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It is important to decide on the type of housing your looking for before arriving in France.
It is better to find an accomodation before leaving for France. You can either try to find a room in the university residence (contact the CNOUS of the city you are going to). Most of the time, the rooms are reserved for recipients of French government scholarships and students participating in exchange programs but if they have rooms left, they would be able to rent you one.
The cost of housing varies widely, but ,like French students, you are eligible for housing assistance.
Otherwise looking for accomodation from outside the country can be difficult. You won't be able to visit properties and make fully informed decisions. It may also be difficult, from a distance, to persuade a property owner to let you sign a rental contract or convince him that you have someone who will guarantee payment of your rent.
For these reasons, the best solution is to find temporary housing for your first few weeks in France. You can thus have time to visit rooms or flats. Contact the International Office of the French higher education institutions to know where you can temporary stay at your arrival.