A small one bedroom apartment (approximately 350 square feet), located within Paris, can start at 1,200 EUR per month and work its way up. On the other hand, an apartment just outside the city center might go for about 900 EUR per month, on average.
Utility costs are sometimes included in the rent, but not always. It is important that ESL teachers looking for an apartment keep this in mind. Typical utilities for a French apartment include heat, electricity, water, and possibly other services.
Setting up a French bank account is essential to conducting everyday business in France. With a French bank account, ESL teachers can pay their bills (rent, utilities, Internet, cell phone, etc.), have their paycheck cashed or deposited, and perform other routine tasks. Each French bank requires different documentation from ESL teachers hoping to start up an account, so it is best to call the bank before arriving to both arrange for an appointment and find out what paperwork and identification are needed. Typically, ESL teachers will need to provide a valid photo ID, proof of residency, start money that is ready to be deposited in the new account, and possibly a letter from their employer. A French bank account generally includes the use of a debit card and a checkbook. It can be difficult for Americans to obtain a French credit card due to the fact that banks typically do not offer credit to foreign citizens. However, ESL teachers who already have their titre de séjour and proof of employment may be granted a combined Visa/debit card. Be aware that France makes much wider use of "chip" cards with an access PIN than does the United States, so Americans may not be able to use their domestic credit card if it does not already have chip technology imbedded into the card.
Aldi, Cora, Lidl, Metro, E. Leclerc, Carrefour and SPAR are some of the supermarket options located within France. As there is an emphasis on having fresh ingredients in French cooking, many French shoppers lean toward the traditional method of purchasing their produce from the outdoor farmer's market, meat from the butcher, baked goods from the baker, milk from the dairy, and cheese from the cheese shop.
Below are some examples of typical French food prices.