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The ladies' home journal
Vol. XX, No. 7 (June, 1903)

Van Winkle, Reverend I.
The truth about girl student life in Paris,   p. 17 PDF (1.1 MB)


Page 17

Page 17
The Ladies' Home Journal for Juuie 1903
The Truth About Girl Student Life in Paris
By the Reverend I.Van Winkle
ch cfwEgih-paigSu _ si  eLN  uar"o  ,,,
TIIAT an Ameri-
can girl can
draw, paint,
  play or sing well is
not motive enough
for her going to Paris for
further study. Good instruc-
tioncanbehad inallthesesub-
jects, and great advantages
1e found, in our own country.
Grant, however, a high grade
of ability; grant that a girl
has decided upon art, music
or languages as a profession,
either to practice or teach them; grant, as
we must in many instances, the simple ambi-
tion to reach a greater perfection than has
been found attainable at home; then how
natural to turn to the Old World!
But the counsel must be heeded that the
experience of workers in the Old World gives
- namely, to get first the best training pos-
sible at home. Let a girl get all that is
possi ble there and so become prepared for
making use of what is better. Let her learn
just what are her limitations and what are
her needs; then, if she must or will go
abroad, she will know better what she wants
and for what she is going.
America is Better for Beginners in Art
MANY girls live in America at distances
more or less remote from the cities where
our art schools are established and where the
best opportunities for music or languages are
to be found. They justly claim that the ex-
pense of going to the Old World is no more
than, if as much as, that involved in residence
in one of our great cities. The advice just
given, however, still holds good, and I
would strongly urge to work at home first.
Experience shows that for beginners, espe-
cially in art, America is better and more
thorough. But nothing can take the place of
the broadening of the mind that the galleries,
the salons, the exhibitions, the art atmosphere
(a very real quality) of the Old World
accomplishes.
If the girl decides on Paris, then what?
Good health is an obvious need. A complete
change of climate, manner of living, food
and other conditions imperatively require a
positive degree of good, sound health. To
exchange the comforts of a home, the loving
watchfulness and thoughtfulness of parents,
for a life that has for most of our girls who
go to a foreign land some element of hard-
ship, is a serious thing. The ambition to get
on, working constantly in badly ventilated
studios or small rooms, economizing often
unhappily in fuel and food to make *one's
money last, requires real physical strength as
well as will and pluck.
Enough Money to Live Comfortably
GIRL should have sufficient money to be
able to live in comfort amid pleasant
surroundings. She should be able to have
enough good food to keel) up her strength,
and since she goes to study she should be
financially able to have the best instruction
and to get all she needs for her work.
The impression prevails very-extensively
in our country that it costs but little to live
in Paris; that it is a veritable Paradise for
those who have only very moderate means,
or who would economize. Those who live
cheaply in Paris do so by living as they
would not live at home. They are independ-
ent and so far fortunate, and do not feel
obliged to live up to the standard of their
neighbors. Rents for simple quarters are
cheaper. In ordinary apartments there are
fewer conveniences than one finds at home.
At the same time it is true that one can have
quite comfortable quarters attractively situ-
ated at a much cheaper rate than at home.
Rooms from $2 a Month Up
UR girl students live in rooms that cost
from two dollars a month tip. A room
at two dollars a month is, of course, small,
unfurnished, on the sixth floor of an apart-
ment house, immediately under the roof,
often with no window except a small skylight
in the ceiling. There is no chimney nor fire-
place. It can only be heated by at) oil-stove.
These rooms sometimes, but very rarely,
have dormer windows. Unless they have
they are dismal in the extreme. No girl
should live in such a room. Girls have lived,
and some are now living, in such rooms, but
it is a positive wrong. From this point and
price rooms, lodgings or apartments can be
found at whatever one is able and willing to
pay. Where there are two or three friends or
sisters a good small apartment at eight to ten
dollars a month means a very moderate rent
when divided among them, and by paying a
little more, up to twelve dollars and a half a
month, very pleasant quarters can be had.
These must be rented for the term of three
months. Single furnished rooms can be had
from six dollars a month upward. Two friends
sharing a large room  at
twelve dollars a month
have more air, comfort and
convenience than they
would separately at half
the price.  I must enter my strongest protest
against girls living alone. That mode of liv-
ing, together with the attempt to live on too
small means, is accountable for nearly all the
cases of wrecked health or morals.
A Girl's Living Expenses in Paris
T HOSE who live together in a small apart-
ment can have their meals at home if they
will. Workwomen come in for six cents an
hour. They are, as a rule, good, economical
cooks, and in this way, living in an apart-
ment, a semi-home life is possible, and good,
wholesome food can be had at a cost less than
dining and lunching at restaurants.
The following schedule of prices will give
some idea of the cost of living: Coal: anthra-
cite, $15 a ton; soft coal for range, $13.
Some use substitutes for these, such as coal
dust compressed into egg-shape or little
bricks, costing from $9.50 to $12 a ton.
Almost every one buys by the sack of too
pounds, the price being the same. Wood for
the hearth costs 57 cents for soo pounds.
Gas is very much dearer than in America.
Coffee costs 56 cents a pound; rice, 12; butter,
48; sugar, so10% and 12; milk, 8 cents a quart;
good eggs rarely less than 30 cents a dozen;
kerosene oil is 53 cents a bidon, about 5
quarts.  Meat prices are, for beef: sirloin,
34 cents a pound; fillet, 45; rib roast, 26;
steaks, 30 to 36.  For veal: cutlet, 40 cents;
chops, 28. For mtutton: leg, 26 cents; loin,
34; chops, from 8 cents ip.  These are the
prices for good cuts.  Other pieces, much
cheaper, can be had, but a good knowledge
of meat is necessary in order to use them. A
small roasting chicken costs from $t to $1.5o.
An Average Bill-of-Fare
THOSE who go out for meals pay at the
good, moderate-price restaurants fre-
quented by students such prices as these,
prices indicated in cents:
MENU OF A STUDENT's RESTAURANT
Sausages, butter. . . . . . . .    . .05
Sardines . .....  .............oS
Tomatoes with oil . . . . . . . . . .o6
Soups
Vermicelli .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .04
Consomm6 . ...    ............04
Hams and egg  . . . . . . . . . . .12
Omielet (fine herbs)  . . . . . . . . .08
Galantine of chicken .  . . . . . . . to
Ham (cold)  ............Io
Lobster mayonnaise . . . . . . . . .5
Cold  chicken  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . .15
Cold veal with mayonnaise  . . . . . .12
Muttomn stew  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . .12
Boiled beef, tomato sauce . . . . . . .o8
Roast pork  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .o
Roast pork with vegetable  . . . . . .12
Roast beef .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .12
Roast veal .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  ..o
Roast veal with vegetable . . . . . . ..2
Veal or mutton chop . . . . . . . . .12
Chateaubriand (a teuder steak) . . . . .14
SALAD
Lettuce or Romaine . . . . . . . . .04
VEGETABLES
Asparagus .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 8
Potatoes (saut)  . . . . . . . . . .05
White  beans  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .04
Turnips, white sauce. .,.  . . . . . .05
Peas .  . . .  . . . .  . . .  . . ..o 5
DESSERT
Strawberries... . . . .  . . .     . .o8
Apple sauce . . . . . . . .        . .05
Preserves  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .05
Cherries (fresh) .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .6
Rice pudding...   . . . . . . . .04
Sweet crackers . . . . . . . . . . .03
Cream cheese   . . . . . . . . . . .o6
Sufficient luncheon can be had for twenty-
five cents, and a fair dinner for thirty cents.
Coffee, tea or chocolate can be made in one's
own room   for the first morning meal.  It can
be had in a neat, pleasant creamery, with two
rolls and butter, for seven or eight cents.
The judgment of many workers is that a
girl should have at least fifty dollars a month
for room, light, fuel, food. lessons and ma-
terials for art work.  This is a close calcula-
tion and demands the most prudent economy.
I do not advise a girl to go upon that basis.
A careful review of the situation, and the
judgment of women workers who have reached
definite results, indicates eighty dollars a
month as the amount really necessary.
Cost of Studying Music and Art in Paris
LESSONS in singing or instrumental music
with masters of high reputation are expen-
sive, and would call for more.  Prices average
five dollars a lesson, and twvo lessons a week,
which an earnest student would expect to take,
make up a considerable expenditure.      Front
one thousand to twelve hundred dollars a year
is a more appropriate figure for music study.
The cost of lessons in art at three of the
principal Paris academies is as follows:
Julian  Vitti Delicluse
One month ot             2.oo  $8.00  6.oo
'Three months       da    30.00   8.oo  16.oo
Six months    fo 1/ da   3500oo  3.oo   1o.oo
SiOea     J fo          50.00  3200  30.00
Onle year               L 80.00  6o.oo  52.00
For a whole day the cost is abo
two-thirds more.
u-t
AFoUIKS
EXTRACT
Of BLEF
The Best Extract
of the Best Beef
For Soups, Sauces
Gravies and Beef Tea
Sold in JARS only
Never in Bulk
INSIST ON ARMOUR'S
The brand that makes the demand
The American Students' Club for
Girls, No. 4, Rue de Chevreuse, is a
charming, homelike place. It can
accommodate thirty-five girls.  Its pleasant
drawing-rooms, library, refectory, tea-room,
and its quiet gardens are very attractive.
Living in this club costs thirty dollars a
month for room  and board.   It is very like
college life, with the charm of home infused
in it, and with all the liberty that the simple
rule of self-respect confers.  It is the best,
the safest place for a girl student in Paris.
The work of eleven of the girls at this club
was received in 1902 in the great Salons.
Such a club is the only place, except a family,
in which a girl student should live in Paris.
More such   clubs are needed.    Boarding-
houses (pensions) managed by responsible
women are rare; almost all are under the
control of French women, where economy is
often prejudicial to substantial living.
What it Costs to Study in London
S OME persons urge London against Paris
for art study. Living costs about the same
-forty dollars a month, including omnibus
fares, etc.  Workers in London    say that
December and January are practically lost
months owing to fog.  Copyists are allowed
only two days in the week, while in Paris
they are allowed five days.  The pictures are
under glass-a great     disadvantage-but
application can be made for its removal.  For
an American girl London would mean, of
course, her own language, perhaps also a
nearer approach to her own home surround-
ings. At the Royal Academy School instruc-
tion is free, students providing their own
materials.  At the Slade School of Drawing,
Painting and Sculpture the fees are for the
year approximately $95; for one term $36.
Half-term fees: for six days a week, $21 ; for
three days a week, $10.50.
The Royal College of Art, at South
Kensington, is intended for the training of
Art Masters and Mistresses for the United
Kingdom, their admission depending upon
examinations.  Other students are admitted
upon the payment of fees, twelve guineas a
term, with two terms in the year.   These
students are limited to one hundred and fifty.
There are a number of less important and
private schools.  I have so far met with no
one who has worked in London who does not
give the preference to Paris.
The Moral Aspect of Student Life
ONE word as to the moral aspect of student
life in Paris.  Broadly speaking, it is
precisely the same as in any other student
community or great city, not excepting our
own in America.   There is one difference:
the evil is less disguised.  There is no hypoc-
risy about it. It must be added that the
standard is lower.  These facts constitute the
real danger.  A student may hear or see what
would never be heard or seen at home, and the
individual character must stand the test.
But one can say of our American girl stu-
dents in Paris that they are, as a rule, intelli-
gent, industrious and self-respecting.  Moral
wrecks are rare.  But any girl who thinks of
going to Paris must guard herself with extra
care.  She must refuse the evil and choose
the good.  She must be the same honest, pure-
minded, faithful, reverent girl in Paris that
she is in her American home. She will find
her church in Paris if she looks for it. In the
heart of the student quarter is the little St.
Luke's Chapel, the students' church, in which
there are regular services throughout the year.
The Girls Who Should Stay at Home
TO ANY girl who simply wants to go to
Paris for the sake of change, without any
purpose of serious study, to her I say emir-
phatically: " Do not go.  Remain at home,
unless you can go with your parents.''
To girls who are attracted by art or music
it must be said: " Look about you. What
are the results? " Successes are not so numer-
ous as to warrant a rash rushing into the one
or the other as a profession.  There is a
demand for teachers, but apart from this
there is perhaps no career for a girl in which
the steps are so slow as art or music.
One final word as to the term Latin Quarter,
which has such a fascination.  There is no
Latin Quarter in the original sense of the
term, when Paris was three walled cities.
They were the Ville de Paris, on the right
batik of the Seine; the Cit6, on the island that
the river bathes on each side; and the
University, on the left bank, where Latin was
a living tongue spoken and written by stu-
dents from all countries.  There remains but
little of the Latin Quarter of even half a cen-
tury ago.  The real Latin Quarter of to-day
must be sought for in studios where kindred
or differing minds eagerly talk over work, and
out of which springs a brotherhood that is
most exclusive.
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