Logo Ipsa
Logo CTI

PRACTICAL INFORMATION FOR  INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

IPSA provides you with all the information you need to serenely prepare your arrival at IPSA: visas and immigration, residence permit, healthcare, health insurance, accommodation, housing aid…

VISAS AND IMMIGRATION

EUROPEAN UNION NATIONALS

European Union nationals are entitled to stay in France with their valid EU identification.

STUDENTS FROM OUTSIDE EUROPE

All Students from outside Europe (that is, students from countries other than the 31 countries of the European Economic Zone, plus Andorra, Monaco, Switzerland, San Marino, and the Vatican) must obtain a long-term visa marked ‘étudiant’(VLS TS visa) if they intend to study in France for more than 6 months.

For general information on the European Union and Immigration Policy, please refer to the website : www.europa.eu.

Visa requests should be made to the French consulate or embassy in your country of origin before your departure. There is a minimum 3-week waiting period.

For more information, go to: www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/coming-to-france/ .

A national French representative is also of a good help. Please refer to the nearest CampusFrance office to get to know if your country is a part of the CEF procedure (visa facilitator with countries under agreement with France) : www.campusfrance.org/en

4 VERY IMPORTANT PIECES OF ADVICE

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED WHEN APPLYING FOR A VISA

This is a provisional list. Each applicant should refer to the French Embassy or Consulate of his/her country of residence as documents may vary from country to country.

RESIDENCE PERMIT ‘CARTE DE SÉJOUR’

International healthcare in FranceSince 2009 students getting a Visa long séjour valant titre de séjour (a long stay D visa) can stay in France from 3 months to one year without getting a residence permit provided that they register upon arrival at the OFII. You will find the address of OFII  here which vary according to your residence locations. For instance the Paris OFII differs from suburban OFII offices.

If you hold such a visa you must carefully follow the process when entering France.
You will have to send the documentation given by the French Embassy to your OFII office in the first 3 months of your arrival.

Your OFII office will send you a formal invitation letter in order to proceed with the registration.

Please ask the French Embassy or Consulate if you can benefit from this new process.

MANAGING YOUR MONEY

The official French currency is the Euro, the sole currency used for cash transactions in France.
On arrival in France, before you establish a French bank account, you should be able to pay easily with your "home" credit card if it is one of the major names like Visa and MasterCard. Major credit cards (such as Visa and MasterCard) are accepted by most merchants for payments in excess of 15 Euros. Automated teller machines (cash machines) are readily available in cities.

The French make extensive use of bank cheques. However, cheques drawn on foreign banks are rarely accepted by French merchants. Ask your bank if it is associated with a banking institution in France. The connection may make things easier when you go to open an account in France.
Students staying over three months will need a bank account to pay for essential services. A valid passport, proof of address, and residence permit for non-EU nationals are required to open a bank account.

HEALTHCARE AND HEALTH INSURANCE

The French health-care system is one of the best in the world. The level of care in French hospitals is of very high quality, and universal insurance makes care available to everyone. Students, in particular, enjoy ready access to medical services and preventive care. All hospitals have an emergency room that is open 24 hours a day. Physicians and pharmacies are on call nights and weekends.

THE EUROPEAN HEALTH INSURANCE CARD

Students from the EU benefit from the free movement of persons and extended social protection from their home country. EU nationals must have a European Health Insurance card (valid for 1 year) issued by the appropriate authorities of their originating country.
The European Health Insurance Card is available free of charge through your local sickness insurance institution. You should however register at the social security office near to your school so that they can refund you more quickly.

CONTACT :
ASSURANCE MALADIE CPAM – VAL DU MARNE
1 Avenue du Général de Gaulle
94000 Créteil
Phone : 01 43 77 45 20

For more information, please see the official EU
website: http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/healthcard/index_en.htm

STUDENTS FROM OUTSIDE EUROPE

Non-EU nationals will automatically have to join the French social security system upon registration.
The renowned French system of health insurance reimburses a portion of participants' medical expenses in return for a mandatory annual contribution (215 € in 2015 ).
To be eligible for the national student health plan, students must be under 27 and enrolled in a participating institution of higher education. Students 27 and older can obtain a special health insurance from the CMU: http://www.cmu.fr

You can enrol through your school (IPSA) who will provide you with an application form when you arrive for registration. Remember you need to supply a copy of your passport and birth certificate with a French translation and a cheque for the year's subscription (215€ for 2015/2016).

The social security office, or ‘Caisse Primaire d'Assurance Maladie’, will then send you a green ‘Carte Vitale’, which you should present whenever you receive medical treatment or pay for your prescriptions: http://www.ameli.fr

A ‘complémentaire santé’ (or mutuelle, the old fashioned way of saying the same thing) is a policy which reimburses medical costs not covered by the Social Security.   Depending on the policy chosen, it will cover some or all of the remaining percentage NOT reimbursed by the state. This can be an enormous amount if you need hospital or emergency treatment as hospitalization, a private room, ambulance costs, along with dental and optical treatment, are expensive and refunded only minimally, or not at all by the Sécurité Sociale (la Sécu).

The major student health insurances provide such services through different packages:
www.lmde.fr/
www.smerep.fr/

DOCTORS, DENTISTS AND PRESCRIPTIONS

Visitors must pay for treatment and then apply for a refund of part of the costs from the CPAM. Ensure that the doctor or dentist you consult is "conventionné", that is, they work within the French health system.
After treatment, obtain a signed statement of the treatment given (feuille de soins); you cannot claim a refund without it. You will be charged for the treatment you receive, as well as for any prescribed medicines, and the amount(s) should be shown on the feuille.
When getting prescribed medicines, the pharmacist will hand you back your prescription and you should attach it to the feuille in order to claim a refund. Don't forget to ask the pharmacist a detailed invoice.

For a refund, go to the nearest sickness insurance office (CPAM) with the feuille de soins, any prescription, the invoice and your European Health Insurance Card.

The refund will be sent to your home address later, but it may be subject to a bank charge. This refund process normally takes around two months. Around 70% of standard doctors and dentists' fees are refunded, and between 35% and 65% of the cost of most, but not all, prescribed medicines.

HOSPITAL TREATMENT

You must pay for outpatient treatment and then claim a refund from the local CPAM Office (as above).
For in-patient treatment, the doctor you have consulted or the hospital doctor will issue you with a certificate (attestation). The hospital should then send a Notice of admission - Acceptance of Responsibility (Avis d'admission - prise en charge) form to the local sickness insurance office along with your European Health Insurance Card.

If not, you should send it yourself. If you are treated in an approved hospital, the office will pay 75% or more of the cost direct to the hospital. You pay the balance. You must also pay a fixed daily hospital charge (forfait journalier). The 25% balance and the forfait journalier are non-refundable.

ACCOMODATION AND HOUSING AID

Cafeteria on the parisian campusIPSA does not have its own campus. Students are housed in university residences near the school or rent their apartment from estate agencies or individuals.
To know the different types of housing available as well as the referenced websites, please download the document below.