• Yuna Cheng

How to Survive (and make it!) In Paris

Updated: Dec 9, 2019

Coming to Paris for the first time may be scary, to travel and to live and study here is totally different things. Let us give you a vaccine before you encounter it yourself. As we will give you our weird experiences when we first came here, also some useful tips to survive and some suggestions that will allow you to make the best out of your stay. This podcast will definitely strengthen your immunity and have you prepared for student life in Paris.

We gathered for you here the main issues we will be talking about in this podcast, and some very pragmatic solutions to help you survive. Don’t hesitate to share other problems with us in comment!

Problem: Language Barriers

Even though Paris is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, a majority of people are not used to speaking English in their daily life. As a foreigner student who cannot speak french, it could be really frustrated. It would be great if you can learn some basic French before you come to France that will make you integrate more into society. However, do not worry that much, as more and more people are getting used to speaking English.

Here are some words that will be useful for your everyday life:

Bonjour - Good morning

Bonsoir - Good evening/Goodnight

Merci - Thanks

Pardon - Short for excuse me

Excusez moi - Excuse me

S'il vous plait - Please

Problem: Homesick

Homesick is one of an inevitable issues that we have to face it ourselves when studying abroad alone. It is important to build up your own community and find your comfort zone in a foreign city. We suggest you to go out and meet people, as friends will make you less alienated.

Hometown Food is also a good remedy for us, as Paris is a multicultural city, it is quite easy to find a great number of different cuisines, and you can find international grocery shops that offer various ingredients from all over the world. As we are both Asians, there are some good and authentic restaurants recommended to you.

Korean cuisine:

1. On the Bab



Japanese cuisine:


Hakata Choten

China town:

13th District (metro Line 7 from Place d’italie towards Porte d’Ivry)

Belleville (metro Line 2 & 11)

The Centre Pompiduo (metro Line 11 - Arts et Métiers)

Problem: Transportation

Luckily Paris has a convenient metro system that covers all the area of Paris. Metro and buses are one of the most common modes of transportation as they run throughout the city centre. Another mode of transportation is RER, which is commonly used to connect to the outskirts of Paris. As to the security in Paris, we suggest you to be aware of your personal belongings every time!!! Especially at the touristic areas, restaurants and in the metro, but apart from that, Paris is still a safe city in general.

One additional thing regarding the Paris metro is that Paris people always in a rush and they walk fast and Parisian people don’t like to be slowed down when they walk into the small corridors. So keep that in mind and keep you pace up!

Problem: Administrative work

One of the most inevitable hectic problems for every international student, is all the administrative work. The French government they are famous for being super inefficient. Even though most of the things have an online system but sometimes they still required the actual paperwork. However, there is good news for IFA students as the school has a partnership with FeelFrançais which is an agency that helps you with all the crazy administrative works and all other stuff like health insurance, house insurance, bank account and phone plans. The most important thing is that all the services are in English. Their website is very easy to understand and the staff is super efficient as well.

After reading all that you are probably thinking

<<Why would I ever want to go to Paris?>>

Think again…

Here are the Benefits as a student living in Paris:

Living and studying in Paris will bring you lots of benefits especially if you are under 26. First and foremost is that you will be able to access to the museums for free or if not with the student discount. Also there will be many important fashion-related events happening in Paris throughout the year.

Start with the fashion week that happens every February and September. Even if you are not invited to attend the show it fashion week is a perfect place to find new inspirations and ideas. Also, with smaller brands you will have a chance to get into the show just check date, time and their venue and try to go line up for the waiting lists. Also, there will be many internship opportunities during the Paris fashion week. All the information about Paris Fashion Week will be on WGSN and BOF.

One of the events apart from Paris fashion week that I would recommend you to go is the Premiere Vision, which is the biggest fabric trade show in Europe. It happens twice a year around January and September, and this is a great place to get an insight into upcoming fashion trend.

TO finish with… Here are the Activities to do in Paris that we mention in our podcast:

Paris will never fell to impress you this city is so lively and it has interesting activity for you to do throughout the year.

La nuit Blanche ( October )

Le marché de Noël (December)

Le grand palais des Glaces (December)

The cherry blossoms at Parc de Sceaux ( April )

La fête de la musique ( JUNE )

All the activities will be on a website called Sortir à Paris, we suggest you to check it often and don’t miss it.

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