It is incredibly difficult to apartment hunt from abroad. I want to get something set in stone for when I show up in Marsille in November, something reasonably priced, near my work, near shops and stores, kind of near water 🙂 but I also realize that showing up in November and leaving at the end of May kinda takes away student rental opportunities. for the time I am in France I wouldn’t be the ideal coloc and most people don’t want to rent to me for 7 months only. I was looking on this website, kinda like a French craigslist. There were lots of nice apartments but all begin renting in September to correspond with the new school year. boo.
I began looking into long-term vacation rentals. I found some great ones here, and here. Seems like a sweet deal – pay only rent, no electricity separate and other fees and stress that go with apartment rental. furnished! Linens and towels provided! yeah, I choose that! I found some excellent places and yes, reasonably priced for long-term vacation rentals. They are a little further from my lab but Marseille has a nice bus system and daily bike rentals super close to these apartment locations.
What have I learned in this whole looking for an apartment from abroad … you start to get rid of expectations quickly, your priorities switch to being more logical … like rent price, security and long term happiness in this particular place. We’ll see how this process continues, hopefully well. I am writing emails in French and being understood, which is pretty cool. even if it does take me a while to write them (and I admittedly ask google-translate if I make sense at all, haha), I am still doing it and without asking for translation I understood their response as well. woo!