Need financial help for your studies in France?

If you need help paying your university tuition, there are many options provided by the French government.

They are also grant offered by different universities. It’s always a good idea to do your research before committing to a school.

 

Scholarships

One of the easiest and hassle-free ways to get financial aid is to apply to one of the many scholarships available to international students. Right now, there are about 700 scholarships available but the good news is that the Prime Minister hopes to increase that to 2,100 by the year 2027.

The largest scholarships are the Eiffel Excellence Scholarship, the Major Excellence Programme, the Erasmus Mundus Programme and the Ile-de-France Masters Scholarship. All of these scholarships are available to international students but each has specific qualifications. Click the links to read more. For example, the Eiffel Excellence Scholarship is only available to graduate level students.

CampusBoures is a great resource you can use when looking for scholarships. Sponsored by Campus France, this search engine finds you available scholarships organized by amount and field. (Here is the link to copy paste to access their website : https://www.campusfrance.org/en/resource/campusbourses-a-grant-search-engine )

When you have exhausted these options, check your local French Embassy for any scholarships. As often times the embassies will sponsor a certain amount of grants per year.

 

Loans

Depending on the university you choose, you will have different financial aid and loan options. According to different criteria such as your income, your family’s income, you age and field of study. EDHEC, France’s leading business schools, is particularly known for its excess of student loans and grants. They are based on both financial need and academic merit and cover between 20%-40% of tuition. Here are some other universities that provide financial aid:

  • The American Graduate School of International Relations and Diplomacy. …
  • American University of Paris
  • Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales
  • Ecole Supérieure de Cuisine Française
  • ESSEC Business School
  • INSEAD
  • Sciences PO

If you can’t find loans or financial aid within your own school, some French banks provide student loans, like HSBC.

Learn French with Atelier 9

With Atelier 9, you can learn French through their Intensive, Extensive French or Evening programs depending on your need. All in the heart of Paris!

Moreover, the courses are for a maximum of 9 students, so the lessons can really be tailored to you and your level. This is not a textbook kind of courses but the teacher focus on a conversation based method. Teachers are using teaching material such as songs, articles or videos… 

For individual students:

For any of these weekly programs (Intensive French Course, 21,5 hours per week) or more : 10% off when you say you are from Feel Parisien. 

  • 4 weeks (86 hours): 990 euros. 
  • 3 weeks (64,5 hours): 855 euros.
  • 2 weeks (43 hours): 585 euros. 
  • 1 week (21,5 hours) depending on availabilities: 320 euros. 
  • 6 weeks: 1450 euros, 8 weeks: 1910 euros, 12 weeks: 2830 euros.

For any program with 12 lessons weekly (Semi-Intensive French Course, 11,5 hours per week) : 8% off when you say you are from Feel Parisien. 

  • 4 weeks (46 hours): 610 euros.
  • Three-month package (12 consecutive weeks): 1710 euros.

For any programme with less than 4 lessons weekly (Extensive Evening courses, 3 hours per week) and for all other program (private one-one one lessons) : 8%off on listed price when you say you are from Feel Parisien.

  • 4 week package: 190 euros.
  • 12 week package: 490 euros.

Comments and feedback from previous students on their Facebook page:

 

“It’s my fourth week and just one more week left but definitely will continue to learn french in this amazing school that became like a second home with the best team I’ve ever met/experienced.

French is hard and Paris is cold but L’ATELIER 9 really creates an amazing kind, friendly yet professional experience” –  Amir 

 

“I had a 2 week intensive course and I loved it. Small groups, friendly atmosphere and good teachers.” – Anar

Ready to get started? For more informations, check their website!

 

Why you should learn French?

1. Speaking French, will make your integration easier

Not everybody speaks English in France, even in Paris it is not so common. With no French at all in your vocabulary, your daily life is going to be a bit more complicated. Make your life easier by having some basic vocabulary for your everyday life, even if it’s just to ask for a baguette in a bakery.

2. To speak French, allow you to pursue studies in famous universities

If you speak French it will enable you to join famous schools such as La Sorbonne, Pierre and Marie Curie University or in the grandes écoles (HEC, Polytechnic, ESSEC). Students who are proficient in French may also, under certain conditions, benefit from French government scholarships to pursue a third cycle of study in France in all disciplines and obtain an internationally recognized diploma.

 

3. With French, you can travel in a lot of countries

Once you are in France, you might want to discover the countries nearby… They speak French in Belgium and Switzerland! But French is also spoken in North America in the province of Quebec or the bilingual province of New Brunswick. You can even visit more numerous French-speaking countries in Africa where they speak the same language.

4. A language to learn other languages

Learning French helps to learn other languages, especially Latin languages (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese or Romanian) but also English since French has provided more than 50% of current English vocabulary. French will open doors to you to others european languages while you are staying in France and visiting nearby countries.

5. The language of international relations

French is both a working language and one of the two official languages at the UN, UNESCO, NATO, the European Union, the International Olympic Committee and the International Red Cross. Fluency in French is essential for anyone considering a career in international organizations.

6. French: the language of culture

French is the international language of fashion, literature, theatre, the visual arts, dance and architecture. Having a knowledge of French offer you access to great works in the original French, as well as movies and songs.

OFII VISA

The Visa Validation (ex OFII VISA) : what is it ?

Since February 2019, The OFII is now called Visa Validation and is done online between your day of arrival and 3 months after your entry.

OFII VISA

What was the OFII Visa? OFII stands for Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration . (French Office of Immigration and Integration). Once you step foot in France with a student visa, you must register to Visa Validation (ex OFII) to be able to travel back and forth into France after 3 months and during the duration of your Visa. Visa validation is also a step to convert your visa into a student residence permit. Before you had to get your OFII stamp in your passport within the first three months of your arrival in France is mandatory now you just need to register to Visa Validation online and will have a proof immediately after your registration. If not, you will no longer have the right to travel and come back to France.

Getting your Visa and your Visa Validation (ex OFII VISA) in France

If you are a non EU resident, having a VISA for your study in France is a very stressful point. You absolutely need a VISA to come to study in France. To get this VISA, you might need complimentary documents as proof of payment from your school or proof of accommodation. These documents are required for a lot of countries to get the VISA.

Acceptation of your VISA is great but it’s only the first Big step. That’s why Feel Parisien is here to help you with all the other steps of getting settled in Paris (getting an accommodation in Paris, getting a bank in Paris, getting your VISA etc) and let you fully enjoy your stay in France !

You just arrived in France, here is how to do your VISA Validation

In the past, the OFII process was very long and complicated. You had to wait 3 months to have an appointment and sometimes the documents to inform you about your appointment date were lost in the mail which causes a lot of problems.

Now, the French government is aware of those difficulties and is trying to improve the situation for foreigners in France.

Since February18th 2019, this mandatory procedure is totally dematerialized and is done exclusively online. It is therefore no longer necessary to make an appointment with the OFII to make the request.

To carry out this process online, simply go directly to the VLS / TS online validation portal.

It is necessary to have :

  • A valid email address
  • Provide information on the visa
  • Communicate the date of entry into France and the address of residence
  • A payment card online to pay the fee for issuing a residence permit or an electronic tax stamp that corresponds to the situation of the holder of the VLS / TS (for example, 250 euros for a spouse of French or a visitor, 60 euros for a student or a trainee, etc.).

The website is available in French, English and Chinese to facilitate the process.

Depending on the reason of your stay, you may be asked to complete additional formalities, pass a medical examination and / or sign a Republican integration contract.

I really hope you have a clearer view now about what is Visa Validation (ex OFII)  and if you want to benefit from assistance during the totality of this process, don’t hesitate to buy a pack for more tranquility. Mostly, Feel Parisien will be here to assist you in each step.

Feel Parisien help international students to get establish in France by facilitating all their administrative tasks. For more information on our pack or how we can help you through our services just shoot us an email.

Feel Parisien help you through all your administrative: accommodation in Paris, VISA, Visa Validation, health insurance, banking, phone, house insurance, electricity and metrocard. We offer various advantages to our students:

-15€ on their first electricity bill

– a year or 6 months of free bank fees with opening of their bank account before their arrival and a sim card on their first day in France.

– Reduced rents or agency fees for some of our partners residencies.

And many mores!

To have more information on how to settle in Paris or get help by Feel Parisien, check out our offer and what we do!

Got a crazy bill this month? Here’s a few tips to reduce your next one

You might not be aware of it but your home and your daily habits are extremely energy intensive. Not to mention the environmental concerns, those habits can have a significant impact on your electricity bill.

This article aims to give you some tips to reduce you electricity consumption and understand why you might receive a bill for regularization.

What is the regularization bill?

Your bill is calculated on an estimate of your consumption. During the year, your consumption is evaluated so that your electricity supplier can bill you your actual consumption over the year: through the regularization bill.

For example

Your annual bill will be between € 31 and € 50 per square meter. For a studio of 20m ², you will have to pay a bill spread between 620 € and 1 000 €, depending on you energy supplier.

For a 50 square meter flat, it will be between 23,5 to 36,2 € per square meter per year.

A schedule is established for the first eleven months of invoicing but in the 12th month, regularization may be necessary, depending on your consumption. If you consumed more than expected your electricity supplier will ask you to pay the difference, if you consumed less than the estimate, they will refund you.

How to save some electricity and some money at the same time ?

1) Unplug the devices in standby

TV, computers or microwaves in standby continue to consume electricity. It may seem convenient at first to have them plug at all time, but it will cause you a significant loss of money each year.  We therefore encourage you to unplug them to reduce your electricity consumption.

2) Use a power strip

Using a power strip to turn all devices off at once is easier then to unplug all your devices one by one. It will also help you reduce your electricity bill. So, think about buying one next time.

 

3) Find the ideal temperature

Heating is often the first energy consumption item in a house, temperatures vary from one room to another but they should be around:
• 19 ° C in the living rooms and 17° C in the bedrooms

Therefore, don’t overheat your home and make sure you have this numbers in mind next time. Sometimes, wearing an extra sweatshirt at home will actually help you reduce your electricity bill.
Lowering your heating by one degree will make you 7% of energy! Which means 7% of your bill! Save euros €€€€€

4) Take advantage of the off-peak hours rates

Off-peak hours are hours where electricity is 30 % cheaper. It will vary a bit depending on your city or district in Paris but it will generally be around 11pm until 7am.

Use this hours if possible, if you have to run your dishwasher or other devices.

You can find other useful tips here

 

 

 

How to find a guarantor in France ?

A guarantor is a third party, such as a parent or close relative. He will be the one to pay your rent if you can not do it. In France, a guarantor is required to rent an apartment.

Finding a guarantor to rent an accommodation when you are a student, can be a challenge.

We are going to introduce you the requirements needed to have a guarantor in France and others options that exist now if you don’t have one, for you to find the solution that fits you best.

1. The traditional guarantor in France

The first option is to have a “traditional” guarantor which in the case of renting an apartment in France is a French guarantor. A guarantor allows you to pay your apartment monthly with just one month deposit. In some cases, like with the student residence Estudines, International guarantors are also accepted.

In France, your guarantor needs to meet certain criteria:

  • Agencies accept a guarantor who earn 4 times one month’s rent each month
  • If your guarantor doesn’t earn enough, you can have a second one and they both need to earn at least around €2000/months

If you don’t have a guarantor you will have to pay your rents in advance in most cases, sometimes 3 to 6 months’ rents in advance, every 6 months and in other cases the whole stay!

However, other solutions exist now to help you rent a student accommodation and find a guarantor.

2. Garantme

GarantMe act as your guarantor during your stay in France. To check if your are eligible and can subscribe to their service, you have to compiled their file online, they analyse it in 24 hours, certify the documents and issue a deposit that will protect the lessor’s income, up to 36 000 €, for the duration of the lease and its renewals

Finding an apartment with Garantme is simple because they work with real estate professionals that trust them:

  • Student residences: 15 networks including 3 market leaders, CROUS, Nexity Studéa and Les Estudines
  • Real estate agencies: 300 branches and now two large networks Foncia and Orpi
  • Research platforms: Adele, Immojeune, Location-Student, Loc-Services now use Garantme

Who is your guarantor?

A strong insurance company well-known by landlords : GALIAN . Rents, charges and occupance allowances are guaranteed for the duration of the lease and its renewals up to € 36,000 by GALIAN.

How does it work?

  • To be eligible, you need to have enough revenues or financial resources to pay your rent or find a sponsor who has enough revenues or financial resources. Resources can be abroad and they can be savings.
  • You pay 3.5% of your rent for the rental period as the Garantme fee

Ex : for a rent of 500 € and a term lease of 12 months
The annual price is 500 * 12* 3,5%= 210 € (17,5€ per month)

More information available on https://www.garantme.fr/

 

3. Garantie Visale

Garantie Visale is a 100% free solution that will open doors for you.
VISALE is a deposit given by Action Logement to the tenant who pays the rent and the rental charges of the principal residence in case of payment default.

To benefit from it, you have to submit a visa application. Then, the renter accept the demand, you have the guarantee that you will not have to pay any other deposit.

It’s reassuring for the owner with Visale, the owner is secure to perceive his rental incomes during the length of the rent.
You can access your situation at any time, your personal data and documents are available on your personal account.

 

How does it work?

  • You have to be between 18 to 30 years old, no matter your financial situation
  • The rental price should not exceed 1300€ in France (excluded Paris) and 1500€ for Paris
  • It should not be covered by other guarantees (personal guarantee or insurance), not concluded between members of the same family and in case of colocation, it should be individualized for each roommate

The lease must be signed after obtaining the Visale guarantee contract (and before the end of the validity of the tenant’s visa).

More information available on https://www.visale.fr/

Checklist before leaving your country

Checklist of what you figure out before leaving your country

 

Administrative & Identity

Passport with visa

Original OFII form

Copies of each document in your visa application

Livret de famille, if applicable

Original birth certificate with Apostille

Name change documents, if your last name is not your birth last name

 

Medical

Vaccination records

Copies of any important medical records

Prescriptions for any medications you take, and information

on the drug’s formula so you can easily find its French

equivalent

Refill any prescriptions for 2-3 months

Stock up on your favorite over-the-counter medications and vitamins (Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, Excedrin,neosporin, isopropyl alcohol, benadryl, children’s tylenol, cold and flu medicine, cough drops, to name a few.)

 

Driving license

Driver’s license, with AAA “international” driver’s license if possible

Driving record from your state, showing your driver’s license date of issue

Try to ensure you have a driver’s license that can be exchanged for a French license

 

Banking

Inform your bank that you will be traveling overseas so

they don’t flag your account for fraud when you use your card

or log into online banking

 

Your Income Tax Declaration

Declaration Tax : In many countries, like the United States, residents are not required to file an income tax unless they exceed a certain amount or are not citizens. In France however, all residents that spend more than 183 days out of the calendar year in France are required to file an income tax.  

Since you are a student, your income will not be substantial and thus easy to file. Even if your income is zero, you should still file the forms. It’s a show of good faith as a French resident that you are following procedure and complying with the bureaucracy, much like obtaining good credit by paying your bills on time. It will help you in the long run, should you ever seek a permanent residence card or naturalization. It also may increase your CAF benefits and may exempt you from the taxe de habitation. (See this article.)

Some of you will have part-time jobs or paid internships during your time in Paris, both of which need to be declared. (Obviously, unpaid internships do not need to be declared.) If your internship or part-time job is less than 3 months, you do not need to declare it. If you are still unsure, consult with your employer.

 

What amount should you  add to your declaration ?

If you are under 26 years old on January 1st of the year of tax (1st january 2017 for the year of revenue taxes 2017 ) and that you are a student, your salaries are exonerated of taxes in the limit of 4 441€ in 2018.

If your salary is above that amount you only declare the part above that amount.

If you are a student and that you are doing an internship, your internship salary, also called “indémnités de stages” are exonerated of taxes in the limit of 17 763€.

If your salary is above that amount you only declare the part above that amount.

 

When should you declare your revenues ?

The due dates for income declaration depend on your department but they are typically available to fill out in mid-April and are due between late-May and early-June. You can download your forms online here or you may receive them in the mail. For the first time filling out, you will need to include basic information such as name, origin country, contact information when you moved to your current address and your former address. If you are planning to be a long-term resident, you can fill your income declaration out online in the future.

 

Overall, the income declaration process is painless and simple, especially for students like you. If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to ask or purchase an hour of consultation with us to help you through the process.

 

 

 

 

Habitation Tax Explained

Habitation Tax : If you’ve been living in an apartment in Paris this year, you might have received something called a tax habitation in the mail. What is it? And why dd you receive it? 

 

Habitation Tax

A tax d’habitation is a municipal tax issued by the government every year in November to be paid by January 1st to owners or tenants of property within their jurisdiction. Do not confuse this with a “taxe fonciere” which is a municipal tax to be paid by the owner of the building, not the tenant. You are liable to pay for the tax if you have been living in your current lodging since January 1st of that year. Even if you only stayed in your apartment for a couple of months, if you were in the apartment on the 1st you are required to pay.

The habitation tax is determined by the size of the apartment, the income of the owner, as well as a number of other tax factors. It can be anywhere from €90 to €3,000. When you sign the lease for your apartment (or for a student residence),  check to see if it is listed as a main residence or a second residence, as second residences have a much more expensive tax. Also, when you fill out your tax form, make sure to unclick the box that says you have a TV in the home if you do not have one, as this will also raise the price of the tax.

 Why should you pay ?

If you are still unsure whether you have to pay, the first thing you should do is review your lease agreement. Sometimes the habitation tax is included in the deposit fees for the apartment and therefore you have already paid for it. If your lease is unclear, contact your landlord and ask whether you have to pay it or not. Sometimes apartment owners in Paris do not register with the tax office that they are renting and therefore must pay the habitation tax themselves. However, this is unlikely.

If you are renting a room in an apartment or sub-renting an apartment (meaning you have a contract with the person renting the apartment not the owner) then you don’t have to pay the habitation tax.

If you are living in a public student residence, you do not have to pay this tax. However, if you are living in a private student residence, but moved in after January 1st and are living there for a short time period, you also do not have to pay the tax. If you are unsure, contact your administrative office.

Unfortunately, since you are an international student and are not a tax paying French citizen, you are not entitled to any tax reductions. Most likely, you will have to pay the tax and can do so a number of ways. You can simply take a check or mail one into your local tax office, indicating your address, identification and lease agreement. Or, you can pay online and create an account here and elect to pay the lump sum or in monthly installments. You will need your bank account details and your tax information found on the invoice you received in the mail in order to make this account.

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This is the page where you will create your account. As you can see, there are three required numbers all of which are found on your third tax d’habitation, so make sure you keep the original document. The first two numbers are found on the first page and third is found on the last page of the invoice. If you cannot find these numbers or you have lost your tax d’habitation, go to your local tax office.

The good news is that the government is planning on eradicating all of the habitation taxes by 2021. So if you are planning on living in Paris for a long time, you’re in luck!

Looking to volunteer in Paris?

Getting involved in your community during your stay in France is a great way to meet the locals and explore the city in a new way. Community service is also highly valued by employers, so it’s a great thing to have on your resume. There are several organizations in France to help you find the right job. Here are our recommendations.

 

**Warning: some of these recommendations may request that you speak French fluently. Most of the websites are in French so if you help need signing up for a job, ask us for help.

France Benevolat

This organization has the most volunteer opportunities out of any, having partnerships with over 800 French companies and 12,000 events. This organization only accepts French-speaking volunteers.

 

Disco Soup

This organization specializes in sourcing volunteers to soup kitchens and homeless shelters. You can also post service events directly on the website for other young people and students in the area to join.

 

Restos du Coeur

This organization provides a wide range of activities for volunteers, from language tutoring to working at a daycare. It is also possible to directly work for Restos du Coeur if you are looking for full-time employment.

 

Serve the City

This an English-speaking NGO that coordinates hundreds of events around the city for you to get involved with. The organization focuses their efforts on the marginalized populations in France such as the homeless, migrant and refugees, and the abused. The NGO also provides ways to get involved with Green initiatives around the city.

 

American Church in Paris

This English-speaking church sporadically posts volunteer opportunities for English speakers in Paris. Don’t rely on the website, as some of the events are outdated and may not say so. If you are really interested in this church, call  +33 (0)1 40 62 05 00.

 

Secret Spots in Paris: Visit the roads less travelled

So you’ve been in Paris for a while and you feel like you’ve seen all there is to see as far as major monuments. It’s time to explore the roads less traveled in Paris, find spots that you can call your own and assert yourself as a true Parisien. We don’t claim to know every spot in the city, but here’s a list of must-see places to get you started.

 

Amazing Architecture

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Richelieu Library

Built during the height of the Industrial Revolution, this beautiful library showcases a seamless blend of the newest technology of the time and classical architecture. The library can only be accessed by graduate art history students studying in Paris but a little sweet talking with the security guard will get you a peek.

 

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Petit Palais

An amazing art museum with an eclectic collection in its own right, the Petit Palais has one of the most beautiful interiors in Paris, in my opinion. A spectacular example of Rococo turned Romantic architecture, walking through the building feels like floating. Don’t miss the Roman-style courtyard complete with a small cafe, perfect for sunny days in Paris.

 

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Galerie Vivienne

One of the first indoor shopping malls in Paris, Galerie Vivienne is a great place to window shop or catch artisans in the middle of their craft. During Christmas, the Galerie is strung up with dazzling lights and wreaths, making it a happy surprise when one turns the corner into an unexpected winter wonderland.

 

Best Views in the City

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Galerie Lafayette

One may say the best place to see Paris is the Eiffel Tower, but then you can’t see the Eiffel Tower! The Galerie Lafayette is one of the highest points of the city and offers spectacular views of all your favorite monuments. During Christmas, the mall is decked out in twinkling lights and a huge, decorated Christmas tree. Don’t miss out!

Musée d’Orsay Balcony

On the fifth floor of the Musee d’Orsay lies a secret gem. The balcony off of the fifth-floor cafe offers stunning panoramic views of the city, stretching all the way to Montmartre. It’s a great way to end the day at the museum.

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Notre Dame Tower

Another great alternative for stunning Paris views is to climb the towers of Notre Dame. It is free for people under 26 to climb up the 422 steps for breathtaking views of Ile de Cite and the Seine.

Gardens

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Rodin Museum Gardens

The Rodin Museum is a great alternative to the crowded Musee D’Orsay and the Louvre. It has a stunning collection of Rodin’s works as well as other sculptors from the 19th century. Complete with an outdoor sculpture garden, the Rodin Museum is a perfect location for a sunny afternoon and some light reading.

Park at Pont Neuf

Fun Fact: Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge in Paris, despite its name meaning “New Bridge”. At the base of the bridge is a small park that looks out over the Seine. It’s a very popular spot for local young people to bring wine and snacks for a picnic, especially in the evenings.

Parc Bercy and Village 

If you are really looking for places off the beaten path, head to the 12th arrondissement and check out Parc Bercy. Built in the 90s to incorporate more green space into Paris, the eclectic park consists of three small gardens connected by footbridges. Next to the park is the Bercy Village, a cute shopping and dining area created out of old wine caverns.

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Place des Vosges

 A popular rest spot for local Parisiens, this park is a great place for a picnic and a nap on a sunny day. Place des Vosges is one of the only parks in Paris where people are allowed to go on the grass, so take advantage of it. Located in a former palace courtyard, the park offers views of stunning architecture and great people watching.

What if you could discover the French “savoir-faire” with a local craftsman “artisant” ?

This is what the website Lebonatelier proposes. Spend a day or 2 learning about french crafts like making a ceramic bowl or weaving your own art wall. And get you a real souvenir from France!

Check out this article for more secret spots in Paris. Happy exploring!