Paris is an exciting city with many entertainment and recreational opportunities. Students will find everything from historic sites, museums, theaters, night clubs, cafes and much more.
In addition to KEI-organized cultural activities and field trips, students are encouraged to participate in campus clubs and events. ABS has many student associations and sports teams. It’s a great way to meet French students while doing something you enjoy! Intramural sports teams include soccer, volleyball, basketball, rugby, handball, and track and field. Students can also participate in the Bureau des eleves (student body government). This group organizes social activities throughout the year, occasional weekend trips, and a ski trip in winter.
Housing & meals
It is uncommon for universities in France (and many other European countries) to have residence halls on campus. As such, students have the option to live with a host family, in furnished apartments or in a private student residence, depending on interest and availability. Each option has pros and cons.
Living with a host family is an excellent opportunity to improve your French language and experience authentic French family culture. Families are screened by KEI. Most bedrooms are double-occupancy. Living room, bathroom(s) and kitchen are shared with the family. Note that living with a host family requires a meal plan. A typical meal plan includes daily breakfast and two dinners per week and costs approximately $800. Other meal plan options may be available, depending on the host family.
Living in a shared apartment and private student residence allows for more independence. Apartments and residences are shared with KEI and other students and vary in size and layout. Most bedrooms are double occupancy.
KEI will make every effort to arrange your choice for housing. However, we cannot guarantee your first choice. Many factors influence housing assignment, including availability and your enrollment date.
Most students take the opportunity to learn how to shop and cook “French-style.” Grocery stores, bakeries, and shops can be found throughout the city. Students are encouraged to discover the biweekly outdoor market up the street at Place Felix Eboue. (Hint: Chat with the vendors at the market for recipes and all the local gossip and news!)
The campus has a cafeteria that sells sandwiches and paninis. Many students like to enjoy their sandwich on the banks of the Canal St. Martin, featured in the 2001 film Amelia. There is a myriad of restaurants and cafes to choose from near the campus, housing and all around Paris.
Getting around town
In Paris, you are never more than five minutes away from a subway (metro) station! The Parisian subway is one of the best and most attractive in the world. You can even get cell phone reception underground. Most students buy a weekly or monthly subway pass for unlimited rides. The same subway ticket can get you a ride on the extensive bus system.
The subway closes between midnight and 5 am, depending on the line. Special buses called Noctam’bus are available at night. Taxis in Paris are abundant. Taxis can be hailed on the street, at a taxi stand, or by calling the dispatcher.
Phones & internet
KEI will provide a prepaid mobile phone handset shortly after arrival in Paris. The KEI Onsite Director will explain how to use the phone. The phone will have a small amount of credit to get you started. Additional minutes can be purchased at numerous convenience stores.
Internet service is available on campus. Most host families and apartments also have Internet. Internet cafes can be found throughout Paris.
A little bit about myself… I was born in Strasbourg but have been living in Paris for many years. I earned a Ph.D. in Anglophone Studies from Universite de Paris III, and speak French, German, Greek, Russian, Spanish and English. I’ve been the KEI Onsite Director since 2007. I also teach French Language at the American Business School.
My goal is to facilitate a culturally enriching, safe and fun experience for students. I enjoy sharing my love of France and hosting dinners at my house. I hope you will join me.