Paris transport

9 WAYS TO TRAVEL IN PARIS

PARIS TRANSPORT : 9 WAYS TO TRAVEL

Paris transport system includes the Metro underground subway system, a tramway, buses and night bus (Noctilien), Velib bikes and Autolib cars. The RER regional train service and SNCF trains extend to the suburbs and the Ile de France. You also can own a car or a bike in Paris.

The best app to get around Paris and in English is CityMapper. Very user friendly and will always give you the best options according to your needs (no walking, fastest way…)

1. Subway and Bus

These are the most practical public Paris transport. There are a lot of lines going everywhere. You just need to understand how it works and to be ready to see people not smiling 🙂

When it’s crowded, please try to anticipate your way out by standing close to the door one station before your destination.

In the metro, make sure you know which side to leave the train. The doors open on the right or left, according to the station.

Make sure the bus you’re waiting for goes in the direction you need. Often, there often are two bus stations, on each side of the road, going in opposite direction.

Download the RATP mobile application or ask a map at an information office in the metro. It’s small and free, and you have the metro, RER and bus lines.

Prices:

– One ticket : 1,90€

– A pack of 10 tickets: 14,90€

-Ticket for week end only, under 26, valid during 14h only (from midnight to midnight) : 4,10€ (zone 1,2,3)

– One day ticket « mobilis » (zones 1-2) : 7, 5€

Please make sure to write your name, surname and the date, the day you use it, on the ticket.

– A weekly « navigo » pass (all zones) : 22,80€€

– A monthly « navigo » pass (all zones) : 75,20€

– A yearly “ImagineR” card (only for students & under 26): 350€ (all zones) – 38€/month during 9 months + 8€ extra fees for the first month for administration fees (card valid during one year). You will be automatically debited on your French bank account each 5th of the month (during 9 months). First debit happens the 5th of October for Sept and Oct at the same time = 38€x2 + 8€ = 84€

All available with buses, RER and metro.
You will have to go to one of these metro stations. You will have to bring :
passport
proof of address
You need to go in person to ask it and put your ID photo on it, they refuse to do in on a behalf on someone.

With an ImagineR card you can have your money back if you don’t spend a full year in Paris. During the weekend and the public holidays, you’re not limited to your zones; you can travel everywhere on the network.

To order your card ask a form at any information office in the metro. Send your form ASAP because the card takes minimum 3 weeks to be received. More information on www.imagine-r.com

2. RER

The RER is another way to travel through the Paris transport. Is faster than the metro but there are less trains : one every 10 minutes approximatively. Be aware that the train doesn’t stop at every station. If your train is on the platform when you arrive, don’t rush yourself to get in, make sure first it stops at your station otherwise you could be wasting a lot of time.

3. Velib’

A nice Paris transport is the self service bikes rental, across the all city.

Prices :

Upload the app. Click on “Souscrire un abonnement”.

  • Pass “1&7 jours”

5€ for one day or 15€/week

You can rent 5 bikes a day.

If your trip lasts more than 30 min you have to pay 1€ extra every 30 min.

If you want to rent an electric bike you have to pay 1€ extra for the 30 first min and then 2€ extra every 30 min.

  • Abonnements : You can choose to pay in once (paiement en une fois) or per month

“V Libre”: 1€ every 30 min or 2€ every 30 min for an electric bike

“V Plus” (suggested for more than 4 trips/month) : 32,55€/year + 0€ the first 30 min then 1€/30 min or 1€ for the first 30 min then 2€/30 min

“V Plus Jeunes” (suggested for more than 4 trips/month – under 27 yo) : 24,15€/year + 0€ the first 30 min then 1€/30 min or 1€ for the first 30 min then 2€/30 min

“V Max” : 84,15€/month + 0€ for the first hour and then 1€/30 min or 1€ after 30 min then 1€/30 min

 

“V Max Jeunes” (under 27 yo) : 74,15€/month + 0€ for the first hour and then 1€/30 min or 1€ after 30 min then 1€/30 min

 

Then you have to accept the terms and conditions, select if you want to be automatically re subscribe each year or not and choose the type of cards you want to use :

1 / you receive a Velib card

2 / you use your Navigo card

3 / you already have a Velib card

You have to fill in a little form : email, password, given name, family name, DOB, phone number

Then you have to pay by card.

What to know

You can change bike every 30 minutes to not pay the rental cost.

If all the parking spaces are full at a station, you can add 15 min for free, at the Velib station, to find another station (download the app to know all station locations and their available slots situation).

A deposit of €150 will be asked to pick up a bike and will be blocked on your account but not spent.

Cycle safely because Paris is a big and crowded city. Use the various special cycling paths.

You can find further information on www.velib.paris.fr
  The website is available in Spanish and English.

4. Electric “Trottinette”

This is probably the coolest way to travel. I couldn’t find a world to translate what is a Trottinette 🙂 Have a look on google ! Download the apps Lime or Bird. Enter your credit card number. Each time you see a Trottinette on the street that you also can located with the map on your apps, you just have to scan the bar code and it’s unblocked. When you want to stop juste drop it off on the street click on “vérrouiller” on your app to finish the course and take a picture of where you have put the Trottinette.

Prices:

Around 2,8€ for 15 min

Promo code : RYJNWRP

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5. Uber/Heetch

Others Paris transport : VTC. Cheaper than a taxi, download the free mobile applications Uber (professional) or Heetch (individual) to get a safe transport, especially at night after drinking or when there are no more metros. Save your credit card number on both. With Uber, you’ll never have to pay cash as the trip will be automatically paid with your credit card you registered with. Make sure the driver hits “End of the trip” (“Fin de la course” in French) before you get off. The same works with Heetch, except that if you prefer to pay cash, you can. Before the purchase, an indication of the estimated price and the waiting time is announced.

Uber : Get €20 free on your first travel with the promo code : m9vf2547ue

Heetch : Get €5 free on your first travel with the promo code : PERLE185614

 

6. Buy a second hand bike

Prices:

From €40 to €200, for a high quality model.

You can find an occasion bike in a sales depot, in any cycling professional, through the ads on the Internet for individuals, or at a “bourse aux vélos” (sells for bikes).

7. Les bus Noctilien

During the week, Paris transport stops around 00.40am / 1am, for the metro, depending on different lines (1.40am / 2am the Fridays, Saturdays and public holidays eve) and at 1am for the RER.

Between 0.30am and 5.30am, 47 lines of Noctilien buses run across Paris and its suburb. The bus network goes around all most famous districts: Châtelet, Montparnasse, Gare de l’Est, Gare Saint Lazare and Gare de Lyon.
The bus usually arrives every 10 minutes, but can take up to one hour, depending on the line and the day.

More Information on 
www.noctilien.fr

8. SNCF

To travel to other cities in France, a great option is to take the train.

Prices :

Discount for young people aged 12-25. To enjoy this discount (from 25 to 50% per ticket), you need a card “Carte Jeune” which costs €50/year.

More info on www.12-25-sncf.com/accueil

Discounts for everyone:

The low-cost tickets “Prem’s”, offer a discount, especially if you are a small group to travel: http://www.voyages-sncf.com/promotion-train/tgv-prems

The last minute tickets: http://www.voyages-sncf.com/promotion-train/multi/derniere-minute-intercites

9. Car

If your favorite Paris transport is your car, it has to be in your name and you need a required insurance to enjoy the residence parking price (€1,5/day) in your district. We can help you to get your residential card with our individual support service.

To park outside your district (your district zone is defined by La Mairie who give you a map), you need to pay for a visitor ticket, from €2,4 to 4/h, from Monday to Saturday (except bank holiday). A ticket has to be renewed every 2 hours but thanks to the app “PMobile” you can pay it directly through your smartphone without going to a parking meter.

What to know

If a parking space says “Livraison”, it means it is a parking space for deliveries. However if it has one continuous line, or one discontinuous line, you’re allowed to park from 8pm to 7am every day, and all day on Sundays and bank holidays. If it has two continuous lines, you aren’t allowed to park.

Advice

The police are very strict about parking; you must not park your car in any parking spot that isn’t allowed. If you do, you may get a penalty fare, or worse, get your car taken to the pound. If you find complicated parking around your home, maybe consider renting a private parking space.

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Top Feel-Good Things to Bring to Paris

The hardest thing about packing up your belongings and moving away is choosing what to bring. You have limited room in your suitcases and can’t afford to bring everything with you. But it’s also so important to bring things that remind you of home when you go to a new, unknown place. Whether it be a photograph or a teddy bear, a familiar item will go a long way in making your temporary, foreign residence feel like home.

We asked some students about what things they brought with them to Paris. Below you’ll see a compiled list of all the must-need items you shouldn’t leave home without.

Favorite book 

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You can’t be a true Parisien without a go-to novel for those long commutes on the metro. Also perfect for relaxing in one of the many jardins on a sunny day! Cecily D. said she could not have lived without her favorite book, The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker. Check it out here!

Pictures of family and friends

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Homesickness can get the best of us sometimes so it’s always nice to have some familiar faces close by. Print out pictures at home to save some money and hang them up in Paris. Trust me it helps brighten up the room and bring a little bit of home to Paris.

A Sketchbook

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Channel your inner artist in the city of art and bring a sketchbook along to Paris for those “en plein air” painting and drawing opportunities. Sasha C. said one of her favorite things to do is go to the Louvre with her sketchbook and fill the pages with drawings.

Slippers

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France gets chilly in the winter and not all accommodations have central heating, so your favorite fuzzy slippers can help you through those long, cold months. Raul R. said he actually had his family mail him his slippers because he forgot them at home. Don’t make the same mistake!

A Journal

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Your time in Paris may not be permanent so it’s important to keep a record of your French adventures so you can look back at what will definitely be the best time of your life. If you forget to bring one, head to Gibert Jeune, a paper product store that can be found anywhere in Paris. 

Brands of medicine that you know and use

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The worst thing about being sick in a foreign place is not having your favorite, go-to medicine for an easy fix. Stock up and bring your favorite brands for any medical emergency, and save some euros in advance doing it. My personal favorite medicine is only available in certain stores back home, so I made sure I packed a ton because I always get sick in the winter.

Adapters

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Be sure to pack plenty of adapters when you come abroad, and not just European ones. Who knows where your travels might take you! A lot of adapters come in joint sets that include the UK, Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Camille O. said she borrowed her parents’ adapters for her year in Paris and is glad she did because most of her friends had to buy new ones and they can be very expensive.

Ladies, stock up on your favorite beauty products

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Not only will this save you money in the long run, bringing your favorite products from home will save you the hassle of having to find a foreign replacement when you inevitably run out of mascara. Unless you’re a Sephora customer, the likelihood of finding your favorite brands like Maybelline and Covergirl are slim. Maria L. said she had packed extra of her favorite brand of concealer on impulse and is glad she did because she hasn’t found it in Paris anywhere.

Your favorite snacks from home

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When the homesickness bug bites, sometimes the only cure are your favorite munchies. Bring some from home for emergency situations. Sarah T. said one of the things she misses most about home is the candy brands. When her friends came to visit on break, she had them bring her all her favorites! 

Favorite stuffed animal

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Just like the photographs and snacks, sometimes a friendly, cuddly face can cure the blues. Robert F. said he’ll never admit it but his stuffed shark that his girlfriend gave him has been comforting when he’s missed home the most.

Decorative art, posters, tapestries

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Just because your accommodations might be temporary doesn’t mean they don’t have to feel like a home. Bring your favorite home decor to add some color and pep to your apartment. If you’re still needing some decor inspiration for your room, check out Redbubble for some great products!

Happy packing and good luck with your move to France!

How to Apply for the CAF

CAF is rental assistance allocated to those that qualify by the government. CAF is a great resource for international students who need financial aid. If you are living in a studio apartment, you can earn as much as €200 euros a month. If you are living in a shared flat, you can earn as much as €180 a month. Read on to see if you qualify for CAF and how to apply.

The following are the requirements to be eligible for the CAF:

Low income 

As a student, you most likely have a low income, typically under €10,000 a year, and thus qualify. The CAF also takes full-time students into consideration. On the application, simply declare your total income for the last two years. If you are required to provide proof, your tax returns for the last two years from your home country should do the trick.

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Qualified housing

If you intend to apply for CAF and are looking at apartments, verify that the apartment qualifies for CAF before you sign the lease. First, it must be a year-long lease in your own name. You must have your landlord sign the application, which they might refuse to do due to possible tax scrutiny by CAF. If you are living in student housing, you will most likely qualify but you should confirm with the administration to be sure. Also, if you are living with roommates, make sure they also qualify for CAF when you apply, as that can impact your acceptance.

Have a valid student Visa with OFII 

You cannot receive CAF without these documents. If you do not have an OFII upon arrival in France, apply for one immediately. Check the platform to see if you have access to our OFII services. 

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Have a French bank account

The rental assistance will be paid to you directly or to your landlord. In the case of the first option, you will need a French bank account. 

 

If you wish to run a simulation of what your CAF will be, visit this website.

In order to apply for the CAF, simply go to their website and fill out the online application.  We recommend that you apply as soon as you secure accommodation. The CAF payments will begin the second month of your lease, so if it is possible to move in at the end of August and pay half rent, do so, as the payments will then begin in September instead of October. Do not be concerned if you do not receive payments right away. It often takes several weeks or even months for the application to go through, but you will still receive payments for the entirety of the year, sometimes in the form of a lump sum. 

If you are struggling with your application, Feel Parisien offers services that will help you complete the application, walking you through the process step by step until you have received your CAF. If you do not have access to our CAF services, reach out to your university about obtaining them. 

TIPS for CAF

You will collect the aid from the following month of the application of your lease. Of course you need to wait to move-in in your flat  to be able to apply.

If you move-in in Sept and apply during this month, the aid will start in Oct but if you move-in in Sept but apply only in Oct, your aid will start in Nov.

f your lease starts the 31st of August and you’re applying this day, your aid will starts the 1st of Sept.

If your lease starts the 1st of Sept and you are applying this month, your aid will start the 1st of October.

So when you ask for an accommodation contract, ask for it to start at the end of the month instead of the beginning, to not loose one month.

You won’t receive the aid until you apply for it on the Internet. That’s mean if your lease start in Sept but you wait until Oct to ask for it, you will be eligible to earn the aid from Oct. So even if you don’t have all the documents required, such as the birth certificate or its translation in French, we sugget you to apply for it before the month of Oct so you won’t lost one or several months of aid. You will be able to send your documents later by post or upload them online, and the date of your online application will considered as the begining of your aid.

Thanksgiving in Paris

Thanks to the large number of American expats living in Paris, there are many options in the city for those that want to celebrate this US holiday. Whether you’re looking for something traditional or something a bit more French-inspired, you’ll find it in Paris. Read this article to get good tips, whether you want to cook a Thanksgiving feast yourself or go out.

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Finding Ingredients 

Butterball turkeys are definitely not something you can just go and pick up at your local Monoprix. In order to find the best ingredients and supplies for your Thanksgiving Feast, visit one of the vendors below.

Costco

3 ave de Bréhat, 91140 Villebon-sur-Yvette

Believe it or not, there is a Costco in France! It’s a bit of a trek outside the city but can be the one-stop shop for everything you need on the big day. Click here to see their Thanksgiving Day deals and learn how you can get your turkey in advance.

The Real McCoy

194 Rue de Grenelle

This small grocery store has all the American products you would ever need in life, and especially for Thanksgiving. Email them at us.food@wanadoo.fr or visit their Facebook page to directly chat with them about placing your order.

 

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Restaurant Recommendations 

Check out these restaurants where you can find a good, old American Thanksgiving feast or something with just a little French twist.

Ô Chateau,  68 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Reserve your spot at Ô Chateau now for a traditional three-course Thanksgiving meal with wine and dessert accompaniments. Dinner times are at 7 pm and 9 pm on Thursday.

Breakfast in America, 17 rue des Ecoles

For a more casual feast, head to this American diner offering three sittings on Thursday: 5 pm, 7 pm, and 9 pm. Reserve now by email at bia.thanksgiving@gmail.com.

À La Folie, 26 Avenue Corentin Carlou

Ever dreamed about a disco Thanksgiving? Dream no longer. Head to À La Folie for a modern take on Thanksgiving, complete with a live DJ and buffet-style meal. Reserve your spot here.

Le Coq Rico, 98 rue Lepic

Look no further for your French-inspired Thanksgiving. Offered both at lunchtime and dinnertime, experience a Thanksgiving meal based around the red turkey of Ardennes at Le Coq Rico. Reserve your spot here.

 

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Happy Thanksgiving and remember to wear stretchy pants!  

Learning French in France

It can be difficult to adjust to a new country when you don’t know the language. Fortunately, there are tons of programs in Paris that can facilitate learning French in low-cost environments. The following are just a few fun and creative options for learning French in the city.

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Atelier 9

With Atelier 9, you can learn French through their Intensive, Extensive French or Evening programs depending on your need, all in the heart of Paris!

For individual Students:

For any program with 22, lessons weekly (Intensive French Course, 21,5 hours per week)) or more : 20% commission on listed price.

  • 4 weeks (86 hours): 990 euros. 
  • 3 weeks (64,5 hours): 855 euros.
  • 2 weeks (43 hours): 585 euros. 
  • 1 week (21,5 hours) subjet to availability: 320 euros. 
  • 6 weeks: 1450 euros, 8 weeks: 1910 euros, 12 weeks: 2830 euros.

For a longer stay, please contact us : latelier9@latelier9.com, course material and enrollment fees are included in the price.

For any program with 12 lessons weekly (Semi-Intensive French Course, 11,5 hours per week : 15% commission on listed price.

  • 4 weeks (46 hours): 610 euros.
  • Three-month package (12 consecutive weeks): 1710 euros.

 For any programme with less than  4 lessons weekly (Extensive Evening courses, 3 hours per week) and for all other program (private one-one one lessons) : 15% commission on listed price.

  • 4 week package: 190 euros.
  • 12 week package: 490 euros.

Franglish

Franglish is a program that fosters casual conversations between English speakers and Parisians in local hot spots. They organize speed-dating style events every week in local bars and restaurants where partners talk for 7 minutes in English and then 7 minutes in French. Prices can be as low as €8 for students, includes entrance and a drink. It’s a great way to learn French in a stress-free environment and meet new friends in the city! Click the link to check their calendar.

Lost in Frenchlation

Lost in Frenchlation is a service that provides French cinema with English subtitles for foreign students. The program runs out of Studio 28, Paris’ oldest cinema, Club de l’Étoile, and Luminor cinema. Drinks and mingling are offered before or after each film, providing an opportunity to meet other foreign students in the city. Lost in Frenchlation allows you to enjoy French cinema and learn the language in a creative way. Click the link to see their upcoming showings.

Polyglot Club

Polyglot Club is an organization that provides a multitude of programs for learning French and other languages. It also hosts a public forum where people can post about events in the city or offer language tutoring. The events posted can range anywhere from club parties to skiing excursions. Click the link for more details on upcoming events and to register.

Cité Universitaire – Language Rooms

Every week Cité Universitaire’s Library hosts public conversations in different languages for all students. You do not have to be a Cité Universitaire resident to participate. Simply visit the website for more details and contact the library to register for the next event.

 

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Moreover, another great way to learn French is through phone apps. In that way, you can practice your language skills easily with these apps, during your daily commute or right before you go to bed. Some apps will even keep you to a schedule and will remind you when it’s time to review again. See the list below for our recommendations.

tolktoo

tolktoo is a great French startup that helps international and native students from the same school to exchange cultures and practice languages together. On the tolktoo app, you enter the languages you speak, those you want to learn, and your interests (music, sport, career…)

Then, the app then matches you to other similar students and within a few minutes, you can start a conversation in French with a new French friend! Interested? Go tell your school about tolktoo! Contact: tolktoo@gmail.com Website : https://www.tolktoo-edu.com/

Duolingo

Duolingo is a great app that focuses on repetitive practice in different modes of learning. Therefore, it mixes speaking, listening and translation exercises in short challenges that keep you on your toes and encourage you to pass the level. The app keeps track of your progress and will send you daily reminders to keep going. Go to the app store to download the app for free or click the link for more information.

Memrise

Memrise uses pop-culture and Internet trends to help you learn different languages. Its main focus is vocabulary and it helps you memorize terms by associating them with popular memes submitted by the community. It makes learning both accessible and fun! Go to the app store to download for free or click the link for more information.

Mindsnack

If you like games, this app is definitely for you. Similar to Duolingo, Mindsnack challenges the user in different mini-games that are focused on vocabulary, grammar, and listening. The user interface is quite charming and makes memorization fun! Click the link for more information or download the app for free in the app store.

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If you are serious about perfecting your French and wish to do so in a professional, academic environment, read this article for recommendations on different courses offered in Paris for the more serious student. Bon courage!

student visa minor

Your story n°5 :”Being an underage student in France”

You got your student Visa before you were 18? Here is what you need to do!

Student process before you get to France

While doing your Visa application, if you are a minor student you need to be careful because you will usually be asked more documents that for a regular Visa for someone over 18.

For example, in India, they would ask for:

  • An access order made by the Family Court.
  • An attestation for parental consent signed with ID and a cover letter from your parents.
  • A medical attestation mentioning your vaccines have been made.
  • A transfer of parental authority to a overage person in France.
  • A proof of vaccines done to be shown to your French schools.

For the list of the additional documents for your Visa you can check with your dedicated Campus France in your country.

Student process when you arrive in France

Checking in your residence.

You need to be with your parents to check-in your residence if you are under 18 on the day of your check-in.

 

Opening a bank account.

You need to be with your parents when you go for the first time to the bank to open your account and pick up your card.

 

Getting your Paperwork as OFII/Titre de séjour.

If you were still underage when you got your visa to France then you need to respect the process below explained by one of our students that we follow : Ruby.

This process is referring to a student that lives in Paris. If you live in any other department like Pantin 93 or Vitry 94, please note that you will need the same document but you won’t go to the same place.

You will have to go to your local prefecture.

“I went to the OFII office and they sat me down and said that because when i received the visa i was still 17 so my process was different. The lady from the OFII places told me to go the the Prefecture de Police the following day (which is at City University) and to get there early and I said do I need an appointment she said no just go. she also send me this email with the required documents.

Hello,
You will find enclosed the procedure to ask for a student resident permit.
Best regards,
 
acc&ss Paris Centre
Direction de l’Accompagnement de la Mobilité Internationale
Fondation nationale | Cité internationale universitaire de Paris
17, boulevard Jourdan | 75014 Paris
So the next day I went to the Prefecture de Police and I got there at 8.00am and I was waiting in a line until 9.30 and some man called out if you are submitting documents come forward and I went because I was just submitting documents. I then went and they told me to go back to OFII then the OFII people explained to them what the process was. I submitted my original and photocopy of my birth certificate, Passport, Visa page, A letter from my parents say they will give me more than 615 euros a month (the letter was written in french and signed), the enrollment letter from IFA, my parents bank statement from the past 3 months, a bank statement saying my parents had put money into my account (I didn’t have this as I had just opened my account, so they needed proof that I had opened an account), proof of rent (contract) and bills (gas and electricity) and three passport sized photos. Then after this I had to fill out forms then I was sent to another area and they took my finger prints. They then  gave me a slip (attached below) and said that this now means I am legally in france as a student and that in two months I will receives a text and that will say my card is ready and I have to go somewhere to collect it and pay 79 euros.”
And here is all the paperwork you need to bring with you.

CST étudiant_ eng

Student visa minor

Student visa minor

 

 

 

Marché La courneuve

Your Story n°4 : “THE SUBURBS OF PARIS AND OTHER TAILS”

THE SUBURBS OF PARIS AND OTHER TAILS

 

I am not really one of the people that makes a whole research of the places they go to.

I just go see it for myself and come to my own conclusions of the place.

 

Paris was no exception.

 

It is not a surprise that everyone wants to live in the heart of Paris, or at the very least, in one of the Arrondissements, but the truth is that living in the suburbs is much cheaper and, against all odds, more peaceful.

 

As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t do much planning before moving here.

I met some people and asked around how they found a place for rent that wasn’t as big as a rabbit cage, and they recommended me to look on the many groups available on Facebook. You can pretty much type where you’re from and then ‘’in Paris’’, et voilá. For example, I found my lovely place in a group called Latinos en París, and it so happens to be a place in La Courneuve, the suburbs on the NorthEast.

 

It is probably a good idea to look for a place to live in the suburbs because the rent isn’t so high, and the rooms are more spacious than trying to fit all your life in a tiny studio closer to Paris. I think it is an ideal place to live for people that enjoy being surrounded by different cultures. Here you have everything you need: supermarkets, affordable and pretty decent restaurants (don’t be expecting anything fancy though), bakeries, clothing stores… you name it. Even very exotic goods from countries like India, Bangladesh, China and countries in Africa, among others. However, the best thing about living here is the Farmer’s Market. Buy everything you need to cook, fresh and at a very good price. You’re going to hear people shouting ‘’ONE EURO’’ at you plenty of times, and if you have a more vegetarian diet, it’s THE perfect place to shop from. It happens on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays from sometime in the morning (not sure if it starts at 8:00) until 14:00.

 

This area is quite big and there are plenty of things to see, like art galleries and parks. My favourite park of all the gorgeous parks in Paris, is in La Courneuve. It is called Parc Départemental Georges Valbon and it is huge. It has a small lake, plenty of space for picnics and to practice sports, etc. There are festivals going on here as well, and various activities if you care to find out for yourself because people are not so good at advertising them.

Check out La Courneuve

Fact: La Courneuve is on the 93 department and at the beginning of the Metro line 7.

Metro line 7 is basically one of THE longest Metro lines in Paris. It is very convenient for me since it doesn’t take me longer than 10 minutes to get to my university, but if you live here, you must know that wherever else you want to go is probably going to take you from 30-50 min (BY Metro) to reach. Specially if you want to go out partying, it is a long way back home! It is also not the prettiest nor cleanest lines available. However, it is quite complete, and you can always reach many places without having to switch metros. So that’s a plus! And! Paris is constantly on strikes and so public transportation is the first to suffer the consequences; however, over the year that I’ve lived here, I have never experienced important delays while using line 7.

There are also plenty of busses around here in case there is a problem with the Metro, and the Tram T1 goes though here as well. Isn’t that great? Also, if you want to reach the Charles de Gaulle Airport, it is convenient to live here because you can take the RER B, and since it’s closer, the ride isn’t long and most of the time you can find a place to sit. Downside is if you have to go to Orly Airport… this is self-explanatory.

 

There are many tails going on about the life in the suburbs. I’ve heard plenty of times that my area is like a ‘’hot spot’’ for danger. I’ve been living here by myself and hardly ever felt unsafe. Of course, I am speaking as a Latin woman (keep in mind that probably what is known as‘’dangerous neighbourhood’’ around Paris doesn’t compare to what how dangerous a neighbourhood in South America really is), so you learn a few things to keep you from ever being in a troublesome situation. For example: I never ever walk on the main road because aside form being very dirty, it is very crowded, and I’ve seen people drinking more there than in any other areas, therefore I found an alternative way to get home, that maybe isn’t as fast, but is much cleaner, prettier and of course safer. Also, don’t exit the metro where you see people are drinking outside of… that’s never a great idea, specially if you’re a girl and you’re alone.

 

Okay, okay… I am making it seems scarier than it is (not scary at all). Bottom line is that it is a very peaceful place where you rarely hear any ambulances, and all those stories of it being dangerous are much exaggerated. This coming from a girl that likes to be out at night a lot and must go back home alone in the middle of the night and on high heels. Just always watch out for yourself and everything will go fine.

 

All and all, I give the place a thumbs up! I think it is an acceptable area outside of Paris, that has more good things than bad. Don’t let people who are way too impressionable keep you from coming here, because they probably don’t know the place themselves.

 

I’m looking forward to two more years of discovering this place.

 

Over and out.

 

María Helena Calderón

Fashion Design Student at IFA PARIS.

 

Friends Students Paris

Your Story n°3 : “Making friends before your arrival”

Using the community tab…

Feel Parisien has helped me and many other students transition into life in Paris  seamlessly. A huge part of that for me was the new communication tab they have added to the platform. The communication tab allows you to get to know people who are also studying in Paris, which really put my mind at ease when moving here. Obviously moving to a new country and/or starting at a new school can be very nerve racking but having friends before you even arrive, makes this transition so much easier.

To get to know other students

In my personal experience with the tab I was messaged by a girl on instagram, who is now one of my closest friends here in paris. She had gotten my name from the platform and looked me up. From there I did the same thing finding more and more people to talk to. Soon we had a group chat of girls all sharing our excitement and making plans to explore our new home together. In just a few days we even had a group chat with all of the first year students at my school. It has been a good resource for many to ask questions, voice concerns and ask each other for advice. Many of the students have also used it to arranged meet ups with each other and made lasting friendships. It was especially helpful in my friends situation when her flight got in too late to check into her apartment and she was able to ask me to get her keys for her. It’s very comforting knowing that there are people in your new city looking out for you and helping you every step of the way. I would definitely recommend using this tab to anyone on the platform because having people to explore the city with makes it so much better!

Sydney Petrie

 

Your story N°2: Why choosing a host family ?

by Mr King (Egypt)

Why The Family?

Bonjour/ Bonsoir to all my friends coming from all over the world. Having this chance to live the Parisian experience is a bless. We are here now surrounded by kind people who speaks the most romantic language on earth, but we cannot understand them because it’s a different language than ours. So, why the family?

Depending on your goal, your future plan & situation. I will always say YES to the family because the minimum benefit you could’ve is the language. I won’t say a 100% proficiency but at least it will help encouraging you to speak freely without feeling shy or at least being more confident about yourself. You might say I don’t need to speak French, everyone here speaks English. True, but sometimes you will find yourself in the middle of

nowhere where the train stops because of an accident and the announcement goes with French, seeing everyone packing and standing up while you can’t understand a single word. This happened to me two years ago. So, at that very moment I understood that I NEED to learn French ASAP. And frankly speaking I found the family the easier way to understand, learn and speak French. Also, never forget the more exposure to the culture the more fun.

Being a part of the French society will guarantee you an easier life and a better lifestyle. Because living the Parisian experience is way different than being a tourist in Paris. You are now a part of this city living day after day in the same place, having new memories to add, more stories to tell & much more smiles to draw. The family am hosted by is super lovely, respectful & kind. I feel like home. They never bothered me or even made me feel like a stranger. I have my own privacy. They helped me with different things regarding the city, the routes I should use to my university, we had dinner together… and much more of more home alike attitude. And here I would like to say something, you are the responsible of how they treat you. Your attitude reflects the real you so then you can gain respect, trust & love.

Most of you consider it more expensive than living alone which is not true in a sense. Having the breakfast meal provided by the hosting family saves you almost the extra amount you pay for breakfast on a daily basis. Also, the location of the hosting house could be nearby your school which saves you extra money too. I am not asking you to accept whatever option of hosting family you have, but I recommend you consider it as a great option for living and improving. No one knows better than the original people of each country. Try not to focus too much on parties and wasting time with friends because as we mentioned previously it all depends on what your goal is?

Being a student means you are kind of a full-time dedicated person to earn knowledge, language and certificate. So, work harder and forget about TOO MUCH FUN now because this is your future trip.

I wish you all best of luck, happiness and success.

Your story N°1 “My First Days in Paris”

by MHS from Pakistan

My First Days in Paris

Ernest Hemingway said and I quote “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast”.

I applied to Paris School of Business got admission and got my visa after a long wait. The biggest dream of my life was about to come true. I was waiting at the airport lounge in my country for my flight looking at my ticket with curiosity and excitement. 12 hours later I was at Paris airport. The moment I stepped out of the airport I could feel the change in the air, it had a different aura. On the way to my apartment I kept on observing my surroundings the buildings the way they are constructed each of them has a story to tell. At last I reached my apartment thanks to feel Parisien everything was arranged before my arrival, they are very hard working and efficient.

I was very tired the first day so I kept my bags aside and slept. The next day when I woke up I was very excited because I was going to see the Eiffel Tower. Remember always to keep your passport and money safe while going to tourist places for the first time because these sites attracts a lot of pocket pickers. Well I changed my clothes bought a sandwich from the store near my residence and headed towards the RER train. The transportation system in paris is perfect but you need at least a week to understand it. I was lucky I had it all mapped out which RER to take when to get off and take a metro. I got off from the RER at Francois Mitterrand took the metro to Bercy and finally to Bir-Hakeim (tour de Eiffel).

The first sight of Eiffel tower was mesmerizing, I will remember it for the rest of my life. Standing near the Eiffel tower and watching it had a strange satisfaction it gives you happiness. Well I walked towards it crossed the entry doors and after that you have to stand in long ques to get the ticket to get on the tower. It was a long wait but worth every second of waiting, I got to the top of Eiffel tower it’s a long journey but it will be the most beautiful journey of your life. You can see almost all of Paris from the top and it is scenic. It is my sincere advice to all of the upcoming students to go to the top and enjoy the best view of Paris.

I have been telling you the Pros of Paris and my first day at Eiffel tower but there are cons too all of you should stay away from scams. There are a lot of people right there near Eiffel tower who are going to scam you and rob your money. There will be people asking you for donations for charity they will have a clipboard in their hands they will come to you write your name and talk to you kindly and then ask you for money. Second are the one with cup and ball game they are extremely clever. They will show you that the game is very easy and you can win and they will double your money but it is different. The man shuffling the cups is the head and he has 3-4 people of his own in the crowd. These are the people who keep on playing and winning giving you the impression that you can win too but you never will no one outside their gang will ever win. I was a prey to it too, I was standing there watching it when a woman held my arm and forced me to play when I refused she said “okay I will play first” she gave the man 100 euros he shuffled the cups and she chose the right cup and he gave her 200 euros as winning money. This is all fraud. I was motivated that I can win too, I knew which cup had the ball I saw it but when I chose the cup it was empty and I lost 100 euros. Even if you choose the right cup you will not win because they create a distraction somehow and change the cups because it is what they do scam people and they are perfect at it. Stay away from all these games and don’t lose your money.

There are many other things to do like the mix club it’s a great nightclub with free entry to international students each Thursday before midnight, it is packed with international students. Go to louvre or eat a sandwich by the seine. Have your evening strolls at Champs-Élysées. I have been in Paris for just a few days but I have discovered a lot, seen a lot because I chose to travel and go out. I had some setbacks like losing my money to the cup ball game scam but never let anything push you back. I have yet to discover and learn a lot, every morning brings a new tale and every night a new adventure to tell. Paris has a lot of secrets you need to uncover it’s a beautiful city with beautiful people. Be brave and the world is yours.

Muhammad Hannan Shahid