A personalised
welcome

You will receive an exclusive welcome to help you settle into the School.

 

Administrative formalities for foreign students in France

We explain everything to you in this video:

If this is your first time in France as a student: Validating your VLS-TS visa

The majority of international students arrive in France with a long-stay visa, which also acts as a residence permit. It is a 12-month visa known as a VLS-TS and must be validated upon your arrival in France, and within 90 days at the latest. This validation is done online.

Click on the following link: https://administration-etrangers-en-france.interieur.gouv.fr/particuliers/

 

To validate your visa online, you will need:

- a current email address
- the information detailed on your visa
- to confirm the date of your arrival in France
- to confirm the address in France where you will be staying

You will also require a credit card to pay the visa fee online.

If you don’t have a credit card, don’t worry! You can buy an electronic stamp at a Bureau de tabac (tobacconist’s) and pay for it in cash.

Once online, fill in the information found on your visa: visa number, start and end date of validity, date of issue, reason for stay.

Enter any additional information such as marital status, phone number, e-mail address.

Indicate your date of arrival in France as well as your address in France.

 

Paying the visa fee of 50 euros:

Option 1: you can pay by credit card

Option 2: you can buy an electronic stamp online – this option will be displayed on the screen

Option 3: you enter the number of the electronic stamp that you have previously purchased at a Bureau de tabac.

 

Download the confirmation of your VLS-TS visa validation. You can also download it later by logging back on to your personal account or by downloading the confirmation email that is sent to you.

 

Your visa has now been validated!

You will receive two emails:

The first email will contain your login details. These will allow you to access your personal account, where you will find confirmation of your VLS-TS visa validation (which can then be downloaded if needed). Please keep your login details safe, as you will need to log back on to this portal if you need to apply for a residence permit at the end of your first year in France. The second email will confirm the information you entered online.

 

If this is not your first year in France as a student

For any question about visas and residence permits, contact Claire Fresnais: fresnaisc@excelia-group.com

If you have a visa or a residence permit that will soon expire, remember to go to the School’s International Department to apply for a visa renewal.

Note: if you enrolled in the School but are a minor or an Algerian national, you do not have to validate your visa online. You can immediately apply for a residence permit.

 

Joining the Social Security system

If you are a student who is not a citizen of an EU country, and you are staying in France for more than 4 months, you must join the French Social Security system, which provides health insurance for all French citizens. It costs nothing to join and must be done once you have arrived in France, after you have enrolled in your higher education establishment.

1. Register on the following website: https://etudiant-etranger.ameli.fr

Enter your personal information: family name, first name, date of birth, country of birth, email address, postal address in France and telephone number.

2. Upload the supporting documents required: passport, visa AND your validation of visa or residence permit, copy of birth certificate, proof of School enrolment for the current year, IBAN, etc. Note: depending on your country of origin, additional documents may be required.

3. Create an account and download your provisional proof of registration for Social Security. With this document, you will benefit from French health insurance and will be reimbursed about 65% of the cost of any health expenses.
Submit any missing or non-compliant supporting documents in your personal account, where necessary. As soon as you receive your NIR number (Social Security registration number), you can download your definitive proof of registration to the Social Security system and create your online personal account.

4. Open your personal ameli account at www.ameli.fr or via the ameli application.

5. Apply for a health insurance card, known as a Carte Vitale.

6. Declare your choice of Doctor, known as a Médecin traitant

tutorial on ‘Joining the Social security system’  

Your health 

 

Taking out complementary health insurance

As the health insurance system reimburses you for up to 65% of your health expenses, you may decide to take out additional insurance to ensure 100% reimbursement of your expenses. It’s up to you to assess your needs and choose the insurance that best suits you. We strongly advise you to at least take out a hospitalisation insurance so that in the event of a hospital stay, you will be reimbursed 100% of the costs.

Our partner SMERRA offers special rates to international students at Excelia.

Health insurance

Housing insurance

Contact: smerra17@uitsem.com

 

Paying the CVEC subscription

The Student Life and Campus Contribution (CVEC) is a fee that all students must pay at the beginning of the academic year. For the 2020-2021 academic year, the fee is €92. Exchange students, refugees and asylum seekers do not have to pay this fee.

To pay the fee, go to the following website: https://cvec.etudiant.gouv.fr

Payment is made online. Your proof of payment must then be uploaded to your personal account on WebGaïa.

Tutorial on ‘CVEC’

 

Opening a bank account

It is very useful to have a bank account in France, especially if you are studying in the country for more than 3 months. A bank account will make it easier to pay your bills, receive a salary or housing benefit, and you will need it to receive your reimbursement for any health expenses.

You are free to open an account at the bank of your choice. Make sure you compare the offers of a few different banks, as the cost of a debit card, international transfers and money withdrawals abroad can vary significantly.

To open a bank account, you will need 3 documents:

- a piece of ID
- a proof of School enrolment
- a proof of address

More details

If this is your first time in France as a student: Validating your VLS-TS visa

The majority of international students arrive in France with a long-stay visa, which also acts as a residence permit. It is a 12-month visa known as a VLS-TS and must be validated upon your arrival in France, and within 90 days at the latest. This validation is done online.

Click on the following link: https://administration-etrangers-en-france.interieur.gouv.fr/particuliers/

To validate your visa online, you will need:

- a current email address
- the information detailed on your visa
- to confirm the date of your arrival in France
- to confirm the address in France where you will be staying

You will also require a credit card to pay the visa fee online.

If you don’t have a credit card, don’t worry! You can buy an electronic stamp at a Bureau de tabac (tobacconist’s) and pay for it in cash.

Once online, fill in the information found on your visa: visa number, start and end date of validity, date of issue, reason for stay.

Enter any additional information such as marital status, phone number, e-mail address.

Indicate your date of arrival in France as well as your address in France.

 

Paying the visa fee of 50 euros:

Option 1: you can pay by credit card

Option 2: you can buy an electronic stamp online – this option will be displayed on the screen

Option 3: you enter the number of the electronic stamp that you have previously purchased at a Bureau de tabac.

 

Download the confirmation of your VLS-TS visa validation. You can also download it later by logging back on to your personal account or by downloading the confirmation email that is sent to you.

 

Your visa has now been validated!

You will receive two emails:

The first email will contain your login details. These will allow you to access your personal account, where you will find confirmation of your VLS-TS visa validation (which can then be downloaded if needed). Please keep your login details safe, as you will need to log back on to this portal if you need to apply for a residence permit at the end of your first year in France. The second email will confirm the information you entered online.

 

If this is not your first year in France as a student

For any question about visas and residence permits, contact Claire Fresnais: fresnaisc@excelia-group.com

If you have a visa or a residence permit that will soon expire, remember to go to the School’s International Department to apply for a visa renewal.

Note: if you enrolled in the School but are a minor or an Algerian national, you do not have to validate your visa online. You can immediately apply for a residence permit.

 

Joining the Social Security system

If you are a student who is not a citizen of an EU country, and you are staying in France for more than 4 months, you must join the French Social Security system, which provides health insurance for all French citizens. It costs nothing to join and must be done once you have arrived in France, after you have enrolled in your higher education establishment.

1. Register on the following website: https://etudiant-etranger.ameli.fr

Enter your personal information: family name, first name, date of birth, country of birth, email address, postal address in France and telephone number.

2. Upload the supporting documents required: passport, visa AND your validation of visa or residence permit, copy of birth certificate, proof of School enrolment for the current year, IBAN, etc. Note: depending on your country of origin, additional documents may be required.

3. Create an account and download your provisional proof of registration for Social Security. With this document, you will benefit from French health insurance and will be reimbursed about 65% of the cost of any health expenses.
Submit any missing or non-compliant supporting documents in your personal account, where necessary. As soon as you receive your NIR number (Social Security registration number), you can download your definitive proof of registration to the Social Security system and create your online personal account.

4. Open your personal ameli account at www.ameli.fr or via the ameli application.

5. Apply for a health insurance card, known as a Carte Vitale.

6. Declare your choice of Doctor, known as a Médecin traitant

tutorial on ‘Joining the Social security system’  

Your health 

 

Taking out complementary health insurance

As the health insurance system reimburses you for up to 65% of your health expenses, you may decide to take out additional insurance to ensure 100% reimbursement of your expenses. It’s up to you to assess your needs and choose the insurance that best suits you. We strongly advise you to at least take out a hospitalisation insurance so that in the event of a hospital stay, you will be reimbursed 100% of the costs.

Our partner SMERRA offers special rates to international students at Excelia.

Contact: smerra17@uitsem.com

 

Paying the CVEC subscription

The Student Life and Campus Contribution (CVEC) is a fee that all students must pay at the beginning of the academic year. For the 2020-2021 academic year, the fee is €92. Exchange students, refugees and asylum seekers do not have to pay this fee.

To pay the fee, go to the following website: https://cvec.etudiant.gouv.fr

Payment is made online. Your proof of payment must then be uploaded to your personal account on WebGaïa.

Tutorial on ‘CVEC’

 

Opening a bank account

It is very useful to have a bank account in France, especially if you are studying in the country for more than 3 months. A bank account will make it easier to pay your bills, receive a salary or housing benefit, and you will need it to receive your reimbursement for any health expenses.

You are free to open an account at the bank of your choice. Make sure you compare the offers of a few different banks, as the cost of a debit card, international transfers and money withdrawals abroad can vary significantly.

To open a bank account, you will need 3 documents:

- a piece of ID
- a proof of School enrolment
- a proof of address

 

More details

Accommodation in France

Linguistic guide

There are many accommodation options available for your time in France. You can choose between accommodation in the public sector (CROUS) or in the private sector, in a student residence or in an apartment, alone or in a shared apartment/house, in a room in a private home or in independent accommodation...

Whichever you decide, we recommend that you start your housing search as soon as possible. Don’t hesitate to reserve accommodation in advance, even if it’s temporary, so that you have a roof over your head when you arrive. This will give you time to look for permanent accommodation in a relaxed manner.

 

Public sector university residences (CROUS)

The CROUS residences are public-owned and State-subsidised. This is the most popular type of accommodation for students. It has many advantages: the rent is low, your place of study is close by, and there is a good social life. However, for this accommodation, priority is given to students receiving grants from the French Government.

 

Private student residences

These are more expensive than the CROUS accommodation but they also have many advantages: communal living, furnished rooms, internet, laundry, gym, etc.

In La Rochelle, there are a number of private student residences including Les Estudines, New Rochelle, Appart'City, Cap'Etudes, and H2O. For this type of residence in La Rochelle, you will have to budget for an average of €550 per month.

 

Private sector accommodation

These are privately owned apartments rented by individuals or via real estate agencies. You can rent a whole apartment or a single room in an apartment/house.

The prices reflect the local real estate market, and vary considerably from city to city. In La Rochelle, you should budget for a minimum of €480 for an individual studio, in Tours it is more likely to be €450 for a similar studio.

To rent an apartment directly from a private individual, without going through an agency, you can consult the advertisements on the sites Particulier à Particulier or leboncoin.

Many students choose to rent larger apartments and to share the apartment with others. This makes it possible to split not only the rent, but also the costs of electricity, gas and internet. You can find roommate ads on the sites appartagerroomlalaimmojeune, or la carte des colocs.

 

Room in a private house

International students often choose to live with a French family as it is an ideal way to help them improve their language ability! It is a practical and economical solution: a room of your own in an apartment or a house, living with a local family, and benefitting from home comforts with all the facilities you need.

 

The guarantor

In France, whether you are a foreigner or French, a guarantor is always required when you rent an apartment. A guarantor is someone who agrees to pay your rent if you can no longer afford to do so.

Your guarantor must be French. If you don’t have one, other solutions are available to you: the VISALE guarantee (provision of rental guarantee) or the Studapart Guarantee (if you use Studapart – Excelia’s student accommodation platform). Thanks to this platform, international students without a French guarantor can have access to the Studapart Guarantee, a paid service that replaces the French guarantor.

 

The tenancy agreement

This is the rental agreement signed by both parties: the tenant (you) and the owner (also known as the landlord). Make sure you have signed a lease before taking possession of a property. Whether you are renting from an individual, a host family, in a private or a CROUS residence, a rental agreement is compulsory. It provides legal proof of the transaction between the two parties and it specifies the clauses of the contract (duration, monthly rent, amount of the deposit, departure notice required). Never agree to rent a property without a tenancy agreement, as you would be taking a major risk.

 

Inventory

This is a document that records the condition of the accommodation on the day you become a tenant, and on the day you leave the property. It shows the condition of the walls, floors and furniture. It may also contain a list of the equipment provided if the accommodation is furnished.

There are two inventories of fixtures and fittings:

- The inventory on entry (when you arrive)

- The inventory on exit (when you leave)

These documents must be signed by both parties.

 

Understanding classified ads

The number of rooms indicated in the classified ads corresponds to the number of ‘living spaces’ (bedrooms, lounge, dining room). It does not include the kitchen, bathroom or corridors. For example, an ad specifying ‘deux pièces’ means that the accommodation will include one bedroom and a lounge, in addition to a kitchen area and a bathroom or shower room.

To help you, here is a list of the most common words and abbreviations:

 

Studio: one room with a kitchenette in it

T2 or F2: a two-room apartment

T3 or F3: a three-room apartment

SDB: bathroom (with a bath)

SDE/Salle d’eau: shower room

RDC: Ground floor

Asc: Lift

TBE: Very good condition

CC: Utilities and other charges included. These amounts are included in the rental cost to cover the maintenance of the building as well as any other communal charges (cleaning of the common areas such as stairwells, rubbish collection, etc)

 

Important advice:

Don’t wait until you arrive in France to start your accommodation search – make enquiries online from wherever you are! Beware of rents that are too low Try to rent furnished accommodation – this will save you money when moving in.
  • Never send money ahead, without having first signed a contract and having spoken directly with the rental organisation
  • Avoid paying rent in advance

Welcome to La Rochelle! 

 

Excelia’s Platform

Excelia has its own accommodation platform to help you with your search and reservation. 

Studapart platform

Via this platform, you can access offers for residences or from private individuals, you can also buy the Studapart Guarantee if you do not have a French guarantor, and you can also reserve your accommodation remotely, even before arriving in France. It’s very helpful when applying for a visa! As soon as you are enrolled at the School, you will receive instructions about how to connect to the platform.

And remember… think ahead! Start your search at least two months before the start of your programme.

Below, you will find links containing useful information about the platform:

How to log on

Presentation

 

Visale guarantee

The Visale guarantee makes it easier for you to rent accommodation! Visale covers unpaid rent as well as any damage to the property occupied. It is not only a reliable guarantee but it is free, and will strengthen your rental application. It is very useful for students who do not have a guarantor.

Visale guarantee

"Buddy" scheme for international students

Buddy Programme is the name of Excelia’s programme whereby international students are supported and guided by local Excelia students. The objective of the scheme is to ensure that you are accompanied and guided by a peer, before your arrival in France and even during the first few days in the country.

The role of the buddy relies on everyone’s goodwill: providing advice to the newcomer before they leave their home country, welcoming them at the train station upon arrival, and even showing them around for the first month to help them find out about the best student deals in the city. So, if you’re coming to Excelia, don’t hesitate to sign up to the Buddy Programme and benefit from valuable advice from students who have already been down the same road!

To register

Newcomer guide

Buddy guide

Worth watching

Links to useful online resources

 

Welcome handbook 2021-2022 La Rochelle campus

Welcome handbook 2021-2022 Tours Campus

Linguistic guide

Making an individual appointment

Once you arrive in La Rochelle, if you would like to meet us, you can make an individual appointment from the 5th January until the complete reopening of our buildings (8th February 2021, subject to changes in government regulations).

To book an appointment

baraduce@excelia-group.com

fresnaisc@excelia-group.com

 

WELCOME DAYS 

As international students, you will receive an exclusive welcome to help you settle into the School and to discover the city of La Rochelle, your new study environment. The ‘Welcome Days’, organised by Student Life - key interlocutor for non-academic matters - bring together the School’s international newcomers, whether or not on an exchange programme. The two Welcome Days take place at the beginning of the academic year, just before the start date of your programme.

Welcome Days… so what’s on the agenda?

  • Welcome speech and breakfast
  • Guided tour of the School and the campus
  • Final administrative elements relating to your registration
  • Meet your International Coordinator
  • Introduction to the various student associations and clubs, in particular the BDI (Bureau des Internationaux – International Students Office)
  • Themed workshops (e.g. French culture, work methodology etc.)
  • Guided tour of the city of La Rochelle
  • Team activities (e.g. rock-climbing in La Rochelle, stand-up paddle on Île de Ré etc.)

Welcome Days 2018 © 2018 - Laurinda Hudgens, Excelia, All rights reserved


LA ROCHELLE STUDENT BAY 

Each year, La Rochelle welcomes some 13 000 students. Every year since 2011, the Town Hall, with the support of the city’s higher education establishments, has organised a series of events to welcome new students to the city and the local region. The aim is to provide an opportunity for students to get to know each other and to discover their new study environment. These events come under the banner ‘La Rochelle Student Bay’ and comprise 4 key highlights, with the festivities kicking off with a major free concert. In 2017, the 7th La Rochelle Student Bay brought together…

  • 1200 students for the opening concert, with music from Janeration and Smokey Joe & The Kid
  • 250 international students, who boarded the boat L’Espérance for an unforgettable cruise around La Rochelle’s 3 ports
  • 350 students, who competed in teams in the various nautical activities on the Grand Pavois beach. The Grand Pavois is a major La Rochelle event, whose dates coincide with the start of the academic year. Attracting some 100 000 visitors over 6 days, with some 800 international brands exhibiting and with 750 boats on display (of which 300 in-water), the Grand Pavois is one of the 5 largest international in-water boat shows
  • a multitude of students who gathered in the Minimes area for a giant picnic, student concerts and to find out about the various student associations and clubs

In 2018, the 8th La Rochelle Student Bay brought together 750 students for the opening concert, with music from artists of international fame: Chill Bump, DJ Fly & Dj Netik and Bampa. It took place at La Sirène, the famous live music menue in La Rochelle. It was the opportunity for students to start the academic year in a festive atmosphere. International students had also the opportunity to board the boat L’Espérance for an the traditional cruise around La Rochelle’s 3 ports to discover the city from a different angle.

Cruise for international students


Cruise for international students © 2018 - Communauté d'Agglomération de La Rochelle, All rights reserved


MEETING YOUR INTERNATIONAL COORDINATOR

Studying in a foreign country is not as simple as it may seem. To help you settle in, and to accompany you throughout your studies, our Office Managers, working across the globe, will support and guide you right from your initial contact with them. They will provide you with personalised support in preparing for the admissions tests as well as assisting you with all the administration associated with studying in France. They will be on hand throughout your time with us, and sometimes organise get-togethers at the start of the academic year to make sure that everything is going smoothly.

Welcome to our international students


Meeting with a group of international students for September intake © 2018 - Excelia, All rights reserved
Avec Valérie Le Dé (Head of International Development Europe, MENA, India & Latin America)
et Saloie Ayadi (International Recruitment Manager for Maghreb area)

en