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France study abroad

Hello all, my daughter will be studying in Paris next semester. We plan to visit her on either spring break or end of term, but she will be flying solo to Paris (she’s been twice and speaks French):

-does anyone know of an airport pick up service to bring her directly to her student residence? You know, the type where they’re waiting at the arrival area with your name on clipboard ;-)

-Our cell carrier offered $100/ month with unlimited incoming texts, 1000 outgoing texts, 250 mins. call, and 5 GB data. She’ll rely mainly on Wi-Fi/ WhatsApp, but for those who’ve bought international SIM cards, how secure are they against hacking? Appreciate your input.

Posted by
1340 posts

There is one called Paris-shuttle.com and another is Parishuttle.com. The rate is about 75-80 EUR. I have used the second one when I took a group of my students to Paris a few years ago and it went very well.

That said, she could save some money just by taking a taxi and giving them a slip of paper with the address on it. That takes away the "will they be there?" worry aspect.

Posted by
288 posts

Taxis at taxi stands at the airport have a fixed flat rate and are always there.

Posted by
2590 posts

Have her take a licensed taxi from the official taxi queue. Taxis are always there waiting, just a few steps from the Customs exits. Fares are fixed at 53€/58€ to destinations on the Right/Left Bank respectively.

Sorry for being so blunt, but if your carrier is charging her $100/month for what you outline, they are thieves. Have her stop by an Orange boutique and a holiday plan which will offer more comprehensive service at about half the price.

How are SIM cards hacked unless someone unwittingly gives out the number?

Posted by
23471 posts

Have her get her own phone in Paris. Far cheaper and convenient. Be careful with the amount of clothing that she takes going over. We found that min clothing is best and purchase what is needed on arrival. The students dress differently and the incentive to dress like the other students is enormous. We visited mid-term with an empty suitcase (per instructions) and took home most of the original clothing.

Posted by
6663 posts

If she plans to stay in France for a semester she will want a french number.

I've never heard of a SIM card getting hacked, I'm not sure it is technically possible to do it. After all, a SIM-card is only a place to store a serial number.

Posted by
967 posts

I had a daughter in Paris in 2017 on study abroad and my other daughter just returned from Florence.

Both girls kept their AT&T plan and iPhones and didn’t have a problem. Your plan sounds fine given all the WiFi in Paris.

While I think taking a taxi from CDG is perfectly safe, a driver to meet her and help with luggage will be helpful. I will try to find who we used in Paris and DM you. Others on this site will have driver resources as well!

Posted by
75 posts

I think your daughter would find it useful to have a French phone number. My strategy was to take my old phone (unlocked, GSM) into a Free store, and ask for one of their sim cards and a basic service plan. (Free is a major cell phone carrier.) The salesperson changed the sim card for me and helped me negotiate their "self-serve" kiosk. Or she could just buy a cheap phone from them. I was happier with the service from Free than from other carriers I've dealt with in the past in France.

Posted by
9871 posts

She can get full French service for waaaaaaay less than $100 a month, and it will be good for her all over Europe, too (given the EU roaming agreement that eliminated extra fees when EU mobile owners travel among countries).

To talk to you or other friends/family members in the States, I recommend that you all add WhatsApp to your phones. You can message there, do video calls, whatever. There is no cost, you both just have to be either on your cell network or wifi.

Posted by
546 posts

@NC, have her get a local number.
My son is studying in Paris, and though he has a Spanish number, he go a French one.
It is not expensive, he is paying 16.99€ a month with Orange.
Having a local number also makes it easier when she has to give a phone number when signing up for the kinds of thing college students sign up for. Some of my son's friends had problems when using their Spanish numbers.

As other have said, use WhatsApp. And it will work if she goes to other countries while she is there. It is funny, but even when my son is at home, we only call him on Whatsapp, as he has data here.