There is no housing plan integral to the IFE program. IFE will, however:
Arrange family housing for students who wish that type of housing, within the limits of available situations;
Arrange housing in one of several independent student residences or foyers on behalf of students.
Once arranged, this type of housing will not be changed by IFE, and any modifications except in the case of force majeure must be handled by the student, including any additional costs incurred. Since the choices students make become permanent, students should not hesitate to contact IFE with any questions.
Help students who wish to rent a studio or apartment by furnishing internet sites and other resources for this search, and possibly contacting landlords on the student’s behalf.
NB: In all cases it is the student and NOT IFE who conducts the search for rental housing.
Students may of course arrange their own housing. It may be possible for students to reserve a room in a foyer for one month while they look for housing.
Description of family housing
The family situations used by IFE for its students are generally not of the type where there are young children, a family meal every evening, and a busy family life requiring participation.
MEALS: Some offer meals, some do not, but IFE discourages a commitment to more than a couple of evening meals per week, in view of work and other demands on student-interns time.
IFE family housing is more like renting a room in a home, sometimes with separate entrance, kitchen access in all cases, and full freedom to come and go. Restrictions concerning guests exist for certain family situations.
Note that family housing is less common in Belgium. In Brussels IFE makes use of a popular student housing form called a "kot", which consists of an apartment or small building where students have their own room and share kitchen and living areas.
Description of foyers
The foyer (rhymes with loyer) is a common form of housing for young people beginning either their studies or professional life in Paris or Strasbourg and whose home is elsewhere. (In Brussels, student housing takes the form of "kots", described above.) There are also a few foyers that cater to American students in particular, which IFE does not use for linguistic/cultural reasons.
All foyers have certain things in common. There is a permanent presence at the reception desk, 24 hours per day, and there are a certain number of restrictions concerning hours and sex of visitors, and possibly other restrictions, with variations by foyer. There are common rooms for socializing, common kitchens by suite or floor for meal preparation, internet access, and various scheduled activities are proposed. Towels are not provided, but bed linen may be rented at a very modest rate.
MEALS: Some foyers offer a hot meal in the evening, some do not. Those that do generally require that students purchase 20 evening meal tickets during the first month of their stay, and 10 per month thereafter (minimum). There is a good deal
of flexibility in this requirement, especially since the price of the meals and accomodations together is very reasonable.
Students may still use the kitchen instead of taking the evening meal; the tickets may be used on any evening; and, for IFE student interns, 10 meals per month is about the right level of commitment. In addition meals are served in a common
dining room which provides IFE students a chance to socialize.
Foyers also differ according to whether they accomodate both sexes or only women. Mixed foyers are usually separate by floor or by wing.
IFE offers these housing options for the sole purpose of serving students who wish IFE’s help with housing. IFE has no financial interest in these housing options and reaps no financial gain from this service. IFE takes into account specific choices made on the housing form (a part of the online application) without, however, guaranteeing that exact choices can be honored, given the penury of affordable student housing in France.
Students should contact IFE at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions prior to filling out the form optional Housing form within the application process.