Foreign Students
Advices for day life

What you need to know for your accommodation

Housing Aid – Allocation Personnalisé au Logement (APL).

The « Les Belles Années » residences are eligible for housing aid. This aid is called “Allocation Personnalisé au logement” or “APL”. The Family Benefits Office provides a monthly stipend to help students pay for housing. The amount of the allowance varies according to several criteria:

  • Your income
  • Amount of your rent
  • Number of roommates in the apartment
  • Type of accommodation
  • Location of accomodation

How to benefit from this aid ?

You will need to set up a file with The Familly Benefits Office. To do so, you can obtain an application form directly from The Family Benefits Office in your new city or you can download the form online. In either case, you will need to complete the form and send it to The Family Benefits Office in your host city.
To complete this application you need some documents:

  • A copy of your ID card, a passport or a residence permit of current validity (permit minimum duration = 4 month)
  • A printout of bank account details in your name
  • A certificate of residence, completed, dated and signed by the administrator / lessor
  • The completed application

Your rights take effect starting the first day of the month after moving into your lodging To avoid losing any rent allowance payments you should submit your application as soon as the lease is signed.
More information can be found on these websites:

Home insurance

You are required to insure your housing against rental risks. An insurance certificate must be provided before signing your lease agreement and then again every year after.
Numerous insurance companies, banks and student mutual companies have “multi-risk housing” options designed specifically for students. These options cover risks such as fire, explosion, water damage, theft…
To find the best price, make a comparison on these sites: LesFurets, Empruntis or Quechoisir.

Mobile subscription

In France, you can find numerous mobile phone providers that offer plans without any commitment and allow foreign students to cancel their contract at any time. Prices vary according to need, ranging between 2€ and 20€. You can subscribe on the internet or directly in a store.

Here are the main providers; you can find more information on their websites:

Public transportation

Each city has its own public transport network. As a student, you can benefit from reduced rates on subscriptions. You can find information for a monthly or annual subscription on the public transit company website.

  • City of Lyon, TCL
  • City of Marseille, RTM
  • City of Toulouse,  Tisseo
  • City of Orléans, Tao
  • City of Toulon, Mistral
  • City of Rennes,  STAR
  • City of Angers, Irigo
  • City of Lille, Transpole
  • City of Mulhouse, Soléa
  • City of Montpellier, TAM
  • City of Bordeaux, TBM
  • City of Clermont-Ferrand, T2C
  • City of Amiens, AMETIS
  • City of Nantes, TAN
  • City of Rouen, ASTUCE


If you reside in France for more than 3 months, you can open a bank account. The process is simple, just present your passport, residency card and proof of address. Opening an account in France allows you to:

  • To pay by credit card without additional charges
  • To easily make bank transfers or set up auto payments to pay your rent or your cell phone plan

To open an account in France, make an appointment with a bank advisor. The bank will give you a list of documents to provide at the appointment. Any questions you have can be answered by your advisor.  Here is a list of the main French banks: