Studying in Paris sounds like a dream… I mean, who wouldn’t want to experience the city of love and the city of lights for a little while? Follow us around during our time in this beautiful city, living the parisian lifestyle and studying at one of the best business schools in France.
Ernest Hemingway once said:
“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man (or woman), then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”
With my blog posts we are going to discover if he was right.
First things first
Before dreaming of strolling along the Seine river you have to find an accommodation in Paris. Believe me, this can be quite difficult! You should start really early in order to find something that is affordable – and by affordable I mean doesn’t leave you bankrupt, because the rent in Paris is really expensive. You should definitely be prepared for that. And also be aware that having your own toilet or bathroom in Paris is not always the case, sometimes there are only shared bathrooms for the whole floor.
As for the neighborhood you can feel free to pick almost any arrondissement you like, as Paris usually is considered a safe city. Maybe you should avoid the northern area in Paris around the 18tharrondissement, and especially the northern suburbs as they are considered to be unsafe and problem areas.
My apartment, which I share with a friend, is located in the 2nd arrondissement only 15 walking minutes away from the Louvre and a half an hour métro-ride away from the PSB – a neighborhood which I can really recommend.
The first week since we got to Paris the craziest things have happened to us – in a good way! Just on the first day a stranger came up to us and showed us around our neighborhood. He even spoke some very good German! Other than that we spent our time sightseeing and strolling around the streets of Paris, discovering the cutest cafés and coolest shops.
Here are some useful things to know when you are new in Paris: Just like in any big city you should be aware of pickpockets, especially in the métro and in touristy places. Another thing which is good to know, is that if you want to buy a métro ticket for a whole month, it is only valid from the first to the last day of the month, so if you arrive in the middle of the month you should start with buying a ticket for a week first. Unfortunately, there is no student discount on the métro ticket, unless you are staying for a whole year.
Talking about transportation – one thing I can really recommend is to download the Uber-App, especially when you are not comfortable with taking the métro after you were out late. In Paris it is quite common to call an Uber instead of a taxi, as it is less expensive and there is always a driver nearby.
Exploring a new city
For me and my friend it is the first time in Paris right now, so we started exploring all the tourist spots first. We began with the Eiffel tower, stopped by the Louvre (btw the entrance is free for EU citizens under the age of 25!), payed a visit to the Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe. But besides all the these amazing places it is really worth it to take long walks through the streets of Paris, seeing all the beautiful buildings and – as I already mentioned – discover the cutest cafés and shops just around the corner. One café I can really recommend is “Le brebant” in the 9th arrondissement. It is a little on the pricier side, but the interior is very unique and beautiful and the éclairs are to die for!
The French way to study
Studying in France is very different to studying in Germany in some aspects. Firstly, your bags are being controlled by security staff when you enter the university, to make sure you don’t carry anything dangerous with you. Secondly, the attendance is mandatory during classes – if you miss classes for any other reason than being sick, you risk getting a lower grade! Lastly, being late to class is considered really rude and the professor gets to decide whether you are still allowed to attend the class. If you are not allowed to, it counts as a missed class and you already know now what the consequences can be! Also you are asked to dress appropriately for university.
As you can see, the rules at university are a little bit more strict in France than back home in Germany, but other than that, we have a lot of great things to tell about the PSB. One thing that I think is really great is that our classmates are not only Macromedia-students, but students from all over the world. On our orientation day we have already met people from China, Canada, Australia and all over Europe. By the way, the PSB threw a Welcome Party for all new international students which took place on a party boat on the Seine river at night – isn’t that amazing?! Furthermore, you can take an additional French course if you like, which is great for anyone who would like to learn a little French during the time here.
To sum up I can say that our time here during the first few weeks was really great and we are excited for everything that is yet to come!