travel advice & savings
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Paris Spr'12! Anyone wanna explore?
slvc's profile picture
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Hey! So I’m a 21 year old guy studying abroad in Paris in Spring for international business!! I don’t know anyone in the program, or even if there IS anyone else. Would anyone be able to give me some study abroad advice? Also, I’m thinking of like.. exploring around and stuff. if anyone’s interested or has tips or ANYTHING, please let me know!! i’m so excited, I’ve never been to Europe, just Asia. =) Thanks!

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Having known a lot of study abroad students, I would say get in touch with some there currently or very recently—through your school’s study abroad program—and ask them about practicalities such as locating lodging, furniture, best mobile phone program, internet access, food shopping, restaurants, bank cards, and must-dos.

You should be able to use foreign ATM cards at ATMs to withdraw cash. If you have an unlocked GSM phone working on European frequencies (GSM 900 and 1800, I believe), then you could pick up a pre-paid sim at corner shop or supermarket (check out Lyca and Lebara).

Check out for card discounts and benefits for students.

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You didn’t specify what your concerns are. You’ve already been to Asia, but you didn’t clarify what country you’re from. If you’re from USA/Canada/Aus/NZ, and you’ve been to Asia (and assuming you’ve spent a considerable amount of time there, not just a one-week guided tour), then you already have experience with culture shock, and the like. France will definitely be culturally closer to USA/Canada/Aus/NZ than Asia is, but will be a a bit more culturally distant from USA/Canada/Aus/NZ than Germanic or Anglo countries like Britain or Germany.

You’ll be fine. And you’ll make friends there. Don’t decline a classmate’s or roommate’s invitation to meet up with his/her friends at a bar or restaurant…take every opportunity to meet people, and you’ll eventually develop a group of friends.

Paris is a great city, I lived there myself, and I miss it every day. Enjoy.