I don’t know if any of you have ever fallen into the trap of the “student discount” in America, but I know I have. You know, the one’s that you think are discounts but they’re really just scams that suck you into paying for something that you never would have in the first place? Yea… Well when I got to France I saw ads for student discounts everywhere. And every time I saw one of those I thought in my head, “Hah you’re not gonna get me this time stupid ads.” But it turns out that student discounts here are actually legit! It’s one of my favorite things about this country.
My first experience with the college discount was at Burger King. My friends and I had been studying for some exams in the library and by noon everyone was getting pretty hangry (hungry + angry) so we decided to pick up some fast food. When we got there my friends all ordered and when it was my turn I told my friends that I had never been to BK in France so I didn’t know what to order. My friend told me just to look at the photos and pick whatever burger looked good and to make sure to say that I wanted to get a student menu. I figured I’d get a free pen that came with my meal or something along those lines. But to my surprise my order was doubled for the price of one! I literally got a large beverage with two burgers of my choice, a large fry and a free mug! When they called my name I thought they mixed up my order. But no, it was all mine! Granted I didn’t finish all of that food but it was crazy. Burger King totally spoiled me just for being a student. Wow!
The next one wasn’t as exciting, but for me it was a huge relief. After my schools integration weekend I got really sick. Not sure what kind of sickness it was exactly because I didn’t understand the doctor when she told me but I had a fever, I was coughing so much I couldn’t sleep, I had a relentless head ache and a soar throat, among other things. It was pretty bad. Usually, back home I would make an appointment with a doctor and get it taken care of. But the problem was that I hadn’t been in the country 3 months yet and therefore wasn’t eligible for social security or medical insurance. I also didn’t have a doctor. So I had no idea what to do. I tried to eat tons of oranges and do lots of home remedies but I just kept getting sicker in sicker. Eventually, I talked to some people and they told me about the university doctor. There is literally a free doctor for students! I mean it still sucks going there because it is still the doctors office. But I got the meds and the school excuse slip needed to nurse me back to health. It literally saved my life! I mean I could have died… Or at least that’s how bad it felt.
Along with these things there are plenty others. Basically if you go anywhere and you present your student ID you get a discount. Some other convenient discounts are… Every month I pay for a bus pass to get around and its 15 euros ($17) less than an average human. Museums, in most places are free! Not that I go to tons of museums but it’s cool that I don’t have to pay if I ever wanted to go to one. We get discounts on alcohol at bars and clubs (on select nights). I’m talking 1 euro per pint of beer and buy one get one free drinks and shots. Those are my kinda nights. There are plenty of other discounts I haven’t gotten the chance to take advantage of yet because I am still trying to save my money by simply not spending it. But I’m looking forward to see what else is out there during the next couple of years.