for any other Parisian: SUBWAYS AND BUSES. The Metro and RER cover Paris and the immediate suburbs and operate from 5:30 am until 1:00 am; BUS, (Autobus), system covers Paris and the suburbs and operates between 6:00 am and 9:00 pm, with special night services on some lines after these hours. There is one flat fare for the R.A.T.P., R.E.R. and Metro within the city limits which is 1,60 Euro for each ride, regardless of distance, and you can change trains as often as you like at the « Correspondences ».

What is your advice for food shopping while in Paris?

Meals are not included in the tuition fees. The most inexpensive way to eat is to cook in your own apartment. Shopping in the immediate area for food in the open‐air markets and small neighborhood stores is fairly reasonable ‐ and much fun. There are several large chain food stores and shopping malls not too far away which, though a little more expensive, have a wider selection of foods and a presentation more familiar to foreigners. The famous French delicatessens (« charcuteries ») selling hot prepared take‐out dishes, are found on every block. Paris is also well known for its numerous outdoor markets, which are located in just about every arrondissement. Here you can buy the best and freshest of local produce  fruit and vegetables, meat, fish and cheese‐ at prices sometimes half that of supermarkets. Remember to go early though ‐ most close before 1:00pm and after about ten in the morning you’ll find them brimming with other eager shoppers. Within walking distance of the school you will find several OPEN AIR MARKETS, each with their own individual character: ‐ Rue Mouffetard Tuesday ‐ Saturday, 9am ‐ 12 pm and 4.30 ‐ 19.00pm. Sunday, 9 am ‐ 12pm. ‐ Port Royal Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 8.30am ‐ 12. 30pm If you want a quick inexpensive snack, try one of the many boulangeries or patisseries, (bakeries), that can be found in the local area. Sandwiches are cheap, (usually 3 ‐ 4 Euros), and as you will discover, the French reputation for fine pastries is well deserved!. ‐ 243 rue St. Jacques, Monday ‐ Friday, 7am ‐ 8 pm. ‐ Rue St Jacques, opposite the Val de Grace, Wednesday ‐ Sunday, 7am ‐ 8pm Although they may be slightly more expensive than those in your home country, French butchers offer a wide range of products and their meat is generally good quality. ‐ Rue St Jacques Tuesday ‐ Saturday, 8am ‐ 12. 30pm and 4‐ 7. 30pm.

What is your advice for eating out in Paris?

Eating in Paris should always be a pleasure. The French are world‐famous for turning cuisine into an art, and for spreading that art around the world. In the city of gastronomical delights, you’ll find at your disposal a wide spectrum of eateries, ranging in price and quality from the very exclusive to the humble and unpretentious. It all depends on your budget and tastes, for the restaurants of Paris boast something to please every palate. For quick and typically Parisian snacks, there are always the cafés. In no other city in the world is there such an abundance. The 1920s expatriate literary circle of Paris, (Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Stein, et al.), made them famous. Works of art were born there, result of the seemingly endless conversations café atmospheres tend to gene‐ rate. Nowadays, the café has become something of a cliché ‐ an overused term bringing associations of leisure and romance ‐ but the age‐old café bargain still exists. You must simply find it yourself. Don’t go to the cafés others have long ago made famous ‐ they will now invariably be tourist traps. You’ll learn to appreciate much more what a café is if it represents YOUR discovery and remains your little corner of the world ‐ a place where you can bring a book, a letter, perhaps even a piece of fiction you’re working on ‐ and forget about the world for a little while. That is a café! As for the restaurant scene, it has grown to the point that it is impossible to list all that exists in Paris. An excellent and infallible guide is the Michelin Guide Rouge. The publication provides the listings and ratings, (on a three star system), for all the restaurants in France. A three‐star rating is the highest honor a restaurant can be given. Two and one‐star ratings do not mean the joint is a flophouse, but a very respectable establishment. Even those restaurants unrated, (at least by the star system), by the fickle finger of Michelin can be culinary delights. At least once in your life, you should take advantage of the opportunity to eat in a fine Parisian restaurant, where service, protocol, atmosphere, style and, of course, food, are all considered and attended to with the utmost seriousness and awareness of tradition, for ratings can change overnight!

Where can I find the famous Paris flea markets?

Visit the Paris’ flea markets, (marché aux puces), is one of the best ways of passing a Sunday and getting away from the tired tourist sites. Whether you’re interested in picking up bargains on anything  from antiques to leather or just strolling through one of the most interesting ‐ and cheapest ‐ side shows in Paris The real deals are possible if you bargain with the sellers. Stick by your price and don’t let them take advantage of you being a tourist. Colorful roasted chestnut vendors and card sharks abound and add to the cosmopolitan feel of the site but remember to keep a firm hold on any valuables. You will be discovering the real Paris and as such you will be faced with the real peril of being robbed. The markets tend to become congested on rainy days, so it’s best to visit when the weather is nice and you can relax a little. Take the métro to Porte de Clignancourt or to Porte de Montreuil and follow the crowd to the market.

Where can buy clothing and what should I wear?

In general, apparel is casual since you are free to dress as you wish for classes. However, you will need at least one « formal » or dress outfit for evening entertainment or attendance at special social functions and invitations extended by the French to their homes for dinners or cocktails. There are four seasons in France and all are relatively mild, but come prepared for any kind of weather, all year round. January in

Paris is a particularly cold month, so students should come prepared with warm clothing. Once you are here, of course, you will be able to make your own purchases and investigate the fashion world that has made Paris famous. For window shopping, or perhaps an extravagant purchase, rue du Faubourg St. Honoré is lined with most of the famous Maison de Haute Couture companies, from Christian Lacroix to Karl

Lagerfeld. On a more down to earth budget, try the Forum des Halles complex near Chatelet. It has a wide selection of ready to wear garments. Many of the larger department stores, such as Galleries Lafayette, offer reductions ‐ in the form of duty wavers ‐ to foreigners, sometimes as large as 15%, but their elevated prices may cancel out any savings. You should shop around for the best deal before making any purchases.

Are there laundry mats close to the school?

Yes there are a number of self service laundry mats within close proximity to the school, the cost can be between 6 to 8 euros to wash and dry a load).  Bring wash and wear clothes, since cleaning and pressing services are expensive here.