Finding a place to live in a city you’ve never been before can be very stressful.
There are 3 few crucial things you need to figure our before you start looking:
1- What is your budget?
2- Would you want to have a roommate or live by yourself?
3- How important is being close to your school?
Now, after you figure out those 3, you can start looking and researching the neighborhoods.
Places in Paris are almost as expensive as in San Francisco. You can find great websites to look for housing. HouseTrip.com is a high recommended place to do so, their rating are impressive and they claim to have very affordable options.
Here are other places you might want to check out with time in advance
I tried a few of them but I found out that it’s a little more complicated to stay long there there (one semester) than staying for 1-3 months. They will ask proof of income, deposits, paperwork, etc. Also, the fees these websites charge are pretty big compared to the one from Airbnb.
Airbnb, yes! finally a convenient website that can be affordable and easy to use! I’ve used Airbnb in the past and I truly love it. But here is the thing… good places get booked quick, so if you’re not actively looking everyday you might miss all the good deals. I recommend to look at least 3 weeks in advance. You will pay the stay on monthly payments, and you will have to give a 30-day notice to cancel the stay. For more information on long term cancellation guidelines click here.
I booked the studio for about 4 months, Airbnb’s service fee came out to be $449 (still way lower by at least half of what other apartment agencies charge).
How to find the right neighborhood in Paris
Here’s my suggestion and what I did personally to end up in Le Marais:
1) Google. Look for blogs and articles, don’t be stuck with only one, people have different tastes and opinions so listen and read as many as you can. These are two sites I found useful.
2) Ask friends who are either French, or who have been to Paris and are familiar with the areas.
3) Use Google Earth to have a feel of what the streets look like. I like seeing how clean/crowded the streets are and the cafes and restaurants around.
3) Look for videos of the neighborhood on YouTube.