An important aspect of studying away is the opportunity for you to learn more about your chosen host country and how identities may be understood and perceived within this new context. We encouraged you to begin researching some of the challenges and opportunities you may encounter, and plan ahead by identifying people and resources that can help you make the most of your experience away. The information below offers brief descriptions of identity-based topics in Paris, and France more broadly, as well as access to people, resources, and programs you can connect with before and after you get there.
Paris is an expensive city. The price of goods and services are high whether you are eating out or buying groceries. However, there are always ways around spending a lot of money on fun things to do. You can expect to spend around $280 on transit throughout the semester. Groceries are about 29.92 percent lower in Paris than in NYC. Likewise, the cost of airfare and immigration will come out to be around $3,000. These numbers will vary depending on your spending patterns.
If you are a student with disabilities, you will find a broad range of services and accommodations. In modern areas and establishments, there are sidewalk ramps, dropped curbs, accessible facilities and the like. However, France takes pride in its history and architecture, so many buildings in France are centuries old and may have limited accommodations. The same amount of accommodations are hard to find in smaller cities and towns outside of Paris.
France is thought to be a very safe country, however, women traveling alone should follow ‘common sense’ safety precautions as they would in the US. Women studying in France can expect a similar level of respect and protection. According to UN Women, about 9 percent of women experience sexual violence from a non-partner during their lifetimes. Overall, France is ranked as 19th in the Gender Inequality Index.
French society considers themselves to be highly tolerant and upholds LGBTQ+ rights. The government legalized same-sex marriage in 2013 and has passed laws protecting individuals and groups from all hate crimes and discrimination based on sexuality. There are many gay clubs, bars, and businesses across France. You will likely be able to find a community of friends, groups, organizations, and establishments. However, more conservative areas around France may not be as welcoming to LGBTQ+ folk as Paris.
Race & Ethnicity
France was a major world colonizer, which expanded the Francophone world to parts of the Americas, the Middle East, Africa, and Oceania. In the post-colonial period, immigration from these areas diversified urban France. Students of color planning to study abroad in France will find a country that is very knowledgeable about life in the US and some find France to be less prejudiced than many parts of the US. Around the city, you will be able to find businesses and retailers selling goods and services specific to a diverse set of communities.
Learn more about religion and spiritual life in France
We encourage you to research more about religious and spiritual communities in France. Having a background knowledge of the history, demographics and laws will ease your transition into your new country.
Here are a few places to start your research:
You may also want to reflect on the role religion and/or spirituality play in your life now, and what your expectations or needs are for your time away. Questions to consider:
- Do you have a strong connection and/or sense of belonging to a religious or spiritual group?
- Do you have a prayer or meditation space?
- Do you go to certain places for dietary needs?
- Do you celebrate certain holidays? Are these holidays you would want to celebrate during study away?
Religion & Spirituality
As French society has increased in ethnic diversity, so too has its religious diversity. Although the country is predominantly Roman Catholic, the number of regular church worshippers continues to dwindle. During the same time, there has been a growth in the number of worshippers of Islam and a small community of Protestant and Jewish populations. Contentious as relations between the sizeable Muslim community and the wider French society may be, practicing openly and in peace is still possible in the hundreds of mosques across France.