If you work at Université Paris-Est, you probably live in Paris or nearby. You have access to the most active city of France, in terms of cultural life (see for example a list of current or upcoming cultural events in Paris on http://agenda.paris.fr)! So you should really take every oportunity to enjoy it!
The reference website about Paris is ParisInfo.com. They also edit a nice and free paper guide, you can find it in their office or at Cité Internationale (welcome desk for foreigners in the main building).
The 14 museums owned by the city of Paris are free (well, the permanent exhibition at least). The others (including The Louvre, or Musée d’Orsay) are free on the first Sunday of each month. For the Louvre, the « Porte des Lions » entrance is usually less crowded.
You can often find subtitled movies in Paris, including old movies (in the cinemas of Quartier Latin). The most visited website about movies (summaries, cinemas, showtimes…) in France is Allociné. They say « VF » (version française) when the movie is dubbed in French and « VO » (version originale) when it has French subtitles.
The « Cinéma du Panthéon » sometimes shows French movies with English subtitles. You should check on their website if they specify « séance sous-titrée en anglais ». If you think that French subtitles could help for a French movie, you may find some at MK2 cinemas.
If you love cinema, you can choose the « unlimited » access to lots of cinemas in Paris (and around) for a bit more than 20 euros per month, with « carte UGC illimité« . Go to any UGC cinema to sbuscribe. You will also have access to other cinemas than UGC (MK2 in particular).
A few theaters in Paris have some plays in English, like Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord. You can find several shows in English on the website Ticketnet, with reduced prices (for example How to become parisian in one hour?). But you can also enjoy all plays in French!
If you are still « young » (at most 26), then you can get cheap tickets one hour before the show, in each of these theaters: http://www.theatresparisiensassocies.com/reduction-spectacle-paris. Otherwise, there is still the possibility to go to the kiosques in Paris to get half-price tickets. Cheap theater tickets can also be found online, for example at http://www.billetreduc.com/theatre. Also, if you go to Comédie Française very early (only 56 seats available at this price), you may get some 5€ tickets!
You really have to discover the « gastronomie française », for example with discounts on this website: http://www.lafourchette.com/
Learning and practicing French
Free French courses are provided by Acc&ss Paris-Est at the international residence of the Cité Descartes (Noisy-Champs).
You can also find « language exchange sessions » (you meet with people in a café, with who you speak half time in French, half time in another language) on the meetup.com website:
- all groups about language and culture in Paris
- the next events to practice the French language in Paris