I have a place to live!

One of the most nerve-wracking aspects of TAPIF is over- I know where I will be living!

I’ve been panicking about finding an apartment- trolling French websites for roommates, spare rooms, and apartment complexes within my price range and wasn’t having much luck. However, after not hearing from my contact people in Lyon for several weeks, I heard about the best option: a dorm. I know, I know, I’m not a college freshman anymore. However, it made the most sense from my vantage point.

It’s really freaking hard to find an acceptable apartment from across an ocean. I’m not saying it’s impossible- I’m just very safety-oriented when it comes to where I live, and I was uncomfortable signing a lease to live in a neighborhood I haven’t seen yet. So. A TAPIF-recommended dorm it is.

When I first received my arrête de nomination I immediately started e-mailing my contact person, in addition to the two schools I’ll be working at, hoping for any bits of information surrounding my living situation come September. Nobody got back to me for several weeks, but when she did- in English!- I was given the e-mail address of the American teaching assistant who had been in the same town for the 2014-2015 cycle. This was absolutely amazing as she informed me that the Lycee I’ll be working at shares a campus with an small engineering and technical university, which means: DORMS. The previous assistant encouraged me to ask about the dorms, saying they were an excellent transition and way to meet new people.

So I jumped. After a stressful night of putting together all my required documents for a dorm room- (Because why let us know ahead of time?) I finally got the news that I do have a room reserved in the Bellignat student residence. I’ve done a little research and I’ll have my own room, with burners, my own bathroom, a microwave, mini fridge, and cabinet space for groceries. No oven though- French apartments and dorms don’t really have ovens! So I’ll have to cut back on the baking- although being in France I’ll just be able to buy some! My contact person told me she has household accessories such as plates and cutlery and linens that she loans to the teaching assistants, so looks like I have a good start!

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 

10 thoughts on “I have a place to live!

  1. Anne Donnelly says:

    That’s great, you’re very lucky to have sorted your accommodation before arrival!!! If you have space in your room, you could always purchase a small toaster oven for 25-30€. They’re quite common in France and are awesome for making quiches or brownies or even reheating leftovers.. And keeps you from having to eat pasta and salad all the time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Elisabeth says:

    Ahh, this sounds great. I’m so excited to see pictures of your “new place”! I was definitely hesitant about living in yet another dorm, but I’m loving my university residence so far.


  3. Audrey Inglis says:

    Salut! I just recieved my work contract for the 2016-17 cycle of TAPIF and will be working at Lycée Arbez Carme. I found your blog when googling the school – any chance you’d be willing to tell me about how this living situation worked out for you/ if you’d recommend it? Thank you in advance!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nathalie says:

      I was placed, by the referent teacher, in the Residence Georges Champetier, which houses basically BTS students. It is a 2 minute walk to Arbez Carme, but other than that it was not a fabulous experience. I lived alone, and the residence was very very (unnaturally in my opinion) quiet. It got a little lonely and honestly the rent was a little expensive compared to where and what it was. The other assistants in Oyonnax all had the luck of living together in a faculty apartment at College Louis Lumiere, also within walking distance, and I actually lived with them for April and May when one assistant left. I was much happier there. However, there are not that many apartments in Oyonnax at all so I didnt have a whole lot of options


      • Audrey Inglis says:

        Thank you so much for responding! Is there any chance you’d be willing to communicate more via e-mail (it might be easier, if so I can leave my e-mail here)? After doing some research I was considering living in a slightly bigger city such as Bourg-en-Bresse and commuting on the days I work, do you know anyone who did this/if it seems realistic at all? Thank you again, I really appreciate it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nathalie says:

        Of course, e-mail would be easier. My email is on my about me page I believe. I considered living in Bourg-en-Bresse and would be happy to talk with you about it!


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