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Settling into Strasbourg

Finding and settling in to housing in France can be quite a challenge, particularly for students who are not familiar with the French housing system and language. The French system, like any country, has its own peculiarities and requirements and before starting your accommodation search, please familiarize yourself with the information in this section in order to minimize any potential frustration that may arise as you settle in your new environment.

If you are having difficulties understanding apartment rental announcements on French websites or in local papers, check out the housing property jargon in France page at Anglo Info website. It is a useful site for practicalities in France.  

Strasbourg has a large student population and finding an accommodation for the academic year can be quite a challenge. ISU students basically have the choice between renting a room/studio in a private student residence or renting a room or an apartment with a private landlord (apartments can be rented individually or shared depending on their size). For students who do not speak French, ISU recommends staying in a student residence as this minimizes the contractual formalities you will have to deal with during the year.

Please note that ISU CANNOT search for an accommodation on your behalf. You will have to search for your accommodation by yourself.

Temporary accommodation

Below are some suggestions for hostels or hotels for temporary stays. It is strongly advised to book in advance in order to secure a place.
Prices are listed on an indicative basis and are prone to change. Check the websites for the most updated information.

Auberge Strasbourg 2 Rives (Youth Hostel)
Around 25€ / night + cost of the International Hostels Federation Card (around 15€)
Rue des Cavaliers, B.P. 58, 67017 Strasbourg Cedex
Tel.: +33 (0)3 88 45 54 20
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CIARUS (Strasbourg)
www.ciarus.com (English language option)
Rooms: 1 to 6 beds per room.
Single room: 49€/person/night
Room in a dorm: from 27 to 35€/person/night
Address: 7 rue Finkmatt – 67000 Strasbourg
Tram station “Gare Centrale” then bus n. 10 towards “Brant Université”, bus stop located in front of the ‘Hôtel des Vosges’ (opposite the main train station). 
Tel.: +33 (0)3 88 15 27 90
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Amitel: (Close to Strasbourg city Center)
www.residence-amitel.fr (English language option)
Student hostel, Half-board around 50€/night
Address: 1&8 rue de Soleure - 67000 Strasbourg
Tram station : “Etoile Bourse” or “Porte de l’Hôpital”
Tel.:+33 (0)3 88 36 15 28 

Hotel Ibis Meinau: (Between ISU and the Strasbourg City Center)
Room: from around 55 € /person /night
Address: 222, avenue de Colmar – 67000 Strasbourg
Tram station: “Emile Mathis”
Tel.: +33 (0)3 88 40 32 33
Hotel Ibis Meinau

Appart-Hotel Adagio: (Close to ISU by tram)
Single room: around 60€/night, Breakfast: around 8 €
Address: 106, avenue de Strasbourg – 67400 Illkirch (Tram station: “Colonne”)
Tel.: +33 (0)3 88 67 72 00 

Hotel “Le Grillon”: (Close to the Strasbourg train Station)
Single room : around 54 € to 98 €/night
Address: 2 rue Thiergarten – 67000 Strasbourg
Tram station: “ Gare Centrale”
Tel.:+33 (0)3 88 32 71 88 

More hotels in Strasbourg can be found on:
Accor Hotels in Strasbourg

Student residences

ISU only lists student residences for which we have had positive feedback from students.

Student residences vary slightly in the type of accommodation, cost and facilities but are generally small and simply furnished 1 person studios or rooms with private bathroom facilities and at least a refrigerator and hot plates for preparing meals. In residences, if there is additional charge for heating and water/electricity consumption, it will be mentioned in the ad.
If you are interested in renting one of those residences, we urge you to book as early as possible.

SIBAR - Résidence Parc d’Innovation (5 minutes walk from ISU)
79-81 route du Rhin, 67400 Illkirch-Graffenstaden
Contact: Mr. Moussa Nait Chabane
Tel: + 33 (0)3 88 66 04 88
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FEC (in the city center of Strasbourg)
17 place Saint-Etienne, 67081 Strasbourg
Contact: Mr. Etienne Troestler
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 35 36 20
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CERISE Residence (halfway between ISU and the city center of Strasbourg) 
5 rue Job, 67100Strasbourg
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 40 21 08
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Foyer Amitel - Maison Universitaire Internationale (5 minutes away from the city center)
1 & 8 rue de Soleure, 67000 Strasbourg
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 36 15 28
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International University House (in the new neighborhood "Rivétoile", 10 minutes away from the city center, 20 minutes away from ISU)
11 Presqu'Ile Andre Malraux
67100 Strasbourg
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
f you are interested in a room in this residence, be quick in booking it, this residence is popular.

RÉSIDENCE - NEMEA APPART ETUDES (10 minutes away from ISU by tram and 15 minutes away from City center)
New student residence (built in 2016)
In front of the Tram station "Lycée Couffignal"
Student room from 478 euros / month on. 
3 residences Les Estudines are in Strabourg: 
Les Estudines Kléber
16, rue Hannong - 67000 STRASBOURG (in the city center)
Les Estudines Européennes
29, rue Déserte - 67000 STRASBOURG
Les Estudines Strasbourg Presqu'ile Malraux (10 minutes away from city center, 20 min away from ISU)
51, rue de la Presqu’île André Malraux
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 43 13 14
Brand new residence. Opened in 2017. If you are interested in a room in this residence, be quick in booking it, this residence is popular.

Student Residence: MACSF Heyritz (5 minutes away from the city center, 15 minutes by tram from ISU)
10 rue Guido Guersi 67100 Strasbourg
Next to Tram stop Etoile Bourse 
If you are interested in a room in this residence, be quick in booking it, this residence is popular.


Websites with information on other student residences:

Please note that, as ISU is a private institution, our students do not have priority access to the French public university residences (CROUS residences). Rooms in these residences are in high demand and priority is given to students of public universities or students benefiting from a French government scholarship for their studies.

Private rooms and apartments

Some ISU students may prefer to stay in rooms or apartments rented by private landlords.

Students who prefer to look for a private apartment  may find the following sites useful:
Le bon coin  : write your own search criteria such as "location", "colocation" (shared flat) as well as the range of price you can afford.
https://www.morningcroissant.com/ : for long-term or short-term rental. Create a free account to search according to your criteria.
https://fr-fr.roomlala.com/ : click on "chercher une location" and enter the requested information. creating an account on this website is free.
https://www.lacartedescolocs.fr/colocations/grand-est/strasbourg : for flatsharing opportunities. You have to create an account to be able to contact landlords, which is free of charge.

ISU maintains good relations with the landlords of a few apartments that have been rented to ISU students in previous years.


The following glossary may help you when looking at accommodation ads:
1P (or T1/F1) = 1 room apartment (bedroom or living room)
2P (or T2/F2) = 2 room apartment (one bedroom and one living room, or two bedrooms)
3P (or T3/F3) = 3 room apartment (usually 2 bedrooms and a living-room), etc.
Meublé = Furnished
Cuis. équip. = Equipped kitchen
+ Ch. (charges) = Additional monthly charges
+ FA (frais dágence) = Additional Agency fees
FAI (frais d'agence inclus) = Agency fees included

NOTE that if the advertisement does not indicate that the accommodation is furnished (meublé) then you can assume that it is rented unfurnished (most furnished apartments are small studios; most larger apartments are unfurnished).

The housing contract ("bail")

According to the Property laws in France, tenants and landlords are required to sign a housing contract when renting accommodation. Under this contract, the landlord garantees that the accommodation is in decent condition.

The tenant agrees to:
- Pay the monthly rent and charges due on time
- Respect the length of the contract if it is a fixed length contract, or to respect the period of notice required under the contract when terminating the lease (usually 3 months before departure).
- Subscribe to a housing insurance policy.
- Maintain the accommodation in good condition.

When entering an accommodation, tenants must pay:
- The 1st month of rent
- A security deposit (= 1 or 2 months rent, to be returned at the end of the stay provided the accommodation is left in good condition)
- A multi-risk household insurance (approximately 50 – 100 €) for 9 months
- Agency fees if the flat is obtained through an agency (usually around 1 month’s rent)
Note: If electricity, gas, heating and/or water consumption are included in the monthly charges that you pay to the landlord in addition to the rent, be aware that these monthly charges are a best estimate of the expected consumption over the year.
Your actual consumption will be calculated by the landlord at the end of the lease and if you have consumed more than was expected over the year then the landlord has the right to charge you for the extra consumption. The estimated charges are usually fairly accurate but if students are not familiar with this system in their home country sometimes they do not pay much attention to what they are consuming and can have a surprise at the end of the year if they are required to pay more. In short, the charges will not cover an endless supply of energy and water so you should take reasonable care with your consumption.

French housing tax ("taxe d'habitation")

According to French law, students renting a private accommodation for any period which includes January 1st are automatically liable to pay the taxe d’habitation (housing tax).
Please check with your landlord whether the housing tax is already included in your rent. If this is not the case, you will receive a letter from the French Tax Office in your home country.

Inventory of fixtures (Etat des lieux)

The « Etat des lieux » (inventory of fixtures) is a document which describes the state and contents of the apartment room by room and is attached to the contract. An état des lieux must be completed
by the landlord and the tenant both at the start and at the end of the lease and anything that is damaged or in bad condition must be noted in the document.

The état des lieux enables the landlord and tenant to compare the state of the accommodation at the start and end of the lease, identify any damages or deterioration which may have occurred, and determine who is responsible in the case that repairs are needed. This protects the tenant from being held responsible for any damages which occurred prior to their lease and protects the landlord from
being held responsible for damages caused by the tenant.

The tenant is responsible for the cost of repairs for all damages they cause as well as for minor maintenance and repairs needed due to everyday use. Damages which occurred during the stay of the tenant that have not been repaired will be noted in the état des lieux and will be taken into account at the time of restoration of the deposit.
Legally, landlords have up to 2 months to refund the deposit.

Students should be aware that if an état des lieux is not conducted at both the start and end of the lease then this can give rise to problems in retrieving the security deposit.

The Guarantor ("Garant")

When considering renting an apartment, students are strongly advised to check whether the landlord requires a “garant” (guarantor). A guarantor is a person who commits to make the rent payments in the event that the tenant fails to do so.

Note that many landlords who require this will only accept a guarantor who is resident in France.
In practice this can be a frustrating obstacle for international students in securing accommodation.

Under certain conditions, banks may agree to act as guarantors but this requires the student to place a large sum of money in trust with the bank (equivalent to one year’s rent) which is only returned to the student at the end of the rental period, provided no problems have arisen. This is a cumbersome and difficult procedure for students and also requires the landlord’s agreement. For this reason, ISU makes an effort, as far as possible, to include residences or private apartments on our listing that either do not require a guarantor or that will accept a foreign guarantor.
Please note that ISU cannot act as a guarantor for students.

Housing subsidy (CAF)

Student Affairs will provide a tutorial on how do apply online.

Once you are settled in Strasbourg, you can apply to see if you are eligible for a housing subsidy from the CAF (Caisse d’Allocations Familiales – Family Benefits Authority) to help you with the payment of the monthly rent. You will find their location and timetables here: http://www.caf.fr/ma-caf/caf-du-bas-rhin/points-d-accueil/strasbourg-centre

Whether you are eligible or not for the subsidy, and the amount of the subsidy, will depend on various criteria, such as your family situation, the type of apartment, the amount of your rent and your income in the previous tax year. Only the CAF is qualified and authorized to determine eligibility. Note that you cannot apply before you have arrived in Strasbourg and settled in to your accommodation.

If the CAF determines that you are eligible, the subsidy is made by monthly payment from the CAF to your French bank account. The first month of rent is never eligible. Please note that this subsidy never covers the total amount of the rent you have to pay. To have an indication of whether you will be eligible to benefit from this subsidy you can do an online simulation (in French only). Note this simulation is an indication only and the final decision can only be made after receipt of your full application by the CAF.

Once your application is completed you will either have to send it by post with the documents listed below or take it directly to the CAF office. Should you have any questions about your application, you can contact them directly by e-mail or by going there.

The following documents need to be included with the application form:

For European students:
A copy of your ID / Passport
Proof of health insurance coverage
A copy of your student card
A French bank identification (in French “RIB= Relevé d’identité bancaire”) you will get from your bank once you have open your French bank account
A declaration (in French) that you have sufficient financial resources during the year
One specific section of the application form that must be completed and signed by your landlord.

For non-European students:
A copy of your passport
A copy of your visa
A copy of your visa validation, issued by the immigration office (OFII) within the 3 months after your arrival
A French bank identification (in French “RIB= Relevé d’identité bancaire”) you will get from your bank
A copy of your birth certificate
A copy of your marriage certificate (if you are married)
One specific section of the application form that must be completed and signed by your landlord.

In all cases, you will need to declare the amount of your income in 2016 and 2017 on the application form (you do not need to include documents relating to your income unless the CAF specifically requests this following receipt of your application). If you had no taxable income in these years, you tick the “no income” box.

The subsidy only applies to the months during which you reside in France, and it will not apply during the internship period (if the internship  takes place outside of France). Before you leave for the internship, you must inform the CAF of your departure. A template letter in French could be found on the MSS website that you must send to the CAF at least one month before your departure.

Terms and conditions:

The request for housing subsidy is a sworn statement that commits yourself.

-    You certify that the information provided is correct. French law punishes anyone guilty of frauds or false declarations ( articles L.114-9 and L835-5 of the social security law)
-    You commit yourself to declare with no delay any changes in your situation
-    You are aware that the CAF will check the accuracy of your declaration ( article L.114-19 of the social security law)
Access rights to personal information

The #78-17 modified law of the 6th January 1978, regarding IT, files and liberties applies to this service. It guarantees a right of access and modification to the information that concerns you.

You will find a map and timetables here: http://www.caf.fr/ma-caf/caf-du-bas-rhin/points-d-accueil/strasbourg-centre

Issues with the CAF:
Be aware that ISU cannot help the students with their personal issues with the CAF.
If you encounter any issues with the CAF during the year, please contact them directly. They have a phone number dedicated to students: 0810 29 29 29 (Monday through Friday 9.00 – 16.30).The CAF does not provide any information to anyone calling on your behalf, you will then have to call by yourself.

The CAF also dedicated a special student Facebook page at: https://fr-fr.facebook.com/cafetudiants (in French) 

Before leaving ISU you will have to inform the CAF that you are leaving - only if you receive subsidy from them-.

You can download a template letter in French here  that you will have to send out through registered mail ( recommandé avec Accusé de reception)– Please go to the post office-.