Paris Unraveled

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Paris Unraveled
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Photo Credit: French pastries, Anne Jacko, via Flickr, Creative Commons License

5 Skills I Learned from Living in Paris

After you get over the initial excitement of actually living in Paris, there's a second emotion that overcomes you. Panic. Living in Paris is hard. Not only is there a language barrier, but you always feel like you don't quite understand what it takes to get things done around here. Whenever you talk to someone in […] Continue


Do Language Assistants Have to Pay Student Social Security?

A question I get a lot from students coming to France is whether or not you REALLY have to pay social security twice. If you're coming to France both as a student in a master's program AND a language assistant (TAPIF), it doesn't really make sense that you have to pay for coverage both as […] Continue


Weekend Trips: Verdun Battle Site and Cemetery

If you're interested in European history, you may want to visit Verdun in La Meuse, the site of one of the biggest and bloodiest battles of World War 1 and the impressive cemetery nearby. Only about 3 hours from Paris by train (change from the TGV to the local train in Metz or Meuse), Verdun […] Continue


3 Steps to Canceling Your Internet Service (Without Paying Fees)

The first time I left France, in 2008, I thought I'd canceled my internet service. I dropped my Orange Livebox off at an Orange boutique in my neighborhood and gotten a receipt, written a letter to the service abonnement, and sent it off with paperwork showing that my visa was expiring and I was leaving […] Continue


Can I get health coverage in France if I’m a student over 28?

If you’re a student in France, you normally get health coverage by signing up for a student mutuelle, like SMEREP or LMDE when you enroll in university. The cost of €211 must be paid by all students who aren’t covered under their parents’ insurance, and those who do not have a valid work contract that […] Continue


A Visit to Van Gogh’s House in Auvers-sur-Oise

At the end of his life, Vincent Van Gogh lived in a small hotel in Auvers-sur-Oise, about 45 minutes outside of Paris by train, making it a nice day trip in late spring or early fall. Open to the public from April through October, the Van Gogh house is sparsely furnished (as it would have been […] Continue

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