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France: Student Accommodation - Must read

Student accommodation in France

We tell you all you need to know about finding your accommodation when studying in France

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France can be quite a tricky place to secure your student accommodation, but the good news is there is the possibility of government housing assistance for students of all nationalities and France is the only country in Europe to have this handy option.

 

The average cost of housing in France is €250-700 per month, although this rate is greatly affected by the region that you stay in, with major cities like Paris being at the higher end of the spectrum. The key to finding accommodation in France is to plan ahead. Hopefully after reading this guide you’ll have a better idea of the options available to you and can get started on your hunt for the best accommodation for you.  

 

University residence
Average cost: between €250 and €350 per month.

A university residence is a great choice. Firstly you’ll most likely be on or near your campus so getting to class should be relatively easy. Secondly you’ll be living with a number of other students and it can be a great way to meet people on different courses, including a lot of other international students and even students from your home country.

If your university or grandes écoles offers the option of a university residence, in most instances you’ll able to set this all up before you arrive by contacting your institution or international officer. CROUS, the regional student service agency, also has a number of buildings which are reserved for scholarship students.

 

Useful websites:

CNOUS: www.cnous.fr
CROUS: Paris region: www.crous-paris.fr  and www.crous-creteil.fr
Toulouse: www.crous-toulouse.fr
Lyon: www.crous-lyon.fr
Montpellier: www.crous-montpellier.fr
Lille: www.crous-lille.fr  
 

Private student buildings
Average cost: between and €350 and €750 per month


The advantage of a private student building is that you may have the opportunity of living with French students and you will generally be able to find out who your housemates are before moving in. Living with local students is a great way to throw yourself in the deep end and be fully immersed in the language and culture. Private student buildings are more expensive option than a residence, but they can still offer great deals. To rent a private student building you’ll generally need to secure a deposit equivalent of one to two months’ rent beforehand and you may also need a guarantor. As always, be sure to check the contract thoroughly and get help from your university if you’re unsure of anything.
 

Useful websites:
Résidences Estudines www.estudines.fr
ADELE (Association pour le Développement Économique du Logement Étudiant) www.adele.org
CLEF (Centre de Logement pour Etudiants de France), www.logetudes.com
www.parisetudiant.com
De particulier à particulier http://www.pap.fr/
Allo Student Rentals https://www.allostudentrentals.com/

 

Accommodation tips:

  • Plan your accommodation well in advance. If you want to stay in a university residence you should get in touch as soon as you’ve had your acceptance offer.
  • Shop around. Accommodation in France can be expensive, so check all the websites we’ve listed and do your own research.
  • Be cautious. If you’re not staying in a university residence you should be mindful that even listings on websites we’ve included in this article can include listings that are either too good to be true or too expensive. If you’re moving in with other housemates, consider meeting up with them beforehand and taking a friend.
  • When organising shared accommodation or your own accommodation, make sure you check the contract carefully and see what is included and NOT included.
  • Remember you’ll have to pay for your own bills including electricity and internet, so factor this into your budget.

It's important to note that living abroad either with others or alone is a learning curve. While it's hard for native students, it can be even more challenging as an international student. You'll come across all kinds of characters and some might be more difficult to live with than others. You'll feel lonely at times and miss your home comforts.

It all forms part of the experience, which ultimately will broaden your horizons and usually make you a more tolerant person. Just remember, no housing situation lasts forever! If you really don't like your living arrangements, speak to your international office at your university for support. If you're lucky, you might even make friends for life like many international students before you!

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About Author

Katie Duncan is Editor of Hotcourses Abroad and is an NCTJ-qualified journalist and University of Exeter graduate. Having worked at an English language school in the UK, as an educational consultant in Spain and as a reporter in the international education sector, she is well placed to guide you through your study abroad journey. Katie grew up in Australia, which perhaps explains her unusual reptile collection, comprising of a bearded dragon (Bill) and tortoise (Matilda).