Travel, Stay and Culture training

Flight, accommodation and On arrival procedures in France

Kashyap Matani

It is recommended to book flight tickets well in advance so that one reaches at least 15 days prior to the commencement of the course. Advance booking is best recommended when chances of getting admits to the chosen course is very good.

Apart from this one requires to make preliminary preparations like converting some amount of money to euros, carrying a international roaming supported sim card or activating international roaming on your present cell phone service, learning about the French culture so as one doesn’t come off as rude as soon as one lands in the country. You will also need a set of clothes for all weathers as France has considerable variation in weather based on location of the city. You will also need to carry certain documents with you so that your stay in France is smooth. Heres a bunch of things you need to take care of when you arrive in France.

A week prior to departure you need to complete this check list

  1. Inform your host institute and your landlord, if you have one, of your arrival.
  2. Pack your bags, making sure to take clothing adapted to all types of weather.
  3. Finally, prepare the documents you will need for your trip and for setting up, meaning:

Make sure you have these documents

  • Identity card.
  • Passport.
  • Birth certificate (a translated and certified copy).
  • International driving licence (if you are planning on driving in France).
  • Proof of enrolment in your institute.
  • Proof of language ability If required (French, English, etc.)
  • Previous degrees (a translated and certified copy).
  • Train or plane tickets.
  • Itinerary from the airport.
  • Printed reservation of your accommodation.
  • Documents required for taking up residence in the lodging.
  • List and contact information for your contacts in France.

Validate your residence permit

If you came to France with a visa needing validation, complete these steps in the first days after your arrival.You must send your form to the Office français pour l’immigration et l’intégration (OFII, French Office for Immigration and Integration) to validate your residence permit (July 2018). You will then receive a summons to go to the OFII.

You will need a method of payment to pay the OFII tax and the visa rights ranging from 58 to 241 euros. You can pay this in tax stamps. You can purchase tax stamps at a tobacconist or in digital version on the website.

During your meeting with the OFII, make sure to bring the following justifications:

  • convocation;
  • passport;
  • proof of address;
  • ID photograph.

At the end of this summons, the OFII will give you a sticker to put in your passport. It certifies that your long-stay visa has been validated.

If you have not completed the OFII formalities within three months of your entry into France, you will have to once again submit a visa request to the French consular authorities in your country of residence. Only after getting the OFII formalities done can one go out of France if one needs to.

If you are below 28 years of age, register for government sponsored health care

You must register to the French general social security system. Registration is done online by logging in to the website of the health insurance dedicated to foreign students. Registration is free and mandatory. You must complete your registration immediately after the registration to your institution and after the validation of your visa.

Visit the CROUS department to pick up your Resto U (meal) tickets or activate your e-cash card and the Pass Culture that brings you lots of benefits.

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