Welcome Desk - Etudiante / Etudiant

Welcome! You will find below all the information you need to know for your stay in France and your studies at Université PSL. The PSL Welcome Desk is always available to answer you either by email or by appointment.

 

Preparing your stay

Who do I contact at PSL?

  • If you have come to PSL for a dual degree as part of an engineering course or a university exchange, go to the International Relations office at your host school.

  • If you have come to PSL for a degree course (Bachelor’s or Master’s degree), contact the administrative office for your study program (academic office or the director of your study track). They can help you with the registration process, services that you can access and the program of welcome events. They can answer any questions you have about your courses.

  • If you have come to PSL for a doctorate, go to the Doctoral School for your unit or to the research team and the academic office for PhD students in your host institution.

If you have a question but you don’t know who to ask, contact the PSL Welcome Desk and they will direct you to the relevant department:  welcomedesk@psl.eu

 

What funding am I entitled to apply for?

There are a variety of funding assistance options to help you with your studies in France:

  • scholarships from your government,
  • scholarships from the French government,
  • scholarships from the European Union or international organizations,
  • scholarships from your host institution.

Check with your home institution, your host institution, your government, the French Embassy and the Campus France local office in your country.

Find details of Campus France scholarships at “Campus Bourses”, the directory of scholarship programs: campusfrance.org and bourses.campusfrance.org and go to the PSL page “Financial aid”.

 

Do I need a visa to study in France?

It all depends on your nationality and the length of your studies.

If you are a national of a European Union (EU) Member State or the European Economic Area (EEA), you do not need a visa to come and study in France. If you are from a country outside the EU or the EEA and you want to study in France for more than 3 months, you must apply for a student visa (visa ‘étudiant’).


Important! If you are a PhD student, depending on the type and the amount of funding you are receiving, you may be eligible for a ‘researcher-talent passport’ visa (visa ‘passeport talent-chercheur’). Check with your PSL school and the PSL Welcome Desk (welcomedesk@psl.eu).
Contact Campus France and the French Consulate in your country of residence to apply for a student visa as soon as possible and at least 3 months before you travel.


Important! The online EEF (Etudes en France) pre-consular procedure is compulsory in most countries: campusfrance.org/fr/candidature-procedure-etudes-en-france

 

Which visa should I apply for?

For a short stay (0 to 3 months)

  • Short-stay Schengen visa (visa ‘Schengen court séjour’): this visa allows you to stay for up to 90 days (continuous or cumulated over 180 days) in a Schengen Area country. Depending on your nationality, you may be exempted.

  • ‘Etudiant-concours’ visa: this visa allows you to come to France for an admission interview or to take an entry exam to a public or private higher education institute. If you are successful, you can request a one-year renewable residence permit at the Préfecture, without going back to your home country.

 

For a long stay (over 3 months)

  • Long-stay visa for studies, valid as a residence permit (VLS-TS) (visa long séjour pour études valant titre de séjour, VLS-TS): this is valid for one year and is renewable; this visa entitles you to work 964 hours per year, travel within the Schengen Area, receive housing benefits from the CAF and the free student rental deposit. This visa is intended for students on Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs, and PhD students who do not have a doctoral contract.

  • Long-stay visa (VLS) ‘passeport talent – chercheur’ (visa long séjour (VLS) mention ‘passeport talent – chercheur’):  renewable as a multi-year residence permit, this visa is intended for PhD students, researchers and teaching staff (their families are eligible for the ‘passeport talent-famille’ visa). To obtain this visa, you need a “Convention d’accueil” (hosting agreement) approved by your host institution, which you must then present to the French consular authorities in your country of residence.

Good to know: There is an official website covering visas for France: france-visas.gouv.fr/ this contains all the information you need.

 

Recommended action: the CVEC, a formality that you can complete before you arrive

The CVEC, or “Student Life and Campus Contribution”, is a compulsory fee that most students must pay every year in France (university exchange students are not subject to the CVEC). When you register at your host institution, you must provide proof that you have paid the CVEC. It costs €95 and can be paid online.


The CVEC is used, for example, to help finance access to healthcare, to social assistance in universities, to student association projects, and to improve the welcome given to new arrivals on campus and access to sports facilities.

 

I look for accommodation

You will find all the useful information you need under the heading ‘PSL Housing’.

 

I find a Buddy!

If you want to be paired up with a PSL student before you arrive in Paris, ask your host institution if they offer a Buddy Program. If they do not offer this service, or if you want to join the PSL Welcome Desk Buddy Program as well, then sign up at “Partner@PSL” as an “International Buddy”.

In general, the role of the “Local Buddy” is:   vous accueillir en personne à Paris,

  • to welcome you personally to Paris,
  • to take you to visit the PSL campus and also your host institution,
  • to share top tips about life in the capital.

If you have any questions, contact: welcomedesk@psl.eu

 

I sign up for a Welcome event

These are not to be missed! Get all the information from your host institution about planned events: welcome day, orientation week, etc.  

 

Good to know:  In conjunction with all the PSL schools, the Welcome Desk team also organizes “Welcome Days” with practical workshops (opening a bank account, validating and renewing your visa, finding accommodation, healthcare) and cultural and social events for you to meet other PSL students and discover your new campus.


For more information about Welcome Days, contact the PSL Welcome Desk (welcomedesk@psl.eu).

 

What not to forget when I pack my case…

  • My administrative documents: passport, visa, certificate of admission to PSL, birth certificate (translated into French), housing certificate, CVEC, copy of previous diplomas and transcript of grades with certified translation if your school has requested this, health record, supporting documents specifying social security coverage in my home country (European students: your European Health Insurance Card or S1 form; Quebec students: SE 401-Q-102bis or SE 401-Q-106 form), last three bank statements, certificate showing French/English language test results, according to criteria required by your PSL school, driver’s license (optional).
    • Scan these documents and save them on a USB flash drive or a hard drive in case you lose them. Also make some paper copies. If you had to request a visa to come to France, please bear in mind that all the documents in your application package may be requested at the airport.
  • A credit card that works in France.
  • A few euros in cash.
  • Computer and mobile phone, fully charged. Don’t forget to save your Buddy's contact information in your phone if you have enrolled on the Buddy Program.
  • Medication, treatments, anti-histamines. If you are on a particular course of treatment, a French doctor will be able to prescribe what you need, but it’s wise to arrive with extra supplies and your prescriptions. Do check with the airline that you can travel with this medication.
  • A warm sweater and an umbrella (in September, the weather in Paris can be unpredictable!).
  • Optional:
    • If your country does not use E-type electric sockets, bring an adapter (the voltage and frequency in France are 230V, 50Hz).
    • A few small gifts from your country that you can offer to your new friends in France! This can help you forge links and share your culture with them.

As well as this list of useful items, you could also bring some things that remind you of your home country, your family, and your friends, to help you settle in. But be careful not to overload your suitcase too much!

 

Summary of your first expenses

In the first month, you should expect the following expenses:

  • Tuition fees: check with your host institution for the exact amount and the conditions of payment.

  • CVEC (€95).

  • Deposit for your accommodation (often the equivalent to 1 month’s rent) and possibly additional administrative costs if you go through an agency.

  • Home contents and civil liability insurance (compulsory).

  • Health insurance to cover the period from your arrival in France to when you register at your host institution (because you are not covered if you are not registered).

  • Complementary health insurance (“Mutuelle”) (optional).

  • For non-European students: cost of your visa and the tax stamp to validate your visa.

  • Travel card: Navigo ImagineR pass (or Navigo pass for those over-26).

 

Check-list before I arrive:

  • I identify my contacts at my host institution.
     
  • I check if I need a visa. If so, I contact the Campus France office in my country of residence, at least three months before I leave for France, complete the pre-consular EEF procedure, collect the documents I need to obtain the visa and make an appointment at the French consulate.
     
  • I look for accommodation.
     
  • I create my personal space on the digital Welcome Desk (the registration link and access code have been sent by email).
     
  • I sign up for a welcome event (organized by my host institution or by the PSL Welcome Desk, or both!).
     
  • I sign up for a Buddy Program (either the one run by my host institution or by the PSL Welcome Desk, or both!).
     
  • If my credit card is accepted on the etudiant.gouv.fr platform, I pay my CVEC.
     
  • Recommendation: I take out health/travel insurance to cover the period from my arrival in France until I register at my institution (at least one month).
     
  • As soon as I obtain my visa, I book my plane ticket (or I book a flexible ticket so that I can change departure date if I don’t have my visa in time).
     
  • I request a rental deposit on the visale.fr website, if necessary.
     
  • I give my Buddy, my landlord and my contact at the host school all the details of my arrival in Paris.
     
  • I check the border health controls in place.

 

PSL Student handbook

Find out what Université PSL can offer you: PSL Student Handbook PC version and phone version.

Administrative formalities

Do I need a visa to study in France?

It all depends on your nationality and the length of your studies.

If you are a national of a European Union (EU) Member State or the European Economic Area (EEA), you do not need a visa to come and study in France.  

If you are from a country outside the EU or the EEA and you want to study in France for more than 3 months, you must apply for a student visa (visa ‘étudiant’).

Note: If you are a PhD student, depending on the type and the amount of funding you are receiving, you may be eligible for a ‘researcher-talent passport’ visa (visa ‘passeport talent-chercheur’). Check with your PSL school and the PSL Welcome Desk (welcomedesk@psl.eu).

Contact Campus France and the French consulate in your country of residence to apply for a student visa as soon as possible and at least 3 months before you travel.

Note: the online EEF (Etudes en France) pre-consular procedure is compulsory in certain countries: www.campusfrance.org/fr/candidature-procedure-etudes-en-france

 

Which visa should I apply for?

For a short stay (0 to 3 months)

  • Short-stay Schengen visa (visa ‘Schengen court séjour’): this visa allows you to stay for up to 90 days (continuous or cumulated over 180 days) in a Schengen Area country. Depending on your nationality, you may be exempted.
  • ‘Etudiant-concours’ visa (visa ‘étudiant-concours’): this visa allows you to come to France for an admission interview or to take an entry exam in a public or private higher education institute. If you are successful, you can request a one-year renewable residence permit at the Préfecture, without going back to your home country.

For a long stay (over 3 months)

  • Long-stay visa for studies, valid as a residence permit, VLS-TS (visa long séjour pour études valant titre de séjour, VLS-TS): this is valid for one year and is renewable; this visa entitles you to work 964 hours per year, travel within the Schengen Area, receive housing benefits from the CAF and the free student rental deposit. This visa is intended for students on Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs, and PhD students who do not have a doctoral contract.

  • Long-stay visa (VLS) ‘passeport talent - chercheur’ (visa long séjour (VLS) mention ‘passeport talent - chercheur’): renewable as a multi-year residence permit, this visa is intended for PhD students, researchers and teaching staff (their families are eligible for the ‘passeport talent-famille’ visa). To obtain this visa, you need a “Convention d’accueil” (hosting agreement) approved by your host institution, which you must then present to the French consular authorities in your country of residence. 

Good to know: There is an official website covering visas for France: france-visas.gouv.fr/ this contains all the information you need.

 

I validate my visa!

If you have a VLS-TS ‘étudiant’ visa or a VLS-TS ‘passeport talent - chercheur’ visa for a stay of less than 12 months, you must validate your visa with the Digital Administration for Foreigners in France (ANEF) within 3 months of your arrival in France.

This procedure is compulsory! To validate your visa, go to the platform administration-etrangers-en-france.interieur.gouv.fr/particuliers/#/ and enter the required information (visa number, email address, date of arrival, address in France). Next you must pay a tax in the form of an electronic fiscal stamp (€50 for a student visa and €225 for a ‘passeport talent - chercheur’ visa). Alternatively, you can buy the tax stamp in a tobacconist’s (‘tabac’).

 
You will receive a validation certificate in PDF format (= validation of a long-stay visa valid as a residence permit). Make sure you store a copy of this PDF, it is proof that your stay in France is authorized. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions (welcomedesk@psl.eu).

 

I open a bank account

If you are planning to stay in Paris for more than 3 months for your PSL study program, we strongly advise you to open a bank account in France. This will make life much easier for you. Your bank will provide you with a RIB (account number, relevé d'identité bancaire) which you will need for certain administrative formalities. For example, to pay your rent, sign up for a mobile phone contract or receive reimbursements for your medical expenses, it is better to provide a French account number.

 

To open a bank account, a bank usually asks for:

  • A photocopy of your ID.
  • Proof of address dated within the last 3 months (certificate of accommodation in a university hall of residence, electricity or gas bill, confirmation of accommodation or tenancy agreement).
  • Your certificate validating your long-stay visa, valid as a residence permit.
  • Your school registration certificate (document that proves you are registered at PSL and that you have paid the tuition fees).
     

Note: Check with the bank directly to find out what documents they require.


A word of advice:

 

  • Find out whether your bank in your own country is partnered with a French bank. If so, opening a bank account in France could be easier.
  • Opening a bank account in France and obtaining you bank card may take some time: make your application as soon as you arrive in France and bring some cash with you.
  • There are many banks in France. Some banks may have a stand at your PSL school at the beginning of term; ask the administration at your school! Some of the best-known French banks are BNP Paribas, Société Générale, Banque Postale, LCL, Caisse d’épargne, but there are others. At the Cité Universitaire (CIUP, 17 boulevard Jourdan, RER B Cité Universitaire), the BNP Paribas branch is possibly more accustomed to dealing with international students.

 

I pay the CVEC

 

If you have not paid this contribution before coming to France, make sure you do so as soon as possible, as it is essential in order to register at your PSL school.


The CVEC, or “Student Life and Campus Contribution”, is a compulsory fee that most students must pay every year in France (university exchange students are not concerned by the CVEC). To register at your host institution, you must provide proof that you have paid the CVEC. It costs €95 and can be paid online.

The CVEC is used, for example, to help finance access to healthcare, to social assistance in universities, to student association projects, and to improve the welcome given to new arrivals on campus and access to sports facilities.

 

I register at my host school and obtain my registration certificate

Contact the academic officer(s) at your PSL school and follow their instructions to complete your administrative and academic registration. In your personal space on your PSL school website, you will then find your registration certificate.

 

I take out home insurance and civil liability insurance

There are several organizations offering home insurance and civil liability insurance at a reduced rate for students. For example, here are some organizations that offer these types of insurance:

  • Assurances-etudiantes.com
  • Heyme
  • Smeno
  • Mamut

If you have a bank account in France, ask them about the insurance options they offer.

 

I register for French health insurance coverage

If you fulfil the eligibility conditions, register for French health insurance coverage (Assurance Maladie) on the dedicated platform etudiant-etranger.ameli.fr/ once you have arrived in France.

Note: Make sure that you have all the documents required for this process. It’s better to upload everything at the same time and avoid returning to your profile to change documents or upload additional documents.


Like health insurance, the benefits scheme (Caisse d’Allocations Familiales - CAF) is part of the French social security system. You can do a simulation on the CAF website to see if you are eligible for housing benefit; if so, you can submit an application.


Good to know: this process takes at least 3 months. If you are eligible for CAF aid, you will not receive it in the month following your application.

 

As soon as I have my student card, I activate my Izly account

Using your Izly account you can pay for your meals in university restaurants (RU). Download the Izly app. onto your phone and if you don’t receive an activation email, select the option “Recevoir à nouveau l’e-mail d’activation du compte” (Receive the activation e-mail for the account again). Don’t hesitate to consult the online tutorials and take advantage of the student prices at the RU!  

 

I renew my residence permit 4 months before it expires, via ANEF


It is essential that you pay attention to the expiry date of your residence permit and renew it in time. If this is your first year in France, the expiry date is on your visa. If not, the date is on your residence permit or receipt. The application to renew your residence permit must be submitted between 4 and 2 months before the residence permit expires. Don’t wait until the last minute to start this process, otherwise you will find yourself in an illegal situation (and fined a flat fee of €180).


This procedure takes place online, go to your personal space (“Espace étranger”) on the website “Etrangers en France”.

Housing

Finding accommodation

If you are an international student and you have recently been accepted on a PSL program, looking for somewhere to live is certainly one of the priorities on your checklist! To simplify things, we have compiled several options for you, according to the type of accommodation you are looking for and your situation.

Broadly speaking, what PSL can offer you depends on which PSL school you are enrolled at and the type of program you are following.  

You can always carry out a search on your own. But be careful of any offers that seem too good to be true! Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions: welcomedesk@psl.eu  

 

Guarantor

The guarantor, also called the “security”, is a person or a legal entity (organization) that agrees to pay the rent and additional charges and, in some cases, to pay for any damage, should the tenant be unable to do so.

Visale and Garantme are guarantors available to international students.

VISALE

The Visale guarantee is a security payment granted by Action Logement to the student (or young person on a work-study program) who wants to rent accommodation. This service is free. To apply, the future tenant must submit a request to Action Logement.

Conditions:
 

  • Be aged between 18 and 30.
  • For a student or researcher from a non-European Union country, they must hold a long-stay ‘student’ visa valid as a residence permit (VLS-TS) or a ‘researcher-talent passport’ visa. For students from a European Union Member State, they only need a student card and a valid passport.

For more information, go to www.visale.fr/

GARANTME

Garantme offers students and researchers a paying rental deposit service. The service charge is 3.5% of the rent (all charges included). Payment is made only when the rental contract is signed. If you have not yet started looking for your accommodation, Garantme will be able to help you via its partnership network.

There is no age limit for the Garantme scheme. Please consult their website: garantme.fr/

 

Home insurance

As a tenant, you must take out home insurance. There are many organizations that offer this service, normally at a discounted price for students. If you have an account with a French bank, get in touch with them and ask if they offer home insurance at a preferential rate.

This is a non-exhaustive list of insurance companies:

  • ADH assurances-étudiants.com
  • Axa
  • Macif
  • Maaf
  • Smeno
  • Heyme
  • Allianz

 

CAF  

The “Caisse d’Allocations Familiales” (CAF) benefit scheme is part of the French Social Security system. One of its roles is to provide housing benefits; international students with a valid residence permit are also eligible.


If you pay rent for your main place of residence and this accommodation is eligible for CAF aid, you may be entitled to APL or ALS housing payments depending on the type of residence. You can enter your details online directly for an estimate of the amount of your benefit. The PSL Welcome Desk can help you complete this process (welcomedesk@psl.eu).
 

Note: Be aware that the CAF response times are generally long, they can be weeks or even months.

Daily life

I discover the services available at my university, Université PSL

The PSL school providing your program and all of Université PSL have many facilities to offer you so that you can make the most of your time in Paris.

Go to the website of your host school to find out what services they offer and to the PSL website for more information:

  • Student life
  • Associations
  • Sport
  • Health

I find a Buddy

A Buddy is a student with at least one year’s experience at PSL willing to introduce you to the University and help you as you settle in at PSL.

If your PSL school does not have a Buddy program, don’t hesitate to join the Buddy Program at PSL as a newly arrived international student or “International Buddy”. Read the instructions and sign up on partner.psl.eu   

I sign up for a welcome event

These are not to be missed! Get all the information from your host institution about planned events: welcome day, orientation week, etc.

In conjunction with all the PSL schools, the Welcome Desk team also organizes “Welcome Days” with practical workshops (opening a bank account, validating and renewing your visa, social security, the CAF application) and cultural and social events for you to meet other PSL students and discover your new campus.

For more information on the Welcome Days, contact the PSL Welcome Desk: welcomedesk@psl.eu  

I open a bank account

If you are planning to stay in Paris for more than 3 months for your PSL study program, we strongly advise you to open a bank account in France. This will make life much easier for you.

Your bank will provide you with a RIB (account number, relevé d'identité bancaire) which you will need for some administrative formalities. For example, to pay your rent, sign up for a mobile phone contract or receive reimbursements for your medical expenses, it is better to provide a French account number.

To open a bank account, a bank usually asks for: 

  • A photocopy of your ID.

  • Proof of address dated within the last 3 months (certificate of accommodation in a university hall of residence, electricity or gas bill, confirmation of accommodation or tenancy agreement).

  • Your certificate validating your long-stay visa, valid as a residence permit.

  • Your school registration certificate (document that proves you are registered at PSL and that you have paid the tuition fees).

Note: Check with the bank directly to find out what documents they require.

A word of advice:

  • Find out whether your bank in your own country is partnered with a French bank. If so, opening a bank account in France could be easier.
  • Opening a bank account in France and obtaining you bank card may take some time: make your application as soon as you arrive in France and bring some cash with you.
  • There are many banks in France. Some banks may have a stand in your PSL school at the beginning of term; ask the administration at your school! Some of the best-known French banks are BNP Paribas, Société Générale, Banque Postale, LCL, Caisse d’épargne, but there are others. At the Cité Universitaire (CIUP, 17 boulevard Jourdan, RER B Cité Universitaire), the BNP Paribas branch is possibly more accustomed to dealing with international students.

I take care of my health

International students, apart from the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) and Quebec, and residents of the overseas collectivities (New Caledonia, French Polynesia or Wallis and Futuna): to begin or continue with your studies, you must register with the French health insurance scheme (Assurance Maladie) when you arrive in France on the website etudiant-etranger.ameli.fr  


We strongly suggest to only register when you have all the supporting documents ready:

 

  • an identity document (usually your passport),
  • a document proving that you are registered in a higher education institution for the academic year in question,
  • bank account identification details (RIB) so that you can be reimbursed for your medical expenses,
  • a civil status document: a  full copy of your birth certificate, a birth certificate giving information about your parents (or any document issued by a consulate), a family record book (livret de famille), a marriage certificate. The document must be translated into French by a sworn translator if French is not the original language,
  • a valid residence permit.

This procedure is free and compulsory!

Special cases

Students from the EU/EEA, Switzerland

  • Before you come to France, request a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your social security center, valid for the entire academic year. This is proof that you have social security protection in your home country and means that you do not have to register with the French social security system, provided that you produce this card for your administrative registration. You will not have to register on the etudiant-etranger.ameli.fr website.
    However, if you intend to stay for more than a year, registration with the French social security system is recommended.
  • If you do not have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), ask for an S1 form from the social security office in your country of origin. You should then register on: etudiant-etranger.ameli.fr 

Students from Quebec

  • Before leaving Quebec, obtain form SE 401-Q-102 bis (or SE 401-Q-106 if you are on a university exchange program) valid for the current academic year, which proves that you are covered by Quebec’s social security system. In order to have your healthcare expenses reimbursed, you should go to the CPAM of your place of residence (in France) and present your form.

For all the health services available to PSL students, look at the website: psl.eu/vie-de-campus/service-sante-etudiant

I check to see if I am entitled to housing benefit and I apply to the Caisse d’Allocations Familiales (CAF)

If you pay rent for your main place of residence and you have limited resources, you may be entitled to housing benefit, depending on your type of housing. You can apply directly online for an estimate of the amount of your benefit. The PSL Welcome Desk can help you complete this process (welcomedesk@psl.eu).

Note: Be aware that the CAF response times are generally long, they can be weeks or even months.

Some tips for a successful stay

Before I arrive

  • I identify my contacts at my host institution.
  • I check if I need a visa. If so, I contact the Campus France office in my country of residence, at least three months before I leave for France, complete the pre-consular EEF procedure (Etudes en France), collect the documents I need to obtain the visa and make an appointment at the French consulate.
  • I look for accommodation.
  • I create my personal space on the digital Welcome Desk (the registration link and access code have been sent by email).
  • I sign up for a welcome event (organized by my host institution or by the PSL Welcome Desk, or both!).
  • I sign up for a Buddy Program (either the one run by my host institution or by the PSL Welcome Desk, or both!).
  • If my credit card is accepted on the etudiant.gouv.fr platform, I pay my CVEC.
  • I take out health/travel insurance to cover the period from my arrival in France until I register at my institution (about two months).
  • As soon as I obtain my visa, I book my plane ticket (or I book a flexible ticket so that I can change departure date if I don’t have my visa in time).
  • I request a rental deposit on the Visale website, if necessary.
  • I give my Buddy and my landlord all the details about my arrival in Paris.

When I arrive

  • I pay my CVEC if I wasn’t able to do so before I arrived.
  • I register at my host school and receive my registration certificate.
  • I finalize my Visale application by uploading my registration certificate.
  • I visit the PSL Welcome Desk team to check what else needs to be done (to make an appointment: pslwelcomedesk.simplybook.it/).
  • I attend a welcome event.
  • If French is not my first language, I sign up for an FLE course (French as a Foreign Language).
  • I ask my Buddy to show me some nice places in Paris and on the Université PSL campus.
  • I open a bank account.
  • I take out home insurance and civil liability insurance.
  • If I have come to France on a long-stay ‘étudiant’ visa valid as a residence permit (VLS-TS) or a ‘passeport talent chercheur’ visa VLS-TS valid for less than 12 months, I validate it on the ANEF platform.
  • I apply for an Navigo ImagineR or Navigo travel pass, if I think it’s necessary.
  • If I fulfil the eligibility conditions and if I have all the necessary documents, I sign up to the French social security system, Assurance Maladie, on the dedicated page: etudiant-etranger.ameli.fr/
  • I do a simulation on the CAF website to see if I am eligible and I submit an application for housing benefit. si je ne n’ai pas pu le faire avant mon arrivée.

A few weeks after my arrival

  • I find out about PSL student organizations, the PSL Orchestra & Choir, registering with PSL Sport and the activities of the PSL Welcome Desk.
  • As soon as I have my student card, I activate my Izly account, if possible, to pay for my meals at the university restaurant.
  • I contact the Embassy of my home country in Paris / I sign up for their Newsletter to keep up to date with future events and to meet fellow citizens.

During the academic year

  • I renew my residence permit 4 months before it expires via ANEF, and no later than 2 months before it expires.
  • If I have not heard anything about my French Social Security number two months after my online registration, I contact the PSL Welcome Desk (welcomedesk@psl.eu) to ask them to help me get in touch with Assurance Maladie.
  • If I want to, I make an appointment to check in with the PSL Welcome Desk (pslwelcomedesk.simplybook.it/).
Some tips for a successful stay

Before I arrive

  • I identify my contacts at my host institution.
  • I check if I need a visa. If so, I contact the Campus France office in my country of residence, at least three months before I leave for France, complete the pre-consular EEF procedure (Etudes en France), collect the documents I need to obtain the visa and make an appointment at the French consulate.
  • I look for accommodation.
  • I create my personal space on the digital Welcome Desk (the registration link and access code have been sent by email).
  • I sign up for a welcome event (organized by my host institution or by the PSL Welcome Desk, or both!).
  • I sign up for a Buddy Program (either the one run by my host institution or by the PSL Welcome Desk, or both!).
  • If my credit card is accepted on the etudiant.gouv.fr platform, I pay my CVEC.
  • I take out health/travel insurance to cover the period from my arrival in France until I register at my institution (about two months).
  • As soon as I obtain my visa, I book my plane ticket (or I book a flexible ticket so that I can change departure date if I don’t have my visa in time).
  • I request a rental deposit on the Visale website, if necessary.
  • I give my Buddy and my landlord all the details about my arrival in Paris.

When I arrive

  • I pay my CVEC if I wasn’t able to do so before I arrived.
  • I register at my host school and receive my registration certificate.
  • I finalize my Visale application by uploading my registration certificate.
  • I visit the PSL Welcome Desk team to check what else needs to be done (to make an appointment: pslwelcomedesk.simplybook.it/).
  • I attend a welcome event.
  • If French is not my first language, I sign up for an FLE course (French as a Foreign Language).
  • I ask my Buddy to show me some nice places in Paris and on the Université PSL campus.
  • I open a bank account.
  • I take out home insurance and civil liability insurance.
  • If I have come to France on a long-stay ‘étudiant’ visa valid as a residence permit (VLS-TS) or a ‘passeport talent chercheur’ visa VLS-TS valid for less than 12 months, I validate it on the ANEF platform.
  • I apply for an Navigo ImagineR or Navigo travel pass, if I think it’s necessary.
  • If I fulfil the eligibility conditions and if I have all the necessary documents, I sign up to the French social security system, Assurance Maladie, on the dedicated page: etudiant-etranger.ameli.fr/
  • I do a simulation on the CAF website to see if I am eligible and I submit an application for housing benefit.

A few weeks after my arrival

  • I find out about PSL student organizations, the PSL Orchestra & Choir, registering with PSL Sport and the activities of the PSL Welcome Desk.
  • As soon as I have my student card, I activate my Izly account, if possible, to pay for my meals at the university restaurant.
  • I contact the Embassy of my home country in Paris / I sign up for their Newsletter to keep up to date with future events and to meet fellow citizens. 

During the academic year

  • I renew my residence permit 4 months before it expires via ANEF, and no later than 2 months before it expires.
  • If I have not heard anything about my French Social Security number two months after my online registration, I contact the PSL Welcome Desk (welcomedesk@psl.eu) to ask them to help me get in touch with Assurance Maladie.
  • If I want to, I make an appointment to check in with the PSL Welcome Desk (pslwelcomedesk.simplybook.it/).
Working during your studies

Labor laws in France

  • If you are not from the European Union, you are authorized to work during your studies in France as long as you are enrolled at an institution that entitles you to join the students’ Social Security scheme and you have a long-stay student visa (VLS-TS “étudiant”) or a student residence permit.

  • You can work up to 964 hours per year, which corresponds to 60% of the normal working hours permitted in France. However, the duration of work authorized is proportional to the duration of your studies (e.g. 482 hours maximum for a course lasting 6 months). If you are an international student from the European Union, you are also allowed to work up to 964 hours per year.

  • Legislation changes on a regular basis, and there are several exceptions. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the PSL Welcome Desk: welcomedesk@psl.eu.

  • Remember that even if you have the possibility of working during your studies, this will not enable you to cover all your expenses. A student job can only ever be considered as extra income.

See all the summary data sheets updated on: www.etudiant.gouv.fr/en/employment-contracts-legal-reference-points-1720

Internships

If you are on an internship, its duration is not included in the permitted working time of 964 hours (or 822.5 hours for Algerian students). An internship is governed by an internship agreement, equivalent to an employment contract covering internships. This document defines the conditions of the internship (duration, remuneration, social security cover for the intern) and must be signed by your educational institution, your host company and yourself.

Note: compensation for internships is compulsory in France if they last more than two months.

SMIC (salaire minimum de croissance) or guaranteed minimum wage:

This is the minimum legal wage in France. The hourly rate varies every year (about 10.85€ gross/hour in 2022): www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F2300

Guides

Explore the following documents to help you when you renew your residence permit, register with the French Social Security system, look for accommodation or find answers to general questions about how much to budget for in Paris.

These guides are for information only and are not contractually binding on Université PSL. The information has been taken from various government websites and is based on the experiences of the PSL Welcome Desk, but it may be subject to change as the departments evolve, or for other reasons.

Don’t hesitate to contact us at welcomedesk@psl.eu if you have questions or comments.

- Preparing your budget: FR / EN
- Finding a home: FR / EN
- Finding a guarantor: FR / EN
- Renewing your student residence permit: FR / EN