Housing in Aix
Students in Aix will live in a French homestay, which is a challenging yet enriching experience. Students must learn to adapt to the family's personal and cultural lifestyles, which are naturally quite different from student's own habits.
IAU's hosts come from a cross section of society; some are families with young or grown children, others are single retirees. Some work busy schedules while others may spend most of their days at home. Some of our hosts have several rooms that they rent out to students, and some have just one room.
Hosts are selected for their interest in sharing a cultural exchange with students, and IAU alumni consistently remark on the growth and insight offered by the homestay experience. Students must be flexible and accepting within their French household, and will in all likelihood find the attitude rewarded.
Students in a host family receive daily breakfast and six dinners per week. Breakfast is a typical French style meal and dinners vary by family, but students can be expect to be well-fed and are encouraged to communicate with their hosts about food preparation and planning as this can be a wonderful way to integrate into a French family! Students are responsible for their own lunches (daily) and for dinner on Sundays. Students will have access to wifi in their homestay. Note that air conditioning is not common in homestays, so it should be an expectation that this will not be available. Students should refer to the FAQ page for more information about living with a homestay.
All program participants are required to live in IAU-arranged housing.
PLEASE NOTE: Homestay schedules are aligned with the IAU academic calendar. Students should be aware that they will need to vacate their homestay during the December/January holiday period and at the conclusion of the Spring term in May. If a student is enrolled in a summer session, they will need to vacate the homestay at the conclusion of that session in mid-July.
Student Reviews of Homestays
- Sydnee Greenberg
"My homestay experience opened my ears to the French language, my nose to the Provencal cooking, and my heart to new people, whom I soon referred to as my family for four short months."
- Mary Claire Gustafson
Housing options in Aix-en-Provence also include the ability to live semi-independently and these arrangements are available on a limited, case-by-case basis. Cost varies, and please see the program costs page for more details. In semi-independent housing arrangements, students are placed with a host family and still have all of the benefits of living with a host family, except that they prepare all of their own meals. This option is particularly ideal for students with severe allergies or food restrictions and can be recommended by the Housing Coordinator during the placement process in order to accommodate a student's needs as best as possible. IAU's host families are able to accommodate students with certain food allergies or requirements on a case-by-case basis, and this is dependent on the hosts available at the time and the severity of the student’s allergy or needs. IAU always prioritizes placing students in the standard, demi-pension homestay, but sometimes availability or safety dictates that the semi-independent is the better option for everyone concerned.
In the semi-independent housing option, students are usually placed by themselves, without roommates, unless there is someone else they know they would like to live with and who also would be willing to participate in semi-independent housing. Students have access to use the kitchen (or kitchenette), appliances, and kitchen supplies (placements also come equipped with food storage space in the cabinets and fridge). While students would be responsible for their own groceries and preparing their own meals, they can arrange to eat at the same time as their host to enjoy meals and spend time together. This might vary on the host’s schedule from day to day and the preference of the student. Moreover, this housing option can be very accommodating and dependent on how the student wants to build a relationship with their host.
For any questions regarding housing in Aix-en-Provence, please feel free to contact the U.S. Office of Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-221-2051.