Travel & Visa Guide- Accommodation for International Students in France
International students need to confirm their enrolment by registering at the new university or school. Registration involves administrative as well as academic processes. Administrative registration (inscription administrative) requires students to enrol in the national student health plan and choose an insurance plan. This is followed by payment of balance for tuition. You will receive a student ID after this. Academic registration (inscription pedagogique) involves selection of the course and intimation about the classes, grading practices and examination schedules. Other higher educational institutions such as grandes ecoles follow their own registration processes.
It is important to choose the type of housing that is in sync with your financial resources, type of degree program, and length of stay.
Housing Arrangements for International Students
The cost of housing depends upon several factors. International students in France are also eligible for housing assistance. You should make housing arrangements for your studies in France well before you arrive for the start of the academic year. You may be able to secure a room at the university residence maintained by CROUS (a regional agency for student services) if you plan in advance. Some institutions also maintain their own residences for students. According to Campus France, international students can look for more permanent arrangement for their studies after finding temporary housing for their initial months or weeks.
Student residences at French universities known as "Cites-U," are regulated by public agencies. French university residences are managed by regional agencies for student services called CROUS (Centre regional des oeuvres universitaires et scolaires). The residences are within the campus or the town. You can find accommodation here if you meet certain criteria.
CROUS residences are very affordable. Monthly rents range from €120 for a room to €350 for a studio apartment. Most international students who are given the chance to stay here are those who have received grants from the French government. Certain universities have also reached agreements with CROUS to provide rooms for international exchange students. Some educational institutions also reserve rooms for second year Master’s students or doctoral candidates from international shores. You can also check if your institution providing the grant has any reserved housing accommodation for you.
According to Campus France, you have to provide 1 month’s rent for security deposit in case of university housing. The co-signer or guarantor for the housing should be an EU resident. As far as temporary or short term housing is concerned, rental contracts do not exceed 9 months for a room and 12 months for a studio, except in the summer months. Pre-arrival rentals are not possible. International students can apply for housing assistance, but they may or may not receive it. Other forms of housing are also available at private student buildings.
On-Campus Housing for International Students At Private Institutions And Grandes Ecoles
Own campus residences at the grandes ecoles and private institutions can provide housing for international students. Rent for this accommodation ranges between €250 and €350 per month.
Private Student Buildings
Private buildings are provided for students to reside in within most university cities in this nation. Private student buildings offer numerous services such as staffed front desk, common rooms, laundry facilities, maid services and telephone connections. Rent for private student buildings add up to €600-700 in Paris and anywhere between €400–700 per month in other cities. One month’s rent is the security deposit and the guarantor should be residing in France. If there is no guarantor, a full year’s rent has to be paid in advance. Short-term housing is generally not available between the months of September and March. Rental arrangements from abroad can be made if you pay security deposit amounting to 2 months rent. International students may apply for housing assistance.
Private rentals are a good option for those who want to live close to cultural, social and recreational centres in France. They are most suitable for those who crave independence.
You can also rent space directly from the owner of the property agency. You may also opt for a rental agency. In case of those who choose to go in for a rental agency, fees have to pay amounting to slightly more than 1 month’s rent. Apartments can be empty of furnished. Campus France advises that students should have contacts or friends in the area if you want a suitable rental before you reach a university city. The housing office at the new institution or an international student support services can provide you with help regarding housing. Contracts of up to 1 year need to be signed by international students. The contract can be cancelled if you provide notice in the following periods:
- 3 months: unfurnished apartment
- 1 month: furnished apartment
The guarantor can be an issue for international students. Non-profit organizations and local governments provide guarantees to property owners in certain cities as well. Property owners wanting to provide rentals also post notices in offices of local educational institutions, international student service offices or CROUS.
Shared rentals are also a good option for international students. Such arrangements are sometimes more reasonably priced than individual rentals. Each student in the shared rental can apply for housing assistance if his/her name is on the rental contract. Rents vary depending upon the location and type of rental. According to Campus France, monthly rentals in Paris are €20 or more per square meter. Other cities cost less. Security deposit is equivalent to one month’s rent. The guarantor should be a resident of France.
For private rental, 2 other conditions are that the monthly income of the guarantor must be thrice the amount of rent and he or she must provide a deposit to assure the payment of the rent. The French government provides security deposit and guarantees for payment of rent for international students who are recipients of French government grants or have signed a doctoral contract. Pre-arrival rentals are possible in some cases. Housing assistance may be applied for if the property is at least 9 square meters in areas.
Short term lodging and living with a host family are some other accommodation options for international students in France.
Living accommodation for international students in France is priced differently depending upon the nature and location of housing.