I’ve been getting a few messages from prospective students around the world about studying at the Sorbonne. It’s exciting and terrifying to hear from people just starting their journey, and I can imagine all of the questions they have. Essentially my memory of starting at the Sorbonne in 2010 was one giant question mark over my head.
How will I make ends meet? Will I understand the professors? Will the work be too hard? Am I too old? Am I too experienced? Am I not experienced enough? What will I WEAR?
Here I am, over three years later, still making it, trudging away at my doctorate. For those just starting in the undergrad or masters programs, however, there is of course much advice I could give you. So I will. While I love to answer questions via email, I want to make some information instantly handy, so hopefully you’ll find some answers here regarding practical information for the Université de Paris system (note: I am no expert at all on the Grandes Ecoles, like ENS and Sciences Po, but a lot of the same info will apply).
If you have burning questions, or themes you’d like covered, let me know! But why not start with the most pressing: money. Students can work the equivalent of 20 hours a week, which doesn’t amount to much if you’re making 8-10 euros per hour. Don’t rule out other student jobs, like tour guiding for backpacker groups or looking for a paid internship (good luck!), but whatever the case may be, there are a few notes to keep in mind.
Student life can be rough in a city known as one of the most expensive in the world, but fear not. Money woes need not prohibit studying in Paris if you know what you’re doing…