ACCOMMODATION- The House for Foreign Researchers (MCE)

In order to find accommodation in Nantes, we can help international researchers in various ways :

  • The House for Foreign Researchers (MCE in French), located at 8 rue Perrault 44000 Nantes, is a residence of 24 fully furnished flats (22 studios, 2 one-bedroom apartments) where you can stay from a few days up to 6 months maximum. It is entirely dedicated to foreign researchers.
  • Several partnerships with residences providing fully furnished flats
  • An updated database of local housing ressources provided upon request to registered researchers
  • A small pool of private landlords regularly looking for tenants
  • Advices based on years of experience on Nantes housing

Whatever accommodation plans you have, if you wish to rent in France we strongly advise you to read the Housing Guide for international researchers by EURAXESS France, and also the website done by Erasmus Nantes for international students.

Book a flat at the MCE

La Maison des Chercheurs Etrangers (MCE)
  is made of :
24 flats
2 meeting rooms
a lounge
a cafeteria
a patio
Our building is located in the heart of the city centre, very near tramway lines 2/3 “Hôtel Dieu” station, close by the airport shuttle and the train station.
Access to campuses, as well as coming and going from or to Nantes, is therefore easy. We offer foreign researchers optimal conditions to arrive and settle in Nantes. All flats are fully furnished and equipped. The association “Chercheurs Etrangers à Nantes” offices are located right on the ground floor.
La Maison des Chercheurs Etrangers belongs to the Greater Nantes Council and is managed by Fac Habitat. The association « Chercheurs Etrangers à Nantes » is here to help foreign researchers (whether they live at the MCE or not) to settle in the city.

Housing at MCE is reserved to international researchers hosted in the laboratories and research institutes members of our organization.

The flats are rented for short stays only (1 week minimum rate applicable – up to 6 months stay maximum) so that a foreign researcher can take his/her time to look for a permanent accommodation and to ensure that he or she settles in well, at a local level.

To make all the chances on your side, we recommend you to request a booking as early as possible, as usually the MCE is full 2-3 months in advance (For example, the residence is usually booked up as soon as June for accommodation there in September). Spring and summer can be slightly less busy (April-August).

In order to book an accommodation at MCE, you need to send us by email a complete file, including a minimum of two elements :

  • a booking form, filled-in with all the details needed and signed by a staff member of your Nantes host lab – download form here
  • a document certifying the nature and amount of your research stay funding (scholarship, salary, personal saving…).

BE CAREFUL !!! Only fully completed files will be considered. 

The laboratory or the researcher will have to confirm the arrival date at least one week before the start of the reservation.

Arrival is possible on appointment only Monday to Friday from 9am until 12am, and from 2pm til 3:30pm, so that all administrative paperwork can be sorted out: 300€ deposit to be given, delivery of the keys, renting lease to be signed, inventory.

KEYS WILL ONLY BE GIVEN IN EXCHANGE FOR THE 300€ DEPOSIT (300€ by cash or French cheque).

In case the researcher is late or arrives outside these hours, the lab must get in touch in advance with Marie GUILLET, the manager of the flats (, to agree on a suitable time, so that someone from the lab or institute can come and get the keys, on condition the inventory and deposit formalities are completed (300€ deposit).

MCE prices 2023 – 2024

Mandatory deposit: 300€ to be paid when the keys are handed out. Not cashed for very short stays (one month or less). Given back upon return of the keys, after outgoing inventories (from 8:45 to 10AM).

Prices from September, 1st 2023 to August, 31st 2024 (tourist tax not included):

Studio equipped and furnished
(18-23m², 2 people max)

1 to 7 nights: 202€
8 to 14 nights: 334€
monthly rent: 669€
monthly rent applicable from 15 nights, fractionned to the number of nights spent in the flat

Large flat equipped and furnished
(41- 45m², 4 people max)

1 to 7 nights: 290€
8 to 14 nights: 441€
monthly rent: 883€
monthly rent applicable from 15 nights, fractionned to the number of nights spent in the flat

Tourist tax : calculated at the rate of 5.5% of the one-night-rent price per person, excluding VAT (capped at 5.06€).

Thus its cost will vary depending on the length of stay, the number of inhabitants and the type of flat rented.

For your information:

    • on the basis of the studio flat monthly rent price : 1.11€ per night for one person / 1.12€ per night for a couple
    • on the basis of the one-bedroom flat monthly rent price : 1.47€ per night for one person / 0.98€ for a couple with one child
    • for fixed-prices (one or two weeks) this tax will also vary on the same principle (e.g. : a single person staying 10 nights in a studio flat will pay this tax 1.67€ per night)

Means of payment: Credit card not accepted. You must pay the deposit and your rent by cash or French cheque. For your rent only, a bank transfer is possible. No payment in advance possible. Banknotes of 500€ are not accepted (as in most shops). No November or December rent payment by purchase order possible.

The flats are eligible to CAF (housing benefits). The form “Attestation de loyer” from the housing benefit application should be retrieved as blank version from CAF services: the manager will fill it out properly.

Other services: 

  • Breakfast (except during summer): 8,20€ TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE
  • Extra housecleaning: 25,50€
  • Washing and drying machine coins: 3,20€ (Washing and drying machines available on the 3rd floor).

It is possible to get extra linen: please ask the manager for tariffs.

The price includes: water, electricity, international satellite TV, internet connexion (EDUROAM) ; also weekly housecleaning; kitchen and crockery kit; weekly change of sheets and towels; access to the multimedia lounge, cafeteria and conference rooms;

Presence of the organisation Chercheurs Étrangers à Nantes (Foreign Researchers in Nantes) on the ground floor.

The price does not include: tourist tax per night and per person (over 18).

Fees for opening a telephone landline: 11,10 € and calls are to be paid for by the lodger.

For large flats (T2), departure is only possible during working days from Monday to Friday in the morning from 8:45 to 10AM.

Finding accommodation in Nantes

Advices :

Nantes offers a large variety of housing possibilities, however finding a short term accommodation when arriving at some point between September and January can be tricky due to students typical move in

1/ Be aware that very often several people candidate for one housing add. There is a real competition among candidates and the ball is definitely in the hands of the owners who choose obviously the safest (financialy speaking) and most stable profils. THEREFORE, when you start looking for a studio or an apartment, be reactive and well prepared.
When you go visit an accommodation, bring along a full file with all the copies of documents prooving your financial stability. French owners will expect previous years’ tax declarations, salary payslip, work contract,…, documents that you may not have yet. So be prepared to show other reassuring documents and sharpen your arguments.

2/ A guarantor is requested in most applications for an accommodation (except in residences). It is even mandatory for all applications with a realestate agency. A guarantor is a French person (collegue, friend, family) who will vouch for you that he/she will cover your rent expenses if you couldn’t pay anymore. The person can be from another nationality of course but he/she needs to be living in France for several years as the owner will ask him/her to prove his/her financial stability with his/her tax declaration.
Again, it’s a protection for the owner to make sure he/she doesn’t rent to irresponsible tenants.

If you don’t have a guarantor, you can try to apply to VISALE. It’s a national system created by the French governement to allow someone without guarantor to have a financial back up by the State, thus reassuring the landlords. For more information on Visale, please check their website, specially about eligibility and acess conditions.

3/ The security deposit : most accommodations will require from you a security deposit. It’s an amount of money equivalent to about a month of rent, that you will give to the owner when you sign the lease. You’ll get this money back when you exit permanently the premises at the end of your stay, IF and only IF the accommodation rented has not suffered any damage. Otherwise any repair/replacement will be financed using your security deposit.

4/ When searching your accomodation among adds, always check out if the rent amount includes utilities or not. In French, utilities are called “les charges”. They are composed of the electric bill, water bill, internet access (not always), heat (not always), building clean up and trash removal bills. The owner must specifiy which charges are included or not, so that you have an good estimate of your expenses. Depending on what they include and the size of the apartment, you can budget anywhere between 60 to 120 € for utilities on a monthly basis usually.

To help you calculate roughly your accomodation costs :

  • Rent without utilities for a studio/efficiency/1 room (about 20m2) in Nantes is about 400/500€ per month.
  • Rent without utilities for a T2 (1 bderoom and 1 living room, about 35-40m2) in Nantes is about 600/700€ per month

5/ Last but not least advice : be cautious about scams !!!
Unsecured websites compiling adds from private owners can be a good source of information but surely enough a large pond of scams. Do not send money or wire from your bank in advance. Try to do as many checkings as possible : enter the owner’s name in your favority research engine. Check out the addess as well. Is it indeed an accommodation building ? Ideally, before sending any money from abroad, if you know anyone already living in Nantes, ask him or her to go check out if the place exists or if the name of the owner is on a mailbox, little things like this…

Professional website such as Airbnb are usually trustworthy as they are responsable for the content their publish. Residence websites (like Adagio, AppartCity…) are totally legit as well.

A quick selection of useful websites :

(more upon request for registered researchers)


Flat sharing (“colocation” in French) :

Bedroom within a private home

In all circumstances, if you plan on renting in France, we strongly advise you to read the Housing Guide for international researchers by EURAXESS France, and also the website done by Erasmus Nantes for international students.

Booking a meeting room at the MCE

Two meeting rooms can be booked by labs and researchers. One is for 10-12 people and the other for up to 20 people. Bookings are free for any institution member of the association.
It can be used to work with your team on a project, or rehearse some important presentation…

If you have a project and wish to book one of these rooms, contact us by email in advance to check availability.