Opening a bank account

To make managing your budget easier on a daily basis, you will need to open a bank account.


You will need to open a bank account to receive reimbursements from Assurance Maladie or to receive housing support.

To open an account, you will need to choose a bank (ideally a branch near to your home or workplace), make an appointment and bring:

  • some ID (National ID card or passport),
  • proof of residence dated from within the last 3 months (electricity bill, rent payment receipt, proof of accommodation, etc.),
  • if you are under 25, a student card to benefit from special rates.
Additional documents for international students
  • While waiting for a permanent accommodation, you can sometimes use the address of the international relations office of your school.
  • Visas and residence permits for third-country nationals.

Once you have opened your account, you can obtain a RIB bank identification document. This can be used to share your bank details, without fear of making any mistakes, to pay bills (direct debit), and receive payments (grants and salaries, etc.).

It is normally free-of-charge to open an account. Some services can incur fees, such as the provision of a bank card, payment method insurance, money transfers, and overdraft authorization (making it possible to spend a certain amount over your account balance).

In the event of loss or theft of your payment methods, you will need to have these canceled by notifying your bank branch. When you open your account, the bank will give you an emergency phone number to call when this happens.


If you are leaving to study abroad or coming to study in France, there are ways of transferring money from your account in your place of residence to the account where you are studying.

  • The Mandat Ordinaire International can be used to transfer up to €3,500 or an equivalent sum in local currency in 52 countries and territories.
  • The Mandat Express International can be used to make quick cash transfers of up to €3,500.
  • The Mandat de versement can be used to transfer funds deposited in cash in a foreign account.
  • Western Union can be used to transfer up to €6,000 from a post office. The money will be available in minutes once the order has been confirmed. NB. the costs for this solution could be fairly high.

Important! Since 2017, the Mandat Cash Ordinaire and the Mandat Cash Urgent, for the transfer of cash, are no longer available.