I think finding a place to stay and then room mates was fun filler learning experience.
I read some of the experiences here in the blog previously by students about finding apartment to stay here in U.S.A. In this article, I would focus on cost of renting a place.
Before, I go into the details of this “fun-filled craziness,” here are the details of where we are staying, cost of renting a home, rental options, etc.
Housing in Aix-en-Provence
I would suggest finding a home in the city center. Aix-en-Provence is a beautiful city, located 5 miles from the IAE graduate school.
If you don’t have a car (most students don’t), then I would suggest staying near the AIX city center where you can take a bus to surrounding places from Aix.
You can either rent a home/apartment or find a student housing. I decided to rent a home with two of my friends from the MGIM Program.
Rental homes turn out to be a bit more expensive than the student housing but you get more space and comfort.
Where to Search for Housing in Aix-en-Provence
Apartments or Rental Homes
- crous cite u les gazelle
I found the home that we are now renting through homeaway.com.
I used all the above sites to find a rental home and I literally sent emails to over 30 properties. Some of the 10 landlords replied.
Out of the 10 responses, only 2 or 3 worked out. It took me about 4 weeks to finalize the rental home with the landlord.
Yes, it took me over 4 weeks find a place to stay.
Why over 4 weeks to rent?
- Slow communication process
- Photos of apartment
- Finding out about rooms, size, rental, etc
Home Rental Expense
For a house which is 5 minutes walk to the city center, we pay the following
- Rent for 4 months – 8,000€
- Refundable safety deposit – 1,200€
- Cleaning fee (one time) – 75 €
We are extremely happy with the house that we found and its location.
The bus stop is about a 7 minute walk. It’s on a rather quiet street but is still close to most major shopping areas and restaurants.
Expensive Compared to U.S.A
Now, that’s about $12,000 (USD) for 4 months. I know what you are thinking. Living in the U.S.A. is ridiculously cheap.
At present, apartment rent in Raleigh, NC is like $1,000 for a 2-bed room, 2-bath apartment where 2 to 4 students can apartment.
That’s around $12,000 for 1 year in rental expenses in U.S.A. In addition to that in U.S.A. renters have to pay utilities and internet. And apartments are not furnished.
Here the home is completely furnished with kitchen utensils, laundry machine, bed and mattress in all the rooms with TV and couch, dinning table, etc.
You can actually see a walk through of our home in a video posted at – My Journey to France to Study MGIM Program.
When to Start Rental Search
I think that you should start searching for a rental place to stay once your are admitted into the MGIM program.
Aix is a tourist town and it’s pretty crowded till the end of September. Another idea would be to contact former MGIMers and rent the same apartment they lived in (if still available).
You could rent our home for next year. Reach out to me for the details. 🙂
The IAE Graduate School is located in Puyricard. I would never suggest living in Puyricard unless you have a car and like corn fields.
The last bus from the Aix city center is around 8pm and even earlier during the weekends for Puyricard.
Student Housing in Aix
In case you decided to live in a student housing, here’s what to expect:
- The rent is approximately 450€ and 5€ for Internet.
- You still have your own room with bathroom and toilet.
- You would share a common kitchen with 20 others.
I have few friends who live in a student housing. I will try to get some photos of the student housing as well.
Home vs Student Housing
So, it comes down to deciding if you can find a rental home, roommates to share the home, and how much you can afford.
I will write another blog post about the “craziness” part of finding an apartment.
Studying Abroad: Getting Better
When I decided to study abroad, I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew I’m going to learn new skills.
And my learning experience begin at the very moment I started looking for a place to stay in France.
- Lesson #1 : How to communicate with someone who is not fluent in English or can’t speak in English?
So, this is for today’s blog post. Let me know if you have any questions about my experience here in France.
- MGIM : Application and Admission
- How to apply for France Student Visa?
- How to Find a place to rent and Where to Stay in Aix-en-Provence?
- What to buy and pack for your trip to France?
- Travelling to Aix-en-Provence – Flights, Train, Taxi and Bus
- FAQ’s about Living in Aix-en-Provence
- Guide to buying SIM card and data plan for Cell Phone in France