All the information you should need when deciding where to live in Paris. We have examined the various options available - renting a studio, sharing with French people, flatshare and of course Estudines (the student residence for first years). At the bottom of the page, there are some links to useful housing resources. This page is courtesy of Parlons, the ULIP Newspaper.
RENTING A STUDIO
This is a popular option even in first year. Though finding an affordable place can be a nightmare, you'll appreciate the independence and (hopefully) pretty central location.
Pros: You will be (just about) completely independent, discover an area of Paris that you can make your own, and can choose your own price range. Cons: While you may well appreciate your alone time, there are times when you might feel a bit lonely
LIVING WITH THE FRENCH
Every year, a few people save a little money on rent by staying in familles d'acceuil.
Pros: A potentially fantastic way to pick up and speak a lot of French with real French people. In most cases your dinner is included in your rent. Some families will even be nice enough to drive you to the airport when needs be. Sometimes you can exchange babysitting or teaching for cheaper rent. Cons: Host families, like housemates, can be hit or miss. You just might not get on with them, or you may have trouble feeling at home in someone else's
A much rarer living solution for freshers, but can be fun nonetheless and is often cheaper than living alone. This is what many students choose to do in second and third year (mostly with other ULIP students).
Pros: This could be a real learning experience: learn to live with other people, live with people from around the world who might be able to teach you a lot about Paris or with other Ulippers. Split your bills, chores and cooking duties. Cons: Be careful who you live with. There are a lot of dodgy colocation offers out there. Living with people can be frustrating and difficult
Student Residence (Estudines)
Many freshers choose this option every year, La Défense being preferred to St Mandé, but it might not be your cup of tea.
Pros: Everything is ready for you, clean sheets and towels are provided fortnightly and the staff will sort out your electricity contract when you move in (and out). If ever you're feeling lonely, you just have to knock on your neighbour's door to fi nd a friendly ULIP face.
Cons: It's expensive for what it is and you'll be charged for any damages or breakages when you leave, no matter how small. Being outside of the périphérique means you lose all Parisian ambiance and don't have the coveted 75 postcode. It takes about 40 mins to get to uni.
USEFUL HOUSING resources
www.fusac.fr - English magazine for expat community. Lots of housing offers online www.seloger.com - French apartment listings. New flats posted everyday, but often with big agency fees www.centralparisrentals.com - Apartments for rent. Popular choice amongst ULIP students. Email email@example.com www.lodgis.com - Online apartment listings www.parisattitude.com - Online apartment listings www.appartager.fr - A flatshare/flatmate finder
See noticeboard at the American Church, Invalides for more apartment listings
Also see noticeboards at ULIP, in the basement next to drinks machine and opposite the Student Union office