« I realized for the first time at the age of 19 that I would have to give up on the studies I had been dreaming of. »

The first time I realized that I would have to give up on the studies I had dreamed of, I was 19 years old, sitting in front of my Excel spreadsheet listing my expenses, and I thought to myself, « This is not going to be possible anymore. » I am from Savoie and I have always wanted to become an airplane pilot. For that, I was aiming for the National School of Civil Aviation (ENAC) in Toulouse.

For this competition, I made wishes on Admission post bac (formerly Parcoursup) for different scientific preparatory classes: the only one I was accepted to was located in Annecy [Haute-Savoie]. I had specifically requested Chambéry and Grenoble, to stay close to my parents’ home, but I was not accepted.

I also applied for internships, as many preparatory schools offer them, but my application did not necessarily meet the income requirements. My mother is a middle school teacher, my father is an engineer, I have three brothers, and we come from a middle-class background. The income of my parents was just above the thresholds to qualify for a scholarship.

« I cannot reword »

So here I am, a student in Annecy, the Venice of the Alps, certainly very beautiful but also very expensive. It is therefore impossible to find accommodation, even in shared housing, for less than 500 euros per month in the city and its surrounding area. I eventually find a small 12 square meter studio for 500 euros excluding utilities (water, electricity, and residence tax need to be added), within a thirty-minute commute to my prep school.

For this first year, my parents are giving me a budget of 500 euros, not including the train trips they pay for when I come home. I have some money saved up because I worked with a winemaker for a month during the summer, repairing barrels and weeding vineyards. It’s equivalent to a minimum wage, from which I withdraw between 100 and 150 euros each month to supplement my budget. The CAF provides me with 60 euros of personalized housing assistance (APL).

I need to keep track of my money, but I am still lucky because I have the opportunity to eat with the other students for breakfast, lunch, and dinner: it helps me a lot, and the price is very affordable, around 300 euros per quarter. Since the regional center for university and school services (Crous) is too far from my preparatory school, this solution is a blessing. I think to myself that there are worse situations than mine: I have never been in debt, but I need to avoid any unexpected expenses.

« Classe étoile »

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