September is just around the corner and Erasmus students are starting to arrive in the French capital in their masses. To be an Erasmus student in Paris is the start of an unforgettable experience, but it can be daunting at first. Mômji helps you with what to get sorted first, to feel most at ease during the start of your Parisian journey.
1. Plan your daily journey
For Erasmus students who have never been to Paris, the transport system can feel a little overwhelming at first. Don’t worry too much, however, as after a couple of weeks most find it one of the simplest to navigate in Europe… much easier than the London Underground anyway!
Whether you have a job or are studying, it will put your mind at ease to suss out your journey before your first morning. Plot your route, the RATP website or app CityMapper are both great, and make a trial journey. You’ll then know how long it takes, where to go and be more relaxed on your first morning. It’s a must do!
2. French SIM Card
This one can cause quite the headache for Erasmus students… It’s probably best to invest in a French SIM card whilst you’re in Paris. It is often cheaper to set up a small monthly allowance on a French number, not only to contact your soon-to-be new French friends, but it is also often needed to make orders online.
There are plenty of phone company shops around Paris, most likely in walking distance from your accommodation. Although, the easiest way is likely to be to order a SIM card online. It saves being tricked into paying more than necessary and it’s easier to understand what you are buying. Clearly, it’s going to take a few days to arrive, so is best to get sorted early on.
3. Carte NAVIGO
To journey on Paris public transport, the vast majority of students will benefit from having a Carte NAVIGO. These can be bought from most metro stations with kiosks in Paris and run on monthly top-ups. Therefore, if you arrive in late August it’s best to set it up as soon as possible so as not to miss out on using it in September.
However, be sure to check with your University of company before you make your purchase. Many offer discounts or even pay for your transport so, if you’re lucky enough to have this luxury, make sure you capitalise on it!
4. Know your Quartier
The likelihood is that, as an Erasmus student, you’re going to be staying in your accommodation for a while. Therefore, it’s a good idea to get to know your Quartier (your area). On the first night you arrive it might be a good idea to stroll nearby your housing and see what’s about. For example, your local supermarket and boulangerie, the nearest pharmacy, where to connect with which metro line or the closest activities to do with friends. Getting a good idea of your area will, without doubt, help you feel at home!
5. Sign up to activities
During your time in Paris, you’re going to want to get stuck in to some activities. Whatever your passion, there’ll be a club or group for you in the city. It’s not only a great way of practicing French, but fantastic for meeting new people too.
In all likelihood, it is during your first couple of weeks in Paris that you will know the fewest people. Don’t hesitate to sign up to trial and taster sessions as soon as you arrive! The quicker you keep yourself busy in French life, the sooner you feel like a true Parisian!
Hopefully these tips will help get your time in Paris off to a flying start! Don’t forget that Mômji currently has hundreds of English-speaking babysitting jobs in Paris. If you fancy a rewarding and flexible part-time job alongside your studies, don’t hesitate to APPLY NOW!