Finding suitable housing and accommodation for foreign students, including Iranians, can be one of the major challenges. It is highly recommended that you sort out your housing arrangements before arriving in France. Many students often manage to obtain a temporary (and unfortunately sometimes fake) certificate or attestation solely for the purpose of obtaining a visa. However, only a small number of them are fortunate enough to find a place to rent soon after their arrival, while the majority end up spending weeks in hotels. This not only costs a significant amount of money but also leads to administrative complications due to the lack of a fixed address.
Therefore, we strongly advise you to begin your search for housing as early as possible. It is crucial to secure a place, even if it is temporary, to have somewhere to stay and store your belongings upon arrival. This will provide you with the opportunity to search for more permanent accommodation at your own pace.
To find suitable accommodation, we suggest you take the following steps:
- Contact your university: Many large institutions and universities provide housing options for their students. Get in touch with the CROUS Accommodation Center at your enrolled university to inquire about registering for accommodation. Additionally, check the “Housing” or “International” section of the CROUS website for information on room allocation in university residences.
- Utilize the following websites (priority is given to scholarship students):
To take advantage of these resources, you need to complete your “International Residence” file between January 15 and May 31, before the start of your school year.
CROUS dormitories are highly popular among students due to their numerous advantages, including no extra charges for utilities such as water, electricity, and internet. They also offer low rent (around 400 euros in Paris and an average of 200 euros in other cities) and the possibility of benefiting from the CAF housing allowance.
If you are unable to register with CROUS, consider private and/or semi-private accommodations. Private student dormitories are a viable option, with prices slightly higher than CROUS, but they offer additional benefits such as shared living spaces, furnished rooms, internet access, laundry facilities, gyms, and more.
You may also use the following websites to search for your desired house:
SWEETLY- Résidence Liberty (Toulouse)
For a temporary solution, you can consider using : Airbnb.fr
Another option is colocation, where you live with other students or individuals, sharing the rental costs. It not only provides a relatively lower rental cost but also allows you to interact with roommates from different countries, providing an opportunity to learn about various languages and cultures. Keep in mind that colocation has its advantages and disadvantages, which I will explain to you in more detail later. Here are some of the best websites for finding colocation:
Alternatively, you can choose to stay with a French family, which allows you to immerse yourself in French culture and language. In this system, you will have a room with all the necessary facilities for a normal life. Living with a French family also offers the advantage of having one or more French speakers around you, providing further benefits. Of course, you will be expected to respect the family’s internal rules, such as arrival and departure times. There are many websites in this field, and one we recommend is CoHomly.
When booking a house, it is advisable to have the following documents:
- Identification documents: This may include your residence card if you entered France with a visa,
- Your current year’s student card or certificate, as well as
- a letter from your guarantor along with their identification documents.
Please note that the required documents may vary depending on the type of residence and the owner’s requirements. Make sure to check the specific requirements for each accommodation.
Find a guarantor
In France, it is common for individuals, both foreign and French, to require a guarantor when renting an apartment. Your guarantor must be a French resident.
If you do not have a guarantor, there are alternative solutions available to you. One option is VISALE, which offers a free deposit for renting an apartment or a room in a student dormitory for students aged 18 to 30 (with some exceptions for individuals over 30 who are employed; please refer to the website for more details). We recommend initiating the VISALE process as soon as possible, even before your arrival in France, as you do not need to have a French address to obtain a VISALE certificate.
If you do not meet the VISALE requirements or if the owner of your chosen accommodation is not familiar with it, you can also consider using the services provided by the GarantMe website.
Wishing you the best of luck in your housing search!