You might think that living in Paris is like the melancholy melody of an Edith Piaf song, or the beauty of being able to have a baguette a day– but to clarify what it’s really like here’s my point of view on the Pros and Cons of living in Paris !
The Pros of living in Paris:
1. It’s an artists dream: Studying abroad for any Art or Design major is an inevitable outlet for inspiration. Studying abroad in Paris is like living in a chapter of an art history text book. Everywhere you go there is another beautiful sculpture, monument, or museum to be seen. Not to mention the neoclassical/beaux-arts style architecture and traces of art nouveau that shape the city’s romantic beauty for which it is known. With a twinkle of the Eiffel Tower’s lights, and a stroll along the river you’ll be head over heals.
2. Food: So you may have thought I was kidding about the baguettes, but in all sincerity the bread in Paris is like no other. It’s always baked fresh throughout the day, everyday, and it’s the only thing that’s acceptable to be seen eating while walking down the street. But besides baguette, there is a whole world of french cuisine to explore here; in fact, Paris is said to be one of the easiest places in the world to eat healthy because of all of the open air, local farmers markets, and the fact that the use of GMO’s is illegal in France. So not only is the food you by delicious, but it’s also healthier for you in most cases.
3. Desserts: Yes, the desserts deserve their own separate category because of just how amazing they are. They are a giant PRO for Paris. Macaron, Crepe, Mousse, need I say more?
4. Public Transport: Getting to know the metro is super simple, and you can also use your metro cards for the buses, so it’s easy to get around. But if you’re not a fan of using the underground transport, you might want to try vélib’, the public city bike system, they’re all over the city and super easy to use. Getting to the airport is also super easy because of the RER (which is both a local metro and a Paris suburban train). For more information on the ease of public transport in France see my previous post “Notes for the Daily Commute”.
The Cons of living in Paris:
1. Communication: For some study abroad students, it’s easy to get frustrated with Paris because of the language barrier. Although most Parisians do speak English, they may come off as frustrated or rude if you speak to them in English right off the bat. Even a simple “bonjour, parlez-vous anglais?” (hello, do you speak English) will get you far as they see it as a form of respect, and that you’re trying to speak the language means a lot. That being said, you have the option to take a course in french while studying abroad at Parsons Paris, so if you’re really interested in learning I highly recommend it.
2. It’s Expensive: Living in Paris is pretty comparable to living in New York price-wise, for somethings it’s even cheaper, but then you have to consider the exchange rate. Depending on where you’re from the Euro exchange rate might be pretty steep (right now approximately 1.37 USD is equivalent to 1 EUR.) Plus, the fact that the chocolate is so good that it’s addictive won’t help your bank account either. ha-ha.
3. Convenience (or lack thereof): Everything closes. Besides specific pharmacies, there is absolutely nothing in Paris that’s open 24/7. And pharmacies are not also convenience stores like they are in the states. The closest thing you’ll find to a convenience store is a mono prix and they’re only open from 9am-9:30pm Monday- Saturday. Basically nothing is open on Sunday’s. (Unless you’re getting brunch in le Marais, which is lovely).
Overall, living in any new place comes with it’s quirks, and only time can really help you understand them all, but if you do see yourself in the city of lights some time soon feel free to add to the list with the comments sections below! Until then, a beintot !