I'm living in Cuques halls in Aix en Provence, which is just on the south side of Aix and it's been nice so far. My room is pretty basic and relatively small, although I do have my own fridge, corner washroom with a sink and....a bidet. So continental. I've read loads of blogs about Cuques and how manky it is: It really does depend what sort of room you get, there are renovated studio apartments or single bed rooms with shared facilities. Sharing toilets, showers and the kitchen isn't ideal by any means but I think after a while anyone would get used to it
In all fairness, I wouldn't care how trashed or fucking run-into-the-ground the place was, it costs 155€/month, which for Aix is probably the cheapest you will ever find a room. That works out to be around £120, which then translates to around £30 a week. That's fucking cheap. And that's without the CAF government subsidising/benefits for students and those without an income.
I honestly challenge you to find somewhere in Provence that costs so little, but is in such a beautiful city......most T1 studio apartments here start from 400€ bare minimum and then they were just as shabby as halls can be.
I've been meeting a hell of a lot of really nice people from here too, and in fact the first night I was here I was invited straight out to 'la colline': the little hill next to halls to drink and get brutally fucked up with pastis. I didn't have any energy after travelling from Sanary, via Marseille and via getting lost in Aix with a bag of fucking everything with me, but it was an awesome night. We ended up getting 'forcibly removed' for creating too much noise so we went to someone's apartment and danced to Call Me Maybe all night long. I still cannot for the life of me even remember whose apartment that was. I was ofc enormously drunk....
I'm finding it quite hard to understand everything in a conversation, but that's mostly down to the speed and my lack of vocabulary. I've been taking in quite a lot of the local patois provençal and really familiar language which we were never taught at school: dégun, tarpin, dégueulasse etc etc. By the end of the year I am determined to sound like a local and not like some dodgy Englishman who has just taken up French or so.
Anyways, I haven't taken any photos of Aix and stuff yet because i've been too busy, but I'm gonna go on a long wander of the town soon enough and hopefully see as much of the beautiful provençal city as possible.