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Erasmus Experience in Paris, France by Marie Nadine

Published by flag-us Marie Nadine Pierre — 4 years ago

0 Tags: flag-fr Erasmus experiences Paris, Paris, France


Why did you choose to go to Paris, France?

I wanted to reunite with my beloved children and to learn more about my past.

How long is the scholarship? How much money do you receive to help you with living costs?

I don't have a scholarship. I am currently a Ph. D. candidate at the European Graduate School located in Switzerland and Malta. I get student loans but it's not enough to provide for my living expenses.

What is the student lifestyle like in Paris?

I am a quasi-student in Paris. I have been accepted to the American University but I have not been able to complete my visa application so I can't matriculate. I live on the streets, I sleep on buses and trains and I beg for money to eat and stuff. I have heard about non-profits that provide help to students in need but my status is not yet stable so I have not gone to them to inquire. In general, I find that Paris is similar to any other U. S. city with universities. I think of Boston and NYC, two places that I lived and I feel that Paris offers many of the same opportunities to go to museums, enjoy the landscape, really good places to shop for organic produce and foodstuff and good public spaces, specifically local parks that have composts. I am not happy about the fact that the cafes allow smoking and sell alcohol and that they close early. I think that the University libraries have good hours but I have not checked them out.

Would you recommend the city and the University of Paris to other students?

Yes, I would recommend Paris to other black, Ayiti, Rastafari students who want to learn more about France, and Europe. I am learning a lot about the connection between the French language and Ayiti's language, the slave trade and European art.

What is the food like?

I love the abundant organic produce that is available at local supermarket chains like Bio C Bon, Biocoop (Dada, etc), Naturalia, Nouveau Robinson and farmers markets. I will be checking out the rawganic restaurant that recently opened in the 10eme.

Did it cost you to find your accommodation in Paris?

I am still searching for suitable accommodation in Paris. I expect that I will have to pay for someone to help me find a good place to live while I am here.

How much does it cost to live in Paris?

I think that it costs about $2500 a month to live in Paris. The rent for a studio or a nice room is about 900 euros and with utilities, food, and other expenses like travel, health insurance, discretionary, it adds up.

Is the language easy to get to grips with? Are there language courses available at the University?

I attended French-Canadian primary school. I was also enrolled in bi-langual, French-English education in NYC. I speak French adequately enough but it's still really hard to communicate complicated thoughts. I will take a course to better my skills.

What's the easiest or most economical way to travel to Paris from your city?

I got to Paris by train from Switzerland. I think that there are cheap tickets available from various online merchants.

Where would you recommend to go on a night out in Paris?

I am not sure. I was around the Seine in the 16eme late once and there were lots of folks around and they seemed like they were having fun. Also, I have seen a lot of cool looking people hanging around late by the Moulin Rouge in Pigalle in the 18eme.


And for eating? Can you recommend some good restaurants in Paris?

I have read that there are plenty of vegetarian and organic restaurants. I have not eaten out and I prefer to prepare my own rawganic vegan meals. Organic produce is plentiful and affordable, so I would recommend taking advantage of that by buying and eating plenty.

What good cultural sites are there to visit?

I like to go to the museums and I love visiting artistic spaces. France has many great public sculptures and I have visited the statues of the great Ayiti French writer Dumas, his son, and grandson in the 17eme many times. There is also a plaque dedicated to Toussaint L'Ouverture and a boardwalk and street named for Jean Michel Basquiat and Mumia Abu Jamal. I love shopping at Château rouge and Château d'eau as well as Barbes. I think that it's really important to visit the great artistic neighborhood of Montmarte which is very close to Pigalle. Also, I highly recommend visiting the Saint Germain neighborhood in the 6eme.


Is there any other advice that you could give to students going to Paris in the future?

I would like to advise students who plan to travel to Paris in the future for educational purposes to try not to bring too much with them. There are plenty of shopping opportunities and book buying, for example, has become a great shopping experience for me because there are plenty of bookstores and they carry many U. S. authors in both French and English. I also advice them to bring their specialty items that they might not find available at French stores.

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