Getting settled

You have just arrived, and are feeling a little lost? You will find here the main steps to take to settle in well and thus make the most of your stay.

Getting internet access

Lots of WiFi spots are available for you to use straight upon arrival in France: cafes, airports, but also on campus, once you are registered or started your contract.

Remember to check the roaming charges from your provider if you wish to access the internet with your mobile phone upon arrival.

Moving into your accommodation

Sign the rental contract, get your keys, take out a home insurance and perhaps also water or electricity contracts.

Opening a bank account

It is not mandatory to have a bank account in France but having one will help you better manage routine transactions such as paying your bills, the payment of wages and benefits to you and the reimbursement of medical costs. It’s difficult to go without one!

Taking out personal civil liability insurance

This insurance covers any damage or harm that you may cause to others by accident.
It is compulsory, and it is very likely that you will need to provide proof of it when you enroll or when you sign your contract.

Registering for health insurance

Registration with the French national health insurance (“Assurance Maladie”), also known as social security, is compulsory unless there is a bilateral agreement between France and your country of origin.

Applying for housing allowance

The ‘Caisse d’Allocations Familiales’ (CAF) can provide you with financial support to help you pay your rent, provided that you meet certain conditions.

Validating your visa or applying for a residence permit

Some visas require you to complete formalities within three months of arriving in Frnace. These formalities depend on what is marked on your visa.

Making yourself known to the tax authorities

If you are going to receive income in France and have a French employment contract, steps can be taken on arrival in France to make yourself known to the tax authorities, personalize your income tax rate and obtain a French tax number.
Published on  January 7, 2021
Updated on March 16, 2023