For those of you who don't know Essonne, Essonne is a French province, belonging to the Ile de France region, where the river of the same name runs. Its name in French is Essonniens. It is as close to Paris as you can imagine. Most people had to cancel their Erasmus during the pandemic and others had to return home, in my case I had to stay and this is my Erasmus during the covid pandemic in Essonne, Paris experience.
Student accommodation near Paris
Paris as many might know is an expensive city to live in, especially regarding housing. Fortunately for me, the scholarship I received was enough. My accommodation near Paris was about 465 €. With the CAF, this amount decreases to half. If you apply for CAF, you are most certainly going to get it, anyone can get a discount from the CAF.
CAF means ‘Caisse des Allocations Familiales’ which if translated means like Family Allowances Fund. It represents a form of financial support in France. . The CAF can be very useful in supporting students in renting accommodation in France. If you are in a studio you can receive as much as 200€ a month, and if you are in shared housing you can receive up to 180€ a month. As an international student, this can have a great impact on your expenses and your budget for Paris.
A certain payment is taken back by the state. My weekly expenditure is around 100€ max. The lifestyle you choose will mark your expenses, it depends on you. Sometimes when I go to a restaurant and out to bars with my friends this amount increasing for sure.
How was the Erasmus in Paris during covid 2021?
Due to Covid, I have not been able to explore much of social life until now. New openings started and restrictions are gradually been lifted. Cafes, restaurants have just opened, people who miss normal life like us, who eat on the terraces under their umbrellas in the rain, started to fill up the streets.
I think social life will be a little more active in the summer period in the coming days. I try to join some campus events, but, due to cases surging even on the campus it was also not possible to enjoy more of it. We sometimes meet with my friends in our building for dinner, celebrate some special cultural days for each country.
Any travelling during your stay?
I was planning to go north of Europe this year. but as you can imagine covid changed my schedule, unfortunately. But I will arrange some trips inside France, now that restrictions have been lifted.
I normally go to Paris centre from my place Palaiseau for around 4€. I suggest you if you have chance to come Paris, you must try millefeuille a la Vanille de boubon, boeuf bourguignon, patatoes dauphinoise.
Doing Erasmus in Essonne makes it very easy to go to Paris, they are very close to each other. I wish I live near the city of Paris that would be perfect for me to enjoy the city more however living near my campus is a good option because of the price of rent. Approximately 400-500€ for rent for the room is good.
There are some dance clubs that I attend to learn dance. Cora, Auchan and Liddle are for market shopping where you can find very good options. You can have one-year transportation packet for around 350€. Coffees are around 5€ in a restaurant. You can use a 2€ bus ticket for 2 hours, you do not need to buy any new ticket during this period of time.