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The euro (€) is the currency used in France and nineteen other member states of the European Union, also known as the Euro Zone: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Irland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain.
Is a French bank account really necessary?
Absolutely! While you may prefer the familiarity of your bank in your home country, having a French bank account will truly make your life a lot simpler while you're living here.
Many things in France require a French bank account, just to name a few:
- many landlords in Paris
- CAF housing benefits (all students may be eligible, regardless of origin)
- many mobile phone companies
- the Velib' public bike share system
In addition, transferring money (virements), making scheduled electronic payments (prélèvements), and getting reimbursed is extremely easy, and in some cases only possible with a French bank account. With your Carte Bleue (ATM card), making purchases almost anywhere in France and many places throughout Europe Europe is fast, easy, and secured with a PIN code. Other exmples of when having a French bank account are useful are:
- reimbursements from the Sécurité Sociale or the mutuelle (French health insurance)
- monthly payments for gym memberships
- monthly cinema memberships
- paying your monthly metro/bus transport card
- e-payments for utility bills at home
- paying your renter's insurance (required by law)
Finally, in France you can withdraw money from any ATM machine (even from banks other than your own) up to 5 times per month without a service fee. When traveling within the Euro Zone, life becomes a lot simpler when you use your French ATM card, which is also accepted almost anywhere major credit cards are accepted.
How do I open a French bank account?
To open a bank account, you should make an appointment with the bank of your choice and bring along the following documents:
- Pièce d'identité - national ID, passport, or carte de séjour (a driver's license is not acceptable)
- Justificatif de domicile (proof of residency: phone or electricity bill, rental receipt, etc.)
- Carte étudiante - Your student card or a certificat de scolarité (proof of enrolment) from Sciences Po, to benefit from our partner offers
Until you have an established residence in France, you are welcome to use the address of Sciences Po's administrative offices:
9, rue de la Chaise
This temporary address may be used for your online registration (inscription), for your medical insurance, and other procedures until you've estiblished residence.
Keep in mind however that this is a temporary solution, and you must be diligent about updating your address immediately upon finding your new home in Paris.
Are there benefits to opening a French bank account through Sciences Po?
Definitely! Several major banks in France also have partnerships with some of our major student associations, such as the BDE (Bureau des Elèves), the AS (Association Sportive), and the BdA (Bureau des Arts).
By opening a new bank account at one of these partner banks, you can receive many benefits, including up to 100€ free deposited automatically into your new bank account!
Discover the offers from all of Sciences Po's partners by clicking on the "Partner Offers" tab above.
Cost of living on the different campuses
The cost of living will depend on which city city you live in. There is a big difference between Paris and other cities.their bikes