Your search for accommodation
Gearing up to begin studies in one of the six Pass-World competitive entrance exam member schools?
If so then it is vital you find a roof over your head for the duration of your tuition. Whether it’s accommodation on a public or private student campus you’re after, a student hostel or a private residence, you should find what you’re looking for, whatever your personal preferences and budget.
General tips for finding your future home
- Don’t wait until your arrival in France to organize your student accommodation. Whether you are looking for a room in a CROUS hall of residence, a hostel or a private set-up, start your search online or by telephone prior to your departure for France.
- Finding attractive and affordable accommodation can sometimes prove a headache, especially in Paris. Make as many inquiries as possible in order to improve your chances.
- Focus on furnished accommodation for rent, which will cost you less and be easier to manage, especially if your stay in France is of short to medium length.
- Be careful when sending money. Never do so until you have signed a lease contract and exchanged directly with an organization, plus check that they are serious. Beware of overly low rents (under €400 in Paris for a university hall of residence and under €700 for private accommodation. Half the same levels apply for other towns). Also remember that the safety threshold for accommodation is 9m².
- Having doubts? If so then the wisest option is to reserve accommodation for a short duration, thereby leaving yourself time to look for more permanent accommodation upon arrival.
- Once in France, in addition to specialized websites and small ads you can also make inquiries at your Pass-World member school: each of them has its own fully-equipped platform dedicated to putting their students in touch with partner organizations.
NB: like all students you will be able to apply for rent rebait (“aide personnalisée au logement”) or social accommodation benefits (“Allocation de logement sociale”), both of which are means-tested sources of financial aid that are paid by the official French Caisse d’Allocation Familiale body, thereby helping you pay your rent. Find out more!
You can also apply for the “garantie Visale”, a free student rent deposit service.
All options, by type of accommodation
- Collective accommodation set-ups
– CROUS rooms or studio apartments in university halls of residence
What are they?
Rooms and studio apartments in university halls of residence are managed by CROUS organizations. This is the lowest-cost type of student accommodation, plus it is also furnished and costs in the region of €200 per month only, after rent rebait. This also represents a practical option due to the close proximity of CROUS halls of residence to campuses.
You can obtain information via the international relations department of your school in order to see if they have a particular agreement with the CROUS.
You should also check the “accommodation” or “international” sections of the CROUS site to which you are attached (one exists per academic academy) in order to find out the conditions for university hall of residence room allocation.
Please note: to be eligible you must complete an “international accommodation” application file. This must be submitted between January 15th and May 31st of the academic year preceding the beginning of your studies. Please also note that this kind of accommodation is allocated on a priority basis to students receiving means-tested scholarships.
Find out more: www.cnous.fr.
– The Paris International University Hall of Residence
What is it?
The Paris International University Hall of Residence is a huge conglomerate of university halls of residence situated in the 14th district of the capital city. It is home to almost 6000 students, researchers, artists and top-level sportsmen and women from all over the world, and is spread across 40 different houses. Rent varies according to the level of comfort, the age of the residents and the length of their stay.
Steps to take
Send your application via the electronic form available via the website www.ciup.fr.
Check if your nationality or school is represented by one of the houses and read the admission terms very carefully. In some cases an extra administrative procedure may be required.
Paris International University Hall of Residence registration is exclusive to students with a minimum Master 1 (4 years of post-secondary study) level.
Applications for the month of September of each year must be made from April. All applications are analyzed by admissions commissions held several times per year.
– Student hostels
What are they?
Have you ever considered seeking accommodation within a student or young people’s hostel? These accommodation options, managed by associations or religious organizations, make available to students furnished rooms in full and half-board formats. Rent rates are about halfway between those for a room in a university hall of residence and those for a private student hall of residence. The ideal set-up, offering independence and conviviality, practical services and affordable prices.
Note: some hostels are single-sex.
Steps to take:
Visit the website of the national student house union.
Private student halls of residence
What are they?
Not yet found what you’re after within the public or association sectors or looking to take advantage of particular services (laundry, internet, gym, cafeteria etc.) in addition to basic accommodation? If so then private student halls of residence are also open to international students. Available in France’s main university towns, these set-ups offer furnished and/or fully-equipped apartments ranging in size from studios to 2 bedrooms.
Note: due to the level of communal services included in the leasing contract, rent in this kind of residence is generally higher than in CROUS halls of residence.
Steps to take:
Make direct contact as soon as possible with the relevant town’s private halls of residence in order to find out about the specific types of rental. The legal framework for such a rental is the same as that applied to a traditional lease: you will sign a leasing contract and must put down a deposit (in general the equivalent of a month’s rent). You will also have to pay agency fees averaging €200-300.
- Individual accommodation set-ups
– Renting with private landlords
This is frequently the second choice of students. Renting with a private landlord (directly or via an estate agent) is generally more costly than accommodation within a collective set-up.
Note: due to an accommodation shortage (especially in the Paris area), landlords are increasingly demanding, resulting in high deposits. You will also require the backing of a guarantor (relatives or close friends) who are currently in a stable working situation and able to produce revenue up to the three times the rent, even if you have your own income via a student job.
- Clever ways of making savings and having a good time
– Apartment sharing
What is it?
If money is a little tight and you are afraid of finding yourself on your own then sharing an apartment with other students will enable you to split the cost of renting while taking advantage of a larger living space in an altogether more convivial set-up.
Steps to take
These are the same as for renting on your own, except that the landlord must agree to apartment sharing in his/her property.
Lodging in an individual’s property (in exchange for services or not)
How does it work?
Renting a room or an apartment (more or less independent from the household itself) within a family owning a property is not only the perfect way of practicing your French but is also a practical and economical alternative.
A similar set-up (for those with time to give up for others) comprises an even lower rent (in some cases, zero rent) in exchange for carrying out certain tasks (household chores, childcare, help with homework etc.). Also proving increasingly popular is student inter-generational accommodation, which consists of a student being housed with an elderly person and providing a certain number of hours of company and catering services per week).
Steps to take
Inter-generational accommodation, notably Ensemble2Générations or 1Toit2Générations. As a general rule, you will have to pay a membership fee to the association (€100-350 per year), plus administrative fees.
Our advice: set up a working contract in due form, stipulating the commitments of both parties, thereby enabling you to clarify your rights and obligations and avoid any nasty surprises.