Les infos de LyonCampus, actualité étudiante à Lyon

Finance your stay : a realistic budget


Many students have a job to help to finance their studies. You are probably one of them. However, it is hard to work and study properly at the same time !

Finance your stay : a realistic budget
Most students finances come from a variety of sources : personal savings, parental or state help, a job…
Your student status will entitle you to reductions on transport, leisure activites…
However, be careful to plan your budget for being in France in as much detail as possible.

You will need at least 600 euros a month to live decently and possibly 800 euros the first month to meet the expense of settling in.
Reminder : you will need a minimum of 430 euros monthly revenue in order to obtain a resident’s permit !

In France, we pay in Euros. The Euro is the currency used by most of the states of the European Union. This makes it easier to compare prices when travelling in these countries. If you take advantage of your time in Lyon to visit one of these countries, you will not need to change any money.

Payment in France is usually made in the following ways :
Bank card for purchases in shops
Cheque or automatic transfer for gas, water and electricity bills, …
Cash for small daily expenses.
When you are given a receipt in a shop the price includes tax and service. In bars and restaurants you can leave a tip for the waiter if you want, but this is not obligatory any more.

An idea of the cost of living in Lyon
Accomodation : 350 to 600 euros a month for a studio or a one-roomed flat, known as a T1
Monthly electricity, gas and telephone bill : 60 euros on average
City transport : 11.90 euros for a book of 10 tickets valid on the bus, tram and metro (or monthly subscription 25 euros)
High speed inter-city train from Lyon to Paris : 60 euros if you have a 12-25 card, which also costs 49 euros a year, 120 euros if you have no card. You can buy ‘Prem’s’ tickets on internet. These are very cheap, but it is a good idea to plan your trip three months in advance.

Food : about 200 euros a month
A meal at one of the university restaurants : 2.90 euros
A meal at a pizzeria (with desert, but no drink) : 15 euros
A 250 g stick of French bread : 0.80 euros on average
A ticket for the cinema : 6 or7 euros on average, student price
Ticket for a show : 4 euros with the Culture Pass (Pass Culture : see link)

Page 1 : A realistic Budget
Page 2 : Opening a bank account
Page 3 : Study Grants
Page 4 : Having a job

Opening a bank account
You will need a bank account in your own name for several reasons :
To have a bank card and a cheque-book
An accommodation grant and refund of medical expenses by LMDE or SMERRA will be transferred to your account automatically.
Salaries are paid either by cheque or by automatic transfer, never in cash.
You generally need a cheque-book to pay the rent or the electricity.

All foreign residents who have lived in France for more than 3 months can open a bank account. However, many banks are reticent if you are here for less than 3 months.
The most important types of account are the current account (this doesn’t bring you any interest) and the savings account, which enables you to gain interest.
Most of the time you will have to actually go the bank or to the automatic till for banking operations. Banking by internet or telephone is gradually developing. Banks are usually open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 8 or 9 am to 6 pm (they also close from 12 noon to 1.30 pm)
Banks are often closed on Monday and on Saturday afternoon.

How to open a bank account.
Go to the bank and make an appointment with an advisor.
You will need to show :
Your identity card or passport
Your resident’s card
Proof of your address, usually a rent receipt, a phone bill, an electricity or gas bill with your name on it.
The day you open an account, you will need to put 15 euros minimum on it.
Once the account is open you will receive a cheque-book within 10 days (usually free of charge) and a bank card (this will cost between 15 and 40 euros).

Managing your account : be careful not to be overdrawn !
If you spend more money than you have on your account, you will have to pay expenses known as ‘agios’, and these are usually quite expensive. If you are overdrawn to often, the bank can ask you to return your cheque-book and bank-card !

If you lose your cheque-book or bank-card, or if they are stolen :
Contact your bank as quickly as possible to stop them being used. If the bank is closed, call the number on your contract to let them know your cheque-book or bank card has disappeared. Contact the bank again the next day to confirm this and send them the signed document they will have given you.
Your means of payment will automatically be stopped so that nobody else can use your account. If you find your card again once you have told the bank, it is too late ! You will have to have a new bank-card.

Receiving money from abroad : the Post Office has a Western Union facility for transferring money quickly and safely. You do not need an account with them to use this facility :the money is given to the recipient in cash.

Page 1 : A realistic Budget
Page 2 : Opening a bank account
Page 3 : Study Grants
Page 4 : Having a job

Study grants and help from the French State
Each year, the French Foreign Ministry gives study grants to foreign students through French Embassies. In that case, your stay in France is managed by the CROUS in Lyon (see glossary) or the EGIDE (see glossary). These two organisations ensure that the grant is paid, do everything to help you to settle in and make your stay here a success.
The French government gives out a large number of grants each year. The beneficiaries are chosen by the cultural department in French embassies.

Wherever they reside, grant candidates can therefore apply directly to these services in their own country, at least one year in advance, in order to obtain all the necessary information on grants and application forms.

Comprehensive grant list

Further information about grants in France
Egide - in english

France is different from other countries in that it gives considerable indirect financial help to each student by assuming practically the whole cost of higher education in public institutions, both for French students and foreigners. The real cost of higher education is around 6000 euros per student, per year, on average.

Hostater Foundation grants
These are grants managed by the CROUS, and are given to French or foreign students who have no other grant, are in their last year’s studies and who are in financial difficulty.
Information is available from the CROUS Social service facility, telephone 04 72 80 13 25

Page 1 : A realistic Budget
Page 2 : Opening a bank account
Page 3 : Study Grants
Page 4 : Having a job

Having a job at the same time as being a student
In France there is a minimum legal wage, known as the SMIC (see glossary). The gross hourly wage is 8.71 €, that is before obligatory social contributions have been taken off (around 20% per hour). You should not be paid less than this !
The fact that you have a student resident’s card or a long stay student visa entitles you to have a paid job, without asking for special permission.
However, your job must not exceed 964 hours a year. The prefecture can withdraw a student’s resident card if this limit is not respected.

A foreign student can only be hired after the employer has registered his or her name at the prefecture that issued the resident’s card, or for a foreign student holding a long stay visa, at the prefecture of the place where he or she lives. This formality must be done at least 2 days before starting the job.

Registration includes a copy of the student’s resident’s card or long-stay visa. The nature of the job, length of contract, number of hours to be worked annually and starting date should be stated.

For Algerian students :
Algerian students’ legal working rights come under the Franco-Algerian agreement of December 27th 1968, modified in 2001.
You must obtain permission to work if you wish to have a paid job during your studies.
An application form must be sent in to the DDTEFP. This must include a job contract or promise of a job.
Permission is limited to 50% of the yearly work quota

For further information about grants in France:
site Service public

Practical training courses
If you have to do a practical training course during your studies, no prior permission (APT) is necessary.
There must be a tripartite convention between your institution , the employer and yourself.

For a training course of at least three months, you should be paid a third of the SMIC, ie around 390 € a month.
However, if your diploma is only issued after an end-of-study training course (chartered accountants, solicitors…) you have to apply for an APT. In this case you will need to produce a student card, a resident’s card, the job contract project and a certificate from the training school.

Page 1 : A realistic Budget
Page 2 : Opening a bank account
Page 3 : Study Grants
Page 4 : Having a job

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