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a few "starting up" questions about Paris

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Joined: 17 Sep 2010
Posts: 105

PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 4:45 pm    Post subject: a few "starting up" questions about Paris Reply with quote

Hi, im planning a move to Paris in september. I've read a lot of good info on this site, but theres still a few questions i have. If anyone can answer any of these, i'd be grateful.

1. The first few weeks. It sounds like the best way to get started is live out of a hostel while applying for jobs, and once something is confirmed, then move into a permanent place. Is this right?
I've read here that you often need a job contract to rent a place, but also to get a job you need a Paris address. It seems living in a hostel is a good way to solve that.

2. Room prices? I'm not looking for an apartment, I'd prefer to share with students/young people. In particular the 5th arrond. interests me, whats the average price of renting just a room?

3. Related to all of this, whats a safe amount of money to come with? Would 2000 euros be enough to get set up? The cost of a room deposit, hostal, and living costs while waiting for the first pay.

4. How does tax work? I read some stuff in other threads about it being the workers responsibility to pay their taxes, its not automatic like in other countries.

5. One final question - timing? My plan is to arrive the middle of september, when the school year is starting. Is it a good period to find a job, or too late? Everything i've read says i need to be in paris to be considered for a job, although ive signed up to a couple of job mailing lists and it'd be great to securing something before coming.

Thanks anybody who can help me with this, in return i'll happily give any info you need about Italy, where i've been working.
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Joined: 22 May 2009
Posts: 117
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. A hostel sounds OK, though I don't know how much they cost. Lots of people stay with friends or find an (expensive) short-term let when they first arrive.

If you go through letting agencies, or even some private letters, you'll need a job contract and a guarantor. Other private letters require neither.

2. There are multitude factors in room prices. Look at,,,,, Be aware that if you deal with people who are specifically marketing towards English speakers (eg on, prices will be higher. There is generally insane competition for good-value rooms, especially in September, so get used to being randomly rejected and tearing your hair out before you find something. Rock bottom price I'd say is around 400 euros per month. I rented a tiny room in the 5th arr for a while and it cost me 720 euros per month which is on the expensive side for a flatshare, but I had few options available to me at the time so was forced to take it. I was also paying for the lcoation though - the 5th is very desirable and you won't find a lot of affordable flatshares in this area of Paris. If I was looking for a colocation now, I'd expect to spend around 550 euros and I'd look in the 10th/11th/12th/13th/14th/15th arrondisements.

3. I came with 6,000euros savings and over the course of my first year I was definitely glad that I had it as I wouldn't have survived without it. That said, I didn't spend all of it. 2000 euros sounds reasonable, depending on how lucky you get with accomodation and whether a deposit is required etc.

4. Social charges, at 20% of your monthly pay, are deducted directly from your paycheck every month. Afterwards you are responsible for filing your income tax return. You declare every summer, and you are told how much you must pay based on the previous year of earnings. There is a sliding scale of how much you pay based on your salary. If you don't earn more than a certain amount (I think around 8,000euros pa), you don't pay. After that you could pay around 6% or 15% depending on your yearly income. It's very unlikely that as an English teacher you will earn enough to put you into the next bracket (30%)

5. Mid September is a good time to come. Make a list of language schools you want to target before you arrive, prepare your CV (in English is fine) and when you get here do a massive email send-out plus hit the road and visit some schools in person and you should be fine.

I feel like I've been repeating a lot of the above a lot on this board recently...I'd be interested to see what someone else currently based here in Paris thinks, since my summary is obviously based on my own experiences and observations here. Maybe other people have different ideas.
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Joined: 17 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! Thats really helpful.

Wow, it's more expensive than I thought. I guess i've been spoiled paying E200 a month in the south of Italy.
I mentioned the 5th arrondisment because it sounded like it's the main university district. Which made me think it would be a mix of cheaper housing plus a place where young people live (im 24). But i could be wrong?
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Joined: 10 Apr 2012
Posts: 13
Location: France

PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. You could probably look for a roommate situation while looking for work; one doesn’t necessarily have to precede the other (while staying at the hostel). Some people are more flexible than others.
2. 5th arrond. is 500+
3. Tricky to know. Bring as much as you can. Hostels usually have a sliding scale – the longer you stay, the less you should pay. So if you plan on staying three weeks (or whatever), then book that in advance to get a cheaper rate. Room deposits also vary. Some will ask for one month, some will ask for two months (or first/last month). If you rent at 500, then there goes 1000 at the lowest and 1500 at the highest. Cost-of-living is high in France in general, so the money goes fast.
4. Depends on the contract. If you’re auto-entrepreneur, you pay your own taxes (18-20%). If you get a CDD/CDI, it’s taken from your pay. You then declare annually around May/June.
5. Early/mid Sept is good. People are back from vacation and hiring is in hot season.

There are universities all over Paris, and there are students in all the arrondissements. Cheap housing does not exist in Paris unless you want to live in a ‘chambre de bonne’ (maid’s room in the attic, 8m2) or the basement with no windows, and even then... Other option is to live in the suburbs, where housing is slightly lower and accessible via the RER.

Where did you stay in Italy?
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Joined: 09 May 2012
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Dackinator,
I'm in a similar situation to yourself. I'm a guy in my early 20's planning on moving to Paris around September. Nothing is set in stone yet but it looks like I might have a job sorted already so I'm hoping they might be able to help me find accommodation.
It might be some help for us to keep in touch, especially for things like finding accommodation?
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Joined: 17 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

firebird: Thanks for the info. I stayed in Reggio Calabria, the very bottom tip of Italy. Housing was very cheap, and frequently "informal" with no contract/deposit, which was great.

cobby: Nice one. I'm looking at jobs now, it would be much nicer going there and already having a contract, considering how expensive it is.

Is it cheaper in other cities? Like say, Marseille or Lille? 500+ for rent is painful, knowing I could rent an entire apartment for that price elsewhere (south america for example). But I'd really like to learn french.
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Joined: 06 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a good thread. I thought I'd revive it.

Anyhow, now that I've arrived in Paris, I get the impression more and more it was invented by Joseph Heller. Current status: no job, temporary accommodation (I'm paying by the week, through the nose)

Can anyone solve this?

-When you go to a job interview at a language school they will want you to give them a permanent address. You will need this permanent address so they can start processing your social security number/so you can get a French bank account, etc

-When you look for permanent accommodation in Paris you will find either it is targeted at an Anglophone audience (eg Fusac) and costs an absolute fortune (1,000€+per month for anything decent), or it is targeted at a domestic audience (pap, appartager etc) and in order to get a room you will have to provide a bunch of information, references, months of rent up front and a work contract

Um... I don't get it? How have people got around this?
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Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 1364
Location: Flying around the ME...

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I worked for BTL Formation for two years, got the job after a 'phone interview whilst still in England. They sorted everything out including free accommodation for the first week. Their office is on Boulevard Haussmann in the 8th but most of the teaching is in-company. Worth contacting them as now is the recruitment season. If you're looking for a flat share with students try popping in to the Bombardier pub in the Place de Pantheon in the 5th, it's a major student hangout and just near the Sorbonne. The barstaff all speak English and are very friendly. Last tip, buy a Paris Pratique from any street kiosk, you'll be needing it! Good luck.
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Joined: 18 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, how about a site like If you're willing to live with people you could search for "colocations". I'm sure not everyone would want a deposit, references etc. Certainly, wasn't the case in my situation but I wasn't in Paris.
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