Where you stay when you are choosing to learn French in France at a language school makes all the difference. It depends on how long you are studying French in Montpellier but from my experience and the experience of others who have also stayed in either a host family, student residence or apartment there are so many options and all are going to give you an amazing and different experience. Firstly, I would say it’s best to do your research before you choose where you want to stay during your time in a French immersion language school abroad. Speaking from my past mistakes, leaving your lodging to the last minute is not the best idea! There are so many options online and also many options that ILA, the French immersion school you’ll be attending offers for you to stay.
I had such a good experience staying at the student residence while I was a student at ILA French language school, I met so many new people and I became really close with many of them. Living in the residence was always a good time, everyone is in the same situation as you, coming from a different country, learning a new language and new people! You get your own space but also have the opportunity to socialize and even practice friends with the others from school whenever you want! Everyone is so welcoming because new people arrive every weekend to start the week at school on Monday. I would really recommend staying at the student residence if you want to be close to the centre and to meet new people, go out and have fun on your free time. If you are outgoing and love to socialize you will definitely make new friends all the time and really good memories if you choose to stay at the residence.
I also had another really great experience at a student residence that is affiliated with ILA, I stayed in this residence for a few months and I loved it. I loved the feeling of independence, having my own space, and being so close to the centre. Another benefit of this residence is that not everyone that is living there is necessarily from ILA or can speak English. There are many French students there which is amazing because in the common room of the residence you have a chance to get to know native French speakers which is great to help improve your French.
Another option that ILA French language school can help you with is a host family. I think a host family is a great opportunity and if your focus is to really improve you French and be immersed in French culture and how French people live daily this is the option for you. This option helps you save a lot of money as well, as majority of the time, in my experience the host family cooks meals for you and usually provides you with everything you need to live there. So, most of your money you save can be spent on your free time or like If you are like me, on food! I stayed in a host family for the last two months of my stay in Montpellier and I can honestly say I really got the most out of staying with them. They were also so generous as to let me use their bikes while I stayed with them so getting around Montpellier became a lot simpler.
So, in general there are many options for you if you are having trouble deciding where to stay while studying French in Montpellier. You should get the most out of your French learning courses as you can and where you stay during your French immersion language stay here in Montpellier definitely can help you with that! Whether you are looking into a host family, student residence or ILA residence I hope my experience and insight on each option can help inform you a little so you can pick the best option for you so you can profit as much as you can while you are here for your French immersion stay at ILA in this beautiful city of Montpellier in the south of France.