Both French and international students can receive financial aid from the CAF (Caisse d'Allocations Familiales) for their housing. Students can receive this benefit should they choose to rent an apartment (furnished or unfurnished), stay in a student residence or have another type of valid, legal lease. Moreover, the rental agreement must be made out in the student’s name and they cannot be a relative of the property owner.
The monthly stipend provided depends on the individual’s needs and circumstances, but generally it makes a significant difference and it is highly recommended that students take advantage of the assistance. The calculation of the housing benefit will take into account the student’s income, the type of accommodation, the location and the amount of rent. Students are entitled to the housing benefit whether they live alone or with a co-tenant. It is recommended that students act swiftly in applying for housing benefits, as only once the filing process has begun can students claim financial aid.
To generate an estimate of the monthly stipend and/or complete the CAF application, visit the caf.fr website and create an account. Once you have filled out the required information, you will be requested to send in documents which will differ depending on whether you are French, a citizen of another EU member state, or from outside the European Union. These documents can be submitted online.
For more information and step-by-step directions in English, read the following guide.
Recommendations & Important Information
The following information is important to keep in mind when filing for housing aid.
- You need to have a French bank account to receive benefits (you will be asked to provide your “Relevé d’identité bancaire” or “RIB”)
- When you arrive in France, file for aid as swiftly as possible
- Talk to your landlord: they will need to fill out a form and may help you with submitting some of the information pertaining to your lease
- Appointments with your local CAF office: meetings can be scheduled online through your account; appointments are free and the individuals at the CAF office will be able to guide you through the process and provide you with any forms to be filled out. If you do not speak French, you may want to ask someone who does to join you.
Should you have any concerns or need more information, contact the student life advisor at your respective campus with your questions.