1. Documents, money and health insuranceWhat kind of documents should I bring with me to France?
For each administrative procedure you will need a slightly different documents to be submitted (see the specific sections) but in general conditions it will be:
1. A copy of your passport or ID card
2. If you are not EU national, a copy of your entry stamp entering France or any Schengen zone country
3. An ID photo (4x4, with uncovered face and/or head)
4. European Health Insurance Card (If applicable)
5. A copy of your High School certificate
6. A copy of your bachelor's degree
7. Transcript of records from your bachelor's degree
8. An acceptance letter (which has been sent to you)
9. A residence proof (which has been sent to you)
10. An official birth certificate (either in multilingual form or translated into French by a sworn translator)
Should I book in advance any health insurance?
We strongly advise you to have a valid health insurance for the whole duration of your stay in France. It is of paramount importance. Depending on your age, you can be in of the three following situations.
Students under 28 are required to subscribe French student medical insurance, referred to as “Sécurité Sociale”. This entitles the student to a reimbursement of up to 70 % of the standard price of medical expenses incurred. Prescriptions, eyeglasses and dental expenses are subject to different rates. Coverage is already included as part of the university registration fee and the subscription to insurance will be done automatically by registrar's office (scolarité) . LMDE is the public organization that manages student health insurance (it is a branch of “Sécurité sociale”. A student can and should also subscribe a complementary health insurance policy which may cover up to 100% of expenses incurred. More information here or here
Students who are 28 years old or over CANNOT subscribe a student medical insurance along with the registration to the university. You must subscribe a “Cover for foreign students” with LMDE or MEP for 12 months. All the information and subscription procedure can be found at: https://www.lmde.fr/securite-sociale-etudiante/etudiants-etrangers-en-france or https://www.mep.fr/Securite-sociale-etudiante/Mon-inscription-a-la-Secu-etudiante/Qu-est-ce-que-la-Securite-sociale-etudiante .
You can also choose a private health insurance such as here.
Non-French EU-nationals are exempted from the above if they have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
I'm an EIT Digital student and I benefit already from a Kammarcollegiet insurance. Should I purchase any other additional insurance?
In France every student must have an insurance (public or private). As an EIT digital student you will be automatically subscribed to one of two insurances MEP or LMDE without any additional cost. However this insurance will reimburse you only 70% of your medical expenses. Please, be aware that in France you should pay the medical expenses first and then claim the refund by sending the invoices (the original ones).
If you prefer to use your Swedish insurance, you can submit your claim to http://www.kammarkollegiet.se/en/insurance-students-and-state-employees/submitting-claim
And what about other compulsory insurances?
Both insurances below are usually part of the insurance package (liability+housing insurance) that you subscribe at the time you are opening a bank account in France. Below we describe the process to perform all this paperwork at once with Credit Agricole (CA). Note that you are free to choose any other way to get the required insurance and bank account, but we provide help only with Credit Agricole.
You have to subscribe a liability insurance (“assurance responsabilité civile”), this is mandatory. In particular, the proof of liability insurance is requested at the beginning of the internship. For EIT Digital students this insurance is covered by Kammarcollegiet one.
The housing insurance is required to check in your room (at Crous or any other place you have chosen). You can get the proof of housing insurance immediately, as soon as you subscribe it, whereas it will take about one week to get the checkbook and the credit/debit card.
So the first thing to do while opening your bank account is to ask and subscribe these insurances.
How much money should I have with me upon arrival?
On your arrival, you will need money to pay the first rent plus the guarantee (that is 2 month rents) at the residence, the tuition fees and your general expenses. If you do not have a visa or a mastercard to withdraw money in France, you will need at least 2,000 euros in cash. However, you should remember that after 1/09/2015 the limit for cash payments was reduced from 3000 euros to 1000 euros.
For those of you who are granted a scholarship, be aware that you will not receive the Labex scholarship immediately (usually, you receive it at least one month after your arrival).
I'm an EU citizen and I have already a bank account in my country. Is it necessary to open a bank account in France?
Yes it is. First you will need it to pay your rent in any flat or residence you will stay. Second, any scholarship or financial aid from CAF even your medical expenses will be reimbursed to you via your French bank account.
How can I open a bank account in France?
At your arrival, you will need to open a bank account, immediately after getting out of the airport if you plan to get the insurance package mentioned above. The International Master 1 in Computer Science of the Université Nice Sophia has an agreement with the CA bank, whose offices are in Sophia Antipolis. It will provide you personal banking services including credit card, chequebook, housing insurance and more. (You can, of course, go to another bank if you prefer.)
For the CA bank, prior to your arrival, you need to schedule an appointment with them, before checking in at the residence to get your room (because the housing insurance is requested to sign up the renting contract). To do so, send them an email mentioning:
- that you are student of the International Master in Computer Science (responsible is Mr. Mallet),
- you want to open a bank account and subscribe a liability+housing insurance for 12 months,
- the address of the student residence where you will stay (i.e. the CIV),
a scanned copy of your passport (or write down in the email the corresponding fields: first and last names, citizenship, address, birth date, etc.)
- In Sophia Antipolis, Saint Philippe (CA): info here.
Check out the opening hours and days. Send the email for the appointment to Mr Johan Ducos (johan.ducos–at–ca-pca.fr).
Address: Centre de vie Green Side, 13 avenue Roumanille, 06410 SOPHIA ANTIPOLIS, France
You will need to bring to the bank:
- your passport (or a valid ID) and a copy,
- the acceptance letter to the master (sent by us),
- the proof of housing (sent by us),
- then you will have to provide your student card (given by the University after registration) within 20 days
How many days it takes to open a bank account and use the means of payment such as credit card?
At the bank, you immediately obtain your housing and liability insurances (to allow you to immediately sign up your renting contract and get the room), as well as the “RIB” (bank account details, including IBAN). However, you will need to wait for about one week to make some cash deposit on your new account and to obtain some means of payment such as chequebook and debit card.
2. Doctors and medical assistanceHow can a find a doctor?
It's quite easy. First what you'll need to do is to google : English/Spanish/Chineese... speaking doctors in Nice/Valbonne/...put any place where you live. You need to call it first and get an appointment.
What is a standard price for a general practitionner?
How and when will I be refund?
Does the insurance cover also a dentist?
How to manage the telephone issue?
Bring an unblocked mobile phone to get easily a French phone number, which makes procedures easier and lets you save money.
I would like to know what documents should I get translated into French ? Apart from my Birth certificate.
The most important paper to be translated is your birth certificate. Apart from this document, it should be enough to have the diplomas and the transcripts in English.
In order to perform the administrative procedure described herein, you will have to bring the following documents:
- The acceptance letter to the master,
- Copy of your CV (resume),
- Copy of your visa, or carte de séjour or titre de séjour, and OFII Document that will be given from the French Ambassy,
- Copy of your last university diploma or equivalent certificate (better if it is translated in French)
- Copy of your high school diploma (or equivalent certificate where it says the year you finished secondary school)
- Copy of your birth document (translated in French)
You will also need the “Attestation provisoire d’inscription” which will be useful for your first procedures (including to open your bank account).
Try to learn basics of French (advised). The University has a service for that called CUEFLE. We are discussing with them to see if they can arrange something specific for international students in Sophia Antipolis, but you can also contact them directly to use the programs they already have.
Could anybody tell me how can I get to my residency when I arrive at Nice airport?
In this page you have all the timetables for the TAM buses (which are the regional ones).
If you’re coming on a working day, the 230 will take you from the airport to the door of the residence in less than one hour. Take into account that some of them pick passengers at terminal 1 and others at “airport promenade”; this stop is after crossing the Promenade des Anglais (the big avenue going along the airport) using a tunnel next to terminal 1. Here you have a google map with all the stops and a close up on the airport promenade stop.
During the weekend, you need to take the bus number 200, asking for “correspondance” (that allows you to change buses), go down in “Passerelle SNCF” in the town called Antibes, cross the street and there you take the bus number 1 (Envibus company) and go down on the stop called “Georges Pompidou”. Warning: many of the buses do not go to Sophia Antipolis, so you should ask the driver or look at the sign in the front. You need the one that go to Gare Routière Valbonne Sophia-Antipolis (usually abbreviated as gare routiere VSA). The timetables for the number 1 are here: http://www.envibus.fr/ligne_detail.asp?id=1&id_commune=10
From Nice to Sophia
It is better to arrive in Nice on weekdays (Monday to Friday). By doing so, you can catch a bus that goes directly to Sophia Antipolis. This bus goes from the Nice Airport Terminal 2 (note that your plane may arrive at Airport Terminal 2) to Sophia Antipolis. The bus is the number 230, it costs 1.5 euro and takes around 40 minutes to reach Sophia.
On the weekend (Saturday and Sunday) or official holidays things are more complicated. The right way to reach Sophia is going first to Antibes (Piscine bus stop) through bus number 200 (about 30 minutes) or by train (20 minutes). Then you go to Passerelle SNCF to take bus number 1 (Envibus) to Sophia (about 25 minutes). The bus 200 does not go directly through the Airport but it passes really close to it. You should leave the Airport towards Promenade Des Anglais, cross through the tunnel to go to the other side of the route, and then wait here for the bus 200 (still needs to be checked). Note that most buses do not work after 8.30pm. So if you are coming on the weekend it would be better for you to book a hotel in Nice.
Going to Polytech
If you live in Antibes, then you can use bus Ligne 100 Exp. (Envibus) to go to Polytech. You can get a 1-year pass card for the Ligne 100 Exp. bus (company Envibus) by paying a low price (it is cheap, but you can use it only for Ligne 100 Exp.).
If you live in Nice, then you can use the bus 230 (cg06). Remember: Try to avoid to arrive Sophia Antipolis on weekends very few buses operate on Saturdays and Sundays.
Eurolignes: Has network all over Europe and prices are quite fair. Easyjet: No brokerage fees and cheap offers. SNCF : Only site to buy train tickets. Eurail : If you want to travel all the Europe Eurail is the best options. They have nice offers and passes.
Nice (bus cg06 230), Antibes (bus envibus 1, 100), Cannes (bus cg06 200, 630), Monaco (bus cg06 100), Menton (bus cg06 100), Grasse (bus 530), Isola 2000 (bus cg06 750)
The Master has an agreement with the CIV student residence. CIV is located in 190 Rue Frédéric Mistral, Valbonne, France. Accepted students, please email to email@example.com for more information.
The price of the room at CIV is around 430 euros/month. It includes half board (breakfast and dinner) during the working days and full board during the weekend (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Moreover, the first time, you will pay around 860 euros, which will include your first rental payment + your rental guarantee.
Please, be aware that we do not know how other university residences work, so we will not help you for any other housing solution you may choose.
To reach the CIV, from Nice, you can take bus no. 230 and get off at the terminus (bus stop “Gare routière de Valbonne Sophia Antipolis”). Here is a map showing how to reach CIV from the Gare routière.
Is there a possibility for financial housing support?
As soon as you get the final response from OFII to be a legal alien for one year, then you can apply for a benefit (so-called “Aide Pour le Logement” - APL). You should get 100 to 150 euros per month if you have a single room, or 60 euros each if you share a room. Please see the bottom of the FAQ.
There is a Carrefour in Antibes that has good prices. To get there catch the bus 100 (Envibus) to bus stop Castors(I). Then walk. The way back is also catching the bus stop Castors(II). In Nice there are plenty of shops from local craftsman to big discount malls.
There are two Asian shops in Antibes (one near the BNP Paribas bank) where you can buy Asian food, catch bus 100 to Place De Gaulle, then walk.
7. Academic aspects
Will I get a diploma after the first year of Master M1?
NO. To get the diploma (degree) of master in France (and in Europe) you should have followed successfully the two years of master. After the first year you will get, if you successfully pass the exams, 60 ECTS (European credit Transfer system) which are necessary to apply for a second year in Sophia Antipolis or another place in Europe. To get a master in Europe you need 120 ECTS.
Is the master (M1 + M2) considered as a research master… or professional master?
This is mostly considered as a research master.
Where I can find some course material I can read before the beginning of the courses?
Each teachers should give you adequate references at your arrival. For some lectures, references or prerequisites are already indicated in the “Program” section of this website.
When will the studies begin?
Studies will start with a Welcome Session on September 24th, 2015 at 10:00 AM in the Campus Lucioles in Sophia Antipolis, classroom 282. Here you will find the location of the Campus Lucioles.
This Master does not provide any laptop to the accepted students who should have their own laptop. Virtual Machines are provided for lectures that require specific licensed software.
Winter Holidays cover the last two weeks of the year.
8. Administrative issues
When will I receive the letters of admission from the University ?
The letters will be prepared soon, you will receive them as soon as they are prepared by mail and to your postal address.
For the VISA, when I am in France, I need to do a medical check at OFII. Where is it?
To go to the OFII building (for medical checking) you have to get off at bus stop Santoline (in Nice). Note that not all buses 230 go through that bus stop, so check it before in the timetable, and remember to ask the bus driver to stop there in advance (even if the bus is supposed to go through Santoline, when nobody asks for this bus stop the bus driver may take a different route, so better ask the bus driver as soon as you get on the bus). From Nice you can catch bus 10 also to go to prefecture.
The French educational system allows all students to follow their studies with a low cost financial commitment. The cost of this program is based on regular French university fees.
Tuition fees are approximately 290 Euros for the whole year and cover course expenses only. For students under 28, additionally, you have to take the medical insurance around 210€. Students above 28 must obtain a private health insurance (around 300€).
What is the procedure for the student registration?
The registration will be done in Campus Valrose of the University Nice Sophia Antipolis at Nice. More information about the registration procedure will be provided later. Here is a map showing the main building of the Campus Valrose. Registrations take usually place at the “Petit Château” building and a detailed information about the registration office will be provided by the university in the main entrance (“Entrée Parc Valrose” in the map).
9. After your arrival
Immigration procedure for all non-UE students
Visa holders permitted to stay in France without residence card (‘carte de séjour’) - www.ofii.fr
When arriving in France, you must perform some immigration paperwork so as to be a legal alien for one year. This paperwork must be performed as soon as the year starts, and at most within two months after your arrival. Ihe procedure is described below. You can find all information at this link and this one
Please be aware that you can be helped in completing the whole immigration procedure at Polytech (“permanence Titre de Séjour”). More information will be provided during the Welcome Meeting. Please read the “When will the studies begin?” section for more information about the date of the Welcome Meeting session.
At Polytech, you may have access to free copying service.
The procedure (translation of the above website):
The French authorities have issued you with a long stay visa which allows you to remain in France subject to the following conditions:
- You must ensure that the French border police have stamped your passport with the date of your arrival in France. If you arrived in France via another Schengen state, the border authorities of that state must stamp your passport. In this circumstance, you will be considered to have arrived in France no later than 5 days after the stamp date.
- Once in France, you must fill in the ‘OFII Certificate Request’ form (‘demande d’attestation OFII’) that you can find here which was sent to you with your visa, indicating the date of your arrival in France, your address in France, and the number of the visa you have been issued with so that the OFII can contact you to organise a medical examination, an arrival interview or an appointment to certify your presence.
- As soon as you arrive in France, you must send this form by registered mail (‘envoi recommandé avec accusé de réception’) to the local OFII office for your place of residence.
- You must include copies of the following items with your submission: personal information passport page, arrival stamp passport page, long stay visa
You will be contacted by the OFII within three months after your arrival in France to arrange a health check and/or arrival interview. You will be required to provide the following items
- your passport
- a full face photograph (no head wear including veil)
- evidence of residence in France (either rent receipt; electricity/gas/water bill or fixed line telephone bill)
- Medical certificate, if you have had medical examination prior to arriving in France. Please refer to www.ofii.fr for further information
- OFII Fees – the amount you are required to pay can be found on http://www.ofii.fr/tests_197/quelle_est_la_procedure_1003.html
Once these steps have been completed, your passport, stamped with the visa, and also containing written confirmation that all formalities have been successfully completed, you will be permitted to legally reside in France for the period specified by your visa.
If this procedure is not completed within three months, you may be subject to illegal residence procedures. During the final two months prior to the expiry of your visa, you may apply for a renewal of your authorisation to remain in France by applying for a residence card at your Prefecture. The staff there will provide you with the forms necessary and inform you of the necessary documentation, which may vary depending on the reasons for your stay.
If you do not apply for renewal prior to the expiry of the visa, you will be obliged to go back to your home country and apply for a new visa.
Getting the benefits from CAF and other administrations
CAF stands for Caisse d’Allocations Familiales (https://www.caf.fr/wps/portal) and can provide you with financial support for housing.
You can be granted a benefit (usually directly given to Crous) of 100 to 150€ if you have a single room, 60€ each if you share a room. There are a lot of criteria taken into account for the computation of your benefit by this administration. We do not control it, but please be aware that, when filling in the form to apply, in order to get a full benefit, you must never define your scholarship as income or salary (« revenu » or « salaire ») but instead as a scholarship (« bourse »).
As soon as you get final response from OFII to be a legal alien for one year, then you can proceed with applying for this benefit:
http://www.caf.fr/ then select « Etudiants »
Second link to “CAF pour étudiants”