Practical life and integration

Practical life

We advise you to anticipate the opening of a bank account, online, before your arrival to allow you to obtain your accommodation and to receive your scholarship (for scholarship holders) as soon as September.

ENS Paris-Saclay has established several banking partnerships with: 

However, each student is free to choose the service provider of his choice. 

Our partner Science Accueil will also be able to help you in this step to open a bank account before your arrival. At your request, they will be able to guide you through all the possibilities.
Contact: procedures [at] science-accueil.orgrel=" noopener" target="_blank" 

Do not hesitate to contact the bank of your choice. 

To come to France, a minimum of 615€ per month is required by the French administration when applying for a student visa, while doctoral students and international researchers must prove a minimum of 1,000€ per month. Remember to respect this rule, without this amount, your stay in France could be very complicated and your studies could be affected. 

For your first month in France, remember to bring enough money with you. You will have to pay your first month's rent, your deposit and what you need to live. An amount of 1.800 to 2.000 € is recommended. 

For scholarship students, please note that your first month's scholarship will be delivered at the end of September as soon as your registration is finalized and you provide a bank account statement (RIB) to the school administration.

Membership in the French social security system is free and compulsory. It allows you to benefit from the coverage of your health expenses during the whole duration of your studies.

As soon as you arrive on the French territory and after having obtained your schooling certificate at ENS Paris-Saclay, register on the dedicated website of the Assurance Maladie

To help you with your registration, the Assurance Maladie provides you with several aids:

⚠ Erasmus and European students do not need to register with the French Health Insurance. Simply request your European Health Insurance Card from your home insurer.

Employed doctoral students and researchers will need to complete the application for opening the right to health insurance and send it back by mail with the necessary supporting documents to be affiliated and benefit from French social security.

Once you are in your accommodation, you will be able to benefit from aid to pay your rent. The Caisse d'Allocations Familiales (CAF) can provide you with housing assistance, called Aide Personnalisée au Logement (APL).

You can apply for this aid directly online from the CAF website.

The CAF services provide you with a tutorial and explanations on the APL, do not hesitate to consult them:


  • Metro, RER and bus

The Paris region is divided into 5 zones. Zone 1 corresponds to Paris, and zones 2, 3, 4 and 5 to the suburbs. 

To help you plan your trips, you can use the Vianavigo website or the City Mapper application. 

For more information about buying a ticket, visit the Île-de-France Mobilités website

There are several types of season tickets, including, 

Imagine'R pass:

For students under 26 years old for all zones 1 to 5. 

Fare in effect in 2021: €350 + €8 administration fee (12-month subscription)

Navigo package:

Available by the week or by the month. Examples of rates in effect in 2021: Zones 1 to 5: €22.80/week or €75.20/month.

For Navigo and Imagine'R cards, you can take out a subscription on the Navigo website

  • By bike


Self-service bicycles have become an essential means of transportation in Paris. For more information, visit the Velib' website


In the south of Paris, the StartUp ZooV has deployed 500 electric bikes and about 40 stations. Download the app to find an available bike and find out the price of your ride. 


  • Phone plan

You have the option of taking out a monthly subscription or buying prepaid cards which are more expensive in the long run but less restrictive when you arrive. 

The classic offers are generally around 15 to 40€ per month but most providers offer alternative low cost offers without commitment from 2 to 15€ per month which are often sufficient depending on your needs. 

  • Internet 

CROUS residences benefit from an internet network offered by the student associations of ENS Paris-Saclay or the University of Paris-Saclay. Thus:

  • CROUS Cachan residence: The Crans association proposes a WiFi offer at 50€ per year.
  • CROUS Paris-Saclay residences: The Aurore association proposes a WiFi offer at 50€ per year. 
  • At ENS Paris-Saclay or at the University Paris-Saclay : once registered at the ENS Paris-Saclay, you will be able to benefit from the Eduroam network with your ENS identifiers to connect in any university establishment.

Apart from these offers, there are many telephone operators who propose a complete offer including internet access, fixed or cell phone line and access to television channels.

The average cost varies between 20 and 50€ per month.

  • Finding your way around ENS Paris-Saclay

The Insiteo application will help you find your way arount the building. You will find at the entrance of the School all the instructions to download it and connect to it. 

  • Transport 

CityMapper: to find the best itinerary in terms of transportation 
RATP: to follow in real time the traffic situation of public transport in Ile-de-France (especially RER A and RER B)
Maps: provide offline maps

  • Translation


  • Work tools

Trello: a great project management tool 
Evernote: for efficient note taking
CamScanner: to take a picture of a document or even a whiteboard and scan it 
Timetable: a digital agenda to organize your time and automatically switch your phone to silent mode during class time
Affluences: real-time knowledge of the occupancy rate and waiting times in the main university libraries
Zoom / Skype / Microsoft Teams 

  • Health 

Ameli: the essential application for health insurance 
CAF: the direct link to the Caisse des Allocations Familiales 
Doctolib: to find and book an appointment with a doctor or any other health specialist


We strongly recommend that you read the welcome booklet. You will find there all the necessary information and most certainly answers to the questions you may have. 

International doctoral students and researchers also benefit from the Welcome guide for international doctoral students and researchers set up by Université Paris-Saclay. 

Université Paris-Saclay provides you with the international support application allowing you to obtain personalized information and a step-by-step calendar indicating all the steps to take before your arrival and from your first days in France.

A meeting is dedicated to you on Tuesday, September 6, 2022 from 12:45 pm to 2 pm.
After a welcome word from the Presidence of ENS Paris-Saclay, a cocktail is organized for you to meet all other international students as well as some representatives of general services of the School. 

To register, please send an email to ri-incoming [at] 

For the newcomers in the second semester or during the year, an information session can be set up on request at ri-incoming [at] 

In September, each Teaching and Research Department (DER) organizes pedagogical meetings. Do not hesitate to contact your DER for more information. 

The GATE is a unique place that offers a comprehensive and free range of services for all your administrative installation procedures. 

The GATE is open from August 29, 2022 to December 16, 2022 in the Breguet building at CentraleSupélec. 

You can find, in one place:

  • The Sub-Prefecture of Palaiseau (residence permit area)
  • A Science Accueil information point
  • Université Paris-Saclay
  • The Caisse Primaire d'Assurance Maladie (CPAM - Ameli)
  • Campus France
  • The RATP (Ile-de-France transport)
  • The Employment Office (Pôle Emploi)
  • The CROUS 
  • Caisse d'Allocations Familiales (CAF - housing assistance)

Visit the GATE website for more information and to make an appointment. 


The Buddy Programme is a free international sponsorship program for international students/doctors arriving in France for their studies.

We strongly recommend that you participate in this program which will certainly help you in your integration. 

Thanks to the program, you will be sponsored by a local student, who will be able to accompany you in your administrative steps, to make you discover, share local advices and the French culture.
Register for the Buddy Programme.

Several solutions for learning French and other languages are available to international students at ENS Paris-Saclay.

At ENS Paris-Saclay you can benefit from free French classes every thursday starting from September 28th, 2023. You can also find other opportunities with the University of Paris-Saclay, Science Accueil, student associations and many others.

Each year, the International Relations Department organizes several cultural events for international students. 

For example, in 2018 and 2019, international students participated in the creation of international recipe books. In 2020 and 2021, the two volumes of the collection of tales and legends could be implemented. 

In December, international students have the opportunity to get together to celebrate the end of the year over a nice meal and exchange gifts by participating in Secret Santa. 

Finally, in January, to celebrate the beginning of the new year, students come back to enjoy the traditional "galette des rois". 

  • Events at ENS Paris-Saclay

The Scène de Recherche is a creative space of 160 places which aims to bring high cultural and artistic standards within the walls of ENS Paris-Saclay: artistic practices, residencies for artists, shows, cultural meetings, festivals or conferences. 

Learn more about the program of the Scène de Recherche

You will also find all the events of the ENS Paris-Saclay on the agenda of the School. 

  • External events

Our partner Science Accueil offers many cultural visits and events for the international community of Paris-Saclay, all year long: theater outings, visits to museums and castles, guided tours in Paris, and many others. 

The website of the Paris-Saclay Tourist Office, Destination Paris-Saclay, is in charge of promoting the 27 communes that make up the Paris-Saclay agglomeration. A calendar of activities, must-see events and experiences can be found on their website. 

The Student Office (BDE) animates student life on campus through the organization of events, student parties and convivial moments (P'tit Dèj, [Pot]s, Christmas meals, etc.). Its many clubs offer cultural, sports, civic or creative activities, which are complemented by numerous associations whose presentation is made at the beginning of each school year during the Forum des Associations. 

The BDE also organizes the Integration Weekend (WEI), the Normal Night (Gala) and the Meeting Point (reception of eligible students during the oral exams). 

For more information on the BDE and the student associations, please consult the dedicated page. 

  • Sports at ENS Paris-Saclay

The School proposes and organizes about twenty sports activities (athletics, badminton, cheerleading, pilates, volleyball, ...) for students and staff members. 

The Sports Association (AS) aims to structure competitive sports within the framework of FFSU (French Federation of University Sports) competitions, and sports events on campus. There are numerous events that mark out student life: Weekend Teams in Competition, ENSympiades and InterENS. 

For more information on sports at ENS Paris-Saclay, please consult the dedicated page.