Looking to volunteer in Paris?

Getting involved in your community during your stay in France is a great way to meet the locals and explore the city in a new way. Community service is also highly valued by employers, so it’s a great thing to have on your resume. There are several organizations in France to help you find the right job. Here are our recommendations.

 

**Warning: some of these recommendations may request that you speak French fluently. Most of the websites are in French so if you help need signing up for a job, ask us for help.

France Benevolat

This organization has the most volunteer opportunities out of any, having partnerships with over 800 French companies and 12,000 events. This organization only accepts French-speaking volunteers.

 

Disco Soup

This organization specializes in sourcing volunteers to soup kitchens and homeless shelters. You can also post service events directly on the website for other young people and students in the area to join.

 

Restos du Coeur

This organization provides a wide range of activities for volunteers, from language tutoring to working at a daycare. It is also possible to directly work for Restos du Coeur if you are looking for full-time employment.

 

Serve the City

This an English-speaking NGO that coordinates hundreds of events around the city for you to get involved with. The organization focuses their efforts on the marginalized populations in France such as the homeless, migrant and refugees, and the abused. The NGO also provides ways to get involved with Green initiatives around the city.

 

American Church in Paris

This English-speaking church sporadically posts volunteer opportunities for English speakers in Paris. Don’t rely on the website, as some of the events are outdated and may not say so. If you are really interested in this church, call  +33 (0)1 40 62 05 00.

 

Secret Spots in Paris: Visit the roads less travelled

So you’ve been in Paris for a while and you feel like you’ve seen all there is to see as far as major monuments. It’s time to explore the roads less traveled in Paris, find spots that you can call your own and assert yourself as a true Parisien. We don’t claim to know every spot in the city, but here’s a list of must-see places to get you started.

 

Amazing Architecture

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Richelieu Library

Built during the height of the Industrial Revolution, this beautiful library showcases a seamless blend of the newest technology of the time and classical architecture. The library can only be accessed by graduate art history students studying in Paris but a little sweet talking with the security guard will get you a peek.

 

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Petit Palais

An amazing art museum with an eclectic collection in its own right, the Petit Palais has one of the most beautiful interiors in Paris, in my opinion. A spectacular example of Rococo turned Romantic architecture, walking through the building feels like floating. Don’t miss the Roman-style courtyard complete with a small cafe, perfect for sunny days in Paris.

 

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Galerie Vivienne

One of the first indoor shopping malls in Paris, Galerie Vivienne is a great place to window shop or catch artisans in the middle of their craft. During Christmas, the Galerie is strung up with dazzling lights and wreaths, making it a happy surprise when one turns the corner into an unexpected winter wonderland.

 

Best Views in the City

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Galerie Lafayette

One may say the best place to see Paris is the Eiffel Tower, but then you can’t see the Eiffel Tower! The Galerie Lafayette is one of the highest points of the city and offers spectacular views of all your favorite monuments. During Christmas, the mall is decked out in twinkling lights and a huge, decorated Christmas tree. Don’t miss out!

Musée d’Orsay Balcony

On the fifth floor of the Musee d’Orsay lies a secret gem. The balcony off of the fifth-floor cafe offers stunning panoramic views of the city, stretching all the way to Montmartre. It’s a great way to end the day at the museum.

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Notre Dame Tower

Another great alternative for stunning Paris views is to climb the towers of Notre Dame. It is free for people under 26 to climb up the 422 steps for breathtaking views of Ile de Cite and the Seine.

Gardens

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Rodin Museum Gardens

The Rodin Museum is a great alternative to the crowded Musee D’Orsay and the Louvre. It has a stunning collection of Rodin’s works as well as other sculptors from the 19th century. Complete with an outdoor sculpture garden, the Rodin Museum is a perfect location for a sunny afternoon and some light reading.

Park at Pont Neuf

Fun Fact: Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge in Paris, despite its name meaning “New Bridge”. At the base of the bridge is a small park that looks out over the Seine. It’s a very popular spot for local young people to bring wine and snacks for a picnic, especially in the evenings.

Parc Bercy and Village 

If you are really looking for places off the beaten path, head to the 12th arrondissement and check out Parc Bercy. Built in the 90s to incorporate more green space into Paris, the eclectic park consists of three small gardens connected by footbridges. Next to the park is the Bercy Village, a cute shopping and dining area created out of old wine caverns.

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Place des Vosges

 A popular rest spot for local Parisiens, this park is a great place for a picnic and a nap on a sunny day. Place des Vosges is one of the only parks in Paris where people are allowed to go on the grass, so take advantage of it. Located in a former palace courtyard, the park offers views of stunning architecture and great people watching.

 

Check out this article for more secret spots in Paris. Happy exploring!

Finding Free Housing in France

Struggling to find cheap accommodations in Paris? Housing in Paris is one of the top complaints among international students because the options are slim and the prices are high. Feel Parisien is now able to offer affiliated students free accommodations through our partnerships with French tutoring programs.

If you are a native English speaker or speak English fluently without an accent, you may be eligible for this program. If accepted, you will be a private English tutor for a French family in or near Paris for three months. You will tutor in English for 15 hours a week and in return receive free room and half-board (two meals a day).

Don’t worry, you can still be a full-time student if you enter this program. The weekly schedule will revolve entirely around your academic classes. If you schedule your time right, you should be able to have weekends off!

This program is a great option for students coming to Paris looking for cheap, short-term accommodations. Even if you are staying in Paris for longer than 3 months, the program gives you the opportunity to save some money and search for housing in person instead of online. Also, more housing options open up after September because there are fewer students looking for accommodations. 

Another bonus is that the visa application only requires proof of residence for three months in France, so this program is a great option if you are struggling to find other arrangements in time to apply for your visa.

Staying with a host family is a great first initiation into life in France. It is a great opportunity to practice your French and to learn more about French culture and home life. Who knows, through your host family, you might even meet some French friends!

If you are interested in this program, indicate such on the platform or contact us for more information.

Need furniture for your Paris flat?

Moving to a new apartment in a foreign country is hard enough without having to worry about furnishing it from scratch. Buying furniture can be expensive, but not if you know where to look. Read this article for our recommendations for affordable places to buy furniture in Paris.

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New Furniture

Tati

Tati is a great source for cheap household goods in Paris, with many locations across the country and in Paris. See a full list here. The store is a one-stop shop for everything you could need, from appliances to utensils, to even clothing.

 

Maisons du Monde

This store is a great option for the stylish decorator, known for its cute decor and modern furniture. They are frequently having sales so check them out for some bargains on quality furnishings. See all locations in Paris here.

 

Ikea

Everybody’s favorite build-it-yourself store, Ikea is always a good option for affordable goods. Unfortunately, there is no location in Paris but one is coming soon, hopefully by Summer of 2019. Otherwise make the trek to the branch outside the city, accessible by the bus stop at 77 Boulevard Saint-Jacques or by car. I do not recommend this if you do not have a car, as the bus can be unreliable and it can be difficult to transport all your furniture back by yourself. Ordering online is your safest bet. 

New location: 15 Boulevard de la Madeleine, 75001 Paris

 

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Used Furniture

Le Bon Coin

Le Bon Coin is a French online trading site for anything from used furniture to hand-me-down shoes. You can find some great deals here so don’t miss out. I would recommend being a good French speaker or at least having one nearby in order to successfully complete transactions. This site is also a good option for selling furniture when you leave Paris.

 

Emmaus

The equivalent of Goodwill for you Americans out there, Emmaus is a great option for second-hand items of all shapes and sizes. An NGO and donation-based, Emmaus will be your cheapest option for household items. It is also a great place to donate your furniture when you leave Paris. Check the website for all store locations in Paris. 

 

Happy bargain hunting!

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 of these weekly programs (Intensive French Course, 21,5 hours per week)) or more : 10% off when you say you are from Feel Parisien. 

  • 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 any program with 12 lessons weekly (Semi-Intensive French Course, 11,5 hours per week) : 8% off when you say you are from Feel Parisien. 

  • 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) : 8%off on listed price when you say you are from Feel Parisien.

  • 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.

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!