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FAQ for international students outside of exchange programmes

I. Planning your arrival in France and your course at the University Sorbonne Nouvelle

  1. Admission process

    Do my documents have to be translated for the admission process?
      In the case of admission via the "Études en France" procedure, most Campus France sites require a sworn translation (traduction assermentée) of your documents by a sworn translator. In the case of admission via the Parcoursup or eCandidat procedures, you must submit a translation of your documents in French by a sworn translator or by the French consular services.

    What French language exams does the University accept?
    In order to apply to the Sorbonne Nouvelle, you will have to prove a level of knowledge of French certified by: preferably the DELF B2 or the DALF C1/C2, otherwise the TCF B2/C1 with a minimum of 10/20 for the written test. More details can be found in the descriptions of each course. Please note that for the Études en France procedure, some countries are exempted from language level certification because French is the official and/or administrative language of the country. You can find the list here. On the following page, you will find the DELF-DALF examination centre or the TCF test centre closest to you.


    Where to take these French language tests?

      If you do not have a C1/C2 DALF or a B2 DELF, you will have to register for the TCF-DAP organised by France Éducation International (ex-CIEP). You can find all the information on the page Test de Connaissance du Français for foreign students who are candidates for a L1 (first year of Bachelor’s degree).

  2. Visas and residence permits

    What is the difference between a visa and a residence permit?
      The visa is issued to you following your admission to the University, and appears on your passport to allow you to enter the national territory. The residence permit must be requested from the Prefecture within 3 months of your entry into France. It is an authorisation for you to stay legally on the territory for an extended period. Please note: the VLS-TS (Visa Long Séjour valant Titre de Séjour) is both a visa and a residence permit which allows you to enter the country and stay for one year. It is imperative that you validate your VLS-TS with the ANEF within 3 months of your arrival. The ANEF is the website of the French Home Department which allows you to apply for or renew your residence permit online.
    How do I apply for a visa?
      The Welcome Desk team has created a complete typology of administrative procedures on 4 topics: student visa application, VLS-TLS visa renewal, working in France during your studies and working in France after your studies. We also advise you to visit the France Visas website, which lists the procedures to follow by continent and place of residence.

    How do I obtain a residence permit?
      Obtaining a residence permit depends on the type of visa with which you entered France. You can consult the public service page dedicated to this issue.

    Does the university handle applications for residence permits and/or applications for renewal of residence permits?
      The university does not handle visa application and/or renewal procedures. The application for the renewal of the residence permit is made directly online 3 months before the expiry of your residence permit - VLS-TS on the portal, ANEF, the website of the Home Department which allows you to make applications or renewals of residence permits online. Once on the site, you must click on : Je demande ou renouvelle un titre de séjour.

      Note: Residence permit applications take approximately 3 to 4 months to process. If your visa is due to expire soon at the time you apply, you will receive a receipt (récépissé) once your application has been validated so that you can benefit from the same rights as with a residence permit.

    What if I have difficulty applying?
    For users who encounter difficulties in submitting their application online, you can first contact the "Citizen Contact Centre" (Centre de Contact Citoyen (CCC)) for any questions relating to your application or any problems encountered, either by filling in a contact form or by calling 0806 001 620, a free, dedicated telephone number with specially trained telephone advisers.

  3. Health

    Is registration with the French social security system free of charge?
      Yes, affiliation to the French Social Security system is free and compulsory for all students in France, whether they are French or foreign. Social Security allows you to be reimbursed for part of your medical expenses as soon as you register at the University.

    What are the steps for my registration?
      Once you have completed your administrative registration at the university, you must register on the Ameli platform dedicated to foreign students by providing the necessary supporting documents (registration certificate for the ongoing academic year or student card, identity card, student visa, etc.), you will then receive your provisional entitlement certificate allowing you to be reimbursed for your health expenses. Once your registration has been validated, you will receive a definitive entitlement certificate with a definitive entitlement number and a social security number, which will allow you to apply for a Carte Vitale (which will allow immediate reimbursement of your consultations and medicine purchases).

    Does my provisional number allow me to be reimbursed for received healthcare?
      Yes, when you register, you will receive a provisional certificate of entitlement with a provisional number. The provisional social security number gives you the same rights as a permanent number (although the Ameli account is not accessible and you cannot create a Carte Vitale). You can print out that certificate and submit it to the various health care professionals..

    How can I get my Carte Vitale?
      With the social security number on your definitive entitlement certificate, you can create your space and apply for a Carte Vitale on the Ameli website. You must have a permanent address to receive it by post. Please note that the time it takes to receive the card may vary and that regular follow-up of your application is essential.

    Which reimbursements am I exactly entitled to?
      The prices of consultations and therefore the reimbursements vary according to the discipline of the doctor (general practitioner or specialist) and the sector of activity (1 or 2). For more information, please consult the Remboursements d'Ameli page. Reimbursements can be supplemented by additional health insurance (also known as "mutuelle", i.e. insurance company) or by insurance companies, which are private, contributory organisations. (Click here in order to see the difference between insurance companies and contributory organisations). It is not compulsory to subscribe to insurance, but it is strongly recommended, especially in the case of major health expenses (dentistry, opticians, hospitalisation).

    Which websites can I find a doctor on?

    What is a General Practitioner and do I need one?
    A General Practitioner (GP) is a doctor who manages your medical record, who can inform you and put you in touch with other health professionals, if necessary. The cost of a consultation with a GP is reimbursed by the French National Health Insurance (Assurance Maladie). It is strongly recommended that you register with a general practitioner. For more information, click here.

    Can the University Health Service issue prescriptions?
      The Sorbonne Nouvelle's Preventive Medicine Service can issue certificates of fitness for sport, certificates of "good health" and prescriptions for the renewal of contraceptives. However, the Preventive Medicine Service does not replace a general practitioner. It is strongly recommended that you contact the Centre de Santé des Saints-Pères, where there are general practitioners. You can find all the information on our page Health Centres and Social Services.

  4. Accommodation

    Am I entitled to accommodation at Crous?
      The number of applications for accommodation in a CROUS residence in Paris is extremely high. Consequently, individual international students who are not scholarship holders do not have priority for accommodation at the CROUS. It is therefore IMPERATIVE to find alternative accommodation through the Campus France and CROUS websites, and our accommodation guide for individual international students.

    I do not have a guarantor (garant) in France, who can I ask to?
      The VISALE guarantee is a free rental deposit solution for students under 30 years old, which works for private rentals, student residences and CROUS residences. Registration is done online, so you can start the process as soon as you get your visa to enter France, so you have the VISALE guarantee to start looking for accommodation as soon as you arrive in France. You can find all the information about VISALE on the Campus France website. For students over 30 years old, the Garantme guarantee allows you to benefit from a guarantee to complete your housing search file.

    What are the scams to avoid?
      Beware of prices that are too low or offers that are too advantageous compared to the average price in Paris. You should never send your application without having visited the flat, especially if you are contacted by email, nor should you pay any money before you have visited the flat and read the rental contract. During the inventory of the facilities, be sure to check that all the equipment in the flat is in good working order, and note any deficiencies or malfunctions. You also have a few days to rectify the signed inventory of facilities. The security deposit for flats in Paris is usually one or two months worth rent, which is returned to you at the end of the contract if you return the flat in good condition. You can read about your obligations and rights as a tenant here.

    Am I entitled to housing benefits?
      All student tenants are entitled to a housing benefit. This is paid by the CAF (Caisse d'Allocations Familiales, Family Allowance Fund) and is called APL (Aide Personnalisée au Logement, Personal Housing Allowance). The amount of this assistance depends on the amount of rent, the surface area of the dwelling and the number of tenants or flatmates, etc. You can do a simulation on the website and see if you are eligible. If you are, you can apply for APL on the same website. You can read more about entitlement to housing benefits here. It is possible to start the process as soon as you get a lease.

    Do I need home insurance?
      Yes, it is compulsory for everyone who lives in any type of housing to subscribe to a home insurance policy, which allows you to be compensated in the event of a claim or other inconveniences foreseen in the insurance contract. All student insurance companies offer home insurance, as do some banks and private insurance companies. We strongly recommend that you ask for quotes from different insurance companies to compare the offer that suits you best. You can find information about home insurance here.

II. Settling into your new university and the Parisian academic environment

  1. Administrative Registration

    What is the CVEC?
      The CVEC is the contribution to student life and campus (Contribution Vie Étudiante et Campus in French). It was 92 euros for the academic year 2021/2022 and can be paid here. The CVEC is used to fund campus life projects and to promote social, health, cultural and sporting events for students, as well as to support prevention and health education activities. The proof of payment of the CVEC allows you to complete your administrative registration at the University.

    Do I need to be in France to do my administrative registration?
      No, you do not. The administrative registration is done completely remotely through our website. Please note that administrative registration is compulsory, annual and personal, and confers you the status of a student.

    How can I receive my student card?

      You will receive your student card at the postal address you gave when you have registered. If you live outside France at the time of registration, remember to include an address in metropolitan France if possible. If you have not yet received your student card, you should contact the "Pôle Scolarité" (Academic Department) of your department of studies. If you lose your student card, you must inform the Academic Department of your UFR as soon as possible.

    How can I apply for a social grant?

      International students could benefit from a social grant distributed by the French government. Depending on your situation, different financial aid is available. To find out if you are eligible, please consult the website.

    How can I be issued my school certificate?

      The school certificate is issued after your administrative enrolment. You can find it on the Sorbonne Nouvelle's ENT (Environnement Numérique de Travail, Digital Work Environment):, by clicking on the left section ("mon compte" (my account)). After logging in, go to the "Étudiant" (Student) tab and then to "Mon dossier de scolarité > Inscriptions" ("My education file > Registrations").

    Who can I contact in case of administrative difficulties?
      If your request concerns the Administrative Registration, the school certificate, the registration fees, etc., you can contact the "Pôle Scolarité" (Academic Department) of your UFR.

  2. Pedagogic Registration

    Do I have to have already done my administrative enrolment to do my pedagogical enrolment?
      The pedagogical registration is only accessible once your administrative registration has been validated. The secretariat of your study department will contact you before the pedagogical registration week to give you more information.

    What is the educational contract?
      The educational contract is a document that lists all the courses, their coefficients and the credits awarded. It will be given to you after your enrolment.

    I have completed my enrollment but the courses do not appear on my educational contract.
      If you have difficulties with your educational contract and/or your timetable, you should contact the department where your course is taught.
  3. Who can I turn to if I encounter pedagogical issues?
      Your study department is your point of contact if your request is about admission, pedagogic registration, timetable, contact with teaching staff, etc.

  4. Transport

    How can I get my Navigo pass?
      The city of Paris and the Paris region have an extensive public transport network: bus, metro, RER (Réseau express régional, regional express network), tramway, Transilien trains. Consult the following website for tickets and passes. The Imagine'R card is reserved for students in the Paris region. This special pass allows unlimited travel throughout the Ile-de-France region for 350 euros per year. To be entitled to it, all you need is to be under 26 years old at the time of subscription and show your student card or school certificate for the ongoing year. In order to subscribe, go to the website.

  5. Working during your studies

    Can I work during my studies?
      Yes, you have the right to work during your studies. You must have a long-term student visa with residence permit (VLS-TS) or a "student" residence permit. This will allow you to work a maximum of 964 hours per year (60% of the legal annual working time). See also our typology of "work while studying" visas
  6. Where can I find job offers?
      The University has a Recruitment at the University page on which there is an "Emploi étudiant" (Student Employment) tab which is regularly updated. The Sorbonne Nouvelle has also joined the Réseau Pro portal, an internship and employment platform which aims to facilitate the professional integration of students. This professional network posts job offers, advice and events online in order to be better accompanied and guided, as well as portraits of the university's graduates.
    I am about to look for a job/internship or I feel lost about future career options, who should I contact?
      The BAIP Career Department (Service Carrière - BAIP) can help you with your job search. They help students and young graduates to develop their career plans and job search strategies. The interviews are free, confidential and open to all, from Bachelor to Doctorate level. Do not hesitate to bring any documents, such as CVs, cover letters, internship offers, etc. and contact them.

  7. Healthcare/Social services

    Who do I contact if I have problems or questions about my health?
      The Sorbonne Nouvelle offers a preventive medicine service, the SSU (Service de Santé Universitaire, University Health Service), a service created for students, composed of a multidisciplinary team (nurses, doctors, psychologists). You can benefit from various free services for medical and psychological consultations. You can make an appointment on the Doctolib platform or directly at the secretariat on the 2nd floor, room 247.

    I feel the need to talk to someone and get support, who can I talk to?
      Psychologists are available at the aforementioned Sorbonne Nouvelle University Health Service. Parisian students have also set up a nightline, a free night listening service for Parisian students, which is available every day from 9 p.m. to 2.30 a.m. by phone.

    I have a disability and specific needs, who can I turn to?
      The Sorbonne Nouvelle has a specific service for students with disabilities. Mission Handicap is your privileged contact who will help you with your studies according to your needs. The Mission Handicap office is located on the ground floor, number 21A. You can also contact them by email at

    I have personal, family or social problems, who can I contact?

  8. Budget

    Do I need to open a French bank account?
      Opening a bank account in France can be very useful, particularly for paying your bills (electricity, telephone, rent) and subscriptions (transport, Internet). You will also find it easier to receive reimbursement for your health care costs, payment from the CAF (personal housing assistance), and any salaries you may have. Compare the offers of different banks; most banks have exclusive offers for students. There are traditional banks as well as online banks.

III. Making a successful integration

  1. Student Life

    How can I benefit from pedagogical support?
      The Support and Tutoring Centre offers regular or occasional tutoring sessions to Bachelor students. The tutors at the Support and Tutoring Centre are at Master's level and come from all Sorbonne Nouvelle courses. They offer free assistance to any student seeking help with university methodology, the organisation of future revisions, preparation for oral exams, etc. To make an appointment, simply send your request to the following address:

    How can I be accompanied, exchange and discover French culture with a local student?
      Register on the Buddy System platform which allows international students to find a Sorbonne Nouvelle student mentor who will help them at different stages of their individual mobility. Based on points in common (age, studies, languages spoken, hobbies and interests), you will be matched with a buddy.

    Where can I eat as a student?

      In this academic year 2021-2022, students can eat at the Santeuil cafeteria on the Censier campus, on the ground floor of building A, and at the Châtelet university restaurant, at 10 rue Jean Calvin. Hot and full meals cost 3.30 euros for all students and 1 euro for scholarship holders. Payment is made via the IZLY application, an electronic wallet to which the student card is attached.

    Where can I study outside class hours?

      The Censier University Library provides students with a 200-seat work room: the Salle de la Clef is open from 9 am to 6 pm from Monday to Friday. When the Sorbonne Nouvelle’s libraries are closed, students can work on site and/or borrow documents free of charge from the Sainte-Barbe (BSB) and the Sainte-Geneviève (BSG) Libraries. If you don't have a book to borrow and simply need a place to study or rest, the unoccupied classrooms and the study area at the end of the 3rd floor corridor are at your disposal.

    How can I learn new foreign languages for free?

      The fully online Language Resource Centre (Centre de Ressources en Langues (CRL)), is open at the Sorbonne Nouvelle. It provides students with resources to learn and/or improve their foreign languages skills. The languages offered are English, Spanish, German, Italian and French as a foreign language (FLE). Conversation workshops and various events related to languages and foreign language learning are planned.

  2. Cultural life

    Are there any artistic and cultural workshops at university?

    Where can I watch films at university to study and/or for leisure?
      At Sorbonne Nouvelle University, students of all disciplines can come and see ten films per week with a semester subscription at the University Film Library. There are more than 120 screenings per semester, from Monday to Friday in room 49. The subscription takes place in room 217B and costs 18 euros per semester. You will find the weekly programme on paper in front of the Cinémathèque.

    Are there other workshops?
      Every year, the Crous de Paris offers free artistic and sports workshops for all students. Theatre and film workshops, yoga, capoeira, engraving or drawing, sign up and discover many disciplines.

    I am an English speaker and I want to improve my French. What can I do?
      Sign up for (Télé)Tandem Sorbonne Nouvelle! This bilingual conversation project offers virtual conversations between a French-speaking student and an English-speaking student, both enrolled at the Sorbonne Nouvelle. If you wish to register, please fill in the form, one for French-speaking students and another one for English-speaking students.

  3. Sporting life

    Where can I do sports at university?
      The university department of physical and sporting activities (S.U.A.P.S. in French) offers semester courses or weekly training in physical and sporting activities free of charge in a free teaching unit (UE libre, courses chosen by the students themselves), in a professional teaching unit (UE pro), or in personal training (in leisure practice) for all students of the Sorbonne Nouvelle. A medical certificate of "absence of contraindication" for the chosen sport will be requested. The Service de Médecine Préventive des Étudiants (Students Preventive Medicine Department) issues certificates of fitness for sport. For more information on registration, please consult the SUAPS brochure.


IV. After your studies in France

  1. Diplomas

    How can I withdraw my diploma?
      The Bureau des Diplômes (Graduation Office) at office E22 manages the delivery of diplomas at the Sorbonne Nouvelle. They can be collected on site with or without an appointment, given to a third party with a proxy, or sent by post in France or abroad.

    Can I obtain an official translation of my diploma?
      To date, the Sorbonne Nouvelle does not issue translations of diplomas. In the case of an application to a foreign institution requiring a translated diploma, it will be necessary to turn to a sworn translator (traducteur assermenté).

  2. Staying in France after your studies

    What do I do if I want to stay in France after my studies?
      You can apply for a “recherche d’emploi/création d’entreprise” (RECE) ("job search/creation of company") residence permit which is valid for 12 months and is not renewable. The RECE residence permit can be applied for by students with a professional Bachelor’s or Master's degree or equivalent. Students with a "étudiant" (student) residence permit and researchers with a "passeport talent" (talent passport) residence permit mentioning "chercheur" (researcher) can apply. You are authorised to carry out any professional activity or begin to set up a business. The application is to be made either in France, at the prefecture, or abroad, at the French consulate in your country of residence within a maximum of 4 years from the date you have obtained your diploma.

    My "job search/company creation" residence permit is about to expire, what can I do?
      If you have obtained a fixed-term or permanent contract and if you are paid at least 1.5 times the French minimum wage (called SMIC) — i.e. approximately €2281.2 gross per month in 2019 — you can apply for either a “salarié” ou “travailleur temporaire” ("employee" or "temporary worker") temporary residence permit, or a multi-annual "passeport talent-chercheur" (talent-researcher passport) residence permit (you are committed to a research activity). If you have set up your own business or developed a self-employed activity, you can apply for a temporary residence permit for 'entrepreneur/self-employed person' or a multi-annual residence permit for “passeport talent-création d’entreprise” ('talent passport-business creation').

    Does the temporary residence permit (APS) for the purpose of studying and looking for a business apply to me?

      International students from the following countries: Senegal, Gabon, Benin, Tunisia, Mauritius, Cape Verde, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Lebanon, India, can benefit from a temporary residence permit (Autorisation Provisoire de Séjour (APS)). The APS allows students to stay in France to look for a job after they have finished their studies. APS holders are allowed to work under the same conditions as when they were students.

  3. Professional integration of Sorbonne Nouvelle graduates

    I am a recent graduate, how can I benefit from support for my professional project?
      The team of the Career Service - Office for Professional Integration (Service Carrière - Bureau d’Aide à l’Insertion Professionnelle (BAIP)) has created a "Coup de Pouce" programme which is aimed at students with a professional degree, a Master's degree or a PhD who obtained their degree less than one year ago. The aim of this programme is to help students to better understand their strengths and to better define their professional project. In the framework of the "Coup de pouce vers l'emploi" programme, you can also benefit from the experience of an alumnus who is already in the working world.

  4. Find my Alumni network

    I am a graduate of the Sorbonne Nouvelle, how can I benefit from the alumni network?
      On the following page, you can discover the Sorbonne's alumni associations which allow you to keep in touch with your classmates. For more information on the Sorbonne Nouvelle - Alumni association, please consult the following link. The Sorbonne Nouvelle also has a page on Campus France Alumni which is aimed at former international students who wish to keep in touch with France and French higher education graduates and to make the most of their stay in France in a professional context.


I have not found the answer to my question.

    Need more help?
      You can contact the Welcome Desk team, located in the hall of the Censier campus, a team of international students who will help you with all administrative procedures concerning visas and residence permits, accommodation, social security and health procedures, as well as your integration at the Sorbonne Nouvelle, with no appointment needed.

mise à jour le 27 juillet 2023