The arrêté de nomination aka the appointment letter from your respective académies start coming in sometime in the last week of June (via email or via courier and eventually, both). However, many assistants also receive them as late as early/mid August so don’t be alarmed. Usually, someone from your school contacts you in advance to inform you that you will be working there and the actual arrêté takes it own sweet time to reach you.
(Note : Most teachers/admin in France are on vacation during this period which means you are not likely to get prompt responses to your many queries and frantic emails)
Either way…once you know which school/schools you are assigned to, you can then begin your hunt for un logement aka that distant and unattainable dream. Some schools offer accommodation for assistants (you lucky people, you know who ya’ll are) whereas others don’t.
Here are some choices you have to make :
- Do you want to live near your school? Even though it might be in a small town? (I was faced with this particular dilemma and eventually decided to live in a bigger city close by and commute to work)
- What is your budget?
- Do you want to live alone or with flatmates?
- Do you want to apply to live in CROUS housing or perhaps in Foyer de jeunes travailleurs? Do you have the patience to fill out the forms and send lots of emails in French?
For logement :
- Facebook groups (just type your city/area in the search bar and voilà)
- Facebook pages
- Ask ex assistants what they did/how they managed/if they know someone who can help
- Foyer de jeunes travailleurs
Tips for the same :
- Don’t be afraid to email people incessantly with questions and pleas for advice. Most people out there really want to help you as best as they can.
- Most landlords don’t get back to you when you email them from the aforementioned websites. They are more responsive via telephone/in person. I saved a bunched of numbers and checked to see if they were on whastapp and messaged them (better success rate!)
- Always cross check if the rent mentioned on the sites is inclusive of gas, electricity, water, heat and wifi (if not, that’s easily another 30 – 70 Euros – on an average)
- Do you need a garant? And how much do you need to pay as a caution deposit? ASK!
If you find a house before you reach France, c’est merveilleux pour vous! However, you can always check-in to a hotel for a few days and look for a place once you get there. Both methods have been tried, tested and recommended so don’t lose hope, mon ami(e)!