The International Welcome Desk

Expert advice and support tailored to your needs

Are you an international student enrolled at Sorbonne University’s faculty of Science and Engineering or about to enrol? Have you just moved to France? The International Student Welcome Desk welcomes you, guides you and advises you on a wide range of subjects.

What we can offer you

By teaming up with the Student Welfare Services (Pôle social), we assist you in finding answers to your questions. We redirect you to the relevant specialist service and make your search easier by providing one-to-one support.

Our services include:

Since the 7th of April 2021, international students have been able to apply for a visa online through France-Visas. This new service is available for residents of countries where the visa process is outsourced and applications for long-stay visas are completed online .

Visit the Campus France website for more information about the conditions and steps for registering. You will also find video tutorials covering every step of the registration process.

Residence permit requests can be made electronically on the website of the Digital Administration Services for Foreign Nationals in France (the Administration numérique pour les étrangers en France or ANEF).

You can complete these processes online using a computer, tablet or smartphone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We can guide you and answer any questions related to the process.

It is possible to claim one-off or annual assistance.
Exceptional schemes have also been set up to meet the most urgent needs.
Request exemption from registration fees

University fee exemption committees meet at the start of the academic year. Students without grants may be made exempt from registration fees if they are facing financial problems. These exemptions are subject to certain conditions. It is important to meet with the Student Welfare Services (Pôle social) before preparing or submitting your application.

>> Send us an email

Exceptional emergency assistance - digital pack

It is possible to request one-off assistance if you are experiencing financial difficulties. This assistance may be granted following the guidelines set by the Committee of the Solidarity Fund for Developing Student Initiatives (the Fonds de solidarité au développement des initiatives étudiantes or FSDIE). The committee's meetings are arranged throughout the year to respond to urgent and difficult situations that require support.

Given the current context of health protocols, help with purchasing a computer is now available to students. To benefit from this financial assistance, a « digital pack » request form needs to be filled.

>> Send us an email

Crous grants based on social criteria

Applications for grants based on social criteria are made from January 15th to May 31st directly on the Crous website via a one-stop process called the Student Welfare Application (the Dossier Social Étudiant, or DSE).

The Crous social assistants are available to talk to you in the Student Hub (Espace vie étudiante) on the Pierre et Marie Curie campus. They will assess your situation and help you complete the application before the committee meets. 

>> Learn more

Housing assistance is available:

Types of aid

General information
Student rental deposit (VISALE)

VISALE, an entirely free and electronically-based system, is a government guarantee managed by Crous that makes it easier for students under 30 without guarantors in France (and under certain conditions for those over 30) to access accommodation.

>> Make your request

Accommodation allowance (allocation logement, or AL) AL can be allocated to tenants, co-tenants or sub-tenants in furnished or unfurnished accommodation.
Individual housing assistance (aide personnalisée au logement, or APL)

Anyone renting accommodation covered by an agreement between the owner and the government can receive APL. If the request is accepted, the APL is paid directly to the owner of the accommodation.

You can find all the information you need about housing assistance on the website of the Family Allowances Fund (the caisse d’allocations familiales or CAF). To receive APL, make your request once your rental agreement has been signed.

>> Calculate the amount of your financial aid
>> Make your request 

The Loca-Pass

The Loca-Pass makes it easier for students to access rental accommodation. Two types of aid are available:

  • The repayable Loca-Pass advance covers the security deposit directly with the lessor (two months’ rent for private rentals and one month’s rent in a residence).
  • The Loca-Pass guarantee is a joint deposit valid for three years, which covers up to 18 months of payments, rents and charges should the tenant be unable to pay the rent.

To be eligible to apply for a Loca-Pass, you need to:

  • Either have a state grant with a fixed-term contract beginning at least three months prior to the time of the request or in the previous six months,

  • Or be on an approved internship which began at least three months prior to the time of the request.

>> Learn more

A list of available accommodation has been drawn up to make it easier for the student community to find housing solutions.

Social assistance requests can be made for personal, family, economic, administrative, university or study issues. Our team is here to listen to you, talk to you confidentially. help you with formalities, and direct you to the most suitable services.

>> Book an appointment by sending an email.

Our team regularly receives part-time job offers designed to provide an additional source of income whilst a student is studying. To learn more about our latest student job opportunities, you can visit our dedicated page (information available only in French).

How to find us?

The International Welcome Desk is located in the Student Hub (Espace vie étudiante) on the Pierre et Marie Curie campus. We help you settle in, navigate university life and connect with our dynamic student community. Get in touch with our teams to learn more!

>> Email

The International Welcome Desk is designed to help free movers, students who aren't enrolled in exchange programs partnered with Sorbonne University.

If you have any questions regarding your arrival in France as part of an exchange program with Sorbonne University, you can contact the Student Mobility Office.