Two students working on their laptops

Université Sorbonne Paris Nord, France

Blog entry 2 - sought and found: my housing situation

After arriving in Paris, I spent the first night couchsurfing (Couchsurfing is a platform for intercultural exchange, where people offer their couches as accommodation) - because yes: I travelled to Paris without having a flat. A bit risky, but due to the very difficult housing market I had no other choice in the end.

That is why I spent the first days viewing flats and was lucky that after three days I already found a two-person flat share in the 19th Arrondissement where I could move in. The flat is in a perfect location for me in the North of Paris, so it only takes me 30 minutes to get to the city centre as well as to my university, which is in a suburb.

The “inner” Paris (without the suburbs) is divided into 20 arrondissements (neighbourhoods). Each arrondissement has its own character. For example, in the first and second arrondissement there are numerous museums and famous buildings, like the Louvre, in the fifth arrondissement one can find the “Quartier Latin”, the Université Sorbonne, Notre Dame and the Pantheon.

The 19th arrondissement, where I live, originates to 1860 and is north-west of the city. With 184.000 inhabitants the whole neighbourhood inhabits more people than the entire city of Würzburg (127.000). And that in an area that is 14 times smaller. You can imagine that next to the typical Parisian old buildings there are many multistorey buildings. Luckily, the neighbourhood also has several parks, among them, for example, the “Parc des Buttes-Chaumont” which I perceive as the most beautiful. This one has several hills, hidden paths, a pond and in the middle, there is a gazebo on a rock from which one can enjoy an amazing view over the city.

The arrondissement is also located "rive-gauche" (left side of the Seine). "Rive-gauche" is a place where many students live because of the relatively low rents (you still pay around 600€ for a room in a shared flat). That's why it's very lively here. There are many restaurants, bars and of course small cafés where you can meet in the afternoon. I'm very grateful that I have now a roof above my head, because for me that's the first step to arriving in a new city. And that's what I want: to arrive and create a new home for myself. I am curious to see how I will succeed.

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