Lola, thanks so much for sharing your daughter's blog. She sounds so enthusiastic and intrepid about her new adventure! I'm so happy to hear she has found a salsa place that looks promising. I look forward to reading her posts.
A tardy response to an earlier post about Barcelona, RyanAir et al...my daughter spent her Spring break in Barcelona last year, and was able to find reasonable airfare to Paris for a few days on Vueling. Prices only slightly higher than Ryan, but they use the closer, main airports and aren't quite as mercenary as Ryan. MC will have many opportunities to do little explorations to Barcelona, Prague, Dublin or wherever, for much less than a flight from St Louis to Chicago.
Lola, thank you for posting Marie-Claire's blog. You are not at all imposing on our 'patience'. .......(?) I like the design of her blog and her first post is fresh and exciting. It would be great if she posted on the Port, we would all enjoy it. If not, we'll follow her blog.
I like the fact that the older houses reflect the stereotypical architecture of each country. But on thinking about it, it might have been a good idea to mix people a little more rather than having them stick with students from their own countries.
Given the difficulties of finding housing in Paris, getting a room in one of these residences must be a real advantage. I read recently that there is a huge waiting list.
Actually, they are quite mixed now, but students from the various countries have priority. Students can apply to stay in any of the buildings. There are different rental rates, but the CIUP website says that the average rent is 400-550 euros a month. Paris gives a subsidy of 94.41 euros to help pay rent, and I presume that most of the various countries help their students, too. The rates include clean sheets and towels every 2 weeks, room cleaning once a week and unlimited internet. It seems relatively reasonable to me considering Paris prices.
Yes, that is very reasonable, but many of the rooms are very small, even by Parisian standards.
I know professors who stay there when taking part in conferences in Paris. It was handy for two professor friends from Argentina during the currency crisis when their salaries were pretty much useless or not even paid on time.
I might be able to stay there as a chercheuse, will have to look into that.
Perusing the website, I saw that it was mentioned that all of the students are mixed on purpose and a student applying to the House of Morocco might end up in a room in the House of Mexico, etc. The main thing I imagine is that obviously not all of the lodgings are of the same quality, so I bet the students bitch about their crummy rooms regularly. Then again, I attended one of the most expensive universities in California (on a full scholarship) and it was obligatory to live in one of the dorms if you were a freshman not living at home, and the buildings were not at all of the same quality either. I managed to swap buildings after just a few weeks to get out of the "worst" dorm.
I think the differences are probably starker still in this complex, as those who funded and designed them had very different ideas about the space and amenities required by a student (who could be a very young adult or a graduate student). And nowadays many students are spending more time in front of their computers and researching online.
How many resto-Us are there? In the day, of course, there was no real accommodation for actual allergies (I'm not speaking of faddish ones).
I found the mensa in Italy very good - far superior to either Québec/Canadian versions or French ones, but of course the Italian students were scathing in their criticism. Especially the boys, as they were used to being spoilt by mamma.
This is an ever-interesting thread. I'm fascinated to see the mix of exceptionally attractive (Maison de l'Ile de France), unforgivably ugly (India), and depressingly unimaginative (Germany & Cambodia). I don't agree with you about the Netherlands house, though, which I quite like. Is the African one as old as its bas-reliefs would indicate?
My school's dorm rooms were narrow cells, with straw under-mattresses, so I'm pretty envious of anything shown here.
Nothing is older than 1925, which is when the Cité Universitaire was first created. I doubt that the older roomsa are wildly different because they were all designed by major European architects -- Le Corbusier did Brazil and Switzerland, for example. They all had certain French rules to respect. Something tells me that Korea and Ile de France have probably gone a major notch up, as will the buildings under construction.
There is one huge resto-U in the big central building, open non stop from breakfast time. I don't know about that specific one, but the last survey in Paris showed that 80% of students recommend the university restaurants. A lot of their support is due to the price, of course -- a full 3 course meal costs 3.25 euros. Besides the Korean house, the German and Spanish houses also have snack bars/cafés.
I've eaten there (with student friends) I was a student at the time, but I was in my 30s and at the time, adult students were still somewhat unusual in France (this has changed, of course). The food wasn't bad at all, and the servings were generous. And yes, there was wine and beer on offer.
The food in Perugia (at both universities) was also good, despite the picky Italian boys (it was always the boys). However la Sapienza in Rome had horrible food, and many students found other cheap places to eat. I'll probably be involved in a research project in Rome in the foreseeable future, in what is still a very working-class district southeast of La Sapienza (which is in San Lorenzo, the working-class neighbourhood in the famous neorealist film Rome, Open City). San Lorenzo has naturally undergone significant gentrification, but in the same way as K2's hood - it stil has a dose of urban grit. I think the institute where I'd be studying is still fairly meh with ugly postwar housing, but there are also little gardens and other features of ordinary Italian life.
The first time I came to France, on the train from Calais I was in a compartment with 2 American girls and a young French guy. Since we 3 didn't know where we were going, he told us to come to the university restaurant (RestoU) at the Cité Internationale. Gave us tickets and we ate there, although I have absolutely no memory of the food. We couldn't stay there of course, so we found a hotel nearby, overlooking Parc Montsouris.