The current strength of the US dollar is just one more reason to study abroad in Provence, right now.
Financial giants Goldman Sachs and Barclays are both predicting that the U.S. dollar will catch up to the euro, and that the two currencies are likely to reach parity while you’re with us in the Fall! This will be the first time the currencies will be equal since 2002, the year the euro entered circulation. That’s a pretty dramatic turnaround considering that €1 bought you $1.60 back in July 2008. Right now, €1 can get you $1.14…talk about increased buying power!
So what does this mean for you?
That means that this is the time to study abroad! Your dollar goes a lot further than before.
Think of it this way. In 2008, you had to spend $160 to buy a €100 pair of shoes. Now, those €100 shoes are only going to cost you $114, and you save $42 in comparison. Not bad, right? And, if the predictions are correct, it’s only going to get better from here…it will likely be the best it’s ever been during the Fall 2015 & Spring 2016 semesters.
Three words: food, entertainment & travel.
Provence’s open-air markets are already full of fresh, organic and seasonal fruits and veggies, and the current exchange rate makes buying fresh and local that much more accessible, even on a student budget. In Provence tomato season, a kilo of tasty tomatoes can cost less than €2. A baguette in the USA? You’re probably looking at paying at least $3 for something that kinda-sorta tastes like the real thing. In Provence? Count on paying just 80 centimes for the real deal. And don’t even get us started on gourmet cheeses…specialty stores in the States can sell the most basic of French cheeses for well over $25/lb, and here in France? It’s just a fraction of the price, and it’s better.
To top it off, your dollar will go farther here in Provence, where prices are significantly lower than in Paris. Want to get a café au lait at a sidewalk café? Pay no more than €2,50. In Aix, you can even get a glass of good local wine for €1 at the local Petit Cardeur, a local wine bar and not surprisingly, a student favorite. Feel like splurging on a three-course gourmet dinner? You can easily find that for a little over €25, tax and tip included.
Going to the movies in Marseille will set you back just €7.50 with the student discount and only €8 in Aix. And many concerts, operas and plays offer greatly reduced prices for student spectators.
Traveling is the same story. While internal flights in the United States are almost always well into the hundreds of dollars, in Europe budget airlines like RyanAir and EasyJet can get you in another country in a couple of hours, and often, for less than €40 round-trip. AUCP students who plan in advance can hop on the low-cost train and get to Paris for less than €15, or Lyon for just €8! Try beating that, Amtrak!
Students who budget correctly can get some serious mileage out of their dollars in Provence. So…what are you waiting for?