Practical Information to prepare your stay


Here are some information and advice to best prepare your stay at 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.


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

  • Accomodation at ENS de Lyon

Once you are accepted, you will receive an email with the access to an online application form for accommodation (student residences on campus or CROUS).
If your request is accepted, you will receive an answer early July at the latest.

You need to provide:
- Housing insurance (that covers fire and water damage) including civil liability insurance
- A security deposit equivalent to at least one month’s rent. 
- You will sign a tenancy agreement. 

More information: Accomodation


  • Off-campus accomodation

If your request isn't accepted, you will have to search an accomodation on your own. ENS de Lyon has different partnerships to help you.

More information: Off-campus accomodation

You need to provide:
- Housing insurance (that covers fire and water damage) including civil liability insurance
- A security deposit equivalent to at least one month’s rent. 
- A surety bond from your guarantor (except students on Campus residence of ENS Lyon). 
- You will sign a tenancy agreement drawn up by the landlord. 

The housing assurance
It can be provide when opening a bank account.

The guarantor
It is the person who agrees to pay your rent if you are unable to do so. The guarantor must be a French resident and be creditworthy. 
International students who do not have a guarantor can use the new rent guarantor scheme called VISALE.
Presentation : Visale.

The deposit 
It will be returned to you if there are no damages to your housing unitand if you have paid your rent and charges. This is equivalent to one month's rent.

The agreement 
It must states the duration of the lease, the rental price and the terms of payment. Pay close attention to the rent specified in the agreement: this may or may not include rental charges. You will also sign an inventory of fixtures at check-in and check-out.

  • Housing allowance

More information


In France, international students are covered by the French social security system, often referred to as “la sécu”.
Social security includes health insurance, which reimburses part of your medical expenses. You are responsible for paying the rest, unless you have taken out complementary health insurance, known in French as a “mutuelle”.

  • Health Insurance 

You are an EU student
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 a non-EU student and study in France
-For more than three months: you will need to obtain health insurance coverage (compulsory and free). 
You need to register at here : 
In order to register for social security (CPAM), you will be given information by the International  Student Office to prepare your application.

– For less than three months: you must be covered by your home country’s health insurance or by a private insurance with the detailed guarantees translated into French or English.
European health insurance cardholders cannot sign up for student social security: you must obtain the European Health Insurance Card from your Social Security Office or provide detailed proof of private health insurance coverage (translated into French or English) and valid for the duration of your stay in France.
If you are from Quebec, you do not need to sign up for student social security. However, you must present the form SE401Q106 to the Primary Health Insurance Fund (CPAM), which will give you a document to present when receiving healthcare services. Your medical expenses will be reimbursed by the CPAM.

  • Complementary insurance 

    For better coverage of your medical expenses, you can take out a complementary insurance. 

You can choose between different student insurances such as:

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 :