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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi!

I am moving from Chicago to Paris (Palaiseau/Orsay) soon.

I was wondering what should I take with me and what should I leave behind.
I will be living there for a year, and on a very tight salary.
Could someone suggest the cheapest place to live in the area and what I should
take with me or get shipped. Speaking of which, is there a cheap way to ship moving boxes to France? So far all I have been getting are professional door-to-door moving quotes which run around $2000 for my 2bedroom apartment.
I don't think I should take the furniture with me, everything else can be reduced to boxes which I can pack my self.

Any and all suggestions for both moving and living will be highly appreciated.

Merci Beaucoup!
 

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Hi and welcome to the forum.

Actually, $2000 isn't a bad price for door to door service for a 2-bedroom apartment, especially if it includes insurance. Depends, I suppose, on what you're taking with you.

If you're going as a student (popular motivation for a one-year stay in that area), you can work with an organization called Science Accueil, which helps with getting integrated and in finding housing.

What to take is a matter of personal taste. If you don't bring furniture, you may have to find it when you get here unless you can swing a furnished flat. Rents in the Palaiseau/Orsay area aren't cheap, especially anywhere near public transit lines. Science Accueil has a listing of landlords who rent to students. The ambiance of the flats varies from downright dreary to actually pretty nice.

Hard to say much more without knowing more about your stay.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks!

I read the fine print:
the $2000 was just picking up/delivering boxes amount to 75 cu ft...

no use for that...

I am going to be a postdoc for 1 year, I don't mind living a little away from the lines if it saves me enough. How expensive is it to buy and maintain a car in France? How much money should I put aside? Because there are some furnished places that science accueil supports, but they say I'll need a car for that. I will contact Science Accueil I guess, but any other information is more than welcome. Especially, what should I look for in apartments? and also, is renting a tiny house a good or a bad idea in that area. Are there any suburbs further close to the lines that I should look at ?


chicagoan
 

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If you're literally dealing with boxes (i.e. no furniture), you should check with UPS or even the postal service. I've known people who have moved to Europe that way and found it very satisfactory. You need to be careful how your fill out the customs forms to avoid getting charged VAT and all, but the shipper should be able to advise you on that.

Science Accueil does a pretty good job of guiding you through those first few weeks after arrival. Most of the student types in the area avoid having to buy a car. Public transit is reasonably good. Don't forget, too, that fuel (gas or diesel) costs $5 to $10 a gallon here depending on the exchange rate and the price of oil. It's a real optional item for most students.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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depends

If your postdoc is one year only, if these removal / shipping expenses can be reimbursed, it might worth it to have them with you in Palaiseau.

I explain:
- finding cheap but tasty furniture is time and logistic (transport) consuming
- second hand (pawn shops) is best option (except for bed)
- if you like your furniture: style, colour, and practicalities , you might NOT find the same in France.
- you might want to stay longer than a year, who knows?
- you might even be able to sale your furnitures before you go back (student deals)
Why bother shopping around ?
Now if you come for a 2 - 3 year term, could be different

Here are a few tips you might want to consider anyway.
- Ikea and similar shops charge a fee for delivery (and you drive and carry by yourself). Do you drive?
- Palaiseau is in southern suburbs and many relatively inexpensive (Made in China) furniture shops can be found around there (vehicle needed)
- private adverts (classifieds) could be a good deal (but need time and a car)
- balance your budget, your taste vs 1400 euros (2000 USD) . For this price you can have a 140 cm bed (not less than 500 euros new), a table with 6 chairs, a simple desk, a tiny gas/electric cooker, maybe a washing machine, and a basic microwave oven. But no sofa lounge, no bed side table, no chair for desk, no dryer, no set of drawers nor shelves.

For a mid-long term my choice would be: take your bed and your desk+chair, leave the rest especially electricals (the washing machines are not same standards in Europe). Bargain shipping extremely hard and save.

does this help?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
thanks

shipping is more expensive than I thought previously.
After HARD HARD bargaining and hunting I am getting a quote for 800$ for shipping 75 cu ft port to port from chicago to paris. This means no packing, and absolutely no furniture. the previous quote for 2000 were for the same size, but door-to-door. I don't get it, won't it be similar price to pay for extra baggage on the flight, assuming no furniture of course.
 

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Don't worry too much about no furniture. I think many of the flats available through Science Accueil are furnished.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
i am currently looking at a 3 room/2 bedroom flat for 1200 per month in gif-sur-yvettes,
i dont wanna live that far south, but it seems to be the only active opening that science accueil has.


Does anyone know what the parking system (charges, stickers etc) is at ecole polytech?
 

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i am currently looking at a 3 room/2 bedroom flat for 1200 per month in gif-sur-yvettes,
i dont wanna live that far south, but it seems to be the only active opening that science accueil has.


Does anyone know what the parking system (charges, stickers etc) is at ecole polytech?
The map here Ecole Polytechnique - Campus Map shows three big parking lots. I suspect you need a sticker of some sort to use them, but Science Accueil would have more information on that.

I can tell you that parking in and around Palaiseau is usually a nightmare. If that flat in Gif is anywhere within walking distance of the RER, I'd forego the car. Gif is only 3 or 4 stops from the Palaiseau stop for the Polytechnique - maybe 10 or 15 minutes by train.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Shipping,

Dear future expat

75 Cub ft make 8.3 cub meters or so, and this is almost half a 20ft container (23 cub meters).This is a lot already. Check waht a 20cub ft container is on the road (the smallest size of the 2 standard sizes) , you'll see.
Packing can be done by your self with film, paper, tape and cartons. Unpacking is fun to meet new colleagues : pizza and beer would serve as salaries.
The ideal would be that they come and load directly from your place I presume

Cost of delivery in France will cost you a lot from Harbor (Le Havre ) to Palaiseau (clearing + handling + road transport).


my advice:
1- request for a groupage shipping (where your load is groupped with other loads) . Shipment is degroupped upon arrival
2- contact specialised agents for France (always better deals) surch as AGS, International Moving and Storage and others, scout on the web. You might have a better deal if you insist on groupage (who cares how the container is filled).
3- envisage other companies : phone, emails will save you a lot of money, as you can now request for a 75 cub. ft similar quote. Companies can be found here Paris Departure: International Removal Companies, France - Guide for expatriates, Expatriation - Easy Expat
4- excess luggage is the worth option : 1% of full fare ticket per kg : a fortune
5- try this one as well
Desailly Logistics U.S.A
9068 Harland Avenue
West Hollywood CA 90069
Tel : + (1) 310.273.6848
Fax : + (1) 310-276-2259
Desailly Logistics LTD
Registered Address:
6 London Street,Second Floor, LONDON, W2 1HR
Tel : +44 (0)207 060 1789


let us know
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Is there a quick guide to renting terminology for apartments?

I have been looking at apartments from both Science Accueil and PAP.
Are unfurnished apartments in france completely unfurnished? stove? fridge? etc
Will I be better off renting a furnished apartment if I stay for only a year?

One problem is that Science Accueil deals with areas around Palaiseau and I want to live around halfway between city and Ecole.

Comments? suggestions?

btw I fly tomorrow to Paris
 

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Is there a quick guide to renting terminology for apartments?

I have been looking at apartments from both Science Accueil and PAP.
Are unfurnished apartments in france completely unfurnished? stove? fridge? etc
Will I be better off renting a furnished apartment if I stay for only a year?

One problem is that Science Accueil deals with areas around Palaiseau and I want to live around halfway between city and Ecole.

Comments? suggestions?

btw I fly tomorrow to Paris
The closer in you get to Paris, the higher the rents go.

AFAIK, an unfurnished apartment usually has basic kitchen equipment. But it pays to ask, just to be sure.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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always ask, check with your eyes, and test equipments

Always ascertain what electric appliances are provided, as it is customary that no appliances equip such flats. In University Hostels, new rooms always have a small fridge and a small electric cooker. Not sure that can cook a meal. Pasta, rice or fried eggs, maybe?

You might also want to check that these appliance really work before signing the inventory. Plug them in and test. Most of them are deficient and getting them changed will take you a long time.


good hunting
 
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