9 international students out of 10 recommend France as a study destination, shows Campus France’s latest barometer. International students have never been more satisfied about studying abroad in France than in the past year. Planning on studying abroad in Paris, France for a semester or more? Here are ten tips to make the most of this experience.
Getting an international experience, improving language skills, acquiring soft skills are among the reasons why many students wish to study abroad. Welcome to Paris!
1. Look for accommodation early
With over 2 million inhabitants, Paris is quite busy and finding a short-term accomodation may prove difficult for an exchange student. Students enrolled at Business School EMLV can rely on the dedicated housing platform. The latter features property ads for renting studio apartments, shared rentals, subletting or student halls. Thousands of accomodation are available close to the school.
2. Learn French, or at least the basics
While in Paris, why not seize the occasion to improve French language skills or learn it altogether? EMLV offers French language and civilization classes to international students.
A few hours of French class a week can do wonders and locals always greatly appreciate foreigners to greet them in French.
After saying “bonjour”, they won’t be offended when asked “parlez-vous anglais ?”.
3. Get involved in student associations
In order to improve their French skills, students should try to meet locals. In French higher education schools, student associations are a great way to meet new people around a common interest: sports, arts, charity…you name it! EMLV and the two other schools sharing campus, engineering school ESILV and digital school IIM count more than 40 associations in all fields.
4. Use public transportation
Underground, bus, trains… Paris’s public transportation network is wide and quick. Connections are easy all over the city. Students should get a Navigo Pass from the Parisian transportation company, it is the easiest and cheapest solution for daily commutes. One tip to become a real Parisian: always keep one’s right when walking in the underground corridors and on the escalators, as people in a hurry will use the left lane.
5. Be prepared to walk
Yes, the previous tip advised to use public transportation, however exchange students will notice that Paris also is a city to visit by foot.
There’s nothing like strolling in one of Paris’ 20 arrondissements to immerse themselves in the city’s one-of-kind atmosphere.
Students should get ready to walk a lot!
6. Get a student card
The International Student Identity Card or ISIC is a must have when in France. Students will need it in school and can also use it to get discounts in museums, cinema, transportation, sports, amusement parks and many more.
7. Study at the library
Bookworms will love Paris, for its libraries are numerous and suit all tastes! Good news for students, the majority of them are free. Some of them are managed by universities, others by the City of Paris, while others are national like Bibliothèque Nationale François Mitterrand.
Whether they like dim light, long sets of wooden shelves and creaking parquet floor or wide and light-flood reading rooms, students will perhaps unexpectedly love to study for their exams in Paris.
8. Do not feel forced to tip
Unlike in the USA, service is included in the bills. Tipping an outstanding waiter, hairdresser or taxi driver is not uncommon, however, customers are not frowned upon when they don’t leave a few coins or a banknote. When in a café or restaurant, waiters will rarely bring the bill to the table. Customers must ask for it : “l’addition s’il-vous-plait”!
9. When in Paris, do like the Parisians
Overseas students should know that coffee in Paris, at least in typical cafés, is quite different from what they know at home. Asking for a “café” will result in the waiter bringing an espresso. Extra tip, the latter is cheaper when taken on the bar counter. Also, French bread and pastries do deserve their reputation.
10. Go explore!
Many students dream about studying abroad in Paris, those who have the chance should make this once-in-a-lifetime experience count!
Paris is a bustling and international city with multiple aspects: luxury around the Champs Elysées, culture in its numerous museums, economy in its business district Paris-La Défense, where EMLV is located.
Of course, there is much more to France than Paris. Exchange students may also take advantage of their stay to explore France and why not its neighbouring European countries.