Coming into this experience, I knew very little about my housing situation. For a long time, all we were told was that we would be in shared apartments. Finally, about two weeks before my departure, I got more information. All I was given was an address and the names of my roommates, but not much more. I learned I would be living with three other girls in a two bedroom apartment. I looked up the apartment to try and find out a little more, but there is only so much you can learn about a neighborhood from Google Maps!
I assumed the apartment would be a typical student apartment- the bare minimum and run down. So when the car rolled up to our new home for the next month, I was quite surprised.
The building foyer looked very nice, and there was a (tiny) elevator indicating the apartment might be nicer than I excepted. My anticipation grew, and I was anxiously waiting while we could not unlock our front door (the Parisians take their locks and deadbolts very seriously). It took about ten minutes until we could get it open. Finally we were in and our jaws hit the floor.
The apartment is comprised of six room. Walking in, there is a fairly large entry room with a large storage room, perfect for storing our luggage, and a large mirror, perfect for making sure you are looking good for the Parisian streets. Four other rooms branch off the entry room- two bedrooms, the kitchen, the toilet room, and the living room. The bedrooms are spacious and identical, with two twin beds and large windows in each. The kitchen is quaint, filled with the essentials. A large window makes the room seem larger. I say toilet room because that is what it is, a room with only a toilet. The living room is quite large, with a couch, a chair, a coffee table, a dining room table, and another big window. Then, connected to the living room is the fairly roomy bathroom, with a shower/bath and sink.
In addition to there being much more space than anticipated, the apartment is also decorated nicely, which I was not expecting. There is artwork hanging around the rooms, and even plants scattered around, making the whole space seem more homey.
We have come across several challenges so far living here. Right off the bat, we struggled to unlock the front door. After several days, however, we finally mastered it. It was also a challenge to learn how to use the french appliances here. I have great roommates though, so we’ve helped each other with working the ceramic stove top, the oven, and the washing machine. A final challenge is four people to one bathroom. It actually helps that we have the toilet separate from the rest of the bathroom. Also, it is important to be considerate and communicate so everyone can use the bathroom and toilet when needed. My roommates have excelled at this so far, so we have not had any major incidents!
My favorite part of this apartment has got to be all the large windows. They bring in so much natural light and have lovely views to boot! It feels so nice to sit on the couch with the window open, the gentle breeze blowing across the room.
While the apartment is no palace like Versailles, it is perfect for the four of us.