How do you integrate into your new city?

Finding student accommodation in your new city

Accommodation is one of the first questions you ask yourself when you move to a new city: location, cost, living alone or with a flatmate... Ask yourself the right questions about what you think best suits your aspirations and set your budget so you can focus your search.

Ask your school for information

Ask your school: it will give you as many answers as possible and guide you in your search. Also ask if they are a partner of a service provider who offers accommodation to their students. 

In order to anticipate your expenses, it is important to have a clear idea of the cost of rent in your new city and its various districts. When calculating the cost of rent, remember to include all ancillary costs such as home insurance, water, electricity and council tax.

Depending on your budget, you will be able to determine the best location in your city and the type of accommodation you prefer (studio, shared flat, room, student residence, etc.). If you want to live as close as possible to your school or university, you will probably have to make concessions on the size of the accommodation or share it with one or more students.

A deposit is usually required by the landlord as a guarantee in case of unpaid rent. You can ask a friend or relative to act as a guarantor or use the Visale guarantee provided by Action logement.

Join platforms and groups on social networks

You should know that there are many platforms to find all kinds of housing advertisements in your city. Among them, you will find, for example, dedicated websites such as location-etudiant.fr, lokaviz.fr or immojeune.com, or more general adverts websites such as leboncoin.fr.

At EM Normandie, the accommodation service offers thousands of accommodation offers grouped together on a single platform: Studapart. Access hundreds of exclusive offers in France and abroad: studios, flatshares, rooms in private homes, sublets... and benefit from personalised support throughout your rental!

If you are specifically looking for a flat share, you can register on specific platforms such as appartager.com or on the Facebook groups proposed in your city. Check with your school to see if they offer flatshare search services.

EM Normandie has Facebook groups dedicated to each campus where students can exchange their good tips: Caen campusLe Havre campusParis campusOxford campusDublin campus.

Calculate your housing benefit

There are different types of financial aid for your accommodation:

  • The Allocation Personnalisée au Logement (APL) is calculated on the basis of your rent (excluding charges) and your income. It is paid to you or directly to the landlord for subsidised accommodation.
  • The Allocation à Logement à caractère Social (ALS) is the aid most often paid to students. It can be paid for a room in a hostel or university residence, a studio, a flat or a house. It is paid directly to you or you can choose to pay it to your landlord.

For more information on these two benefits, go to the website of your Caisse d'Allocations Familiales (CAF).

Organise your daily travel

If you are lucky enough to live within walking distance of your campus, you can easily get there on foot, by bike or on a scooter.

If your accommodation is further away from your place of study, it is best to take public transport, which generally serves city centre campuses quite well and will drop you off almost at the foot of your classroom. In general, this mode of transport is perfectly suitable for all your travel within the city centre.

We advise you to find out which bus, tram or metro stations are closest to you and whether there are any bike-sharing services available. You can also make several trips between your home and your campus before you start school, taking different routes so that you can see what the fastest travel times are.

To get to shopping centres, you can take your car to make it easier to carry your shopping. Please note that public transport also serves the shopping centres and that a car is not necessarily required to live in a large city.

Networking to make new acquaintances

Make new acquaintances in your city

Before setting off for your new city, don't hesitate to ask your friends, family and your parents' colleagues if they know anyone in the city. This way, during your first few days in the city, you can organise a guided tour of the city centre to familiarise yourself with the places to go out, discover the city's good restaurants or find the local shops in your area. This is the time to ask them all your questions about the city and to find out all the good tips to get your new life off to a good start.

Another thing to remember when you move in: meet the other residents! Introducing yourself to your next-door neighbour and chatting with him or her for a few moments is a good way to build relationships. If you feel the connection, ask them to come for a drink at your place, take a tour of the neighbourhood or go out on the town to break the ice, and who knows, maybe start a beautiful friendship.

Dynamic campus life

On your campus, there will be plenty of opportunities to meet new people, people who will shape your life as a student and even as an adult. You'll easily form a group of friends within your class based on your interests and interests. Group work is usually a good way to expand your circle of acquaintances.

In Business School, opportunities and places to meet go far beyond the classroom. It usually starts with the induction days at the beginning of the school year. Then, throughout the year, there are association projects, professional missions, in-company seminars, entrepreneurship projects, etc., which prepare you for life in a company and teamwork.

Get involved in leisure activities

Whether you're a sportsman, an art enthusiast or a film buff, you'll probably need to invest in leisure activity and take breaks from studying. What could be more stimulating than a good sports session, an exhibition or a good film with friends to make the most of your student life?

For your sporting activities, don't hesitate to take an inventory of the facilities available in your city: swimming pools, gyms, stadiums, parks, cycle paths, sports clubs, dance clubs, etc. And for your cultural outings, you can locate cinemas, concert/show venues, theme bars and get an agenda of upcoming events in your town.

You should know that with your student card, you can benefit from reduced rates for your activities and outings in many establishments.

Find out what services are available on your campus

When you first arrive on campus, you'll be able to explore the libraries, computer rooms, cafeterias and restaurants on or near campus.

Some activities may be offered directly on your campus. Do not hesitate to ask your school for information.

EM Normandie campuses offer co-working and co-living areas, a Learning Center, a Gaming Zone dedicated to community life, an incubator, a FabLab, sports fields and fitness areas, a Social Room, etc. The classrooms, called "Flex Rooms", on all campuses are fully equipped with the latest educational technologies.