Prior to your Arrival:


Who needs a long term student visa? (VLS-TS)
All NON EU degree-seeking students and visiting students staying two semesters must first be issued a valid, long-term student visa by their local French Consulate to enter France legally and to subsequently apply for a legal status to study in France.

It is highly recommended that students who intend on studying in France contact their nearest Consulate of France or Campus France office, at least three months prior to their desired departure date. Please also note that the time required to process a visa varies depending on the student’s country of origin.
N.B. Foreign students: You will first need your school registration certificate in order to apply for your visa, however you will not receive this until you application has been accepted and tuition has been paid in full

*Students participating in programs for duration of less than three months such as summer programs may only need a short-stay visa. 
Students should inquire with their nearest Consulate of France, or Campus France office.
As the school does not have a student immigration department, it is the responsibility of each student to take care of his/her own visa. Your school counsellor however, will be able to help you with information and to direct you to services to make these procedures easier for you (see below).  

Optional Assistance for fee

An Arrival Assistance Pack is available upon request for a fee of approx. 490€ through an association (Information on how you can request the Arrival Assistance Pack will be provided during the orientation period).
For those of you who wish it be assisted in preparing for you arrival:

  • Assistance in filling out the paperwork and meeting the requirements for administrative papers (visas, residence cards etc)
  • Airport pick-up service
  • Help in opening up a French bank account ….

Free Arrival Assistance: Cité Universitaire 

Each year, our partner university, Cité Universitaire Internationale, organizes a workshop which will guide you in the application process, informing you about the procedure and the required documents, and directing you towards the appropriate offices when you are scheduled to meet with the French Authorities (OFII and the Préfecture de Police).
Help is provided to fill out applications for: Resident permit, CAF rent allowance, Insurance…
These workshops are held during the orientation period.

Student Immigration Checklist

  • All students who are non-European Union Nationals must have a valid long-term student visa to be enrolled at IESA
  • Long-term student visa bearers must apply for a residency card (Titre de Séjour) to regularize their resident status in France.
  • European students do not have to apply for a “Titre de Séjour” but a copy of their passport or ID will be required by the Immigration Office to update their records.
  • The Immigration Office keeps records of residency cards, passports, visas, and birth certificates. Students must be in touch with the Immigration Office to make sure their records are updated

Upon your arrival: Student life in Paris

Why Paris?

For as long as we can recall, Paris has always been a place that makes us dream and it is not surprising:

Gastronomy: Home of champagne, fine wine and the Michelin star system, this gastronomic paradise contains as many variations of cheese as there are days in a year. 
Luxury: The world of high fashion revolves around this city full of luxury boutiques, fashion shows, perfume shops and fine jewellery… 
Art & Culture: How many cities can boast as having as many museums, art galleries, theatres and music halls? The Louvre and Orsay museum alone bring hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. 
* N.B. museum cards will be provided for students for most of the major museums (Louvre, Orsay, Pompidou, Palais de Tokyo, Museum of Decorative Arts…) as included in your student fees. 
Location: in the heart of Europe it is the 3rd most popular destination for foreign students where excursions to other European cities can easily be organized. 
Night Life & Romance: No other city in the world can say it has been the setting of as many films as the city of lights. 

Estimated Expenses:

  • Lodging: 500€ to 1400€
  • Meals: 350€ to 435€
  • Monthly Metro: 60.40€ Zone 1-2
  • Miscellaneous: 250€

*    N.B. museum cards will be provided for students for most of the major museums (Louvre, Orsay, Pompidou, Palais de Tokyo, Museum of Decorative Arts…) as included in your student fee


Nightlife & Entertainment in Paris

  • TimeOut Paris Online guide in English on all the coolest events taking place in the capital
  • Pariserve Discover Paris, its culture, housing offers, hotels, and shopping
  • Pariscope Information on cinema, expositions, sports, forums and restaurants
  • Paris Menus Pages Plays, museums, markets, parks and gardens
  • The City of Paris Transportation, museums and expositions
  • Paris Tourism Sites, monuments and tourism
  • A Nous Paris Cinema, music and special cultural events
  • Parisbouge Online guide to going out in Paris
  • BilletRéduc Online discounts to see concerts, theater, sports events, etc.


Transportation in Paris

Public transportation is easy to use in Paris. The Paris local transport system (RATP) provides travel by metro, bus and tram. RER (suburban trains) circulate within the 5 zones of Ile-de-France. Public transportation normally operates between 5 30 am to 1 am every day, except on Fridays and Saturdays when the Metro stays open one hour later. The RER tends to terminate their service earlier than the Metro.

Metro Tickets
Students may opt to buy one metro ticket or 10 tickets in a "carnet" at a reduced price. The price of the ticket depends on the zone you need to go. A single ticket is valid for only one direction and can be used to make a transfer within the metro system. However, it is not valid for a transfer from bus to metro or metro to bus, another ticket is needed. Refer to the RATP website for any transportation inquiry, they also have a great interactive metro and bus map.

Navigo Pass
This is a monthly pass, allowing you to benefit from unlimited travel within Paris, and the suburbs if needed. The pass is valid with any public transportation, bus or metro (When purchasing the card, pay close attention to the number of zones you will need access to, as the price varies accordingly). The Navigo also offers an annual option, where one can pay in monthly installments. The advantage of this type of pass is that it can be replaced at no additional fee if lost or stolen.  For more information visit an RATP Agency near you.

Carte Imagine'R
If you are under 26 years old you can benefit from a year's student transport pass. This card is 50% cheaper than the normal Navigo Pass.  Regardless of the number of zones paid for, you have unlimited travel throughout all Ile-de-France (Paris and its suburbs) on weekends, public holidays and school holidays. The pass also gives you preferential movie rates and store reductions. Subscription is available only from August to January as this is when the French school year begins. For more information ask for an Imagine R dossier at any metro station or visit their website.  If you would like to subscribe to the “Carte Imagine R” you will have to fill out an application form which you will find at any metro station and give a photo, one school enrolment certificate and a RIB (French bank account reference). This option is recommended to students studying both Fall & Spring semester.

Fast and easy to use, it stops all over Paris and offers many connections. When travelling in Paris, ask for the name of the closest “Métro” station. Check on a map the line number and find out which direction you need to take. The Parisian metro has 14 lines which each have their own number and color for easy identification. 

Faster than the Métro, it is the express train for Paris. It has fewer stops than the Métro but it also deserves suburban cities. The RER has 5 lines, which each have their own letter (A to E) and color. 

Paris has many bus lines. Buses run every 5-15 minutes, depending on the time of day. There is also the Noctilien night bus service, operating between 1 am and 5 am every day. With Noctilien, you can travel throughout the greater Paris area (known as Ile-de-France) all night long. Visit the Noctilien service website for more information.

In order to get a taxi, your best bet is to go to the closest “Station de taxi”. Taxis are available when their lights are out. Taxi lights: White = city fare, Orange = suburban fare, Blue = night fare.

Velib is a program sponsored by the City of Paris, where anyone can rent bicycles for 29 Euros/year or 1 Euro/day (without subscription). All it takes is a deposit of 150 Euros that you will get back if you return the bike in the same condition. You can use the bicycle the first 30 minutes for free. There are many ‘Velib’ stations around Paris and even similar programs in near-by suburbs.