Banking, Budget and Scholarships

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Money and banking

For the latest exchange rates, you should contact your local financial institution. The exchange rate varies from office to office. Euro coins are available in denominations of 1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, 1 €, 2 €. Euro bills (paper bills) are available in denominations of €5, €10, €20, €50 and €100. 50 and €100 bills may not be accepted, and it is best to have smaller bills on hand.

Open a bank account in France

Opening a bank account in France is one of the first steps to take when you arrive in France.

The documents required to open a French bank account are :

  • A copy of your passport or European identity card
  • A document proving your residence in France – a certificate of accommodation from your landlord for example
  • A copy of your certificate of studies attesting to your registration.
  • A copy of your visa or residence permit

OUR banking partners

With the LCL student offer available in all their branches in France, you benefit from:

  • 80€ when you open an account
  • A Visa Cléo card at €1/month for 4 years
  • Personal means of payment Insurance in the event of loss and/or theft at €1 for the first year

Find out more by visiting its website: LCL – Partner offers

With the Société Générale student offer available in all their branches in France, you benefit from:

  • 80€ when opening a bank account
  • A credit card and insurance with SOBRIO at €1/year for 4 years
  • A housing insurance free of charge for 6 months

Find out more by visiting its website: Société Générale -Particuliers

With the Caisse d’Epargne student offer, you benefit from:

  • 180€ offered: 80€ and 100€ in e-commerce vouchers when opening a bank account
  • A Visa card for €1/year for 6 years
  • A housing insurance for €2.75/month, and if you wish, you can obtain a Student Insurance and Transportation Insurance when travelling

Find out more by visiting its website:

Caisse d’Epargne agencies


Partner agencies
Agence Paris Commerce, 76 rue du Commerce, 75015 Paris
Agence Paris Croix Nivert, 221 rue de la Croix Nivert, 75015 Paris
Agence Paris Flandre, 90 avenue de Flandre, 75019 Paris
Agency Paris Porte de Saint-Cloud, 98 rue Chardon Lagache, 75016 Paris
Agence Paris République, 134 avenue Parmentier, 75011 Paris
Agency Paris Saint-Charles, 123 rue Saint Charles 75015 Paris
Buttes-Chaumont Agency, 126 avenue Simon Bolivar 75019 Paris


The partner agency

Caisse d’Epargne Guillotière branch

4 place Victor Basch, 69003 LYON


Very soon new partnerships with local banks will be available with special offers for students.


Partner agencies

Caisse d’Epargne branch in la motte servolex,

350 Costa De Beauregard Avenue

73290 la motte servolex

Caisse d’Epargne Chambéry Jean Jaures branch
22 avenue Jean Jaures
73000 Chambéry

Withdrawing money

There are many ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) to withdraw money in all cities, but the exchange rate varies depending on the bank. Please note that throughout Europe, most ATMs only take 4-digit codes. French vending machines do not accept letter codes.


Before you travel to France, make sure:

  • Inform your bank of your trip and stay in a foreign country to avoid your card being blocked once used in France,
  • Increase your credit card limit,
  • Obtain the emergency number of your bank/credit card company in case your card is lost or stolen.

Use of credit cards

The most commonly used credit cards are Master Card and Visa. American Express cards are less used in Europe. Please note that some smaller restaurants may not be equipped to process North American credit cards due to a different system used in France. Therefore, it is always a good idea to have cash on hand.

Cost of living per month

Please note that these prices are indicative and may vary greatly, and that the cost of living differs from city to city.

You can compare with your hometown with the site numbéo .


Housing 700 – 1200 €
Public transportation (Navigo pass) 75 €
Power supply 200 – 300 €
Other expenses (leisure, shopping…) 200 – 300 €
Total 1200 – 1900 €


Housing 500 – 1200 €
Public transport 25 €
Power supply 100 – 300 €
Other expenses (leisure, shopping…) 100 – 300 €
Total 800 – 1900 €


Housing 500 – 1000 €
Public transport 38 €
Power supply 100 – 300 €
Other expenses (leisure, shopping…) 100 – 300 €
Total 800 – 1700 €


Housing 200 – 600€
Public transport 55 €
Power supply 50 – 200 €
Other expenses (leisure, shopping…) 50 – 200 €
Total 800 – 1700€

Useful vocabulary

AcquitterTo pay the sum owed
AGIOS Overdraft charges
Compte bancaireBank account
Un conseillerYour appointed banker/bank advisor
Distributeur Automatique de Billets (DAB)ATM
EndosserTo issue a cheque – sign and write your account number on the back of the cheque.
GAB – Guichet Automatique de BanqueLike an ATM, but also where you can deal with your banking operations
Interdit bancaireAll your account, card, checkbooks are blocked
Prélèvement automatiqueAutomatic Payment method for regular spendings or invoices
Relevé d’Identité Bancaire (RIB)Bank account statement
Retirer de l’argentTo withdraw money
VirementBank transfer – wire
SoldeCredit balance (or debit balance)
VerserTo deposit


Below is a list of scholarships offered by Campus France that you may be eligible for. We invite you to consult them:

  • With the Campus France scholarship search engine, you could find the ideal scholarship according to your country of origin, your situation and your program: You can refine your search thanks to the filter located on the left side.

If you are a student at a French high school abroad, you may be eligible for the Excellence-major scholarship.

Before your return

If you wish to close your French bank account, we strongly advise you to wait until you are back in your country of origin. By this time, you may have received your landlord’s deposit, the remainder of your housing assistance, and any reimbursement. Once you have received everything you need, you will need to transfer your money to the account in your home country. Then, you can close your French bank account free of charge by sending your French bank a termination letter by registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt.

The French Public Service helps you to create the cancellation letter.

Transfer or direct debit orders are cancelled on the date of receipt of the cancellation letter. The bank will close the account within a maximum of 30 days from the date of your request for closure and return of the means of payment. In practice, this period is generally 10 days.

Updated 2 August 2023