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Student life -International students: 10 steps to prepare for your arrival in France

International students: 10 steps to prepare for your arrival in France

Have you been accepted to study at Rennes School of Business? Are you feeling excited, and a bit nervous, about your move to France? This article will help you get started!

Rennes School of Business is an international business school with campuses found in both Rennes and Paris. The American-style campus in Rennes is located just 10 minutes from the city-centre and includes 4 buildings, excellent facilities, sports grounds and green space for students to relax and study. Meanwhile, the Paris campus is found in the heart of Paris at 9, rue d’Athènes, 75009 Paris, near Saint-Lazare station. Whether you’re heading for the French capital or to the beautiful region of Brittany, here’s 10 steps to help you start getting ready to arrive in France for your studies:

Stay up to date with the local health guidelines:

Although the lockdown restrictions and vaccination pass rules have been relaxed in many places around the world, it’s important to stay up to date with the rules and guidelines in place for entering and living in France. On the Campus France website, you’ll find all the latest rules and regulations to prepare for your upcoming studies at Rennes School of Business.

Find your accommodation

It might seem overwhelming to try and find a flat abroad, but Rennes School of Business is here to guide you every step of the way!

In Rennes: 
Multiple platforms exist to help you with your search:

  • Studapart: the exclusive Rennes SB platform to help students find a flat
  •  Colocatere and KenavHome: for students who are looking for a flatshare

In Paris: 
Rennes School of Business has a special agreement with a student residence called “TWENTY CAMPUS”, to find out more about getting a room in this residence click here. Check out this page of the Rennes SB Aloha Square helpcentre for more details on finding accommodation in Paris and Rennes, and the administrative procedures in place for property rental in France.

Open a French bank account

In a country where administration is king, it’s highly recommended to open a French bank account for all of your administrative procedures. However, you will need a French address in order to be eligible! Check out this page for more information on opening a bank account in France.

Opening an account online before you arrive in Rennes: if you are going to study in Rennes, it’s possible to open your bank account online before you even set foot in France with one Rennes School of Business’ partner banks. For all the steps and documents required to open a bank account, consult this page.

Register for social security

France is renowned for the quality and efficiency of its healthcare system. The good news is that all residents in France can benefit from the healthcare system and health insurance schemes. On this page you’ll find all the information you need to take great care of your health during your studies, as well as a step-by-step guide on how to apply for social security and your carte vitale!

Check if you need a visa

If you’re coming from outside the European Union, you will need to look into what sort of visa or residence permit is needed for your nationality by consulting your countries embassy in France. You’ll find more details about the information you’ll need to apply for a resident permit, and the different options available to you after your studies on the following page, along with the contact details of the dedicated international resident permit team at the School.

Book your transportation

Getting to Rennes:
Rennes is located in Western France, in the region of Brittany. If you’re flying in from abroad, it’s likely that your flight will land in Paris, but it’s easy to get to Rennes by train or plane!

  • Take a connecting flight from Paris to Rennes airport: once you land in Rennes the Well’Come student association offers the possibility of a shuttle service to pick you up from the airport and help you settle in. The association will get in touch to you a few weeks before the start of your programme to ask for your travel details and arrange a pick-up!
  • Take a train from Montparnasse station in Paris: with the new high-speed TGV, Rennes is just 1h25 minutes from Paris by train. You’ll arrive straight in the centre of Rennes and can organise a pick-up with the Well’Come association or use the metro line and bus services available to you!
  • Take a train from Charles de Gaulle Airport directly to Rennes: it’s possible to take a train directly from CDG airport in Paris to Rennes train station. You can book in advance on the SNCF website, or head to the airport train station when you land and buy a ticket in person, on the day of travel!

To Paris:

To get to our campus in Paris, you have the following options:

For more information about the Well’Come team and how they can help you when you arrive in France, check out their Facebook page and Instagram page.

Get travel insurance

It’s important to sign up for personal and international Health Insurance (such as April, Chapka etc…) which covers repatriation, civil responsibility and medical expenses, when you are living abroad, in order to be covered and protected in unexpected situations! Sometimes, your application for French social security health coverage can take some time, so it is particularly important to take out private insurance to ensure that you remain covered until your application is approved.

Brush up on your French

When you first arrive in France, it might feel a bit overwhelming hearing everyone talking so fast and en français! To get off to a great start, why not learn a few phrases like:

Bonjour, je m’appelle…  – Hello my name is  
Ou est le/la… ? – Where is the… 
J’ai besoin de… – I need…
Je ne parle pas français, parlez-vous anglais? – I don’t speak French, do you speak English ? 

You could even take classes to learn about French language and culture with the Academie Diderot at Rennes School of Business to get you up to speed before your move. For more information, look here!

Find out a bit more about the city you’ll be living in

Rennes is a fast-growing and vibrant city with a large, international student population, one thing is for sure: you’ll never get bored! Before you arrive, check out the Destination Rennes tourism website to find out about all the activities, festivals, bars, restaurants, art exhibitions and more, that you’ll be able to explore with your new friends when you arrive!

As one of the most famous cities in the world, Paris doesn’t need an introduction, but here are a few useful resources to find things do and see in the city!

Get ready to wine and (or) dine à la française!

France is famous for many things: La Tour Eiffel, wearing berets, cabaret culture, the philosophers, authors and playwrights of the Belle Epoque, the invention of cinema and much more, but does anything compare to the food? Whether you’re a fan of bread, cheese, escargots, frogs’ legs, pastries, croissants, wine or cider (or all of the above), there’s something for everyone in French cuisine! To get your mouth watering, Destination Rennes has complied a list of some of the best and most original eateries in Rennes, while Time Out Paris gives you a list of everything from bites on a budget to the chicest bistros around!

Don’t forget to follow Rennes SB on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, Youtube and the Take me to Rennes page for all the information you need.

We can’t wait to meet you!

An interview with Clinton and Sudeep, two Indian students, about their arrival in Rennes