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Living and working in Paris: a new chapter

As a Modern Languages student from the UK, I recently joined Lodgis for a six-month internship in the marketing department to assist with the creation and translation of web content.

Initially, I saw this as an opportunity to gain valuable experience in a dynamic property company with an international client base, whilst also improving my French. However, I soon realized that the opportunities here are far greater than that.

 

Coming from London, I am, of course, familiar with life in a buzzing cosmopolitan capital. But there is something special about the city of light: a plethora of cultural faces together with a strong sense of tradition gives it a unique identity, and different communities contribute to the cultural richness of the capital.

 

This first thing I have realized since moving to Paris is that the city has layers beneath its face as a tourist destination. I’m now getting to know a magical city that’s filled with temporary exhibitions, obscure passage ways and local boutiques.

 

I’ve found living more like real Parisians to be a rewarding experience. Instead of extortionate restaurants, I can buy my food from the local markets, butchers, fromageries and eat for a fraction of the cost. Rather than the all-too-frequent emergency Uber, I can use the Metro as much as I like with my Navigo Pass or hire a bike from one of Paris’ 1200 Vélib stations. On the other hand, Paris is a much smaller city than you might think, and can easily be crossed on foot. For example, I can walk to work each morning from Montmartre (Northern Paris, 18th arrondissement) to Bourse (Central Paris, 2nd arrondissement) in less than 20 minutes!

 

Paris-plages

 
Just 300km from drizzling, overcast London, Paris in the summer is nothing short of glorious. Rooftop terraces, outdoor pools, picnics by the Seine and, of course, the famous Paris-Plages. Every July and August, the river banks are transformed into sandy beaches with palm trees, deck chairs and a plenty of different activities.

 

Adjusting to life in Paris has inevitably presented its own share of challenges. The first I faced was opening a French bank account. Arriving at the Banque Postale with (what I thought to be) all the necessary documents – passport, proof of address, cheque deposit – I was duly informed that you need a payslip to open a bank account. Conveniently, as it happens, you also need a bank account to receive a payslip!

If you ever find yourself living in Paris and in the same predicament, visit one of the 1739 buralistes agréés (tobaconnists) and open a Compte Nickel. All you need to bring is a piece of photo ID and €20 as a one-off fee. The account gives you a Mastercard allowing you to withdraw cash, make transactions and send and receive payments via telephone and internet banking.

 

Working a French-speaking office has been an enjoyable challenge during my time in Paris. As a student of Modern Languages (French and Russian), my university course is heavily literature-based. As such, forays into poetry, theater and prose don’t quite prepare you for the day-to-day demands of spoken French.

 

But I was warmly received at Lodgis and managed to put such apprehensions to rest. I was relieved to find that the office runs in a friendly, convivial atmosphere. In a professional context, all the Parisians I’ve met are also hardworking, efficient and decisive. I admire the passion and commitment of my colleagues, and their ability to strike a healthy work/life balance. Here in the marketing department, team work and autonomy are considered equally vital.

 

It’s a pleasure to take on such a diverse range of responsibilities and to join such a talented, versatile team.