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Cost of Living in France and Living Expenses for International Students​

Make the most of your money

France is infamous for being an expensive country in terms of living expenses, especially for students. While this has a ring of truth to it, this is not the complete picture. While some cities in France fare steep on accommodation costs, one must factor in student expenses when considering living expenses in France. As compared to some European countries such UK, or even the US, living expenses in France are lower. However, France is expensive in comparison to a few other European countries in terms of overall living expenses. Please note that the costs are an average approximation, and they vary from university to university. For a student pursuing an undergraduate program, the living expense range between EURO 10000 to 18000 per year. For a student pursuing a Postgraduate program, the living expense range between EURO 18000 to 30000 per year.

Your banking and payments options

  • Major credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard, are accepted by most merchants for payments more than 15 Euros. Automated teller machines (ATM) are readily available in cities.
  • The French make extensive use of checks. However, checks drawn on foreign banks are rarely accepted by French merchants.
  • The Euro is now the sole currency used for all cash transactions in France.

International students can open non-resident bank accounts in Euros or another currency if they have been in France for less than two years. They may open a resident account if their stay is longer. Ask your bank if it is associated with a banking institution in France. The connection may make things easier when you go to open an account in France.

Making international calls

To call France from abroad, dial the international access code (“011” from the U.S. and Canada, “00” from the U.K., “0011” from Australia, “00” from New Zealand, “09” from South Africa), followed by “33” (France’s country code), then “1” for Paris. Note that numbers in the Paris/Ile-de-France region always begin with “01” and have a total of 10 digits. When dialing Paris from outside of France, however, you drop the initial “0” – thus using only 9 of the number’s ten digits. Example: to reach 01.44.52.64.40 from your home or office in North America, dial 011 33 144.52.64.40. The same principle applies to calling numbers in other regions of France: “02” (Northwest France), “03” (Northeast France), “04” (Southeast France and Corsica), “05” (Southwest France), “06” (mobile numbers). To reach other countries from France, dial “00” (international access code), followed by the country code, then the area code, and finally the party’s local phone number. Example: to reach a number in New York, dial 00 1 212-555-1212. Special entries in the country’s numbering plan allow for dialing to French overseas departments (DOM – Département d’Outre-Mer). Numbers in Mayotte, for instance, would be dialed from France as “0269” plus the 6-digit standard local number used in the French departments – for a 10-digit total. These numbers coincide with the departments’ respective country codes, and these assignments will not conflict with the new France numbering plan:
  • 262 Reunion
  • 269 Mayotte
  • 508 St. Pierre & Miquelon
  • 590 Guadeloupe
  • 594 Guyana
  • 596 Martinique
Calls to French overseas territories (TOM – Territoire d’Outre-Mer) are made using the standard international calling protocol (“00” + country code). TOMs include Antarctica (+672), Wallis and Futuna (+681), New Caledonia (+687), and French Polynesia (+689).

Accessing the internet

France has an extensive internet network, including ADSL and fibre. Most service providers offer attractive packages at affordable rates. To subscribe, you may either visit your preferred service provider’s shop or its website from your office or an internet cafe. The following documents need to be produced:

  • A passport or identity card (recognized by French authorities)
  • Proof of address (lease documents or utility bill)
  • Your RIB (bank account number) for direct debit purposes (a safe and widespread practice in France)

Interested in studying abroad with DPIMMI ?​