Irish Girls In Paris

This blog has been created as a guide for anglophones living in Paris. The blog has been inspired through real every day events and our aim is to bring you the most personal insight into students surviving Paris - Vivre la France

vendredi 23 avril 2010


As part of our course we are required to fulfill a 6 month work placement with a company in France. Of course the first ideal location that comes to mind is to spend the summer working in PARIS! However finding the stage to make the dream become a reality is the most difficult part.

Here are some tips below to help you along your way and to give you a kickstart...

1) Its always a good idea to talk to people that you know who have done work placements before- ask them about the type of work they did, the company the worked for, what they liked and didn’t like. It never does any harm to have contacts especially in the business world!

2) Most colleges have an online system where companies will make offers looking for stagaires. They usually have apply by dates so be careful to check daily.

3) Depending on the type of stage you are looking for - you will need to tailor your cv to suit the company you are applying for. Make sure your professional experience is relevant to the job you are applying for! Its essential! Experience can be a real winner!

4) If you have ideas in your mind as to which company you would like to work for try applying online through their website. Check their job offers which are usually updated every few days! There are also websites like which may offer you opportunites in what you are looking for!

5) You will need to set up a voicemail message in french of course incase a company tries to contact you and you cannot answer for some reason. Make sure it’s professional and clear. Most companies will ring for a quick chat before calling for an interview so try and have a few things ready to say about yourself, your professional experience and most importantly why you applied for the job. This is key and a most definitive question.

6) If you are lucky enough to get called for interview firstly CONGRAGULATIONS! Secondly make sure do your preps beforehand. Write out your answers- but dont learn them as it will sound too rehearsed but rather use keywords for structuring of your answers. Remember to address the person as vous and finally- try not to be too nervous!

7) On the day of the interview make sure to dress appropriately. Dress smart rather than casual and make sure have a know how to get there and have taken note of the address and contact details incase you need to call them.

8) Depending on the company you might have to go through a series of interviews before being chosen for the stage. Before starting you will have to transfer to them your "contrat de stage" which is sent to you by the college to confirm acceptance of the position as your credited stage.

9) Usually within the first few days you will be presented with a "contrat de travail" from the company. Make sure to read it through and ask about anything you don’t clearly understand before signing it


mardi 6 avril 2010

Relaxing Weekend In Paris

Living in Paris is sure to make you tired- its enjoyable but can be stressful!
For those of you feeling you need to rewind then I can advise no better place than La Mosquée de Paris

Typically known as Hamman- turkish baths- La Mosquée de Paris offers an oasis for indulgence and purification. For €38 you can avail of an exfoliation to remove all of your dead skin cells, a massage, a small packet of turkish soap and a traditional mint tea. You can also opt to pay €15 as many people do, and bring your own beauty products to relax and indulge for the afternoon. You will need to check on the website to see what specific day is "womens day" as they have different days for men and women.

The chambers are the ultimate place for relaxation and invigoration.
Inside the mosque is beautifully handpaintedand has much history attached. The gardens are small but are divine in summer with sweet cakes and mint tea. There is also a restaurant which offers an array of typical turkish dishes including a very spicy curry.

Highly Recommended for those looking to DETOX :)

jeudi 1 avril 2010

Finding an apartment in Paris


Apartment hunting in Paris is perhaps one of the biggest challenges for those who have decided to move here. Even worse is all the paper work that goes with it. Most agencies or landlords will require what’s called a “GUARANTOR” which in effect is a guarantee from a French person that assures that for some reason you cannot pay your rent, they will pay if for you. For someone like me- coming from Ireland- finding a “GUARANTOR” is next to impossible unless of course your have "Parisian contacts"

We spent two weeks looking on websites in magazines and advertorial boards. Many phone calls were made- some promising some not so promising. We even tried the American Church in Paris but as we were looking for somewhere for 3 it proved more difficult to find. 2 bedroom apartments and studios are easy to find- if you look hard enough. The PAP newspaper comes out Thursday morning but you need to be careful to get it as early as possible as they are usually snapped up on that day if not that week.

The good thing about finding an apartment by an advertisement in the paper or online is that there are usually no agency fees attached. For those of you who are lucky enough to be able to afford the luxury of having an agency doing all the work for you, be aware when choosing what agency to go with. Some of them charge huge fees which means on top of a deposit could you might be expected to fork out anything from €3,000- €7000 upfront! After many hopeless days of roaming the streets we found an online website which offer holiday apartments to rent short term and long term. The apartments come furnished – which is a huge bonus but of course this is all accounted for in the price! The site offers a range of different sized apartments throughout Paris. As a student, we decided to rent an apartment for four- even if it meant sharing a room. It cuts down on costs in the long run.

It’s always a good idea to find somewhere central to all the metro lines and the RER. Before renting an apartment you should always check for amenities in the surrounding areas- evidently being Irish our primary concern was somewhere close to pubs and a good night life. It’s also a good idea to make sure you have a grocery shop, pharmacy and boulangerie in the surrounding area- just some of the essentials!

One the last and perhaps the most important piece of advice I can offer is to make sure and read your contract properly and if theres anything you dont grasp dont hesitate to ask questions.


mercredi 17 mars 2010

St Patricks Day In Paris

Saint Patricks- a day symbolised across the world by Guinness, leprachauns, shamrocks, and all things green. Personally I think its a better excuse than ever for raising a few glasses. I mean imagine that horror we would be steeped in if Patrick hadn't came to Ireland-we would all be eating fried snakes for supper and have no place to congregate in on Sunday mornings for bantering!

Throughout Ireland the day is marked with festivals in every village, town and city followed by céli sessions and alot of the black and white stuff. I'm green right now- not with my St Patricks rigout but rather with envy as I sit in this hot sticky office looking out at the lovely blue sky thinking about all the others back in Eire with a day away from work, designanted for craic and spraoi.

There are many Irish bars throughout Paris that are sure to serve all the guiness and craic one could possibly need until the early hours of the morning. The only trouble is finding one thats not so packed that it takes you twenty minutes to get to the bar and another ten to order. The hideout in the fifth arrondisement offers happy hour pints at 5 €, however the Long Hop also in the fifth promises green beer- a tough decision. Corcrans have 4 bars throughout Paris and offer tasty food like Irish stew and Irish breakfast as well as creamy pints

Where ever you go your sure to bump into alot of other nationalities claiming their irish blood from descendants and ancestors. "You know my great grandmothers, brothers, sisters in laws nieces, dog was irish?" I mean seriously? Americans are with prehaps the biggest criminals when it comes to Irish nationality claiming. I find it entertaining but annoying at the same time. As the saying goes -"There are only two kinds of people in the world, The Irish and those who wish they were."

dimanche 14 mars 2010

Getting around Paris by bike


One of the best ways to see Paris- is with "VÉLIB". Its cheap, healthy, green for the environment, and so easy to use! You can purchase your pass directly from the machines at any vélib point. The points can be located on a map directly from http://www.vé For 24 hours you will pay €1 or €5 for 7 days. You will need a debit/credit card for this as they take €150 from your account as a deposit for the bike which is refunded upon return.

The bikes are as biker friendly as you can get with an adjustable seat, basket, gears and even a bell which is a must have for busy pedestrianised parisian streets! Look out for special bike routes around the city. For one of the most scenic routes a ride along the Seine is a must! There is also a special biking route that begins at the Bastille near the opera house that runs as far as Bois de Vincennes and its medieval castle. Jardin d'Acclimilation is beautiful particulary during spring time when the flowers are blooming! The weekends can be very busy though and crowds make it difficult to cycle. If your planning a long cycle then prehaps Versailles may be your destination located about 18km from the very centre of Paris. A very scenic route through woods and streets but be warned- only suitable for those with alot of stamina! :D

You can pick up and return the bike as many times as you like to any station throughout the city! You can find them around most tourist attractions and busy streets. My advice is to print out a map showing where the stations are located to avoid wasting time looking for somewhere to leave your bike when your finished.

For those on a budget like us étudiants, vélib is a must and is a perfect way to get around the city! Avoid dishing out €€€'s for expensive restaurants and try a picnic by the Eiffeal Tower instead- far more enjoyable especially on a summers day!