Practical Information to prepare your stay


Here are some information and advice to best prepare your stay at the ENS de Lyon.


International students: prepare your stay

Welcome Days

At the begining of each semester, the ENS International Student Office receives the international students. 

ENS de Lyon offers a full integration week, free of charges, with French as a Foreign Language courses, administrative times and cultural activities. It takes place at the end of August.

In 2023, we plan to have the integration week, from August, 25th to August, 31th

International Student office and all services will welcome you during the week (beginning on August, 22th) to prepare your stay at ENS de Lyon. 

You will receive an email with more information in June. 

Please note that the first weeks of September are busy : administrative enrollment, welcome in the Faculty, French test, Students association presentation, etc. You will have the program at your arrival.

Detailed programme available now :


Discovering French as a foreign language : the ENS de Lyon's Foreign Language Center provides several language learning activities (workshops on French civilization, creative writing, drama, to improve your academic written and spoken French).


Administrative procedures

Before your departure:

International students: click on the right to read the practical guide "Prepare your stay"

At your arrival:

You can find a list of the documents required:

Documents required - Exchange students

Documents required - Masters students

For the residence permit, you will have an appointment with International Office.

Dispositions regarding long-stay visas

Foreigners with a long-stay visa (over 90 days and less than a year). If granted this visa serves as a residence permit.

More detailed information will be given by the French embassy when applying for a visa.

1- Before your departure: Etudiant visa and Etudiant-Stagiaire visa

  • Long-stay Visa (Visa D) mentioning étudiant
    It must be obtained prior to arrival, in order to pursue studies in France and to be eligible to apply for the residence permit or titre de séjour Étudiant on arrival.
  • Long-stay Visa mentioning étudiant stagiaire (for internships)
    It must be obtained prior to arrival, in order to pursue an internship at the ENS and to be eligible to apply for the residence permit or titre de séjour Étudiant Stagiaire on arrival.
  • Exemptions
    Students of the European Union and the following countries do not need a long-stay visa: Switzerland, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Andorra, Monaco,The Republic of San Marino, The Vatican City.

Application at the consulates or embassies of France in your home country at least 3 months before departure.

Please note : if you live in a country with this process open, you can apply directly online with France-Visas. More information on Campus France website

Documents required (subject to change - check with the French Embassy):

  • a valid passport
  • proof of residence in France for the duration of your stay (electricity bill, House deed)
  • proof of financial resources of at least about €615 per month
  • proof of enrollment at the ENS for the étudiant visa or the internship agreement for the étudiant stagiaire visa

2- On arrival: Long-stay visa which also serves as a residence permit

Promptly after your arrival in France, and within 3 months of your arrivalyou must validate your  VLS-TS.

This has to be directly online :

This platform allows you to buy the virtual fiscal stamp.

At the end of the formalities, you will receive confirmation emails. By connecting to your account, you will be able to download your confirmation document. 

Please note: This agreement does not apply to students of Algerian nationality. They are required to obtain a residence card.

More information: Ministery of Foreign and European Affairs

Once you are accepted, you will receive an email with the access to an online application form for accommodation (student residences on campus).

  • If your request is accepted, you will receive an answer early July at the latest.
  • If your request isn't accepted, you will have to search an accomodation on your own.

More information: Accomodation

  • You are european

You need to submit to the French Health Care System your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) covering the period of your studies in France. In this case, you are excused from joining the French student system.

You don’t need to register online.

  • You are non european

If you are staying in France for your studies for more than 3 months
Once you are registered at ENS de Lyon, you MUST register with French health care system.
It is a free but COMPULSORY formality.
You will need to register online for coverage of your health care expenses throughout your time in higher education.

If you are staying in France for your studies for less than 3 months
You must be covered by health insurance of your country or by private insurance.

  • Supplementary health insurance

For a higher reimbursment rate, choose a supplementary health insurance provider. You can choose between different insurances. Please find proposal (not compulsory):






On the ENS de Lyon campuses, there are university restaurants where you can have good lunch. Your student card allows you to activate your Izly account  which serves you to pay for meals.

How to activate Izly account

You can also enjoy the distribution of vegetables and other local products baskets directly on campus via the AMAP.

AMAP - More information

  • Public transport

In Lyon, public transportation is managed by a company named TCL.

Public transport card
Go to TCL website to choose the best fare that suits you online:
Go to a TCL Agency (Hôtel de Ville, Bellecour, Gorge de Loup, Perrache, Part-Dieu…) with your:
- 5 €
- ID card or your passport
- A bank account details
- A photo ID

  • Rent a bike

You can also rent a bike in all Vélo'v stations in Lyon.

Vélo'v is a bicycle sharing system run by the city of Lyon. You can borrow bicycles anywhere, anytime at one of the 350 stations spread across Lyon and Villeurbanne. Annual subscriptions start from 31€ (adults) or 16.50€ (below 25 years old). For every journey, they start to charge you from the 31st minute (first 30 minutes are free).

More information :