Prepare your stay
Before you leave, you are strongly encouraged to 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 state benefits from the CAF [Caisse d’Allocations Familiales].
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.
Bear in mind that your initial expenses may be much higher than expected, due to university registration fees and rental deposits.
The following table provides a brief overview of estimated living costs.
(Please note that the information below is for guidance purposes only).
|Expense||University residence||Studio apartment|
|AVERAGE MONTHLY LIVING EXPENSES|
|RENT||€165 standard room |
€244 renovated room
Rechargeable meal card (minimum refill: €20)
Single meal price: €3.25
|Transport||€1.40 single ticket, €26.65 monthly pass|
|WATCH OUT FOR 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|
|Visa/Residence permit |
(for non-European students requiring visas)
|€58 for long-term visa |
€77 for initial residence permit application
|Weather-appropriate clothing (for the Breton climate!)||€250|
International students may be eligible for government grants awarded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for education, internships, or language courses in France. Most of these 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 a bank account (in euros or another currency) as a resident on non-resident, 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. It is needed to set up 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 dispensers can be found almost everywhere. Cash payments are accepted in euros only.
Cheques in currencies other than euros are rarely accepted by retailers.