It isn't always easy to find student accommodation in big French cities. Don't be desperate, you still have loads of opportunities.
A tip: start your housing haunting as soon as possible.
A lot of different possibilities!
If you have not found your permanent place when you arrive, no worries! You can consider the option of a temporary stay.
Here is a list of the different places (hostels,...)
CROUS? What's that?
All universities have their own residences. They are called cités U (U-residences), and are managed by the CROUS (Regional Centres of University and Academic Services). The rent is really low as subsidised by the government. Contact the international relations department of your institution to find out if they have any available spot.
At the same time, check the “accommodation" and "international" sections of your CROUS site to learn about the conditions for assigning a university residence room. You have to apply for a CROUS accommodation by May 31st before the start of the academic year. How to do it? It's online and here!
There is one CROUS per region. Make sure you deal with the CROUS affiliated with the region that your higher education institution is based at.
Going to Paris? Think CIUP!
Located in the 14th district in Paris, the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris (CIUP) is a vast grouping of university residences. It is home to nearly 6,000 students, researchers, artists and high-level athletes from around the world.
How to find student lodging
Don't wait the last-minute to start your accomodation-haunting! Submit your request before you leave, whether it is for a room in a CROUS residence, in a student residence or in a private residence.
In general, be careful and make sure the organisation offering the accommodation is reliable. Never send money without first signing a lease and speaking directly with the organisation.
At the beginning, don't hesitate to book a stay for a short period.
Try to find a furnished student accommodation. This will save you money!
Be suspicious of rent that is too low. In Paris, expect 400 Euros for student accommodation in the Cité U and up to 800 Euros on the private sector.
Short lexicon of student lodging
- Contrat de location, or bail (lease): contractual document establishing the responsibilities of the lessee and the lessor.
- Caution solidaire or garant (guarantor): person or entity agreeing to pay the rent in the event the renter does not.
- Dépôt de garantie (security deposit): amount requested at the start, intended to cover the cost of any damage. It is returned at the end of the rental period, subject to conditions.
- Quittance de loyer (rent receipt): receipt showing the details of the amount paid by the renter. Rent and utilities must be distinct.
- Assurance habitation (home insurance): insurance covering civil liability and any damage due to water, fire, burglary, etc.
- Caisse d’Allocations Familiales (CAF -- Family Allowances Fund): public organisation that may provide you with financial assistance to help you pay your rent.
- Taxe d’habitation (habitation tax): Tax paid by the occupant of lodging on January 1st of the tax year. The amount varies according to where the lodging is and its size.
- Préavis (notice): a renter informs the landlord of his/her intention to move out this much time prior to leaving the lodging. It is one month for furnished rental lodging and three months for unfurnished lodging, except in metropolitan centres and areas with housing shortages.