Practical Info for Students
Things to Bring
Please be prepared for any kind of weather. Although it’s usually warm, 75°–90° (24°–32° C), there are occasional cold snaps as low as 45°–50° (7°–10° C), so bring a good sweater or jacket. It can also be quite rainy so bring an umbrella. Also bring proper attire for reviews and concerts. The music students will be performing frequently and Fine Arts students are invited to attend every concert including the music faculty performances on Saturdays. (Musicians also attend Fine Arts reviews as they tend to be very curious about the architecture students’ activities.)
Fontainebleau is known for its beautiful forest so bring some sturdy shoes for hiking and mosquito repellent. It is also hard to fill American prescriptions so bring any medicine you might foresee needing.
Accommodations and Meals
You will be lodged within walking distance from the Chateau, either in a dorm or with a French family.
Meals 5 days a week are included in your tuition (breakfast, lunch and dinner). We are unfortunately not able to accommodate all dietary preferences. If your dietary needs are strict, it will be up to you to make your own arrangements. It is also a good idea to bring some extra money for the extra two days each week and for occasional shopping and trips to Paris.
Art Supplies for Fine Arts / Architecture Students
In the studio, you will be supplied with a desk and light. The desktops are not equipped with parallel rulers, but T-squares are available from the school. Bring basic supplies for sketching and presentation drawings. There is an art supply store in town where you can buy papers and other necessary materials. A sketch-book is essential, especially during the trips. Do not plan on doing your work on a computer. There are no printers for personal computers. On the other hand, if you want to check your email, there are internet cafes that are conveniently located. WIFI (WLAN) is also available in the office, but you must bring your own laptop.
Studios will take place within the Chateau.
All Students are required to attend all classes, studios and reviews.
Public Transportation to Fontainebleau from Paris Airports
From either Charles de Gaulle or Orly airports, you will need to get to the Gare de Lyon train station in Paris. It is a good idea to check with an agent at one of the information booths located at either airport before you embark for Fontainebleau. You should buy a ticket all the way to Fontainebleau at the airport Metro booths.
From Charles de Gaulle Airport:
Follow signs for RER / SNCF and take the RER line B towards Paris and get out at “Châtelet—Les Halles.” The ride is 20 to 40 minutes, depending on if it’s a direct train or if it stops at every station. Around "La Plaine Saint Denis," don’t forget to look out the window on the left for the Stade de France, built for the 1998 world cup.
At “Châtelet—Les Halles,” switch to the RER ligne A in the direction of Vincennes. It should be right across the platform. Get off at the Gare de Lyon, one stop later.
From Orly Airport:
Take the shuttle train to Antony, a stop on the RER ligne B (part of the Paris metro which services the suburbs). Take the RER to “Châtelet—Les Halles” and switch to the RER ligne A in the direction of Vincennes — you will have to go up one flight of stairs and down another to a different platform. Look for signs that read Vincennes or Marne-la-Vallée or Boissy. Get off at Gare de Lyon.
Once you have arrived at the Gare de Lyon:
The Gare de Lyon is a lot like Grand Central Station in New York — many trains converge and there are many levels so it is hard to describe. Four intersecting train systems are there: the Metro (Paris local subway), the RER (Paris and nearby suburbs), the SNCF Banlieue (trains up to an hour outside of Paris), and SNCF Grandes Lignes (for every thing further out). Just keep heading up the escalators until you see daylight and don't hesitate to ask for help.
Trains for Fontainebleau-Avon leave every 30 minutes from Hall 1, usually tracks L, M or N. Look on the large sign over the tracks for trains going to Montargis or Montereau. The train ride to Fontainebleau-Avon takes about 35 to 40 minutes.
Get out at the Fontainebleau-Avon station and take Bus A; tell the driver you are going to the Chateau. The fare is about 1.5 Euros (you can use a Paris Metro ticket) and the ride takes about ten minutes. Get off at the Chateau stop and we will meet you there.