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Subject: Books on Life in France
Date: Friday, April 07, 2006
Name: Rich Forslund
Message: Alright, so I'm a current junior in high school in San Francisco, CA. I am strongly considering going to the American University of Paris. So I got a few questions. What are some of some good books that detail the differences between life in France and the US, particulary specific ways to avoid embarrassing social slip ups. Also, what are the biggest differences between life in a major American city and Paris (besides the language)?

Also, I was curious if any body knew of any organizations/scholarships that would possibly help me with my tuition and living expenses while living in France. There are no dorms at AUP so students have to rent a chambre de bonne in an apartment building. Tuition is approx. 22,000 Euros, but then you got flights, housing, books, metro, food, and other stuff like laundry. AUP basically details it all on their site and the cost comes to just below $40,000 a year! Yikes. I have will have hopefully taken and passed 9 AP tests by the time I graduate, so I might be able to cut my tuition by transferring credits. Still my parents sure don't have , $120,000-$160,000 to spend on me for college. I'm just looking for any help I can get, so if you know of an organization/individual/scholarship that might benefit me could you please let me know. I'm a white male if it makes a difference. Alright Thanks in advance.

Replies Posted 9.

Name Rich Forslund
Message I'd be very interested in the internship in that internship with the US Dep. of State. Is it a paid or unpaid internship? I'll look into it.

How are French women complex creatures? Could you please explain...

Oh and does anybody know if you can work in France (part-time) with a student visa? If not is it possible to get a differnt visa that would allow me to work? How hard/dangerous is it to get a job illegally working (I mean working without the proper papers, not drug-dealing or something like that)? I'll need the money, that's the only reason I would consider it. TY.

Name Samantha
Message That sounds like a good attitude to have, but just know that it can be very hard to make French friends, especially if all your classes are in English and your classmates are foreigners and will be using English as their "working" language. I doubt the majority of people I knew planned on coming to France and then hanging out with English speakers - it just ended up that way because of language frustrations, loneliness, cultural differences, etc, not to mention the easiness of just speaking your native language with someone.

Also, French women tend to be very complex creatures, so watch out. *S*

Another thing to keep in mind for later on is that the State Dept offers summer internships in Paris for college students or recent college graduates - I've known a few people that have done it, and they had a great experience.

Name Rich Forslund
Message Well I'm going to AUP to major in International Relations and minor in French. I also I'm going to try to make French friends for that very reason. Probably more females than males. People say the best way to learn a language is to date a girl/guy from that country. I'm not going to France to hang out with more Americans, I'm actually pretty tired of them right now. The reason I'm going to an American University at all is because one I'm not fluent in any other language, and I want to work for the CIA, US Dep. of State, or NATO after I get my bachelor's/master's degree. I might not become fluent in French, but I'm pretty confident that I will come pretty close. BTW, only 33% of the students at AUP are American, like 16% are French, and the rest are from all over the world.

Name samantha
Message You know, I don't know if you'll become fluent in French (just because you live in Paris) by going to the AUP. I know more Americans than I can count that have moved or studied in France and have left not knowing much more French than they came with because they fell into the trap of only hanging out with other English speakers. It's not that easy to make French friends, and if your classes are in English, you probably won't improve a ton. Though maybe that's not your goal - you haven't said why you're considering AUP or what you want to study.

Name Lori
Message There are many summer camps that do not cost 4000 Euros to go to. Try doing a thorough web search. Try the PGL camps. They are no where near such a high price.

Name Rich Forslund
Message Yep. 22,000 Euros, and that's actually somewhat cheap by US standards. The 3 other schools I'm looking at (Georgetown, Tufts, and Johns Hopkins) all cost $31,000 for tuition. Then another $10,000 for room and board. I really don't want to go to a public Univ. of California school because they are sooo big and impersonal.

I would consider a French University, but I don't speak French well-enough to take a university level class. I would have to write papers in French as well. I mean, I'm learning French right now, and I hope to become fluent with it, but that won't happen until I've spent a significant amount of time in France. Plus, I would have wasted all the time and money on those AP classes at school.

Name Samantha
Message 22,000¬?? That's insane! Maybe you should consider signing up for a regular French university - tuition is only 365¬ for the entire year, plus you usually don't need to spend insane amounts of money to by books like you do in the US.

Name Rich Forslund
Message Thank you for the quick response Lori!

Yes, I have talked to AUP about scholarships. They offer a 3000 Euro scholarship if you have 3.75 or better and like a 14 on the French BAC. How hard is it to get a 14 on the BAC? Would you have to speak fluent French because I doubt I'll be speaking fluently by the time I left. Yes, I'm going to ask my AUP admissions counselor about other organizations that offer financial aid. I'm also pursuing some scholarships that I've found on various websites. I was just asking you guys if knew of any.

For the books, well do you know of any that would come from a similar perspective as myself? So I guess a book written by a young male, or young female. I'm not gonna take the book as the gospel or anything like that, just looking for a perspective into life in France.

As for the summer camp idea. Yea I wanted to do that, but most are at least $4,000 not including airfare. My family can't shell out that kind of money, and well being a white kid in the US its hard to get financial assistance. So to answer your question, yes I would have loved to go to one of those camps (my cousin is going to one this summer), but I could not afford it, and I'd rather save that money for college life than a summer trip to France.

Last thing. On the AUP website it says you can't work in France legally with a student Visa is that true? Could a get a different Visa so that I could work there or would it take to long to get? AUP said you can only apply for a Visa after you get your letter of admittance. Alright TY.

Name Lori
Message Have you tried asking AUP?? They should have a list of all organizations they participate with. All types of scholarships, etc.

Beyond that, you could try a few different French forums. Try the education section on to post the same question.

As to the differences between life here and life in the U.S. That could be a very subjective answer - one person says one thing - another says the opposite. Have you considered spending a summer in France at one of the many French language summer camps? Might be a real eye-opener for you.

There are many books on the subject of life in France. Again, I think they are all based on one person's opinion.

Start by a summer camp. You will most likely love it.

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