To France

Lost in France? We asked Frantastique.com to provide some advice on the best ways to learn French. See their 6 top tips to learning French.

For study

Bienvenyou intends to list all the business schools, colleges and other institutions across Paris and the Ile-de-France that provide courses for English speaking students. EU members do not require a student visa to study in France and can apply directly to the university or graduate school of their choice.

Non EU members need to apply to their local French consulate for a student visa. When applying at the consulate you will need to present a passport that is valid for a period of three months beyond the last day of your intended stay in France. Each application must be filled out individually and handwritten in black ink.

You will need to furnish the original and one copy of:

  • proof of studies in your country degree or letter from your school or university
  • letter of admission from the school or university that you wish to attend in France
  • and a financial guarantee such as a notarized statement certifying that you will be provided with a monthly allowance of $600 USD for the duration of your stay in France; alternatively you must provide proof of personal income. If you can provide a letter (+ 1 copy) from your educational establishment stating that room, board, and tuition are fully prepaid an allowance of $400 USD will be accepted.

You must also present a document from your insurance company that states that you are covered in case of illness or injury during your time in France.

When visiting the French consulate it is advisable to bring plenty of passport photos with you. And something to read.

There are three kinds of student visas available:

  • A Schengen visa for a stay of up to 3 months; this visa allows for multiple visits to the EU. A student residency card known as a carte de séjour (the student residency card) is not required.
  • The temporary long stay visa, valid from 3 to 6 months; this also allows for multiple visits. A carte de séjour is not required.
  • And there is the one year visa that you can obtain at your local French consulate. On arrival in France you must complete the proper documentation with your school or university. You will also have to go for a medical check-up at the Office des Migrations Internationales. And then, you have to contact the Prefecture de Police in order to obtain your carte de séjour. When visiting the Prefecture de Police don't forget to bring your visa, the original documents previously required for the visa, a birth certificate – plus a certified translated copy – and you must also present to the Prefecture de Police the results of your medical examination and drug test (hah, just kidding you about the drug test).

A one year study visa can be renewed at the Prefecture, provided the following documents are submitted at least one month before the expiration date:

  • proof of continued enrolment and satisfactory scholastic performance;
  • proof of means such as a complete set of French bank statements showing deposits in amounts needed to cover reasonable living expense
  • and proof of continued medical insurance.

Students holding a Carte de séjour can work part-time. Part-time work is up to 60% of the working week, so that's 21 hours per week. The employer will ask you for a copy of your student card, your carte de séjour and for your carte social (social security card). During the holiday season you will be allowed to work full time.

If you wish to learn French in Paris (and hey, while you're here: why not?) You can take free courses at the mayoral town halls in each arrondissement in Paris.