Paris- Frequently Asked Questions
Passport and Visa
Do I need a passport even if I’m only going for a month?
Yes. Always bring a passport with you when traveling to a foreign country. Remember: make lots of copies of your passport! Leave one behind with your emergency contacts and put a copy of your passport in each piece of luggage you take with you, including your carry-on.
Do I need a Student Visa if I’m only going for a month? What about if I go for a quarter or semester?
For summer programs it is unnecessary to obtain a visa because the program duration is under 90 days in length. If you plan on extending your stay or doing independent travel after your program ends such that your time abroad will exceed 90 days you will need to obtain a visa before you enter France. All quarter, semester, and year students are required to obtain a visa from the French Consulate nearest you before departure. Please be aware of when to apply for your visa by looking at our Passports and Visas information page.
Should I keep my passport with me every place I go during my time abroad?
No. Leave your passport and other important documents in a safe place at your apartment. However, you should carry a COPY of your passport at all times. That way, should you misplace your wallet or purse, you will not lose your most vital information.
What should I leave behind for my parents/emergency contacts?
Leave your correct contact information, a copy of your airline tickets, a copy of your passport and visa (if applicable), and your Onsite Program Director’s contact information.
What is the typical weather in this city?
The National Weather Service provides an International Source Weather service with information on weather conditions. Check it out at http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/FR_cc.html. If you want to find out more information on typical weather in Paris try http://www.wunderground.com/global/stations/07157.html. This site provides information on current conditions, historical statistics, seasonal weather, and much more.
What types of clothes should I bring?
Paris can become fairly warm in the summer, so remember to bring some light clothing including cotton shirts, skirts, and comfortable pants. In the fall and winter seasons the weather become much colder. Please remember to bring jeans, long pants, sweaters (and/or sweatshirts) and a jacket.
Will I have free time?
GSE offers numerous group activities, but there is also plenty of time to explore and experience all that Paris has to offer.
What are some things to do?
Discovering Paris, the “City of Love”, offers students a chance to grasp a unique way of life. Parisian life and culture may be discovered through the city’s numerous historical sights, museums, galleries, shopping along the Champs-Elysées, pubs, theaters, world class soccer matches, and nightlife.
Should I bring a computer?
If you decide to bring a computer on this trip then you must assume all responsibility for the computer. GSE is in no way responsible for the loss or damage of any personal items while participating on a GSE program. There are also numerous internet cafes throughout the city of Paris from which you may access the internet.
What type of transportation does the city offer?
As a major urban city Paris has numerous means of transportation. All students are provided with a pass called the carte orange, which provides access to the Parisian metro system, the city-wide bus system, and the RER suburban train system for the beginning of a GSE program. The metro system of Paris is easy to use and provides transportation to all major districts of the city. These means of transportation will help ensure that GSE students can travel throughout the city at their own leisure.
Is attendance mandatory?
Attendance is mandatory. All matters of attendance comply with the attendance policies of the University of Paris IV (Sorbonne) and the American Business School in Paris.
Will I be fluent from this program?
Your level of fluency will be determined on a case by case basis. All language courses are designed to help facilitate language development and eventual fluency. Fluency is not an easy task, and requires students to work hard inside and outside of the classroom environment.
Do credits transfer?
The University of Paris IV (Sorbonne) and the American Business School in Paris are fully accredited universities. Many students before you have taken the exact class that you will be signing up for. Those who received credit complied with the same protocol set in GSE’s “Transfer Credit” instructions. Also it is important to comply with the policies of the University of Paris IV (Sorbonne) and the American Business School in Paris, which include regular attendance, participation, and completion of all required tests.
Are there university courses that are optional?
Students have the option to attend French Culture and Civilization lectures provided by the University of Paris IV (Sorbonne). Language courses are not optional.
At the American Business School in Paris the French Language course is required. Students may choose to take up to four electives in English.
What will books and school supplies cost?
The cost of these items will be about $50. You will be instructed within your first days of class on how to obtain these items.
Are meals provided?
GSE does not provide daily meals; we recognize that each student prefers their own type of diet. In order to allow students to eat when and what they want, GSE does ensure that all student housing is equipped with a kitchen.
Who will I be living with?
Typically, you will live with other members of your program, but you might also have the opportunity to live with other foreigners. Most likely you will be living in a multi-room apartment and be sharing a room with a friend (if applicable) or a GSE participant who most closely matches your Student Housing Preference questionnaire.
Will I have a single, double or triple room?
As a GSE participant you will most likely share a room with one other person. If you are participating in the program with a friend GSE will try to accommodate the two of you together. Remember to let GSE know that you are going with a friend so that housing assignments will be according to your liking. If you are not going with a friend GSE will match you up with a program participant who most closely matches your answers on the Student Housing Preference questionnaire. Occasionally students will have a single or triple room.