Erica, ULIP's friendly librarian, has a few reading, app and blog suggestions for you to help you survive Paris:
How to prepare for life at university in Paris :
Read a book: The ground is thick with Paris memoirs. There is one for you out there. Whether you go for the love angle (Sarah Turnbull, Almost French) or literary (Mavis Gallant, Paris Notebooks) or sarcastically silly (Stephen Clarke, A Year in the Merde – and the industry it spawned), you’ll find one, read it, and then pick it up three years later to read it again in a new light.
Get a real map: Parisians don’t wander around with big tri-fold maps. We buy the little booklet ones, divided by arrondissement.
Be a student: You are coming to Paris to go to university. Step one is to turn up and do your job (classes, reading, studying). Step two is to take advantage of your student status. Reduced train tickets, cheap films, free museums, dirt-cheap opera and ballet tickets the night of the show… Paris is an incredible place to be a student.
Learn to cook at least one real meal : Paris is bursting with fresh produce and a local butcher who wants to help you learn. If the closest butcher is mean to you, go to the next one. I promise you will find someone who guide you through the joys of learning to cook. Cooking will please and impress your friends and dates. You can cook a proper French meal with a two-burner hotplate, one pan and a dull knife.
Embrace the unknown: Nobody said it would be a non-stop thrill ride. You may be homesick, you may get lost exiting the metro, you may string together the most non-sensical sentence in the history of French, you may even step in dogshit. It’s all worth it.
Students, read this! Available in the library.
Everyone should carry a proper Paris map.