Funding your stay

Many students have a job to help pay for their studies. Perhaps you are one of these. Remember, however, that work and studies are difficult to reconcile!

Funding your stay
Most students have various sources of income, such as savings, parental or government assistance and work. You status as a student allows you to benefit from discounts on transportation and leisure activities. However, you should establish a detailed budget to cover your needs in France. 

A realistic budget for a comfortable life
To define your needs and plan a budget, see the following sections: Opening a bank account, Scholarships, Work 

Remember that a minimum monthly income of 615 euros is required for requesting a residence permit! 
Plan on 850 euros per month for proper living and even 1,500 euros the first month for fees related to your installation.

In France, you pay with euros. The euro is the currency of the 19 member states of the European Union. It facilitates going from one country to another and comparing prices. If you decided to visit one of these countries during your stay in Lyon, you won't need to change your money. 
In France, it's not customary to bargain and prices are very rarely haggled over! 

The most common methods of payment in France are: 
 - a bank card for store purchases
 - checks or automatic bank transfers for gas, water and electricity 
 - cash for everyday expenses. 
When you receive a bill or a sales receipt, the amount to be paid includes service and taxes. In bars and restaurants, you may leave a tip for the waiter if you like, but this is not mandatory. 
Indications of the cost of living in Lyon
Housing: from 400 to 800 euros/month, from rented rooms to one-room apartments. 
Monthly consumption of electricity, gas and phone: 60 euros/month on average. 
Public transportation: 14.30 euros for a book of 10 tickets (student rate) for bus-tram-metro (monthly subscription: 31 euros). 
Food: around 200 euros/month. 
Meal in the university cafeteria: 3.20 euros. 
Meal in a restaurant (starter + main dish or main dish + desert, without a drink): 16 euros. 
Baguette loaf (250 grams): 0.90 euros on average. 
Cinema ticket: 6-7 euros on average, student rate. 
Seat for a show: 4.5 euros with the Pass Culture 
TGV Lyon-Paris round trip: 60 euros (with the 18-27 card that costs 50 euros annually), 120 euros without the card. 

Opening a bank account
You need a bank account in your name for several reasons: 
- to have a bank card and a checkbook;
- housing subventions and reimbursement of medical expenses by LMDE or SMERRA are automatically transferred to a bank account;
- salaries are paid by check or automatic transfer, never in cash;
- checks are generally needed to pay for rent or electricity. 

All foreigners who reside in France for longer than three months may open a bank account. However, many banks hesitate to open an account for stays less than three months. 
The two most important types of account are the checking account, known as the "compte courant" (which earns no interest) and the savings account, or compte épargne, that pays interest. 
Most often, you must go to the bank or use an ATM to carry out your operations. Remote banking is becoming more common and is based on the internet and telephone. Banks usually open from Monday to Saturday at eight or nine and close around 6 p.m. (with a break between noon and 1:30 p.m.). They are often closed on Monday and on Saturday afternoon. 

How do you open a bank account? 
You must go to the bank and make an appointment with an advisor. You must show: 
- an ID (ID card, passport) 
- your residence permit
- proof of address: this is a document that indicates your address or the address of the person housing you. This may be a rent receipt, a phone bill, an electricity bill or a gas bill. 

When you open an account, you must deposit at least €15 on it. 
When the account has been opened, you will receive a checkbook in about ten days (usually free of charge) and a bank card (costing from €15 to €40). 

Account management: be careful about overdrafts! 
If you spend more than what you have on your account, you must pay a fee called an "agio," which is usually very high. If you are overdrawn too often, the bank may take back your checkbook and bank card! 

If your card or checkbook are lost or stolen: 
Contact your bank as quickly as possible to suspend operations. If the bank is closed, call the number on your contract to report a loss or theft. Call the bank the next day to confirm the suspension of operations and to sign and send back the document you will have received. 

Your payments will be blocked automatically so that no one can use your account. If you find your card after suspending operations, it's too late! You will need to make a new bank card. 

To receive money from abroad: the Post Office proposes a Western Union service for transferring money under optimal conditions of security and rapidity. You do not need to have an account to use this service: the money is given in cash to the recipient upon reception. 

Study grants and help from the French State

Each year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs awards scholarships to foreign students through the French embassies. The student's stay is then managed by the CROUS or CampusFrance. These two organizations ensure the payment of scholarships, facilitate installation and check to see that the student's stay goes smoothly.
Wherever they live, scholarship applicants must directly contact these services in their country at least one year before departure in order to obtain all the necessary information on how these scholarships are awarded, as well as their corresponding application folders. 
Directory of scholarships, by level, study area and country of origin 

In contrast to many other countries, France provides major indirect assistance to each student by paying for almost all schooling expenses in public establishments of higher learning for both French and foreign students. This corresponds to an average of 6,000 euros per student per year. The registration fees you must pay are therefore minimal.
Hostater Foundation scholarships
These are CROUS-managed scholarships that are awarded to French or foreign students who do not already hold scholarships and who are confronted with major financial difficulties during their last year of studies. 
For information, contact the CROUS Social Service. Tel. 04 72 80 13 25 


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