All you need to know about French student visa

What is the registration procedure when applying for a France student visa? What does a French student visa include? These questions are the most commonly asked by international students. Though the key information is provided, details vary between countries. This article is based on how I, an international student from Vietnam, applied for my visa.

The conditions for applying for a French student visa

  1. Confirmation of Acceptance Letter: You must be invited to attend a course in France.
  • For short-term courses of less than 3 months, you will apply for a tourist visa
  • Courses of 3 months or more will apply for a long-term student visa.

2. Language certificates: If you choose a French program, it is recommended to have a DELF B2 French certificate recognized by France and Europe. Another option is to obtain a TCF DAP certificate of 350 points or more with a writing score above 10. Those whose program is in English should have IELTS 5.5 or higher.

3. Financial conditions: Have enough money to support yourself. You must prove financial to study in France with the amount previously stipulated as 7380 Euro. This amount may increase or decrease depending on the requirements of the French Consulate from time to time.

Other Required Documents: To apply for a French Visa you need to prepare the following documents

  • 02 long-term visa application forms.
  • 03 latest photos (white background; 3.5×4,5)
  • Copy of Passport (valid for more than 6 months compared to the length of the course)
  • Birth certificate (notarized French translation)
  • Certificate of passing the interview round at CampusFrance
  • A copy of your high school diploma
  • Proof of accommodation in France

The process

  1. Fill out the student profile on CampusFrance’s website
  2. Pay the CampusFrance procedure fee
  3. Prepare the documents mentioned above for the following step of your visa application
  4. Make an appointment for a visa interview, also on CampusFrance’s website
  5. You will get your certificate of passing the interview round at CampusFrance right at the end.

I hope this article and information are helpful. Please let us know your thought by commenting below!

Things you must know before applying to university in France

Number 1: Availability of your major

As an international student in a business school, I can confirm that you will have a lot of options for your future major. Given the example of my experience, I was extremely satisfied with all the information my current school provides. Regarding the degrees, they include all the modules for each semester and even the subjects for each major in the third year. However, they didn’t warn me about the requirements and availability for the Finance and Accounting major, as if later on after I joined I would get the details. On my side, I did feel bad for not taking a look or proposing a question. In fact, the number of students who can join this major is limited, and be chosen based on their performance and GPA ranking, which turn out to be stressful and open an unwanted situation for me.

Number 2: Proof of your finances for the visa application

This might not be a big problem for someone studying at a private university. Though, even if you got accepted into a public uni, you still need to demonstrate that you are well prepared for your education. For more information, please check the minimum requirements on the embassy website.

Number 3: Percentage of Students Who Graduate on time

Imagine staying in the same class all over again, could you stay positive? Well, getting to know this figure might keep you to stay focused on the number of hours or efforts you put into your study, especially when others are not concerned about the difficulty of the course.

Number 4: The Total Cost

Checking carefully other things you might need to pay for and add them to your financial plan. For example, printing and visa application fees, and books are also unavoidable.

International student scams you should know about in France

Dear future international students coming to France for your education, it’s sad but significant to warn you that, even though France is such a great country with a rich culture and historical background, it’s dangerous at some aspects. This list of 5 scams can’t cover everything but I will cover the major ones that I or someone I know, have experienced.

  1. Scammers claiming as “government authorities” sometimes contact or email you and demand banking details or warn you that you have violated immigration regulations.
  2. Proposals of employment that demand you to buy gift cards or make a purchase on anything online
  3. Tax forms from a third party seek to reclaim the reimbursement that is legally yours.
  4. Rental scams such as your security deposit are taken but you are not greeted with the keys to your new home.
  5. A scammer will hold you on the phone for an extended period of time and won’t let you hang up to return the call. This happens a lot to international students who don’t speak French because they don’t understand the context and the reason of the call.

Public Transportation in Grenoble

Grenoble, a destination that is surrounded with mountain and waterfall, is still one of the biggest student cities in France. Its public transportation is comfortable enough to use, though, since it’s way smaller than Paris, the metro system does not exist. Well, there are still 3 available options so you can decide on one, or combine them for your daily life.

NUMBER 1&2: Buses and Trams

Tram is indeed the fastest choice. It’s hard to compare the buses in Grenoble and the tram system as both of them are on the ground, sharing similar working hours and way to use. However, in order to purchase the paper ticket, as a tourist, you can only do this at every tram station. Of course, it would be a different situation if you’re a student or you are going to work here for a while. Then, the first task is to go to the office and buy yourself a monthly/yearly card, which will help you saving a lot of money. Though, keep in mind that when booking your place of living. Some might look like it’s close by the city center but in fact, far away and unreachable by the tram. Hence, your only option left is the buses, which are not always on time, most of the time.

NUMBER 3: Public bicyclesDaily rent option available if you live close by your university and only want to rent for a day to go somewhere else. I still highly recommend you to rent it monthly. It would save up your booking time whenever you need it urgently. Also, riding a bike is a type of exercise, the different is, you will have the view of pretty Grenoble. Up to your preference!

How to make a choice on your future university

Not getting accepted into your dream university is indeed sad but getting too many options might also be one of the challenge students have to face. In fact, the majority of students every year apply to at least 7 universities to make sure they will have a secure place for higher education. Sometimes, students don’t spend time listing them based on their preferences and priorities, making it hard to decide. This article is going to show you a few things you could do to clear up your mind and make right decisions!

Number 1: Spend time looking at your program

I know the ranking of your university might be the top matters for you. However, paying attention to the subjects you will learn, the major you can pick later, your career prospects should be your second priority. After all, it’s not always the ranking but what you are going to achieve after finishing this degree.

Number 2: The school activity

Who doesn’t have hobbies and want to spend time with friends? Regional clubs, school associations, monthly activities for students are what you can research on to make the choice. Not every universities has the same association, and perhaps you still want to continue your high school journey of participating in horse riding or archery. Sound exciting yet?

Number 3: The city

Making sure you will love the city as you are going to live there, for a while. Find out what it has or what you can do in your free time. Also, check out the weather and temperature during the year if you have your preferences or any health issue.

Numbe 4: You Parent Budget

It’s your dream and your choice. But if you’re relying on your parent financial help, you should be more reasonable. Provide the list of your universities full of information to your parents so they can suggest you with their lifelong advice and support you.

Number 5: The Drawbacks

We love that honeymoon phase when we just got accepted. Keep it mind that everything has it drawbacks. It’s not like we focus on the negative sides. However, having a look at that would benefit us from difficulties we might suffer from in the future. Can you think of any?

Scholarships and Grants for Students in France

The introduction to this blog holds a piece of great news and a sad truth for international students coming to France. Public universities all over France are free, no matter your citizenship and background. Getting accepted means you are not expected to pay $50000 tuition fees per year like in the US. Though, minor fees have to be spent like visa applications, language testing, 175$ students fee, etc are unavoidable. However, that’s to be said for the public university. How about private schools? Sadly, private schools normally wouldn’t give away many scholarships, even none. Now, we are going to discuss what is available and should be realistic and achievable.

  1. Early Birds Scholarship

Unlike master’s degrees, which provide multiple scholarships even in private business schools, bachelor’s are different. We have limited support and more competitive environments. If you make up your minds early and jump into your higher education sooner than the other, you will have a chance to receive an Early Birds Scholarship. So what is this? Applying earlier than the other students means if accepted, you will get into the school earlier than them. After that, most schools provide you tuition fees discounts for trusting their institution. Rely on this one since it’s only for the first year of your education.

2. Your government educational scholarship

One of my good friends that I met in France, unexpectedly is doing her study under her government support. Coming from Malaysia, she has. great background with a high GPA, great spirit, and attitude. Talking to her, I get to know that her government provides a program for excellent students to study abroad and then come back and work for their country. Even if it might narrow your future choice, you still have a fund and years to study without worrying about financial issues.

3. CAF

The French Government supports students living away from parents with money allowance, aiming to reduce their rent. You can look for it on the website. Type your postal code and start applying right after you move in to receive it the earliest! The link for it:

Thank you for reading!

Part-time jobs for international students in France

As a student, we are young and wild, we love to spend a lot of money, perhaps on ourselves, such as clothes, cosmetics or maybe on our social life. A happy drink at 10pm Friday night or Lady Night every Wednesday still costs a lot. Though we are now, officially a grownup, it would be awkward to always ask our parents for some allowances. This is why, part-time jobs will be the solution, the great deal for our bachelors!

Firstly, understanding rules is a must. For an international student in France, you can work up to 20 hours a week. The given number was calculated based on many factors and is recommended for your study life. You must remember that fun will pass away, but our future relies on how we manage our time. Secondly, finding part-time jobs is actually, not a hard task at all. There’re so many options for you, from being a babysitter to a waiter/waitress. It depends on your preferences and schedules. You just need to make sure that your shift will not affect your classes and your revision time. Thirdly, if this is the first time you have ever worked, you don’t know how and where to start, let’s just go on Facebook. For example, there are groups for people living in the same city as you asking questions about their own individual problems, and you can post your request of wanting a part-time job too. I highly recommend you to ask around, from your classmates to your roommates, perhaps they also work and their places are hiring.

In conclusion, spending your free time working while studying is intense. In fact, the goal of making money to spend time having would not be the same anymore, since you are filled with shifts anyway. How about we just manage our sources and spend them wisely? What do you think?

Different accommodation choices and the way to find your new home in France

STEP 1: Decide on your lifestyle

There are three common accommodation choices for students in France, namely the independent studio, the shared apartment, the homestay, and the student dorm building.

  1. The independent studio: You will have everything that only belongs to you, including freedom, and attached with that would be the same amount of responsibility. It would be the top choice if you are used to living in France and are financially stable. Trust me, no one wants to suffer from new difficulties alone. Though, as an introvert, I love the idea of moving to a studio after year 1, comfort and alone time are coming.
  2. The shared apartment: Having friends that could be your supporters is the highlight of this type of accommodation. Besides some minor conflicts during the stay, my experience was amazing. First of all, it was cheaper than the other options. Second, living with other students gives me an opportunity to expand my social network. Third, you have your alone time, but if you want, you will always have someone to hang out with.
  3. The homestay: Getting deeper into the culture. Well, this experience would be a life changer as it’s not the same compared to the rest of the options. You will get to improve your French much faster since you live with a French family and participate in the french culture every day. Perfect if you’re an extrovert and want to experience new things.

STEP 2: Searching for your dream home

Multiple websites are available. However, I recommend Studapart for 5 reasons:

  • Easy to use and search for what you want
  • Safe for International students (The apartment are checked before being advertised)
  • Secure payment
  • Helpful owner and customer supports
  • Commonly use all over the EU

STEP 3: Make sure everything is on the track

Please start to find your apartment at least 1 month before the day of your Visa Application since you will need proof of your stay for it. Also, carefully check your rental contract because once you signed it, you can’t change the rules anymore. Finally, don’t hesitate and feel free to ask any questions!

5 steps on how to research for university

STEP 1: Start with your dream

Studying abroad is always a great dream. It’s great since it will give you opportunities to grow and focus on self-development. At the same time, there would be, of course, many challenges, but one of the major ones is related to finances. The first step in how research for university abroad is to decide on a country that you desire to do it. It’s not like you can not research many countries, but you have to expect that every country’s educational systems are different, which makes it hard for you to focus on your goal. Then, the question is, what do you want to study? It won’t be a tough question if you already figured it out during your earlier year in high school. Though, I know it’s not the same for many students. I suggest you do some career tests to understand some options that might fit your personality, characteristics, and values.

STEP 2: Ranking Websites

After deciding on where and what to study, an easy following step is to look for a university ranking. It provides you with a list of universities in a city, a state, a country, or like me, around the EU. Well, the basic keyword I used to look for on Google is “Top business schools in the EU”. Sometimes, I would want some more analytical results, which could change into “Business Schools Ranking France”.

STEP 3: Pick some of your favorites

University is competitive. No one could be 100% confident that they will get accepted. However, the Application fee is also not little. I recommend each student apply to around seven universities. It could be different compared to the US, perhaps not enough, but normally seven is a decent number.

STEP 4: Put them into a list

Now, it’s time to practice your MS skills. Please create a list of your university options, including:

  • The tuition fees of your degree
  • Advantages and Disadvantages
  • The Major available
  • Some notes and feedback

This will help you to easily look back on your research and follow the process of each application. I believe it would be beneficial to your parents too, as it shows them how independent you are with your future and give them enough information to trust you with your choice.


How to prepare for your study in France

  1. Take some language class

First of all, if you are already fluent in French, your bachelor’s life would be much easier, in terms of relationships, daily activities, and further administrative tasks. Technically, in order to attend a public university in France, you’re supposed to achieve a B2 level certificate in French, perhaps through the TCF or DELF testing system. However, many business schools and private universities offer courses and degrees in English to attract more international students, which means these students are required to speak French in class. Though there is so much more out there to explore, such as, having a part-time job in a french coffee shop, or hanging out with the french associations. That’s why learning at least the basics would be beneficial. And for your knowledge, the french, they do love their language, like a lot!

2. Make a list of what to bring

You’re moving to France, the kingdom of fashion, living the dream life of most people. Well, it’s not necessary to bring too many clothes. As a matter of fact, you will definitely buy new clothing items real soon, probably right after landing. Then, what you need to carefully look through is your important document. For example, if you want to apply for CAF, with the hope of receiving funds from the government, you will need to submit personal information on paper, which is kind of a challenge for newcomers. Printing here is weirdly expensive and hard to find. Print beforehand so that you can use it whenever you need to.

3. Social Life

Please, go find and join those groups on Facebook to reach out to people that live in the same city as you. You can’t imagine how helpful it could be. First, you get to know people even before you move there. As a result, you will have some new friends to hang out with right away. Second, most of your problems could be solved if you post your questions and explain the situation there. Seriously, people are trying to help you if they can. Perhaps after living there for a year, you could help others too. Third, you can seek opportunities, especially summer internships in the same city. Great choice cause you won’t have to move again and again.