During the entirety of the holidays I was… wait for it… employed! Yes, the responsibilities of adulthood (and my overdraft) trapped me in its claws, and I was compelled to work for the whole summer. Therefore, the endless calls I made back in the Motherland to possible landlords were futile, since I could not even visit the apartments I was calling for. Eager to return to Paris and begin searching properly, I booked a ticket on trusty old Eurostar Snap and headed for Gard du Nord.
Update: it hasn’t gotten any easier.
Multitasking; a key skill which should naturally be ingrained in any human being over 18. Multitasking; a key skill in which I, a 19-year-old, do not possess. My point? Balance; it’s been very difficult finding the equilibrium between studying and apartment accumulating. Apartments let like a Supreme drop on an island inhabited by teenage boys. In other words, leasing is almost instantaneous. Therefore, you’re forced to tirelessly browse your newfound soulmates- les sites immobiliers- 24/7 in the hopes of finding promising listings that could help alleviate your already elevated stress levels; and… you know… find somewhere to live.
PAP.fr, SeLoger and Le Bon Coin have become my most trusted advisors; sending me daily emails on new listings catered to my requests. Posting your email on these sites have been a true god-send, as you are directly informed on apartments that accommodate your criteria the moment they are advertised. Essentially, it does the searching for you, leaving you much-needed time for when those devoirs sommatifs start piling up. I know I’ll need them.
Overall, I wouldn’t say “seeking” has been the desired epiphany of my transitional period into real adult life, but neither has it been the bane of my university experience so far. It’s just something we all must do eventually, willingly or unwillingly so. If you haven’t yet had the privilege to parade yourself on the internet witlessly, desperate for four walls, in the words of House Stark “Winter is Coming”. Take from that what you will.
What I learnt:
- Broadening your options is not a terrible thing, know your situation and work accordingly
- Be ready to call and send emails countless times; prepare questions that you want answered (extra charges, deposit, bail period, furniture incl.)
- Having an airtight dossier helps, this is a file you must provide upon meeting landlords containing documents that prove you and your guarantor as reliable candidates (ask the office for more details or search online)
- Stay vigilant and alert, international students are prey for phoneys and crooks, DO NOT pay money before you see the apartment
- Be realistic, optimism and hope is great, but this is Paris not Neverland
- That said, remain positive you will find something… eventually.
by Chelsea Bondzanga