Are you planning to come and study in France, but you are overwhelmed and you don’t know where to start? Do not panic ! From the registration process in your country of origin to the procedures and formalities upon arrival in France, including the visa application, you will find in this article everything you will need to prepare for your start of the academic year.
- 1 Before arriving in France
- 2 Formalities on arrival in France
Before arriving in France
International students have several elements to manage before starting their first university year in France. It is necessary to organize and familiarize yourself with the country of study to reduce the stress of departure and installation, but also to facilitate its integration.
The first steps to take in order to avoid unpleasant surprises during your stay are:
Enrollment in a higher education institution of your choice
As a foreign student residing outside the European Union, the procedure for your registration in a higher education establishment depends on several criteria, in particular your nationality, your country of residence, your diplomas but also the studies envisaged.
Think carefully about your professional project, your motivations and the reasons why you want to study in France.
Whether for a first post-baccalaureate year or after a validated post-baccalaureate year, here are the steps to take:
- Studies for the 1time post-baccalaureate year
Registration must be done on the Parcousup platform. You must submit a complete file online for an application for admission to the university or school you would like to join based on your previous studies and your ambitions. The file must include all the supporting documents requested for the validation of your application.
Once you have received a favorable decision from your establishment, you will have to proceed with the administrative registration and complete the procedure.
- Studies after a validated post-baccalaureate year
Connect to the Campus France platform and create an account that you will activate after 48 hours. Don’t forget to keep your credentials, you’ll need them.
You fill in all the information and the mandatory fields and you select your wishes in the training basket. You will then submit your personal electronic file in the dedicated Campus France area and follow the procedure until you obtain your visa.
Good to know :
Some schools and universities are not necessarily connected to the Campus France platform. The file submitted cannot be the subject of an application file with these establishments. Verification of the admission procedures for each course is essential!
At the time of registration, you will receive a certificate by e-mail or by post. You can then create your folder.
The language test is one of the essential documents to make your study project in France a reality. There are several types of language tests. The most relevant are the TCF (French Knowledge Test) and the TEF (French Evaluation Test). These tests are requested by major schools and universities to validate your registration.
The language test is valid for two years. It has four different tests in the form of MCQs (oral comprehension, written comprehension, language structure) except for the written expression test.
Foreign students from a French-speaking country or whose official language is French are exempted from the language test, provided that they study in French in their country of origin.
Long-stay visa application
The visa will only be granted to you after validation of your file by Campus France. Upon receipt of your educational file and your admission certificate, you will begin the process of filing your application to obtain your visa.
Whatever your country of origin and the duration of your stay, get information from the French embassy or consulate in your place of residence or consult the competent visa application centers directly and choose the one that best suits you. to your situation.
Formalities on arrival in France
Faced with the difficulties encountered by young students to find accommodation, there are several ways to find accommodation as soon as you arrive in France: university residence, apartment with a private individual or private accommodation rented by a real estate agency.
It should be noted that the majority of international students do not meet the requirements for filing the DSE (student social file) and are therefore excluded from the initial phase. If you wish to obtain Crous accommodation, you must submit your file on the sitefinderunlogement.lescrous.fr during the additional phase.
You can opt for other accommodation solutions outside the university residence, such as shared accommodation or individual accommodation.
As an international student, you will be able to benefit from certain types of housing aid: APL (personalised housing aid), ALS (social housing allowance) or ALF (family housing allowance).
Opening a bank account
You must open a bank account to pay your bills and subscriptions (electricity, gas, internet, etc.). You can also receive reimbursement of your health costs or your salary if you work alongside your studies.
Validation of your visa
When you arrive in France, you must validate your long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit (VLS-TS) for a regular stay of 4 months to one year in France and to be able to continue your higher education.
Confirmation of the visa must be done within 3 months of your arrival in France and exempts you from applying for a residence permit. The procedures are simplified and it is possible to do the validation online!
Thanks to this validation, you will be able to move freely in all the territories of the Schengen area, work respecting a certain number of hours to supplement your resources, receive housing aid, etc.
If the duration has not been respected, you must apply for a new visa to return to French territory.
Payment of the student and campus life contribution (CVEC)
You must also ask for your certificate of payment of the student and campus life contribution to be able to enroll in a higher education establishment.
Payment of the CVEC concerns all students enrolled in initial training, with some exceptions. The amount of the CVEC for the academic year 2022/2023 is €95. You can pay them online at cvec.etudiant.gouv.fr.
Social protection is a point not to be overlooked! As a foreign student, it is mandatory to apply for Social Security affiliation online on the etudiant-etranger.ameli.fr website to be reimbursed for your medical expenses in the event of illness.
Registration is free and must be done immediately after you register at school or university. Social Security will assign you a temporary number to identify you to the Primary Health Insurance Fund (CPAM).
This number will allow you to create your personal account on the ameli.fr website, to obtain your vital card and to facilitate procedures with Social Security organizations and health professionals.
To complete the compulsory reimbursement of Social Security, it is strongly recommended to take out complementary health insurance.
To guarantee you optimal health coverage, HEYME offers you student mutual insurance from €9.90 per month. Several formulas and levels of guarantees are available and adapt perfectly to your budget and your needs.
With the HEYME student mutual, you benefit from partial or full coverage of your health expenses and many other services are offered!
👉 HEYME student mutual