Prepare your stay
Before you leave, it is strongly recommended that you draw up an accurate budget to get an idea of living expenses. Don’t forget to include any family contributions, scholarships, jobs, etc.
Students benefit from certain discounts/deals for university residences, restaurants, public transport and entertainment. You may also be eligible for the government benefit “CAF” [Caisse d’allocation familiale].
You will need an overall monthly budget of between €450 and €700, depending on whether you intend to live in university halls of residence or private accommodation.
Be aware that your initial expenses may be much higher than expected due to university registration fees and rental deposits.
The following table is a brief overview of the estimated living costs. (Please note that the information below is for guidance purposes only).
|Expence||University residence||Downtown studio apartment|
|AVERAGE MONTHLY LIVING EXPENSES|
|RENT||€162 standard room
€237 renovated room
Rechargeable meal card (minimum refill: €20)
Single meal price: €3.15
|Transport||€1.40 single ticket, €26.65 monthly pass|
|BE CAREFUL OF ADDITIONAL COSTS: YOU MAY BE REQUIRED TO PAY THE FOLLOWING AMOUNTS UPON ARRIVAL|
|Security deposit||152 standard room
€227 renovated room
|Electricity/gas/water connections||€0||You should receive your first bill within two months. You may have to pay up to €100 (meter hook-up, 2 months of free service included).|
|Insurance (home/contents insurance)||€36/year||€60/year|
|Social security (required for non-European residents)||€211|
(for non-European students requiring visas)
|€58 for long-term visa
€77 for first residence permit application
|Weather-appropriate clothing (for the Breton climate!)||€250|
International students may be eligible for government grants awarded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for education, internships, or language courses in France. Most of them are allocated by the cooperation and cultural services in French Embassies and Consulates abroad. Prior to departure, prospective candidates must contact these services in their country of origin to obtain any relevant information, including acceptance criteria, selection process, and necessary documents. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs website lists the different grants available.
As an international student, you can open (in euros or another currency) a non-resident or a resident bank account, depending on the length of your stay.
The RIB [Relevé d’Identité Bancaire], available from your bank, is a printout of your bank account details. This is needed for most transactions on your account (e.g. salary, grants, direct debits/standing orders, etc.).
Debit and credit cards
Major credit cards, including Visa and Mastercard, are accepted by most French retailers (sometimes a €10 minimum spend applies). ATMs/cash machines can be found almost everywhere. Cash payments are accepted in euros only.
Cheques in currencies other than euros are rarely accepted by retailers.