When you check-in, you must present your passport, so that they verify that you are who you claim to be. Remember: your accommodation is paid for. In order to get into the parts of the buildings where the rooms are, you will need a code: if they do not give you the code, remember to ask for it.
The "Bureau d'Accueil", located in building F, is where you will do
all administrative duties and ask for essential information. Their
opening hours are:
* 9am-4:30pm, Monday to Thursday
* 9am-4pm on Friday
* CLOSED on Saturdays and Sundays.
This accommodation is very inexpensive, and the service they provide is also very minimal. We saw the rooms - the single rooms (called "traditional") are OK but very basic, the studios (called "T1") are brand new, but not very luxurious either. In the building where traditional rooms are, you have kitchen, toilets, and bathrooms at every floor. The traditional rooms have a wash basin and a bidet in the room. The T1 have a bathroom in the room. There are laundry rooms on the ground floor, with washers and dryers, operated with coins (16F for a wash; unclear how much for the dryers). You can borrow a vacuum cleaner from the Porterie, but will have to leave your passport as guarantee. Everything seemed reasonably clean, but some things were a bit strange. The surroundings are pleasant, and you can have cheap meals at the cafeteria located next to building F (open on weekdays for lunch, 11:30am-1:30pm).
You are supposed to make your bed and clean your room yourself (so, try not to dirty it). In buildings F and G there is a concierge, with opening hours 8am-??, to whom you can ask if something is wrong in your room. Do not forget to bring your TOWELS and SOAP as they are not provided. We recommend that people staying in Studios bring (or buy) something to wipe the floor with, as the entrance to the studio is very likely to get wet after a shower.
HOW TO GET THERE AND CHECK-IN
There are two ways of going to Cachan. In all cases, you take the RER B in the direction of "Robinson/Saint Rémy les Chevreuses", and get off either at "Arcueil-Cachan" or at "Bagneux". Be careful, not all RER trains stop at these stations: you should consult the electronic signs on the platform to determine whether the next train will stop there.
Take the RER B to Arcueil-Cachan, go to the main exit and buy a "carnet de 10 tickets de Metro et bus" (58F), either at the ticket window, or from a machine (which takes coins and Visa, Master cards). There should be a map, where you will find the location of the bus stop 187, direction "Charcot-Zola". (This bus runs from early in the morning till past midnight, every day including holidays). The stop is on "Avenue Carnot", on the other side of the RER line (you go under a bridge). Take the bus, and get off at "Camille Desmoulins-Division Leclerc" (=3rd stop). The entrance of the CROUS is across the road (60 avenue Camille Desmoulins). Follow the road in, you will find building C on your left. The "Porterie" is at the corner of the building closest to the road. There are now two possibilities:
- If you arrive during opening hours (see above), follow the road, go under an archway and then immediately right to the "Bureau d'accueil", where you check in and get your key. You are now in building F. They will tell you what to do next (see also below some explanations).
- If you arrive after opening hours, go to the Porterie, and pick up your keys. The Porterie is always open.
This itinerary is fairly pleasant, and the advantage is that you do not have to wait for a bus. Not recommended when carrying heavy luggage. Take the RER B to Bagneux, and go out of the station through the main exit. Take a sharp left on "Avenue du Pont Royal". When you reach a traffic circle, take "avenue de Chateaubriand" slightly to the right, and go down until you reach "Avenue du Président Wilson", where you will find the main entrance of "Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan" (ENS Cachan, 61 avenue du President Wilson). The résidence du CROUS is on their campus. At the entrance lodge, you will find a map of the campus.
Go past the lodge and take the road to the left. Follow it around
all the way until you reach building F (just after a low building
which is the cafeteria). There are now two possibilities.
- Within opening hours (see above), go to the "Accueil", on the ground floor of building F, where you check in and get your key. They will tell you what to do next (see also below some explanations).
- After opening hours, follow the road through an archway under building F, until you reach building C, where you will find the "Porterie du CROUS" (follow the road, the entrance is on the other side). There you pick up your keys.
CHECK-IN AND CHECK-OUT PROCEDURES
In principle, you will not need to do anything besides getting your key and giving it back. During opening hours of "Accueil", this is done there, and outside opening hours, at the Porterie. Please do not forget to return your key when you leave, as we would have to pay for it.
Also, the bedding should be in your room when you arrive. If that is
not the case, then you should go to Accueil or Porterie and tell them.
During opening hours they will direct you to the "Lingerie" (opening hours:
8am-12pm, 1pm-4:30pm, closed on weekends), a few doors down from the Porterie
in Building C.
You will also get acquainted with French pillows, which are shaped as big sausages. It is a bit strange at first, but one gets used to it.
If people seem not to understand what you say, write it down on a piece of paper and show it to them (for instance, "Bagneux" is quite difficult to say). Students on the campus should speak some english, but most people in the town are unlikely to.
The Carte Orange Zones 1-2-3 costs 113F, an individual
ticket Paris-Bagneux costs 9.50F and a pack of 10 tickets costs 76F (same
price as to Arcueil-Cachan);
finally, for the bus, you can use ordinary metro tickets (at 58F the
if you take the bus
twice during your Carte Orange week (Monday through Sunday included),
you will have saved money. Moreover,
the Carte Orange is valid on night buses (Noctambus). The Noctambus
line L stops at "Camille Desmoulins-Division Leclerc", opposite the
entrance of the residence du CROUS.
Since the Carte Orange only works from Monday through Sunday, you will in any case also need to buy a "carnet de tickets Paris-Bagneux", and maybe share it with colleagues.
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Mise à jour le 3 juillet 2000.