Practical information

General Cost of Living

The cost of living in Paris and the surrounding area is, on average, comparable to other European capitals. For basic expenses such as rent, food and transportation, a student will need (per month) approximately:

Housing €500           
Food €240           
Transportation €60           
Miscellaneous €100           
Total €900           

 

NOTE: Your first month’s expenditures might be more costly as it may include:

  •  A refundable deposit for your accommodation (1 to 2 months of rent)
  •  Initial expenditures (sheets, towels, cooking utensils, books, etc.)
  •  Different fees and subscriptions (sport clubs, etc.)
  •  Tuition fees for degree-seeking students
  •  Health insurance and Complementary Health Care Insurance  (for non-European students)

 

Students are often entitled to discounts at shops, cinemas, museums, bookshops, for transportation, the theater, etc.
Remember to show your student card.

  • A cinema ticket costs €9 on average (though there is often a student rate at €7)
  • A soft drink in a cafe costs about €3.50
  • A meal in a restaurant costs at least €10 (more often around €14 to €17).

Campus Restaurant and Meal Card

A student restaurant located on campus provides affordable meals for students (meals cost approximately €3).
Students can buy restaurant meal cards upon presentation of their student I.D. card. These meal cards are valid in all French university restaurants.

 

Health Care

Non-European  Students

Mandatory Health Care Coverage:

In France, health coverage is compulsory for all students.

Affiliation to the student social security system (reserved for students under the age of 28) gives access to health services from October 1st to the end of the following month of September and costs about €220 per year. Social security fees must be paid to Efrei upon arrival.

Optional Complementary Health Care Insurance:

The French social security system only reimburses between 50 and 70% of medical expenses on average. Therefore, most people take out complementary health care insurance with a mutual company, which refunds some of the non-covered costs.  For a relatively low fee, the complementary student insurance plan offers extra health coverage. It also covers for third-party liability risks and serves as accident and death insurance. There are two different plans available for students: SMEREP and LMDE.

Reimbursement Procedure:

The patient usually pays the doctor’s fees directly to the doctor, then requests reimbursement (by mail or in person) from the insurance company.   Reimbursement can take from two weeks to a month. With the social security card, (known as “la Carte Vitale”) reimbursement is automatic and fast. The card must be presented upon payment at the doctor’s office, the hospital or the pharmacy.

 
European Economic Space Citizens: The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

  • Under European Union regulations, citizens of EU countries are entitled to medical care while in France under the social security (national health) system.
  • Students from the European Economic Area (EEA) are strongly advised to apply for and obtain a European Health Insurance Card from the health insurance authority in their home country before they arrive in France.
  • The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is free and normally valid for one to three years. The card gives access to state-provided medical treatment only. With this card, students are covered like a French citizen at the basic rate defined by the social security.   

Opening a Bank Account

Opening a French bank account is strongly recommended for students staying a minimum of 6 months. You will need to have a bank account for all your transactions while in France.  
Once you arrive, Efrei will help you open a bank account. Once you open it, you can make an international money transfer from your country.
The major French banks are BNP Paribas, Société Générale, Crédit Agricole, La Banque Postale, CIC, etc.

Documents normally needed to open an account:

  • Photocopy of passport
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Photocopy of Efrei student certificate
  • For first deposit in cash, a bank certificate may be required
Approximately 2 weeks after opening the account, you will receive a checkbook and/or a credit card.  Checkbooks are usually free of charge. Credit cards, which are valid for one or two years, cost between €15 and €30 per year, depending on the bank and the type of card. 

Buying a Public Transportation Card

A monthly transport pass in Paris will cost from €60.40 (for zone 1- 2) to €123.60 for the maximum number of zones. Efrei is in zone 1-2. Students can also buy an annual pass for a reduced cost (known as “carte Imagine R”)
All information about underground and bus transportation in Paris can be found on the RATP website: www.ratp.fr

Setting Up Phone and Internet Services

There are 3 major mobile phone operators in France (Orange, Bouygues Telecom and SFR). They all have special deals for students with a wide choice of services, prices and types of contracts.
At home, you may choose to set up phone service including internet service. Several operators advertise packages (Wanadoo, Free, Neuf Telecom, Télé 2, Cegetel, Noos, etc.). It is essential to compare services and prices.