France, the land of famous philosophers and historical places, is also home to one of the most affordable education in Europe. However, although education is more accessible in France, the cost of living there is also one of the highest in the world. To be exact, it ranked 25th after Austria, Belgium, and the Netherlands, and just a few points higher than Germany.

This does not mean that it is impossible to save money when in France. In fact, there are many ways that students can enjoy their stay without breaking the bank.

Visit Museums and Historical Monuments for Free

When people mention France, they usually connect the country with culture and art. In fact, many people usually visit France for a holiday every year, and some of the famous places frequented are museums and other historical places. In 2016, France’s travel and tourism industry contributed more than 190 billion euros to France’s GDP.

Now, imagine getting the whole France experience without spending a lot of money. As an international student, you are eligible for free access to many of France’s museums and historical monuments as long as you show your student ID and are under the age of 26.

Eat at a CROUS Restaurant 

Restaurants managed by the Regional Center for University and School Work of Paris (CROUS), also known as Resto U, RU, or university restaurants, are known for their affordable food. These include restaurants and cafeterias that are subsidized by the universities across France. Meals in a CROUS restaurant usually include an appetizer, a main course (fish or meat, and vegetable and grain), and a dessert or cheese. One meal will usually cost around €3.30. Some CROUS restaurants may also offer pizza, vegetarian food, and barbeque.

Supplement Your Expenses by Getting a Job or Working as an Au Pair

Another way to supplement one’s daily expenses in France and to save money is by taking on part-time jobs, or by working as an au pair.

International students in France are eligible to take on part-time jobs and have the right to get the same minimum wage as France’s local citizens. Popular jobs in France for international students include working on-campus as a student assistant or student office worker and working at a cafe or restaurant.

For students who want to learn French, they can work as an au pair. Not only is it a good way to supplement their daily expenses, but it also ensures they have a place to stay, food to eat, and a monthly allowance.

Buy an Unlimited Transport Pass

If you are staying in Ile-de-France or the whole Paris region, it would be wise to avail of the Imagine’R card. The card allows students under the age of 26 to have unlimited access to all of Ile-de-France’s modes of transport for one year. One card costs around €350 per year. 

Aside from the tips above, students can save money in France by knowing the cost of living and other expenses. To learn more, check out MSM Unify’s article, How Much Does it Really Cost to Study in France.