Prepare for Arrival

On this page, you will find information about the following subjects to help you prepare for your arrival in Paris this summer:


Arriving Early

We strongly recommend that you arrive on your designated date. However, if you must arrive before your assigned date and need a place to stay, you will need to book a room at a local hotel. AUP has established partnerships with 4 star hotels in Paris from the INWOOD hotel chain.  There are some other accommodation options that you may wish to explore including using to search for a hotel or for an apartment in Paris. You can also check the FIAP for cheaper accommodation.


Medical Concerns

Consider visiting your doctor and dentist before you leave for France to avoid medical problems during your stay. Make sure you have adequate health insurance coverage that includes hospitalization and medical repatriation in the event of an emergency. Contact your health insurance provider for information; most provide coverage for travel/study abroad for a small fee. The (Office of Student Development) will provide you with a list of English-speaking doctors and health care specialists who can assist with any medical difficulties you may have.

In the event that you have an ongoing medical treatment, it is recommended that you pack an extra supply of any necessary medication. Keep them in their original container and bring the prescriptions in order to avoid problems with French customs. You can also check to ensure that these medications are available and legal in France by contacting directly one of the AUP doctors, whose telephone numbers are available from the Student Development Office.


Travel and visa information

Travel: We encourage you to make your travel plans as soon as possible because transatlantic flights fill up fast in the summer months. There are a number of discounted possibilities from the US and Canada. For discounted travel rates, we recommend that you get the International Student Identification Card (ISIC). Also consider purchasing travel insurance via your airline or travel agent, or through a travel insurance agency like iNext which specializes in study abroad students.

Visa Regulations: You should check with your local French Consulate concerning visa requirements. Make sure that you do so before leaving your country of residence, as it is not possible to adjust your status once in France. 

If you require proof of your enrollment in an AUP Summer program, please contact the Admission’s Office.

If you intend to travel outside of France before, during or after the Summer Session, be sure that your passport allows travel in other countries and that you respect the visa requirements for these countries.

AUP is unable to assist students in obtaining visas for summer study.



Most students choose to continue to use their phone while in Paris. Be sure to check with your phone service provider that you are able to call internationally and what additional costs may be associated with international roaming. You also have the option to purchase a SIM card in Paris that you can use during your stay. 


Automatic Teller Machine (ATM)

Students frequently rely on bank or credit cards to withdraw cash from Automatic Teller Machines. This is very convenient, but be aware that there are often daily or weekly limits to the amount you can withdraw.

Before arriving in Paris, we recommend that you contact the company that issued your card to:

  • verify that your card is an international card and can be used in Paris;
  • secure a 4-digit pin code (not letters) for your card. Only cards with 4-digit numerical codes can be used in French ATM machines;
  • determine whether or not there are daily or weekly limits;
  • confirm whether your bank or credit card company charges for individual transactions at ATMs; if so, you will want to make fewer but larger withdrawals;
  • before leaving your home country, inform your bank that you will be using your ATM card in France.



Activities during orientation include workshops as an introduction to AUP and Paris, campus and Métro tours, an overview of AUP’s Cultural Programs, welcome reception and various social activities.

A Student Advisor is assigned to each new student to provide practical advice. Orientation is also an excellent opportunity to make new friends and get to know Paris.

Please note that orientation is mandatory and that the orientation fee will not be waived even when a student does not attend orientation.

Download the Summer Orientation Guidebook to see the full schedule of activities. 


What to Bring

Past experience has shown us that students tend to over pack, so keep it light! All essential items, from clothing to literature, personal hygiene products to sports equipment, can be purchased in Paris. Soft luggage tends to be more convenient because it can be stored easily, taking up less space in your room. If you are planning to travel during the summer, it is advisable to use a backpack that will be light and easy to carry. Here are three more useful tips:

  • The electrical current in France is 220 volts; transformers that correct voltage differences can be purchased locally or at airports.
  • Students taking prescription medication should bring at least one month’s supply with a written prescription, and take note of the medication’s pharmaceutical name.
  • Be aware that shipping can be expensive and may involve customs delays and fees. It is best to travel with all of your belongings.


Travel to and in Paris

Getting into Paris

There are two international airports that serve Paris: Roissy-Charles de Gaulle to the north of Paris and Orly to the south.

The easiest way into the city from the airports is by taxi. Depending upon the time of day, a taxi from Roissy-Charles de Gaulle costs 56-65€ and a taxi from Orly costs 36-44€. There are authorized taxi stands just outside the airports, so follow the signs rather than using a service offered at the arrival gates. You may also want to verify the flat rate amount prior to getting into the taxi, and be sure to note the driver's name and registration number if you have any problems.

You can also take the regional train called the RER (about 10-12€) from either airport, which connects directly with the Paris subway system (Métro).

Shuttle buses can cost between 12€ and 17€, depending upon the destination. The RoissyBus leaves from Charles de Gaulle and stops at Paris (Opéra). The OrlyBus leaves from Orly and stops at Paris (Place Denfert-Rochereau).

The closest metro to the AUP Student Life center is Alma-Marceau (line 9) or Pont de l’Alma (RER C line). 

For more detailed information, as well as additional public transportation options, please visit the RATP website.


Getting Around Paris

RATP (local transportation) If you will be taking buses or the metro at least twice a day, you’ll want to buy a Navigo Mois (month) or Navigo Semaine (week) pass. If your use will be occasional, it will be better to buy individual tickets.  You can access an interactive map of Paris and download the RATP app on their website.

The monthly pass has a reduced price for your daily transportation in Paris, but also allows for travel throughout the Ile-de-France region on weekends and holidays at no additional charge (ex. Chateau de Versailles, Monet’s gardens in Giverny, neighboring cities, parks, and forests).  You cannot buy the passes prior to arriving in Paris.

You can access an interactive map of the Paris Metro and RER lines and download the RATP app on their website.

Vélib is for those who love riding bikes.  For only €5, you can have unlimited access their expansive network of public bikes for one day. The only catch is that if you use a bike for more than 30 minutes, you’ll have to pay extra.  So, just dock it in a station after 25 minutes and grab a new one. 

By foot.  Paris is a very pedestrian friendly city.  Put on your comfortable shoes and go exploring.  The edge of the Seine is motor-free from AUP to the Louvre.


Safety in Paris

Paris is a very safe city. As with all large cities, though, there is petty theft and crime. If you pay attention to what’s happening around you, you’ll be fine. Be sure to attend the Orientation session offered by AUP on “Living in Paris” which will include safety tips, but prepare yourself in advance with these simple tips.

Helpful Safety Tips
  • Never keep large amounts of money on you.  Pickpockets are common in the tourist areas and in public transportation.
  • Be discrete with your money.  If you take out your purse or billfold, don’t hold it so that people around you see what you have inside.  Flashing a €50 or bigger bill is a great way to make yourself a target for pickpockets or “grab and go” theft.
  • Phones are also an easy target.  Avoid using it in the street and in public transportation, as having it grabbed out of your hand as the thief goes through a closing door is a classic trick.  Also, do NOT leave your phone on the table in a restaurant.  Keep it in your pocket or your purse.
  • Invest in a purse with a zipper that closes completely and that you can put over your shoulder, rather than holding it in your hand.
  • Keep your purse near you.  If you’re at a restaurant and put it on the floor, put your foot through the strap so that it cannot be slid away from your table without you noticing. If you're riding a vélib, hook the strap around the handlebars so it cannot be grabbed out of the basket.
  • Avoid making eye contact with strangers in the street or in public transportation, especially at night.
  • Do as the French do and speak quietly in public transportation. Loud voices can carry and draw attention to you.


Money and Expenses

We advise you to have at least 100€ in small denominations on you when you arrive in Paris to use for immediate transportation and other needs. Do not travel with large amounts of cash. It is recommended that you use either a credit card or traveler’s checks (preferably in Euros) that can be exchanged at most Parisian banks as needed.

Be sure to have the phone number of your bank or credit card company in case any difficulties arise when you are in Paris. You are also advised to keep this contact information, along with credit card or traveller’s check details, in a safe location in case your card should be lost or stolen.

Public Transportation

Individual metro/bus tickets cost 2.15€; a book of ten tickets (carnet) costs 17.35 €. These can be purchased as paper tickets or on the Navigo Easy pass on your phone.


A soft drink in a café costs about 4.00€, an espresso 2.60€. A meal in a restaurant  costs at least 15.00€. However, you can easily buy lunch for under 8.00€ from the many bakeries (patisseries) in Paris. These typically offer pizzas, quiches, sandwiches, salads, paninis, etc. and often carry vegetarian options as well.


There are many cell phone options for even short stays in Paris. You can also buy a cheap phone and prepaid SIM card that you can recharge, in Tabacco shops “Tabac” and specialized telephone and HIFI stores. If your cell phone accepts French SIM cards, you can buy the SIM card alone, prices starting at 10€ for 30 min communication.

Don’t forget to tell your friends and family that the country code for France is 33 and that to call Paris you have to drop the first 0 from local numbers. For example, the Student Affairs Office dialed from Paris is and from abroad it is (01133...from the States).

Estimated Budget

The following list is a guide to estimate your personal budget for your stay in Paris. This should be considered a minimum budget for six weeks and does not include travel outside of Paris or participation in Cultural Programs events or excursions.

Figures are given in Euros and US dollars and are approximate and subject to fluctuation due to the rate of exchange.

Item Costs
AUP Housing 715€ to 2100€ ($800 to $2350)
Personal expenses 650€ to 850€ ($725 to $950)
Books 100€ ($110)
Meals/groceries 480€ ($530)
Transportation 130€ ($145)
Laundry/clothing 50€ ($55)
Telephone 50€ ($55)