February 9, 2023

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World News – 100 years ago

Paris student is not so gay as in old days

Bohemean life gives way as Parisians work to earn way in college.

Bohemia is not as gay as in olden days. Students must work and not play in these hard time. The rising cost of living has moved Monsieur Andre Claude, president of the Student’s Association, to urge that the state provide a loan fund to tide over deserving students.

In order to continue their studies many students are undergoing semi-starvation. The delightful hours in the cafes, “flaneries” int Luxembourg gardens and nocturnal promenades along the famous “Boul’ Miche” are things of the past. Time is money in the Latin quarters as well as in New York, and when students are poor they must work for their bread and butter when school hours are over.

Before the war a student could live comfortably on about $30 a month. Today one must count upon $75 at least. Lodgings, food, clothing, books and university fees are the most necessary items of expense. The average student’s expenditures read something like this:

  1. Lodging, 10 months $13……………………………………………………………………………..$130.00
  2. Lodging, 10 months at $2.…………………………………………………………………………….$20.00
  3. Early morning breakfast, $1.50 per month……………………………………………………..$15.00
  4. Lunch or dinner in University restaurant, without wine, 60c per day ………………$180.00
  5. Carfares………………………………………………………………………………………………………$15.00
  6. Costumes……………………………………………………………………………………………………$50.00
  7. Overcoat……………………………………………………………………………………………………..$30.00
  8. Shoes and repairing……………………………………………………………………………………..$15.00
  9. Linen…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..$20.00
  10. Hat……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….$4.00
  11. University fees…………………………………………………………………………………………….$25.00
  12. Books…………………………………………………………………………………………………………$25.00
  13. Stamps and incidentals……………………………………………………………………………….$10.00
  14. Association fees……………………………………………………………………………………………$2.50
Total ……………………………………………………………………………..…………………………$541.50

This total of $541.50 does not include any “extras,” such as doctor’s bills, railroad fares in holiday time, theatre tickets, tobacco, etc., which are likely to conted in every budget.

What is most neede is part-time work for the students such as is to be found in American university towns. Certain empoyment, such as clerking in offices, assisting lawyers, overseeing school children, etc., is not incompatible with their studies. La Liberte and several enterprising French newspapers have opened a special emplyment bureau to this end. But many eduactors are of the opinion of Georges Lefevre, who writes in L’Excelsior: “This combiantion of work and study causes the student to loose too much time and energy; his period of study must be lengthened by one or two years to make up for the time lost in working outside and he misses much beneficial recreation.” 

He find more satisfactory the scheme of a loan fund provided by the state, such loan to be reapid with nominal interest after a period of five years. “Let Mimi and Rudolphe study hard while they study and then work afterwards to pay up,” he concludes.

Muncie Evening Press

08 Dec 1922,