Bien préparer son arrivée

Welcome to ED 560 STEP’UP!

In order to prepare for your arrival at the Doctoral School, in this section you can find all the information and procedures you will need when you arrive in Paris (Visa requirements, housing, social security and healthcare, academic enrolment) as well as other links that may be useful for you. For your PhD, you will be enrolled in one of the academic institutes of our doctoral school (Université Paris Cité, Sorbonne Université, ENS-PSL) and you will do your research in one of the laboratories (APC, AIM, Geo-ENS, IPGP, LPNHE, LPTHE).

Welcome information for foreign students

・ Université Paris Cité:
・ Sorbonne Université: Welcome desk for PhDs, with special assistance for foreigners
・ PSL Welcome Desk (a very complete guide for everyone!):


The official website for France contains all the information you need to know about getting a French Visa: whether you need one, when to start the procedure for application if you do, etc.

Social Security and Healthcare

If you have a PhD contract (3-year contract with the same social guarantees and minimum remuneration as a professional work contract) or any type of work contract, you are automatically registered for Social Security. Your employer (University or IPGP) pays your contributions for you. [this has changed recently]

If you do not have a work contract and you are under 28 years of age, you must register for Social Security when you enrol at the university. It costs approximately 250 euros per year. If you do not have a work contract and you are over 28, you must take private health insurance, at your expense. This is not compulsory if you are from the EU, the Schengen area, Switzerland or Canada. Before leaving your country, ask for a European Health Insurance card or the Health Form according to your country’s international protocol with France.

Social Security provides only partial coverage of your medical expenses. You can claim more reimbursements if you subscribe to a complementary private health insurance (called “mutuelle”).

You will find information on how to find doctors and benefit from healthcare on the Campus France website:


See the dedicated webpage.


Finding accommodation in Paris can be difficult and time-consuming; make sure you think about it well ahead of your arrival!

Detailed information on accommodation opportunities for students is provided on the Campus France website

Some possibilities are offered by the Universities:

– Université Paris Cité:
– Sorbonne University:
– PSL:

Further information can be found on these websites:
– ANIL, National Agency for Housing Support (in French)
– Student accommodation in Paris (in French)
– ESPACIL (in French):

Finally, here are some sites with offers in the private sector (in French): (specifically for students)

Opening a bank account

Some financial operations are only possible if you open a bank account in France: reimbursement for medical expenses, receiving your salary, etc. Get in touch with a bank to find out which documents you need to provide. Usually, you need to prove that you live in France (see Accommodation) and that you have a salary.  There is no specific support from the institutes or the laboratories for this, however, you can ask your thesis supervisor for advice. Prior to your arrival, if you already have a bank account in your home country, check with your bank to find out if they have an agreement with a French bank, as this would simplify the whole process.


Translation carried out by the Masters 2 ILTS team