The Middlebury School in France offers several housing options, each of which provides unique insight into French culture and daily life. See the videos below to hear from past students about each housing type! 

What is a Host Family?

What is a Foyer?

Students are not permitted to live alone, and no one is permitted to share housing with other English-speakers. More information about each housing type and your housing rights and responsibilities is available to admitted students, and can be found in the School in France Handbook


Students in Bordeaux live in homestays with host families picked by Middlebury’s on-site Housing Coordinator.  

“I went into study abroad knowing I wanted to live with a host family, figuring it was the best way to improve my French, build lasting connections to French culture and my time abroad, and have a built-in support system while exploring a new city. But I could never have imagined how amazing my semester with my host family would turn out. Nightly dinners, apéros, and week-end adventures with my family was the highlight of my time abroad and they are undoubtedly the reason my French improved so much over just a few months. Something I wish I had known before going abroad was how eager many host families are to not only teach you about French culture but to learn about American culture from the students they host. It’s an exchange! I’m still in touch with my host family and have even been back to visit them in France. In my opinion, staying with a host family is one of the best ways to make the most of a semester abroad!” 

- Bordeaux undergraduate, Fall 2022


Paris housing options include homestays and youth residences (called foyers). 

  •  Homestays: The School in France works with an agency that places students with host families in the greater Paris metro area. Cost varies according to the number of meals students request to share with their host family.  
  •  Youth Residences: The School in France has agreements with six youth residences throughout Paris. Cost varies according to the youth residence and room type. Please note that spots in youth residences are limited.   

Note: Students living with a family in Paris will be asked to pay for their housing for the entirety of the semester up front. However, students who receive financial aid from their home institution may ask to pay only the deposit initially and wait for their aid to be disbursed before paying the full lodging amount. Costs will vary according to the type of housing, room, and meal plan assigned. 

Housing is located throughout Paris, and students are encouraged to be open-minded about the location to which they are assigned. Paris is relatively small compared to other European capitals and is very well connected by public transit! 

“I loved my homestay situation, and I believe I got very lucky with it in both location and the family. My family (a mother, father and son) were extremely welcoming and kind, and I quickly felt like a part of the family. My favorite part about being in a homestay was the cultural immersion: I was completely immersed in not only the language (which really helped my french acquisition) but also the traditions and holidays. For example, I ate Easter lunch with the family and celebrated King’s Day my first day there. I’m still in touch with my family and am so grateful to them for everything they did to make my experience in Paris so wonderful! I would suggest to students to choose a homestay because you get a deeper immersion than you otherwise would and have the potential to make bonds for years to come.” 

- Paris undergraduate, Spring 2023

“Through living in a foyer, I met French girls who quickly became some of my best friends. Together we explored everything the city has to offer. On a typical weekday in the foyer, my friends and I would gather together to eat in the dining room. One girl was returning from pâtisserie school, another from an atelier where she worked as a couturière, and still another from work on the Notre Dame repairs. After the meal, we’d spend time drinking tea, chatting, watching a movie, or playing Just Dance. On weekends, we relished the chance to explore Paris, a city that was new to all of us. Periodically, the foyer sponsored outings like a ride on the Bateau Mouche, a tour of the Catacombs, or a piano recital, further facilitating our collective adventure. Beyond unparalleled cultural and linguistic immersion, the foyer helped me make lifelong friends, one of whom even visited me at Middlebury the following year.” 

- Paris undergraduate, Fall 2022


Poitiers housing options include youth residences and a limited number of homestays. 

  • Youth residences: The School in France has partnered with several public youth residences (part of a network called CROUS) in the historic downtown area, near older university buildings, a 15-minute bus ride from the main campus.   
  • Homestays: If a student wishes to stay with a host family, program staff will try to find one, but cannot guarantee this possibility.  

“I stayed with another Middlebury student in the home of a lovely French couple! Their kids were all out of the house, but came back to visit during university breaks, so we got to spend some time with them as well. Every night (unless we had a class or another commitment), we all ate dinner together; this quickly became my favorite aspect of the homestay, as it allowed me to practice my French in an informal, non-academic setting, and also allowed me to experience French customs in an authentic way. Both of my host parents were involved in the preparation of dinner (and we helped out on occasion!), and the meals often contained traditional French dishes that I had no prior exposure to. I think this experience is unique to a homestay and is a great way to become fully immersed in another culture without feeling overwhelmed.” 

- Poitiers undergraduate, Spring 2024

The Housing Process

The housing placement process, described below, begins after you confirm your intention to study abroad at the Middlebury School in France.  

  • First, you’ll receive a questionnaire to complete in order to provide School in France staff with information concerning your background and special needs. While filling out the questionnaire, you’ll want to check out the FAQs below, as well as the videos and testimonies located on the Study Abroad site, for more information about each housing type. Your questionnaire answers will be binding and you should not expect to change your preferences after arrival. 
  • Next, School in France staff will review your responses and communicate with you if more information is needed.  
  • School in France staff will email you a short description of your assigned housing a few weeks before the program start date. Students matched with host families will be given the contact information for their family; students placed in youth residences will receive information about a mandatory youth residence application process. 
  • After receiving your housing assignment, follow any instructions provided to complete the housing application and confirm your spot. 

Still have questions? Head over to our Handbook for more information or get in touch with us at You can also request a chat with a former student.