Students must submit housing preference forms immediately upon confirming their participation in the program. Students who request a homestay will receive a separate, more detailed questionnaire and instructions from the resident director. All housing assignments are made at the discretion of on-site staff in Aix, and no changes are made within the first two weeks (and only under certain circumstances). Students are informed of their placements in Paris after an individual meeting with the resident director.
In Paris, you will be housed at the Residence Les Citadines-Saint-Germain, an apart'hotel located in the 5th arrondissement, in the center of Paris, on the Seine river between Place Saint-Michel and Pont Neuf. All rooms are doubles with air conditioning, a full bath, fully-equipped kitchenette, television and high-speed internet. Les Citadines also has a gym and launderette, and meeting rooms where the program's courses are taught.
All housing is arranged and managed by the program, and final placements are made upon students' arrival in France. The majority of recent WIA participants have opted to live in homestays in order to have daily conversation and contact with French hosts who are carefully selected by the on-site staff.
Students in homestays have their own rooms, wifi access in the home and take breakfast and six evening meals per week with their hosts. A limited number of apartments in or near the center of Aix are also available; these are shared with one other WIA student and consist of a bedroom with twin beds and living room area, fully equipped kitchens, and wireless access. Dishes, sheets and towels are all provided, but students are responsible for cooking meals, doing laundry (in laundromats) and cleaning the apartments which are inspected regularly by on-site staff.
All students receive a monthly allowance for lunches. Students living in apartments receive additional funds for other meals, cleaning supplies, laundry costs, etc. All apartments are fully equipped, including linens, tableware and basic cooking equipment. The program provides bus passes and transportation stipends to students who live outside the center and/or must travel to Marseille weekly for certain classes.
In addition, all students may be reimbursed up to a certain amount every semester for cultural activities or memberships in clubs that involve regular interaction with locals and opportunities to speak French, e.g., sports teams, dance or yoga classes. Students living in apartments are strongly encouraged to sign up with a local associated called Bienvenue en famille aux étudiants étrangers (BFEE) that matches them with host families who invited them to dinner or to participate in an activity.