Finding accommodation in France can be very difficult, especially in Paris, and in particular for a foreigner who has just arrived. Even if the market has improved slightly over the past few years, the hunt for the perfect apartment can be long, with no shortage of scams.
Babylangues feels it is important for you to feel safe and at home during your stay. That is why we suggest some alternative solutions to avoid these problems.
There Are Several Ways in Which Babylangues Can Help you
Over the years Babylangues has developed partnerships with landlords and housing organizations throughout Paris. Upon becoming part of the Babylangues community, we send you a list of useful websites to search for your ideal place to stay and we are be happy to share these details with you.
As a Babylangues Instructor, you are able to join our Facebook Group and ask other Instructors for tips or even perhaps rent their previous apartment.
Flat sharing (known in French as “colocation”) can be a cost-effective solution to your accommodation troubles. We can provide you with a few hints and tips on how to go about finding your perfect flat mates!
Intergenerational accommodation is also becoming an increasingly popular solution amongst students. This option allows you to find accommodation with guesthouse owners or retired citizens at little or no cost, in exchange for daily help with their household chores and a bit of company. Many factors of course determine the exact conditions of these flat shares between two generations. To apply for intergenerational accommodation, you will be required to complete an online application form in French and we will do our best to help!
Financial Help For Your Accommodation in France
Another piece of advice regarding accommodation in Paris is to apply for CAF. In short, this is a French government organisation, which provides students or people on a low income with financial help to pay their rent. It can be a lengthy process, so try to get it done as soon after your arrival in France as possible! Babylangues provides you with any administrative support you may need.
Help Settling In
Babylangues will bring you a great help settling in. Getting started in a new country is undoubtedly an exciting yet daunting experience. Because some aspects of your future life have to be sorted out when you arrive in France, here are a few tips on bank accounts, and social security.
Setting Up Utilities & Bills As An English Speaker in France
Babylangues has a whole guide ready to help you when it comes to registering for bills and utilities in France.
Find out about it here.
If you are interested in setting up a French bank account during your stay, Babylangues will guide you through the process with a local BNP branch within walking distance of the office. Even if you do not have a definitive address yet, Babylangues will provide you with the necessary documentation allowing you to have your post sent to the office in the meantime.
Being employed by a French company gives you the right to French Social Security and health insurance. You may want to obtain a social security number in order to have access to health care services. If you are studying in France, the university you are affiliated to will assist you in completing the required documentation for obtaining this information. If this is not the case, our team can provide you with helpful information regarding all administrative aspects of your stay.
“Ah, l’administration française!”
As Organised as it is Logical!
Your immersion in French culture has not truly begun until you have discovered their administration system; be it your housing, your bank account or simply sending a letter, you are sure to encounter your fair share of small hiccups. Mais “ne vous arrachez pas les cheveux”*, the Babylangues team will always be available to lend you a helping hand!
*S’arracher les cheveux: to tear your hair out
WATCH OUT FOR SCAMS!
Be wary of agencies that offer access to their databases of often non-exhaustive lists in exchange for high administrative fees (between €150 and €450). Reliable
agencies only ask for these fees when you come to sign a contract
or lease. Be on the lookout for landlords with attractive offers but who are not available for an apartment visit, are difficult to get hold of by phone and ask you to pay by international transfer in exchange for the keys and contract. Never pay fees and never send a copy of your identity documents before having visited the apartment and signed a contract.