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Program Locations


Frequently Asked Questions - Accommodations

What are my options regarding housing in Paris?
Stanford students have the opportunity to live in either a homestay or in one of the International Student dorms in Paris (called the Fondation des Etats-Unis).
What is the best option for me?
There are advantages and drawbacks in both options. The below description should help you make an informed choice:

Homestays: The Center strongly encourages this option. Living in a carefully selected French home is a privileged form of housing that provides the student with the opportunity to establish personal relationships, to use French regularly and to immerse oneself in French culture and tradition on a daily basis. The French home is a valuable resource allowing for true integration into a neighborhood, life in Paris and France in general. Naturally, all students must accept the constraints and responsibilities that such arrangements entail but the experience is well worthwhile. Whenever possible, the housing coordinator will accommodate students' stated housing preferences.

Fondation des Etats-Unis (International dorms): if you are looking for a more communal lifestyle, the Fondation permits students to meet and become friends with others near their age from France and (mainly) from around the world. Please note that most French students in Paris live at home, so the international dorms are primarily intended for French students from out of Paris and for foreign students. Students should be aware of the fact that the Fondation confirms acceptance of applications based on the availability of their rooms. We therefore cannot always guarantee this option.


What will my French home be like?
We maintain a network of French hosts carefully selected with the students’ profiles in mind. Hosts come from a cross-section of society; they belong to no particular professional or social milieu, but all are carefully chosen and many have hosted American students for several years. Most homestays consist of a two-parent household, but some may be single or retired women whose children have grown up and moved out. Students are seldom housed with families with young children, simply because most families with young children live in the suburbs.
Where do the hosts live?
All our hosts live in Paris or in the immediate outskirts and the commute from your homestay to the Stanford Center should not exceed 45 min from door to door when taking the metro.
Can I choose my neighborhood?
Not exactly. While we do need to know the kind of environment most suitable for you (for example, are you sensitive to noise or would you prefer living on a quiet street?), we do not place students according to their preferred neighborhoods. We do however, insure that students live close to metro stations, to facilitate commuting to and from the Stanford Center (see above).
What kind of relationship can I expect to develop with my host?
This is a difficult question to answer. The extent and quality of the relationship between the host and the student will vary, depending on personalities and lifestyles. No matter what the configuration of the homestay, all enjoy having students live with them and sharing their culture. All families are welcoming but participants should remember that they are guests and will be expected to adapt to the traditions and rules of their hosts.
If I choose the homestay, will I have my own room?
Yes. All students are provided with their own bedroom. In rare instances, students have their own bathrooms and some families allow limited use of the kitchen. Please note that there may be other international students in the home.
Can I live with a friend?
Some of our families have two rooms available. If you clearly state in the « short personal profile » section of your housing form that this is your first priority, the housing coordinator will take your request into consideration. Please make sure you and your friend both agree on, and desire this arrangement before submitting your housing forms. On the other hand, if you wish not to be placed with a particular student, please mention this as well. Note that your request will remain confidential.
What about laundry?
Bedsheets and towels are provided for. The host is responsible for your laundry, (but not washing the dirty landry prior to your arrival). The norms are one load of personal laundry per week and change of linen every 2 weeks.
Is there access to internet in my housing?
Some homes allow Internet access, but some do not. We do not guarantee Internet availability in our host families. If for academic reasons, you need to have an internet access (for example, you are taking an on-line course at Stanford), you should clearly state so and explain your academic situation in your housing form or by sending an email to Elizabeth Molkou.
What are the meal arrangements?
Students receive breakfast daily in their homes but lunches are covered by a stipend. In order to allow you (and the family) some freedom, you will only be sharing 5 dinners a week with your host. Please also remember that your family is not responsible of providing you with snacks between meals. There is no refund for missed meals.
What if I follow a special diet?
If you are a vegetarian or if you have any other special diet, we will do our best to place you in homestays where such needs are more readily accomodated. However, you need to remember that in France, it is difficult to cater to a vegetarian diet and even more difficult to a vegan diet. Special diets are not as common as they are in the States. Food allergies, however, are another matter and if you have any, you should definitely indicate them on your housing form.
Is there a curfew?
No. You will be able to come and go as you wish if this does not interfere with the family’s schedule. (For example, families should not be woken up in the middle of the night, due to doors frequently unlocked and locked in a small apartment). Remember that living in a French family means not only sharing their language, their culture and their food, but also adapting to a new lifestyle and rythm that are sometimes  very different from what they are accustomed to. In any case, you should be courteous and let your host know in advance if you are going to be out late.
Can I have overnight guests?
No. Overnight guests, including your own family members, are not permitted.
Can I have guests during the day?
Yes, under certain circumstances. For example, you can invite a fellow student over at reasonable hours to work on a class assignment together. Remember, if this is the case to ask permission beforehand from your hosts, and to introduce the student to the host members when they come over.
What should I do in order to know a bit more about my host family?
You will be receiving a briefing about your French hosts during individual meetings with the housing coordinator on the first day of Orientation. You are welcome as well to contact your hosts by email before your arrival if you wish to do so.
Can I arrive before the official scheduled arrival or stay on after the departure date?
No. Stanford does not arrange for your stay prior to your scheduled arrival date, nor can host families accomodate you before or after. The host families will refuse access to students if they show up in their homes before the due date unless the family specifically requests students to do so. The Paris Center can suggest a list of cheap hotels in Paris, should you be arriving early or leaving late. Please note as well that you cannot arrive late for Orientation and must arrive on the scheduled arrival date (no later).
Can I store my luggage before the beginning of after the end of the program?
Yes. The Stanford Center rents a storage space near the Center, free of charge for you and controlled by a security guard. All students enrolled in the Paris Program will receive by email the necessary information prior to the arrival date.
What means of transportation will be subsidized by the Stanford Center?
The Center will subsidize the monthly pass called « Navigo ». It is the most convenient pass (55.10 euros per month) and it gives you unlimited travel on the metro, RER, and Paris buses (for zones 1 and 2). You will receive it during Orientation and it will be your responsability to charge it up at any metro station, or « tabac » shop.


What is the Fondation and where is it located?
The Fondation des Etats-Unis is one of the 37 residences that make up the International Dorms for all Paris university students which is called the «Cité Internationale Universitaire». This is a large campus-like area in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, about 20 minutes from the Stanford Center.
Does the Fondation host only American students?
No. The Fondation houses some 300 students with a mix of approximately 40% Americans, 50 % French, mostly graduate students, and 10% of other nationalities. As the majority of the students are graduate students, the atmosphere is different from a Stanford dorm ; no curfews apply, and students live quite independent lives.
What furniture is provided?
The house offers students 267 individual rooms entirely equipped (bed, desk, chair, armchair and wardrobe). Each student has an independent room. Sheets and blankets are provided for. You will be responsible for providing your own towels. The Stanford students rooms are all equipped with a small fridge.
What facilities are available?
Internet access is provided for at the Fondation des Etats-Unis. The Fondation has two equipped computer rooms as well as wifi from your room. Also available for the residents are a library, a reading room, a large lounge, a practice studio, a photographic laboratory, a television room and a game room. The Cité offers cultural activities, student lounges, a swimming pool, and other recreation facilities which will offer you opportunities to meet French people and other visiting students from all parts of the world.
Where will I eat?
On each floor, there are showers, toilets and entirely equipped kitchens. You should either bring or buy your own utensils if you want to cook. A student cafeteria and a restaurant for all residences are right next door to the Fondation, but you will be able to choose where you eat.
How much money will I spend for meals?
Expenses for all meals are covered by a stipend of 22 euros which you will receive from Stanford every day of the week (except if a meal is paid by the program when you are attending the program dinners for example). This money should allow you to either buy your groceries, eat at the Dorm restaurant (it only costs 2,6 euros for a regular meal) or once in a while in a regular restaurant.
What is the laundry situation?
All the residence halls have coin-operated laundry facilities. Washing costs 2,5 euros and drying 1,50 euros – The Stanford program will pay 4 euros per week to cover costs of your laundry.
Can I have an overnight guest in my dorm room?
Yes. Residents may host ONE guest overnight for a maximum of 10 days. All guests must be registered at least 48 hours before the date of arrival of the guest. It is possible to request an extra bed in the room (7.50€ per night, 3 nights minimum). For guests not requiring an extra bed, the charge is 4€ per night.
What means of transportation will be subsidized by the Stanford Center (same as for students in French homes)?
The Center will subsidize the monthly pass called Navigo. It is the most convenient pass (55.10 euros per month) and it gives you unlimited travel on the metro, RER, and Paris buses (for zones 1 and 2). You will receive it during Orientation and it will be your responsability to charge it up at any metro station or « tabac » shop.