Academic Year Abroad Paris at Paris IV & the Institut Catholique
AYA believes strongly in the educational value of living in a French home, and this is the normal arrangement for its Paris students. (However, students may opt to make their own arrangements for housing: see below.) Home placements are made on the basis of the self-characterization and statement of interests and objectives on the questionnaires sent to each prospective AYA student on admission to the program. This self-characterization is interpreted in the light of the AYA staff's long experience with American students and host families in Paris. Every effort is made to achieve a good match of student, French family and, if there is one, AYA or other roommate.
Mature students may make their own living arrangements, but only on the understanding that they and their parents must assume full financial and legal responsibility. AYA will advise applicants who desire to make their own arrangements how to find rooms or apartments, but it cannot undertake to find such accommodations for them. In order to facilitate the search for housing on arrival, AYA will reserve a room in a student foyer such as theCenter International de Séjour à Paris, or a reasonable hotel, provided the arriving AYA student writes to request this and pays the room fee well in advance, and gives a precise date and time of arrival. A student who initially contracts for AYA-arranged housing for the semester cannot expect any rebate if he or she moves into personally-arranged housing before the end of the semester.
Clearly, room and board are the most expensive elements in the cost of a year abroad. In order to bring study in Paris within the reach of students who might not otherwise be able to afford it, it is sometimes possible to find an au pair situation--that is, the student contracts to work a definite number of hours per week as housecleaner, tutor, babysitter, or the like, in return for free room and, sometimes, board. Such arrangements can be made by the student only after he/she is personally present in Paris, for the two parties must work out the details; the contract is between the student and the French family. AYA might serve only to direct the student to au pair agencies in the first instance, and later, to counsel him or her on the appropriateness of the proposed contract. Legally, AYA can take no responsibility vis-à-vis either party.
Once admitted to an institution of higher education in France, even a foreign student may take advantage of the subsidized (and therefore extremely reasonable) restaurants universitaires. These are scattered over the city and serve hearty meals cafeteria-style for little more than what one might pay for a snack in a café.