American Families in Paris

Archived Q&A and Reviews

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Schools in Paris for American children

November 2001

I am looking for information on schools in Paris such as Ecole -Bilingue or American International school that you have personal knowledge about or know someone who had a good experience attending. I have a 7 year old who I plan to take to Paris for the fall semester; she has studied French for 3+ years and Spanish as well. We have been in France for several weeks for the last 5 years, so she understands French and also is beginning to speak some French. I am looking for a school that teaches most of the classes in French, with SOME ENGLISH only. I would prefer an International school. I prefer Paris since I will be in the area with her for the semester and would like to have some chances to visit museums etc. I also would be interested in any suggestions for connections to rent an apartment in Paris for several months. You can reach me directly at Azakian

The Cultural Services division of the French Embassy should have a list of all the international/english/bilingual schools in Paris. They did 10 years ago when I worked there. If the SF office doesn't have it, call the NY office. If you can't find a listing for the French Cultural Services, call the French Consulate in either city and they'll put you through. Mary

How to find American families in Paris

August 2001

I recall that there was earlier mention on the Parents' Network of resources for families in Paris, but I can't find anything like that on the website; the recent discussion, which included reference to two websites (one for wives of Europeans, the other a subscription newsletter) seemed to be directed toward permanent residents only. I will be traveling to Paris this fall with my mother (who speaks no French) and my four-year-old son (ditto), and I would really appreciate any info on American contacts, playgroups, hangouts, activities, etc. This will be in November, so the weather could be challenging -- any suggestions are welcome. linda

Try hooking up with either the French American Club (France-Etats Unis) or Alliance Francais. Alliance Francais is more geared to non french speakers looking to learn french (from very beginner to advanced levels) but they may have a bulletin board where you could post a notice. France-Etats Unis is more of a social club for Americans and French people to meet. It was active in the city where I was once an exchange student (Toulouse), and believe there is one in all major cities. Perhaps Alliance Francais can help you with this as well. They probably have a website. Good Luck. Nancy

Check out the bulletin board of the American Church located on the left bank on the Quai d'Orsay. They have children's dance classes and other activities that either take place there or they can tell you about. I once found excellent childcare there from an ad on the bulletin board ( it's like the electronic network before the electronic network and to my knowledge, still functions as such.). Pariscope - the weekly activities calendar for sale at newspaper stands lists children's activities i think it comes in a bilingual edition. Even in November the Jardin de Luxembourg, on the left bank , is lovely. Another wonderful place is the Centre de danse du Marais ( you can find it in the phone book, I think). They have dance classes of every conceivable kind and you can sign up for individual classes or weekly passes - yoga, jazz, ballet, African -- kids classes too I think. Take the Beateaux Mouches for fun - boat trips on the Seine that point out major sights in many languages (also listed in the Pariscope). Touristy but fun ( probably even in November). My daughter and i make an annual pilgrimage to the Eiffel Tower - its fun. You get a marvelous view of the city from the top floor of the Beaubourg museum ( 3e) - where they also have a cafe. Also -- I think it still goes in November -- there is a carnival with ferris wheel, rides, etc near the Tuileries ( near the Louvre) - my daughter adored it. And you get a great view of the neighborhood from the ferris wheel. There are lots of small neighborhood parks where families gather with their kids . Look for one near where you are staying. There is a nice one near the Picasso Museum in the Marais. Our other favorite thing to do (from age 7 - now 15) was to to almost any restaurant and eat mussels and frenchfries - moules frites. Have fun! suzanne

Two great resources for parents in Paris: first of all, MESSAGE -- an organization of over 700 English-speaking parents (mainly moms) living in Paris. Check out their website at . Secondly, a great resource for anyone living, moving to, or even travelling through Paris: the Information Center at the American Church. Located on the lower level of the church at 65, quai d'Orsay in the 7th, this is a wonderful clearinghouse of ALL types of information for Anglophones in Paris. Sarah