Wednesday, March 19, 2008


1- Did you bring a laptop to Aix? Is it necessary to bring your own, or are there ample computer labs for student use? Either way, what do you recommend?

2- How much work do you do as a student on your computer? Are there lots of papers that are required to be typed, or is it mostly handwritten, or do you have a choice?

3- Did you buy a printer there, or is there easy access to printers?

4- Can you just buy a converter, or is it necessary to buy a European charger from the computer's maker? (I know with Macs, you just change the end piece of the plug...)

5- Is there wireless internet in the dorms? Lounges? Nearby cafés? What is the computer policy for most cafés? Is it like the US, where it isn't usually necessary to buy anything to use their wireless, or is that considered rude?

6- Where would you go for tech support? Is there something just for students, at a discounted rate? Are there Apple stores in Aix?


Nicole said...

1) I did not bring my laptop, but once I got here, I realized that I wanted it - it's got the QWERTY keyboard that I'm used to, and I can save my stuff on it. And if I'm bored, I can play games. It is not necessary, there are enough places (and you'll be signed up somewhere for internet through the program) where you can use the internet on your own, but sometimes it's nice to have the convenience of your own computer. If you can bring it, I'd bring your laptop, I think. I felt like we were discouraged from bringing computers here, but once I arrived, I had my parents send me mine because it's just a lot nicer to have one that you're familiar with. There are places to hook them up all over the city, wirelessly, so that's not really a problem.

2) I think I've had maybe 4 papers to write total so far this year, and most of those were paragraph-sized. I definitely use my computer more for Solitaire and the internet than I do for school. The handwritten thing is harder to determine - I had one final paper that could be either, a couple of paragraphs that also could be easier or would be preferred handwritten, etc. Usually, I write my papers in Word with the French spell check turned on, and then I'll handwrite them to turn them in.

3) I did not buy a printer here, and I think it's unnecessary. The program sets you up with an internet place - you can hook up your own computer or you can use theirs, and the printing is cheap there (the first semester we had to pay like 5 centimes, and this semester it's free).

4) I think I've just got an adapter, it cost like $15 in the States or something like that. If you've got a newer computer, there should be a converter inside, so you'll just need the adapter to change the end of the plug to fit.

5) I don't know for certain because I'm in an apartment, so I'll leave this for someplace else.

For cafes, you can get away with not buying anything, but I think it's more polite to ask for the wireless code when you order a drink - nothing crazy expensive, just enough to let them know that you're a customer. It's the same with toilets - they will not be pleased if you come off the street JUST to use their bathrooms, but if you're a customer, they'll happily show you the way.

6) You can ask someone at the internet place that the program sets you up with, and they might be able to fix it. FNAC (it's a computer/electronics/bookstore, I suppose I'd compare it as a Bestbuy with a Borders thrown in or something) has an Apple section, and they might be able to help with small problems. There are Apple stores - the mini-one in the FNAC, and also one on Cours Sextius, near IPN (club).

Eric said...

1. I definitely brought my laptop and it comes in handy all of the time. If you live in a homestay there's a 50 percent chance you have wireless. I lucked out and got it. It's more common than you think here. In fact, there are a ton of cafes with wireless available. One which my friends enjoy going to is called book and bar, they're really everywhere though. There are computer labs, here and in the program office,but it's much more beneficial to have the laptop.

2. For work, teachers here usually require us to have our papers hand written, i'm really not sure why. In fact, for all of my current classes we've given the teachers our email addresses and haven't even received a single email.

3. I wouldn't worry about a printer, if you have paper you can use the program office for printing. Plus, like i answered in question two there really isn't a need for it academically.

4. Just buy a normal converter, if i were you i'd pick it up in the states before getting here, it's cheaper there. Just make sure you got on that has to prongs going out and a hole for a prong to go in.

5. Yeah, like i said wireless is everywhere, for most cafes you need to get a coffee which'll cost you under 2 euros and they'll give you the key.

6. I had serious issues with my dell computer and had nothing i could do about it since i was here. Otherwise looks like the question was answered