Practical information for settling in France

Finance your studies

To help you finance your studies and your daily life in Paris, you will find a number of sources of potential grants and financing offered by third-party bodies in the scholarship database of the Campus France website.
Even if you have a scholarship for the 1st year, you will have to secure your funds for the 2nd year.
This information is provided for guidance purposes only. We do not guarantee that finance will be obtained on the basis of this information.
More information on MPH website

Essential documents

  • A valid passport with your student Long Stay visa inside
  • ID card (must be valid for at least the next 6 months)
  • Copy of airline tickets or passport entrance stamp (this justifies your date of entry into France)
  • Your official university acceptance letter
  • Birth certificate translated into French by a sworn translator registered with the Court of Appeal. You can find the list here
  • Degrees / Diplomas (originals and copies)
  • Confirmation letters of your scholarship or bursary, if appropriate
  • Bank card (debit)
  • For European citizens: the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) – (Carte européenne d’assurance maladie (CEAM))
  • Vaccination booklet or records, if available
  • Identity photos (at least 6)

Visa formalities

If you are a citizen of a country in the European Economic Area, you do not require a residence permit (titre de séjour) or a visa. A valid identity card or passport is adequate. It must be valid for at least the next 6 months.

If you are a student of another nationality, you are required to have a Student long stay visa and a current passport.

You must obtain your visa before arriving in France! All students from outside of the European Economic Area and Switzerland must obtain a student long stay visa”D” (for stays in France longer than 3 months).

Applying for a Student long stay visa

Visas application is now booked online at the official Visa Website for France where you can also find useful information to prepare your arrival :

To guide you through this process, a Campus France video tutorial is available here

.Documents to present (other documents may also be required)

  • Your passport. The validity of the passport must correspond to the duration of the visa requested.
  • A proof of enrolment or pre-enrolment in our EHESP – School of Public Health.
  • A proof that you have sufficient income to live in France during your stay. The French law demands a minimum monthly income of 615 euros. If you have a scholarship, you will have to supply a certificate specifying the amount and duration of the scholarship.
  • A proof of residence in France.

Convert your visa to residence permit upon arrival in France

The student LS visa allows you to study in France for a period of 4 months to 1 year. It must be validated within 3 months upon your arrival. If you choose to continue your studies after it expires, you may apply for a residence permit (carte de séjour) at the prefecture of your place of residence.

Upon your arrival in France, you must validate your visa online on the french authorities website within 3 months at the latest:

How to complete your administrative procedure?

In Rennes

The CMI (Rennes International Mobility Centre) provides services and support for international students.

You can consult the CMI specific FAQ about residence permit procedure.

To contact the CMI :

To book an appointment with the CMI Rennes :

In Paris

The Cité Universitaire de Paris offers a welcome service for foreign students. This is a place where international students can undergo all the paperwork required on arrival.

Renewal of residence permit (for 2nd year)

This procedure is for those wishing to stay at least another year in France, to fulfill the conditions required by the Prefecture of the place of residence.

Note: You cannot start your renewal process (renouvellement du titre de séjour) earlier than 3 months before your visa expiration date. This process can take up to 6 weeks.

If you do an internship abroad or go home for the summer holidays, be aware that you will have to be in France for your appointment in July or August.

  • For those of you who live in Paris, you must book an online appointment on Préfecture de police website 
  • For those who live in the suburbs, it is different for each area so please contact our Student life officer in Paris, who will be able to give you more details concerning your Prefecture. 

You will find additional information on the Préfecture de police website and the list of documents that you will need to present.

Health insurance and CVEC tax

Registration to social security is free and mandatory for all students in France, whether French or international. Here’s everything you need to know to go through the process. 

The health insurance system is officially the responsibility of the Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie (CPAM). 

Why ? 

For a partial reimbursement of your healthcare expenses (for a full coverage, please see the section “Voluntary complementary health insurance” below) 


Before coming to France for your studies, you need to apply for membership in the French social security citizen by signing up via the dedicated website

Need help to sign up ? 

To guide you through this process, a Campus France video tutorial is available here

You will also need to do so if you are a French citizen living in New Caledonia or Wallis and Futuna, or if you were born abroad. 

You DO NOT need to register on this website if: 

  • You are a family member of an international civil servant and covered a such by his health insurance 
  • You are a citizen of the EU/EEA or switzerland. You can ask for a European health insurance?card, before you come to France 

All you need to know about your social security coverage here

Who ? 

French Students EU students Non EU students 
Since the 1st of September 2019 at least, you will be affiliated to the CPAM from your place of residence. With EHIC Card valid until the end of the academic year: You do not need to register online on when you arrive in France, you will submit this card to the health professionnals and healthcare facilities you will go to. 
Without an EHIC card: See the process for non EU students 
Will have to register to the CPAM through the specific online platform: 
Mandatory registration: otherwise, you will not be covered for your healthcare expenses. 

EU students

If you are a European national (member country of the European Union or the European Economic Area),  you do not need to register on the website. 

You will continue to be covered by the health system in your own country throughout your stay in France. 

You will only have to pay the “patient’s contribution” to your medical costs and your health insurance fund will reimburse the rest (depending on the system in force). You must remember to apply for an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) before your departure or check that your existing card will not expire before the end of your stay. You will need to show it to every healthcare professional you see. 

Managing your money

To open a bank account in France, you will need the following documents 

  • ID card/passport 
  • Proof of residence: utility bill or rent receipt or contract. 

If you are hosted by someone, you will need: a declaration signed by your host saying that you are hosted, your host’s ID and a utility bill (less than 3 months) 

  • Student card or proof of enrolment 
  • Birth certificate translated into French (only if place of birth does not appear on your passport) 

Note: If students are coming from the US they will need to bring a tax statement document with them to the bank. 

Once you have opened an account, you will receive a RIB (Relevé d’Identité Bancaire) which shows your account details. You can ask for a cheque book (un chéquier), as this means of payment is very common in France. 

To guide you through this process, a Campus France video tutorial is available here 

IMPORTANT: Having a French bank account is required for obtaining a mobile phone contract and paying bills such as rent and electricity. You will also need to provide your RIB when applying for APL (Personalized accommodation aid from la CAF). 

In Rennes : consult the student guideline designed by the CMI, page 10 & 11

In Paris : For more information (such as list of direct contacts) Please contact our Student life officer in Paris 

Living expenses (your monthly budget) 

In Rennes : see here

In Paris : see here

For more information, Campus France designs a document to help you estimating your budget. 

Note that to reduce some housing charges: 

  • Housing allowance – so called CAF – is also available 
  • Sharing a flat could reduce housing costs 

Finding a job 

Work regulations for foreign students in France 

You may be planning to work during your stay in France to help finance your studies. If you speak French, it will be easier for you to find a job. Work regulations for foreign students in France can vary from one position to another. 

Any foreign student can work in France for up to 964 hours per year (60% of the yearly legal duration of work). Beyond that, you will need an authorisation. The rules vary depending on your nationality.

EU national: you can work

Non EU national : you will need to show your employer your student residence permit (titre de séjour) or your long-stay visa equivalent to the residence permit. Your employer must declare you to the Prefecture.

For Algerians : other rules apply. In accordance with the Franco-Algerian agreement, you must apply for a temporary work permit (autorisation provisoire de travail). You may not work more than 822.5 hours annually, i.e. 18.5 hours per week.

More information on the French administration website 

Note: Students working under internship agreements do not need to apply for work permits. 

Tax income 

If you have lived in France for at least 6?months, you need to declare the income you received in the previous year. Declaring your income does not mean you will necessarily have to pay the income tax! 

You can download the declaration form or get it in your local tax office (Service des impôts des particuliers, also called SIP). Find a list of SIPs. 

After you have filled in the form, you will have to send it back to your local tax office (list available here) or, if you have already left France, to the Service des impôts des particuliers non-résidents 

Find a job in Rennes 

Visit this page

Find a job in Paris 

Visit this page 

Things to know about daily life in France

The weather 

In general, France has a temperate climate, with regional variations. The average maximum temperature in France in September is 24 °C and the average minimum temperature is 15 °C. In January, it is 10 °C and the average low is 0 °C. Pack accordingly! 

Daylight savings 

From the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October, the time in France changes from UTC + 1 hour to UTC + 2 hours. The French media will announce the change of time. 

Sundays and Bank holidays (Jours fériés) 

Most shops and services are closed on Sundays and public holidays in France.  

1 January (New Year’s Day) 
Easter Monday, in March or April, (resurrection of Christ) 
1 May (Labour Day) 
8 May (end of the Second World War) 
Ascension Thursday in May (Ascension of Christ) 
14 July (National holiday) 
15 August (Assumption) 
1 November (All Saints Day) 
11 November (1918 Armistice) 
25 December (Christmas) 

On these days, government offices and banks are closed. Museums and monuments are mostly closed on January 1st, May 1st and December 25th. 

Opening hours 

Shops: Most shops are open between 10a.m. and 7p.m. from Monday to Saturday. 

Supermarkets: open until 8-9p.m. from Monday to Saturday, and sometimes on Sunday morning. 

Banks: open between 9a.m. and 5p.m. (6p.m. in some cases) from Tuesday to Saturday. Most banks are open on Saturday mornings or all day Saturday and are closed on Monday. 

Electrical appliances 

The voltage in France is 220V (volts). If this differs from the voltage in your own country, adaptors, which can be bought in supermarkets, enable you to use your electrical appliances.  

Emergency numbers 

  • European emergency number to call in priority: 112 
  • SAMU (Service d’Aide Médicale d’Urgence): 15 
  • Police: 17 
  • Fire Brigade: 18 

French Post Office (La Poste) 

If you need to send a postcard or a letter, you can post it in one of the many yellow post boxes located in the streets, or in post offices. Post offices are generally open from Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 7 pm and on Saturday morning until 12 am. They are closed on Sundays and public holidays. 

Stamps can be purchased at ‘La Poste’ offices, online or in a newsagency (tabac presse). 

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