It’s been quite a ride trying to figure out my living situation in France. It’s something I’ve been worrying about since before I even got accepted into the program, because apartment hunting is hard enough in the US- I couldn’t imagine trying to do it from overseas when I don’t speak the language fluently! A girl from my French class who did TAPIF a few years ago said that went she moved to France she stayed in a hostel for a week or so while she apartment searched, but I knew I didn’t want to do that. I like having things planned out and not having somewhere to live in France would stress me out to the max. Therefore, I knew I wanted to have a place locked down before I moved, the sooner the better!
I had to wait until I got my school placement before I could start searching; as I explained here, I knew I was going to be in the region of Nice, but not necessarily the city- although as you know, I actually did get placed right in the city. I immediately started working on finding somewhere to live. It’s been a roller coaster of ups and downs but it all has paid off now!
The first thing I did was get in contact with the woman whose email I was given in my placement letter. She gave me couple other teachers’ emails as well, and after hearing a couple different things–yes the school has apartments, no they do not, yes you can live in the dorms and act as an RA, no that position has already been filled–I figured out for sure that the school was NOT going to help me find housing. I had also emailed the assistant from last year and asked where she lived, but she never got back to me.
While I was trying to see about the school providing me a place, I was also emailing with another teacher at my school who had an apartment to lease in Nice. The first teacher I emailed gave me her information, and from the start, the place sounded perfect, except it was more expensive than I would have liked. I decided to keep it as a possibility and posted on the Nice assistant FB page that I had a possible 2-bedroom apartment and was looking for a roommate. Three people emailed me asking for more information, and of those three only one got back to me, therefore I found a roommate!
Shortly after finding out all the details for the two-bedroom apartment, all the Nice assistants received two emails from our program coordinator about possible places to live: living for free with a family in exchange for helping their children learn English, and another two-bedroom apartment. I emailed about both and got a response from the family; we emailed back and forth a bunch of times that day and I was seriously considering it for various reasons (namely it was FREE!) but upon further thought and the advice of my friends, family, and fellow assistants, I decided against it.
That left the first two-bedroom apartment and the other two-bedroom we had all received an email about (my roommate had been emailing with the owners). The first apartment was definitely our first choice, but securing an apartment from overseas isn’t easy!
I’m trying to keep my posts from being too ridiculously wordy, therefore: TO BE CONTINUED!