What kind of accommodation should I choose?

It isn’t always easy to choose among public or private student residences, homestays, flatshares or studios. Here’s an overview of your options for student housing in France. 
 

 type logement étudiant
Different kind of housing options in France

 

Finding student housing is one thing. Choosing it well is another. Have you defined which criteria to emphasize in your search? The financial aspect is important, but you should also think about the type of housing (studio? apartment? room?) and its location (think about the distance). There are no ready-made answers. You are the one who knows what you want. But as they say, you have to ask yourself the right questions.
 

What is the budget for a student rental?
 

The first criterion in choosing student housing is the cost of rent. It is important that you determine how much you can afford to pay each month for your rental. This will be done according to your means and your possible income. And what is agreed upon with the guarantors.

 

In France, the average rent for a student apartment is 600€ per month. Of course, there are big differences depending on the city where you live. In Paris, a studio apartment rents for more than 800€ while the equivalent is 500€ in the provinces. The national average for a student room (14 square meters) is around 400€, while for a T1 of 30 square meters, it is 500€, and more than 600€ for a T2 of more than 40 square meters.

 

Be careful, the rent is not the only cost. You must take into account the additional expenses: services charges, insurance, electricity, internet...

 

  • The rental charges : They can be integrated in the rent, or be paid separately. This is to be discussed with the owner. These charges can amount to 50€,
  • Home insurance. To see with an insurer or a bank. It amounts to about 100€ per year, so you can count 10€ per month,
  • Electricity expenses: They depend on the supplier, the size of the house and especially on your own consumption. We recommend you to budget a lot: 50€ per month. Do not hesitate to make a small market study on the different offers. 
  • The cost of internet access: The problems are comparable to those of electricity. A small market study allows you to select the most interesting offer. In the meantime, you can plan a large budget: 50€ per month.
     

In total, you can set yourself a budget of 200€ of rental expenses in addition to the rent. Don't forget that you have to pay a security deposit when you move in, which is usually equivalent to one month's rent. You also have to pay the real estate agency fees, which also represent one month's rent. And don't forget the moving expenses!

 

Your budget must also take into account housing subsidies. In France, the public services offer numerous aids to reduce the cost of housing and lighten your budget. The CAF website offers a simulator to calculate your APL.

 

What is the ideal location for student housing?
 

Cheap housing is cool, but it must be well located. Ideally, we prefer an accommodation close to the school where we are studying. Physically close, that is to say that the school is at a distance that you can easily cover every day (on foot, by bike, by car...). Or close virtually, with a home a little further away but with public transportation that can get you from point A to point B without too many connections or risks of delay. A word of advice: find out about bus, subway and streetcar schedules. It is generally one and the same company that manages transport in each major city in France, and they all have a website or even a mobile application. 

 

We therefore recommend that you do not jump on the first apartment that comes along just because it fits your budget. You must "feel" the area where you will live for a few months and maybe a few years. Listen to your sensibility, measure the practical aspects, the proximity of the shops, the quietness of the building and the neighborhood. Or its hustle and bustle.

 

What type of housing for a student?
 

The real estate market offers several types of rentals for students. You can rent an apartment that will be occupied alone or shared with two or more people. You can also rent a room in a home or a room in a student residence. The choice is wide.

 

The studio
 

The most popular accommodation for students is the studio apartment. Many individuals offer to rent them and it is relatively easy to find them on the internet. The studio allows you to benefit from a certain independence while remaining connected to the city's activities. You can find them for around 500€ per month on average. Of course, you should count on a few hundred euros more in Paris or Lyon.

 

Flatshare

 

Sharing a flat with other students has become a trend in recent years. Tighter and tighter budgets encourage students to opt for this solution. This solution is not lacking in charm or advantages: the sharing of expenses and household chores allows you to benefit from an interior much more spacious than a studio. It saves you some moments of solitude and allows you to share rich moments of community. It is a slightly more economical solution (about a hundred euros) than renting a studio alone.

 

The student residence
 

A room in a student residence is very popular because it allows you to keep a studious atmosphere at home. These are accommodations specifically designed for students. Rooms are located in a building that offers various services so that you are not too bothered by practical problems. This allows you to stay connected to student life.

 

There are two types of student residences: those offered by the CROUS and those in private residences. The CROUS offers the cheapest housing on the market (around 20% to 40% lower) in its university residences. But they are also the most difficult to obtain. You can therefore apply for a university residence but you must plan to look for a plan B at the same time.

 

Private student residences are privately owned. Generally quite close to high schools and universities, these residences are comparable to CROUS residences. The services may be of better quality - there is often parking (cars and bikes), laundry facilities, a gym - but the rents are high. They are the most expensive in the student housing market.

 

Room at the inhabitant

 

A student's needs often come down to a place to sleep and work in peace and quiet. A bed, a desk and a storage unit may be enough. This is why homestays are a very popular solution for students. You will find a "second family" with whom you can share meals, household chores, and even TV nights. Foreign students particularly appreciate this solution because it gives them the opportunity to live "à la Française" on a daily basis.

 

It is the most economical solution for a student. The cost can even be reduced if you offer services to your host: for example, childcare, homework help, private lessons, but also shopping. Several solutions can be imagined: either an amount paid by the host for each service, or a reduction of the monthly payment. This is to be discussed with the host family. 

 

Is it necessary to visit an accommodation beforehand?
 

A few years ago, you would have been advised to visit your future home before deciding to rent it. Today, more and more online reservation sites offer a virtual visit or videos. You can happily walk through each room of the apartment from your sofa. Practical, isn't it? 

 

The system is well done since the sites have developed guarantees if the accommodation is not in accordance with the videos or photos. This is the case of Studapart! 

 

For those who can visit, it is always nice to accompany the virtual visit with a physical visit.

 

By going to your future home, you will have additional information on its accessibility, its exterior setting, its atmosphere, things that are less well perceived in the virtual tours.

 

The visit of the accommodation (studio, student residence, room in the home or in a shared apartment) also allows you to meet the owner (or at least his representative) and to discuss beforehand the possibility of settling this or that detail, which elements to bring to the rental file, etc.

 

You now have all the information you need to find your future home.

 

 

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