1) I think it's mostly a matter of personal preference. I bought one when I got here - they're cheap (20 euro + cost of minutes) and extremely easy to use. And it doesn't cost a thing for someone to call you. 2) They'll explain it to you in a meeting and then take you to The Phone House, but the deals are pretty much the same anywhere. You can get a decent phone for between 20-40 euro, and you can get minutes at any tabac, monoprix, ed, etc. You walk in and buy a ticket or card in the amount that you want (I have Bouygues, and denominations are something like, 15, 25, 35, 60 euro, the higher you go, the more you get free [buy 60 euro, get 15 euro free]).3) Not necessary, I'd say especially if you're in the dorms. There are pay phones everywhere around the dorms (and even in centre ville), and you can get a phone card to call home for 7,50 (with something like 600 minutes). In the apartments, if you've already had a phone line installed before (you have to check with your landlord), I'd say go for it - you can get internet and phone (free calling to the US and France for as long as you'd like), plus extra tv channels for 30 euro a month. But it's still not necessary - I'd say it's maybe more of an added convenience.
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