Written by Maja Kušćer
When I decided to study in France, I knew that it won’t be a cheap adventure. France is a pretty expensive country, especially for those who are used to living/living costs in Eastern European countries. The prices for food, transport and many other services are higher than in most of European countries.
1. Affordable travelling throughout France
If you like travelling as I do, you certainly found many financial obstacles in your search for affordable holiday destinations. France is one of the biggest European countries by area, has a rich cultural heritage and beautiful nature. Because of its size, it is difficult to travel by bus, which is the cheapest option (no one wants to spend 12 hours in a bus from Paris to Marseille).
So, in order to reach your destination faster and in a more comfortable way, it is better to travel by plane or by train. If you live in the northern part of France, you can take Ryanair from Brussels Charleroi, that reaches every bigger French city, or from Paris Beauvais. However, the prices for plane tickets may differ and you will spend some precious time travelling to and from airport.
Therefore, I’ll share with you my experience on how I visited so far more than 10 cities in less than 2 months with not spending too much money. Every weekend I am travelling by train. Trains in France are superfast.
The French transport company SNCF offers discounts of 30% for under 27 year olds for each reservation with Carte Jeune. This offer is good for somebody who is not travelling very often. If you plan to travel as much as I do, then for you, the best option is TGVmax.
TGVmax costs 79 euros per month (with minimum 3 months of supscription) and allows you to travel through all France without paying costs of reservation. The offer is valid for TGV trains, Intercities and TER which basically cover almost all French territory. You can make 6 reservations at once.
2. Free entrance to museums and castles
The good thing about French historical sites is that more than 120 museums and castles are free for young EU citizens. The ones that are not, always offer a discount for the students. For example, the entrance in Paris museums Louvre and Orsay are free, the same as in the Palace of Versailles. The full list of attractions with free entrances you can find here.
3. Other advantages for students in France
Some French cinemas offer discounts for the tickets. Some restaurants also offer “menu étudiant” or student menu which includes food and drinks, and often free cinema tickets. Banks have special student accounts which can be free or cost 1 euro per year.
Some telecom operators also give reductions for subscriptions. There are hairdressers who can cut your hair for 20% of discount and some shops like C&A give 10% of discount when you show your student card.
All in all, if you are under 26, now it is time to come to France. No matter whether it would be for studying, for an internship or just for a visit, these French advantages will certainly help you save some money.
However, there are also many discounts and special offers for young people and students who are under 26.