Welcoming international students
Université Paris Cité welcomes international students who wish to study in France. The admissions procedures upon arrival can be different depending on the situation and the status. Discover the wide variety of services, resources and practical tips enabling you to make the most of your stay in Paris.
Université Paris Cité welcomes international students who are part of an agreement or exchange programme with one of our partner universities. These students have exchange student status.
Independant international students
Université Paris Cité welcomes international students who are not part of an exchange programme and who are not enrolled in one of our partner universities. The admission process will depend on your country of residence, origin and level of studies.
Higher Education in France
The Higher Education structure in France is based on the LMD system. LMD refers to the degree level and stands for “Licence-Masters-Doctorate”.
Visas and Residence Permits
Depending on the student’s nationality, situation and length of stay, a visa may be required to study or do research at Université Paris Cité.
European students are exempt from visa requirements. Non-European international students should check the Campus France website or the websites of the French Consulate of their country for information. As of April 2021, international students can apply for their visa online on France-Visas. This new service is available to students applying for a long-stay visa residing in a country where the visa application is externalised and available online.
Foreign students (non-EU citizens) must obtain a student residence permit, within 3 months of their arrival in France. The student residence permit is not the same as a visa. The prefecture can issue a multi-year residence permit. The request for a residence permit must be made three months before the visa expires or 3 months before the expiration of the previous residence permit. For more information on the application process, visit the website of Ministry of the Interior .
- All requests and applications must be done directly online.
- The holders of a VLS-TS, or Long-Stay Visa valid as a Residence Permit (1st application), must process their application online to finalise their residence permit.
- The holders of a type D Visa (long stay visa) bearing the mention: “residence permit to be requested within 2 months of entering France” (Algerian students) or in the case of a renewal application, will be given a certificate of application with a validity of at least 90 days, pending the issue of their final residence permit.
Assistance is provided to non-European students to obtain their visa or residence permit from the Welcome desk at the Student Life department.
Insurance is mandatory for all international students, whether they are exchange students from a partner university or coming to France as independent individual candidate. There are three types of insurance that are compulsory; third-person liability insurance, repatriation insurance and a complementary health insurance scheme or ‘Mutuelle’. A “Mutuelle” is strongly recommended allowing students to benefit from reimbursements on top of the standard health coverage available in France.
Financial aid and Scholarships
Université Paris Cité and the social workers of the CROUS de Paris welcome international students and provide support in a personalized and confidential manner, whatever the difficulties encountered. Any student of Université Paris Cité, French or international, whether or not a scholarship recipient, who is experiencing specific difficulties, may receive assistance and support from the Student Life department.
Université Paris Cité aims to promote access for international students who wish to undertake their academic studies at the master’s level and for those pursuing research projects at the doctoral level. We offer several types of scholarship programmes. The criteria and eligibility requirements for each programme may be different depending on your situation.
More information can be found on the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs website.
Whatever the origin or situation (an exchange or an independent international student), Université Paris Cité requires its students to have a minimum level of French equivalent to B2 of the European CEFR.
Please note that some courses, particularly in the field of health, require a level of French equivalent to C1 of the European CEFR.
Once registered at Université Paris Cité, it is possible to take French courses throughout the academic year. It is necessary to take an online test (FLE 7) to evaluate written comprehension, knowledge of the structure of the language and oral comprehension. This test allows students to be divided into groups according to their level of French (4 levels of instruction, from elementary (A2) to advanced (C1).
International students can enrol in workshops of French as a foreign language at all levels as well as a beginner course (A1) are dedicated to them.
Living and getting around in Paris
Finding accommodation is an important step towards successfully integrating into Parisian life. It is a step that should be planned before your arrival in France. Finding housing in Paris, as with all capital cities, can be a challenge. It is crucial to start your search in December prior to the year of your arrival in Paris. This will allow you to familiarize yourself with the conditions and requirements for admission to student dormitories.
Budget for your accommodation
- In a résidence universitaire (University dormitory): A minimum of 450 to 500 Euros a month (price varies depending on the type of accommodation)
- As a private tenant: From 600 to 900 Euros a month. If you are planning to rent an apartment, remember that you will need to provide a deposit equivalent to two month’s rent.
N.B.: You may possibly be entitled to financial assistance for your accommodation expenses. The CAF (Caisse d’Allocations Familiales), a family allowance fund, can allocate personal accommodation assistance (APL) in some cases.
As from August 31st 2021, 1 euro is the price of a meal in university restaurants for grant-holders and non-scholarship holders who are in a precarious situation, as determined by the Crous social services. The price for all other students is 3,30€ per meal. Read more
Restaurants: the cheapest ones range from €12 to €15 per meal (in France, service is always included in the price). On average, below are some estimated costs :
- A coffee (espresso): €2 minimum
- A soda: about €4
- A loaf of bread (baguette): about €1.
The transport card to get around Paris (all areas included) costs €75.20/month. With the ‘Imagine ’R’ Student card, students under the age of 26 can benefit from a discount of about 50%.
Opening a bank account
If your main residence is located in a non-European country and if your stay in France is more than three months, it is recommended that you open a resident bank account. However, students should check with their bank in their country of residence whether it is associated with a French banking network.
To open a resident bank account in Euros, three documents are required:
- A passport
- A residence permit
- Proof of residence (telephone or electricity bill, rent receipt, certificate of accommodation,…)
Opening an account entitles you to a cheque book and/or to a credit card. Cheque books are usually free. However, an amount of €15 to €40/year can be charged for a credit card, depending on the bank and the type of card.