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Practical advice for students

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Join the tens of thousands of foreign students who fill the lecture halls of Parisian universities and “grandes écoles” (prestigious graduate schools). Formalities, scholarships, welcome structures: practical information so that your stay in Paris is a success.

Welcome structures: where to go

Upon arrival in Paris, you can go to one of the two welcome structures for foreign students: one at the Cité internationale universitaire, and the other at the Centre régional des œuvres universitaires (C.R.O.U.S. – Regional students’ welfare office). From September to December, you may obtain information on your residence permit, the medical check-up, social welfare benefits, how to open a bank account and where to learn French. 2012 welcome structures : more info

The rest of the year, the international welcome centre of the C.R.O.U.S. and the welcome office for students at the Cité internationale universitaire are there to help. Branches of the CampusFrance agency (formerly EduFrance) in your country of origin may also be able to help you to prepare your stay in France.

If you are arriving outside of the September-December period, you can go to the Bureau d’Accueil des Etudiants en Mobilité (BAEM - Reception office for mobile students) of the Cité internationale universitaire in Paris and to the international welcome centre of the Centre Régional des Œuvres universitaires et Scolaires (CROUS – Regional students’ welfare office) in Paris.  


- Service d’accueil des étudiants étrangers (welcome centre for foreign students)
Cité internationale Universitaire de Paris
17 Boulevard Jourdan – 75014 Paris
RER B and T3: Cité internationale

From Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm – Maison internationale - Tel : 00 33 1 70 08 76 30


- Service d’accueil des étudiants étrangers du CROUS de Paris (CROUS Paris welcome centre for foreign students)
39 Avenue Georges Bernanos – 75005 Paris
RER B: Port Royal
From Monday to Friday (except Wednesday) 9.15 am to 5pm – 2nd floor

Information on welcoming foreign students to Paris (in English) 

The first step is enrolling in a higher education institution. This formality is a prerequisite for the issue of your entrance visa, if a visa is necessary (see “The necessary steps to settling in” section). Enrolment takes place in three stages. Firstly, you must obtain, from your country of origin, the authorisation to study in the higher education institution of your choice. Next, once you have arrived in Paris, you will go to your administrative enrolment and be issued a student card and a certificate of university attendance. These documents will be useful when you request a residence permit. Lastly, you will attend your course enrolment, where you select your timetable, exam options, etc.


Residence permit

- For your first application for a “student” residence permit, you must go to the welcome centre for foreign students.

Centre des étudiants étrangers
92, boulevard Ney - 75018 Paris
Metro : Porte de Clignancourt

To find out which administrative documents are required for your “student” residence permit, you must consult the Paris police headquarters website. Note: there are different formalities for non-EU citizens.

Read the page "Ressortissants étrangers" (Foreign nationals) on the Paris police headquarters website


To stay in France and obtain a long-term visa with student status, you must be able to justify a minimum of resources, on average €460 per month. For non-EU citizens, – if you wish to supplement your income with a student job –, you must request a temporary work permit which enables you to work for the equivalent of a maximum of seventeen and a half hours per week.


You may also apply for a scholarship. There are three types of system:
- French government scholarships allocated by the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Contact the  co-operation and cultural action department of the French embassy or consulate in your country. These scholarships are organised by the Centre national des œuvres universitaires (C.N.O.U.S. – national students’ welfare office) or Egide (an association which manages the State’s international mobility programmes).

- Scholarships allocated by the government in your country of origin. For more information, contact the Ministry for Education in your country.

- Scholarships from international organisations such as Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), UNO (United Nations Organisation), WHO (World Health Organisation) in the guide published by Unesco. If you are an EU citizen, you may be entitled to specific scholarships as part of EU Commission exchange programmes such as Socrates-Erasmus and Leonardo da Vinci.

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