Life in Paris

City Information

As France’s capital, Paris is a major source of culture, history, fashion, food, and more. The city’s rich cultural and historical base, coupled with its tendency to transform and develop, makes Paris an innovative and dynamic city.

Living and staying in the capital, is a pleasurable experience… The diameter of the city is strategically cut by the River Seine.
On the right bank, there are many of the most fashionable streets and shops, and such landmarks as the Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde, Louvre, the modern Pompidou Center (Beaubourg) and the Sacré Coeur.

On the left bank, you can see governmental offices and is the site of much of the city’s intellectual life. It is known for its old Latin Quarter and for such landmarks as the Sorbonne, the Luxembourg Palace and the Panthéon.

The historic core of Paris is the Île de la Cité, a small island occupied in part by the Palais de Justice and the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. Rising above the city is the Eiffel Tower.
How do you define a Parisian? In numbers, the population stands at an estimated 2,153,600 inhabitants. The usual clichés would have us believe that they are always in a hurry, stressed and arrogant, though their image also blends with that of the French lover, romantic and “bon vivant”.

For more information on the city and culturehttp://en.parisinfo.com/

Student Life

Upon the first visit, the Paris scene can be quite overwhelming. Not to worry, as a foreign student, you have plenty of opportunities to meet other students, and find your niche. As a major European city, Paris is used to welcoming foreigners. As a result, many institutions and organizations such as Erasmus and CROUS have extended their support towards new students. Specifics to help foreign students, http://www.etudiantdeparis.fr/ressources/ads-foreign-students or http://www.crous-paris.fr/

Erasmus is a student organization made up of international students. The Erasmus group is known for organizing events (large picnics, events at nightclubs), offering a stage for students to meet and interact. For more information regarding Erasmus and other student-based organizations abroad, look to http://www.erasmus-paris.com/.
Even if Erasmus exchanges only concern Europe, a lot of international events or associations use Erasmus word instead of international, and students from all countries are invited.

IÉSEG School of Management Campus…it is important to note that the campus lies right outside of Paris (RER A) in la Defense, under the Grande Arche (the symbol of la Defense). Built in 1989 to mark the bicentenary of the French Revolution, the Grande Arche is a huge marble-and-glass-clad concrete monument weighing over 300,000 tons. The roof is 110m high and has a panoramic viewpoint offering a magnificent vista of the historic axis extending from the Arc de Triomphe to the Louvre.

The IÉSEG Paris campus has 20 amphitheatres, 20 classrooms, 3 multimedia centres, 1 library (350 m2 ) 1 cafeteria and rooms available for school associations. This prime location allows the school to reinforce its links with companies and build on its already excellent reputation nationally and internationally.

To get familiar with expected budget or daily expenses as a student…
  • A Metro ticket is approximately 1.70 Euros (for one) and 12 Euros for 10 tickets.
  • Museum full-price entry (plein tarif) tends to be between 7 and 12 Euros.
  • 1 sandwich is around 6 Euros.
  • 1 pizza around 8 or 12 Euros.
  • 1 café is 1 Euro (at the bar) or 2 Euros (sitting).
  • 1 meal (entrée, plat, dessert, without drink) is between 15 and 20 Euros (depending on the neighborhood).
  • 1 baguette is 1 Euro.
  • 1 beer at a café is between 2 and 4 Euros.
  • 1 cinema ticket is 9 Euros.

Companies

France is one of the world’s major economic powers. More specifically, the north central region is the commercial, financial, industrial focus of France. Paris, the food capital of the world…There is some merit to the cliché of the Parisian, who walks around with a baguette in hand, drinks wine, and eats cheese. Gastronomy and eating is a passion in France. Needless to say, agriculture is important (about 60% of the land is used for farming). Over half of the value of agricultural output derives from livestock; leading crops are sugar beet, wheat, corn, barley, and potatoes.

La Défense: Top European business district:

  • 1,500 companies
  • 150,000 employees
  • 3,000,000 m2 of office space

All the major companies…
Paris is the location of major headquarters (French and International companies: Darty, FNAC, NEspresso, etc). Furthermore, many branches of these companies have offices surround the Grande Arche of La Défense (such as GE, Ernst & Young, FNAC, etc). For more specific information on the companies in Paris, please check the following, http://www.parisladefense.com/parisladefense/index.htm

Urban Social Life

To many, Paris is the city of love, lights, and culture…

  • Museums (the Louvre, Centre Pompidou, Musée Picasso, Musée D’Orsay…)
  • Historic monuments and churches (the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame)
  • Cinema (the Cinemateque Francaise, the birthplace of French cinema and the Nouvelle Vague; you will find major cinema venues located on Boulevard Montparnasse)
  • Music (the Opera, the ballet, jazz cafes)
  • Markets (Paris has a wealth of open markets, each open different days of the week)

The Bibliothèques Municipales are also free to access and free to BORROW, which is even better if you want to READ FOR FREE. You’ll find yours on the web site of your city hall! Careful though to bring back the books on time or they’ll charge you much ! To find the nearest library and to consult the catalogue please visit: http://b14-sigbermes.apps.paris.fr/medias/medias.aspx?INSTANCE=EXPLOITATION

Nightlife is particular
Living up to its name – “the City of Lights” – Paris has a vibrant ambiance that continues through the night. On any day of the week, one is bound to find crowds in the streets, filling up café terrasses. No matter the neighborhood, Paris is an exciting city by night and by day.

Sports
While in Paris, you will have access to a wealth of public gymnasiums (usually one for each neighborhood), as well as public stadiums and parks for running.

For more information on sport venues and activities, please consult the following link: http://www.paris.fr/portail/loisirs/Portal.lut?page_id=5046

Urban transformations
An urban and architectural transformation is also underway in Paris: the city is taking on a new look in numerous urban districts and spaces, such as in the Les Halles district, destined to become a veritable green oasis in the heart of the capital. In the coming years, architectural projects like the Triangle tower, at porte de Versailles, the development of the Masséna-Bruneseau district, in the South-East, and the future Signal and Phare towers, at La Défense, will forge links with neighbouring communes.

Weather

In general, the Paris weather is mild, divided between four seasons.

  • Autumn: 10° to 20° (expect rain)
  • Winter: 1 to 10°
  • Spring: 15 to 25°
  • Summer: 19 to 35° (but still relatively mild)

Transportation

Paris prides itself on having the cheapest transportation system, offering 16 lines covering 8 radial zones for public transport. These lines cover all neighborhoods of the city, and run about every 2 minutes depending on the time of day (for instance: there are more metro lines running during peak hours of the day, and less running at night or over the weekend).

The cost of the ticket depends on the number of zones you want to travel through. Zone 1 is related to Paris but all metro tickets are available for zones 1&2 . The metro is made up of 14 lines identified with the number or the name of the first and the last station (e.g. 3, Galliéni – Pont de Levalois). You have also 5 RER (suburban trains) called by a letter (RER A, B, C, D, E).
In order to travel on the RATP (the state-owned company managing the metro) network, you must be in possession of a valid ticket at all times. Tickets must be validated in the turnstiles, found in the entrance of all metro and RER stations. When boarding a bus (with a metro ticket you can get on any bus) you must show your ticket to the driver if it is a travel card, or validate you metro ticket (not the travel cards!) in the machines provided.

A single ticket, approximately 1.70 Euros, is valid for ONE journey. Tickets are sold in any station or bus, either individually or as a book of 10, called a “Carnet,” which is approximately 12 Euros. A single ticket can be used for metro, RER and bus alike to any destination inside Paris as long as you don’t exit the underground (interchange is allowed in the metro and RER but not by bus).

A travel card (monthly or weekly) is called a “Carte Orange” and allows access to all transport in and through zones identified in the area around and inside Paris without limitation.

Important: from 2008, the Carte Orange is being replaced by the Navigo Pass (magnetic card).

Therefore, you will need to ask a form to get a card for free if you live or work in the Paris area (Le passe Navigo), or with a fee for anybody else (Le passe Navigo Découverte). Price examples are displayed below:

Zones Weekly Monthly
1-2 19.15 Euros 62.90 Euros
1-5 33.90 Euros 111.50 Euros

An annual travel card is called Abonnement Intégral. You can pay in one shot or by standing order every month. If you lose it, it can be replaced immediately in any station for free (its price is about 10 ½ months the price of 12 monthly travel cards).

Important: Fares from journeys outside Paris depend on the length of the given route, the departure and arrival station. You can buy your tickets in most of the stations, metro, RER or SNCF stations.

The opening hours of Paris metro stations are from 5 am to 1 am. Metro trains in Paris run from different metro stations. The last train is called the balai which in French means broom. The train is named so because it sweeps the remaining passengers and arrives and enters the terminal station at 1.15 am. On Saturdays and on nights before holidays the last metro enters the terminal at 2.15 am.
For more information on transportation, http://www.ratp.fr (Metro and Bus).

Access to Paris and IÉSEG Campus

Paris offers access to the world with six train stations and two international airports.

Train system
You can reach a train from 6 main train stations (Gare Montparnasse, Gare d’Austerlitz, Gare de Lyon, Gare de l’Est, Gare du Nord, Gare St Lazare). The state-owned company is called SNCF and manages most of the suburban and regional trains as well as main lines and TGV (high speed train) and international trains such as Eurostar(London) or Thalys (Amsterdam). In order to purchase a ticket, you can go to train stations, travel agencies, automatic ticket machines or through the Internet (where you can enquire and validate your order). You can also use the telephone:

    • for timetable information: 08 36 67 68 69
    • for information and buying your ticket: 08 36 35 35 35
    • for the Eurostar: 08 36 35 35 39

You can buy your ticket more than 2 months in advance and collect your ticket from any ticket office or ask for it to be delivered at home (+1.30  Euros).
For more information on trains, http://www.sncf.com

Airports
You have two airports around Paris, Roissy-Charles de Gaulle (RER B, north of Paris about 8 Euros for a single ticket from Paris) and Orly (RER B, south of Paris; it’s quicker to get off at Anthony and take the OrlyVal – about 19 Euros).
For cheap flights, you can try http://www.nouvelles-frontieres.fr or http://www.anyway.com .

 

IÉSEG