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How to find accommodation in France

By Jean
Reading Time: 4 minutes

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Moving to France as an international student can be an exhilarating experience, filled with new opportunities and adventures. However, one of the first hurdles you’ll encounter is finding suitable accommodation in France. Navigating the housing market, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the local language and customs, can be daunting.

In this guide, we’ll provide you with essential tips and tricks to help you find the perfect place to call home during your studies in France.

accommodation in france

When to Start Searching for Accommodation?

Starting your search for accommodation in France well in advance is crucial, particularly because of the high demand in popular student cities such as Paris, Lyon or Marseille. This demand spikes notably during peak seasons, such as the summer vacation period. Many students are simultaneously searching for their new homes in preparation for the upcoming academic year starting in September.

By beginning your search several months prior to your move, you not only increase your chances of finding a suitable place that meets your preferences and budget but also avoid the intense competition.

Where to Live in France?

Selecting the right city is key to ensuring a fulfilling experience. Here’s a series of questions you can ask yourself to help you choose the best city:

  1. What kind of lifestyle do you prefer: city life, rural areas, or small towns?
  2. What’s your budget? Can you afford the cost of living in your chosen city?
  3. Do you plan to travel? Is proximity to major airports and train networks important to you?
  4. What climate suits you best: sunny, mild, or cold weather?
  5. What do you enjoy doing in your free time: Going shopping? Taking a walk in nature? Meeting new people? Exploring the local culture?
  6. What form of transportation do you prefer: train, tram, metro, bus, bike, or walking?
  7. What’s your favourite landscape: seaside, mountains, countryside, or city?

Unsure about which city is the best fit for you? Read our article to discover the ideal place to learn French in France: https://gogofrance.com/en/blog/where-to-learn-french-in-france/

Looking for accommodation in your chosen city? Check out the article for your city below:

What Type of Accommodation?

Determining what type of rental you need is crucial.

  • Studios: Perfect for those who value privacy. These can range from affordable to luxury, depending on the location.
  • Furnished Apartments: Ideal for those who prefer a hassle-free move. They’re more expensive but save on the cost of buying furniture.
  • Student Residences: Managed by universities or private companies, offering a sense of community and often, lower prices.
  • Host Families: A great option for immersing yourself in French culture and practising the language, usually with meals included.

How Much Does It Cost?

Wondering how much does it cost to live and study in France? Use our cost of living calculator to find out! Get an estimate here: https://gogofrance.com/en/cost-of-living-in-france-calculator/

Please note that estimates are based on averages, and your actual rent will vary depending on your location in France, the duration of your contract, the size of the property, whether it is an old, new, or reformed property, among other factors.

Financial Aids

Many students can reduce their housing costs by receiving housing allowances from the government. As an international student with a long-term student visa, you might be eligible for housing assistance from the French government, managed by the CAF (Caisse d’Allocations Familiales). This aid can significantly reduce your housing costs, making it a worthwhile option to explore.

Various types of housing financial assistance are available, such as APL, ALS, or ALF, and the amount of the allowance can vary. For a single person, the average monthly APL might be around €150 for ordinary rental situations.

Many factors impact the amount you will receive, but you can make a simulation here: https://wwwd.caf.fr/mesdemarches/faireunesimulation/lelogement

Tips for a Successful Housing Experience

  • Online check: Use Google Maps and spend some time visiting the neighbourhood. Look for nearby shops, subway/bus/train stations and amenities that are important to you. Check out YouTube, where you’re likely to find vlogs or videos of local tours of the area.
  • Budget wisely: Remember to include additional costs like utilities, internet, and transportation in your budgeting.
  • Get everything in writing: To avoid any misunderstandings later, ensure all agreements with your landlord are documented in writing.
  • Learn basic French: Knowing basic French can be incredibly helpful in navigating the housing market and communicating with landlords.
  • Check for furnishing: Many student accommodations in France come furnished, but it’s always good to check what’s included.

accommodation in france

Find Accommodation in France Without the Need for A Guarantor

One significant hurdle international students face when searching for accommodation is the requirement for a guarantor, coupled with the extensive paperwork involved. This requirement can be daunting, as it necessitates finding someone who is financially stable and willing to vouch for the student’s ability to pay rent, which is challenging for those without local contacts.

We have the solution for you! Go! Go! France partners with Uniplaces and HousingAnywhere, two of the best online marketplaces for booking student accommodation, to offer you a wide selection of options in France.

Uniplaces

Founded in 2012, Uniplaces has rapidly grown into a key player in the student accommodation sector, operating across major cities in Europe and facilitating online bookings. There’s no bureaucracy, no need for a guarantor, and Uniplaces provides multilingual support, a 24-hour move-in policy, an accuracy check for each listing, and an official prepaid accommodation certificate for those requiring a visa.

Discover superb furnished apartments, studios, shared houses and student residences for rent! Book your accommodation in France 100% online with our accommodation finder here: https://gogofrance.com/en/accommodation-in-france/

HousingAnywhere

HousingAnywhere, launched in 2009, operates in over 125 cities across the United States and Europe. The platform ensures a streamlined booking process where payments are safeguarded until after the tenant moves in, providing a sense of security for both tenants and landlords​.

You can book your accommodation in France 100% online! Search for your future accommodation in France here: https://housinganywhere.com/

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