HOUSING & LIVING COSTS IN FRANCE
Finding student accommodation in France and more specifically in big cities like Paris, Lyon, Toulouse or Marseille can be a stressful situation, especially when you have a particular budget in mind. Overall, living cost in France is higher in the capital Paris, but quite more affordable and student-friendly if you choose to study in a smaller city such as Nante, Rouen, Angers, Bordeaux, Grenoble, Montpellier or Lille.
The living cost in France depends mostly on the city you choose to study in and of course your lifestyle. Rents range from €600 to €700 per month in Paris and from €350 to €550 elsewhere.
There are many options for student housing in France, from getting a room in a university dormitory to finding your own apartment in town. The most popular accommodation options for students in France are:
- University Residence Halls: These student residences are managed by France’s regional centres for student services known as CROUS. They are publicly owned and are a top affordable accommodation choice among international students. The rooms for Paris are around 400 EUR and for other cities around 200 EUR.
- Student Residences managed by private companies: Getting a student accommodation through CROUS can be competitive. If you are not able to get a room there, then private student residences should be your next option. They provide a range of advantages and facilities.
- Private Apartments: Renting a studio apartment is another option if you want to live alone. However, the cost is much higher and you would be expected to pay around 600- 800 EUR for an apartment in Paris and 300-400 EUR in other cities.
- Shared Apartments: Living costs can be significantly reduced if you decide to live in a shared apartment. Splitting the rent and utilities will save you a lot of money. Plus, you will be able to make new friends.
- Living with a French family/Elderly resident: A very popular option in France is to live with a French family. There are families who provide lower or even free rent in exchange for assistance in the household or homework or home maintenance. It allows a student to share the everyday life of a family and provides an introduction to French culture and language, a great way to begin a study trip in France.
What sort of housing is for me? How do I find it? Can I get help paying my rent? What’s a guarantor? A lot of questions come up when you start thinking about where to live while studying in France. But don’t worry—we’re with you every step of the way. Study Connect Nepal will decode the various types of housing available to students and help you in your search.
HOUSING ALLOWANCE FROM THE CAF
Possibly one of the coolest and most generous of benefits here in France is that International students that have valid resident permits (the initial OFII sticker or a titre de séjour) are entitled to housing allowance called the APL (aide personalisé au logement). This is often called CAF (short for caisse d’allocations familiales which is the agency in charge of this).
With your student visa, you have a right to a state subsidy called APL, which will help pay a small part of your rent. The housing subsidy is given each year to about 500,000 young people and students, French and foreign, regardless of their type of housing (room in a residence, dormitory, apartment, etc.). The amount of the subsidy varies from 90 euros to 150 euros per month, depending upon your income, the amount of rent and the size of the apartment. To obtain the APL subsidy, you must go to the “Centre de Gestion des Allocations Familiales (CAF)” in the neighbourhood where you live and fill out a form.
Everything can be done online. Don’t hesitate to do an online simulation to learn whether you’re eligible and find out how much assistance you receive each month. Apply for CAF - caf.fr
STUDENT AND CAMPUS LIFE CONTRIBUTION (CVEC)
CVEC is for "Contribution Vie Etudiante et de Campus" (Student and Campus Life Contribution)
Students admitted to a French institution of higher education are subject to a fee known as the CVEC, which helps to finance on-campus programs that enhance the student experience.
The “Student success and orientation” law (loi “ORE”) presented by the government has established a student life and campus contribution (CVEC) (fr.) of €92 per year (2021/2022 rate). This fee is due every academic year by all students enrolled in higher education studies.
This contribution is mandatory and aims to strengthen the social, health, cultural and sports support of students, as well as to reinforce prevention and health education actions carried out for them.
Subject to the situations defined below, all students registered or in the process of being enrolled, must pay this amount to the CROUS via the website: https://cvec.etudiant.gouv.fr (fr.)