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MainEn: How to Survive in Grenoble?

Additional information

Grenoble University has put into place a resource for foreign students. Point your web browser at:

Before your arrival in France

Student visa

If you are not a citizen of a European Union country and you plan to spend more than six months studying in France you will need a long-stay visa (visa de long séjour) marked "étudiant" (student).

Students of all nationalities can subsequently have their student visas renewed automatically as long they provide the documents required by the authorities.

Apply to the nearest French Consulate, in your home country, or to the visa section of the French Embassy.

3 important points :

  1. A tourist visa, of whatever type, can never be turned into a student visa in France or in any other EU country.
  2. A French visa cannot be modified once you have arrived in France.
  3. if you are from a country outside the European Union and are staying in France for more than 3 months you must obtain a student residence permit, which is not he same as a visa, in the first two months after your arrival in France.

For more information:

To obtain a visa you will need the following documents (originals and photocopies) :

Once you arrive

Obtaining your residence permit

This formality concerns all foreign students who are not from a European Economic Area (EEA) country. It is mandatory for all foreign students staying for more than three months. It is also essential if you wish to qualify for a housing grant. Its duration is limited by the validity of your passport and cannot exceed the period of study. It is valid for up to one year, but may be renewed. It is a good idea to apply for this permit as quickly as possible, once you have your student card. This formality can be completed on the campus, at the prefecture's desk in student social centre (EVE) from mid-September to mid-January. At this time you will be given an appointment for a medical check-up.

To obtain a residence permit you must provide :


Student health coverage

Complementary insurance

In addition to mandatory coverage, LMDE and SMERRA offer a complementary insurance, named la mutuelle (from 80 euros / year).

Inter-university health centre

You have access to many free services including reception services, consultations and preventive medicine in the areas of general medicine, nursing care, gynaecology, psychology, diet and nutrition, tobacco addiction, disabilities, etc.

For more information:

180 rue de la Piscine 38400 St-Martin-d'Hères
Tél: 04 76 82 40 70
TramB Les Taillées stop
TramC Berlioz stop
5 rue d'Arsonval 38000 Grenoble
Tél: 04 76 57 50 90
Tram A, B Gares stop

Cost of your stay

Rent estimates :

Typical expenses for a month

Accommodation :

Transport :

One-month student travel pass entitling you to unlimited travel on the urban public transport network: 24 euros

Clothing :

40 euros

Sundries and hygiene :

25 euros

Leisure activities :

You will therefore need at least 700 a month if you are living in a university hall of residence or approximately 900 if you are renting private accommodation.

Be prepared for the first month's expensives! Enrolment fees:180 to 470 euros depending on degree courses (over 1000 euros for some management degrees)

Health insurance

Attention : Don't forget! On top of your rent you often have to pay rental charges, electricity, gas, water and insurance (variable rates). Monthly cost of Internet + telephone: approx. €30 (there may also be an initial connection charge). The estimate does not include the cost of travel, books or health care, which will of course vary.

You can find more information here :

These are just the basics, please go visit those websites for more informations :

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Page last modified on September 24, 2012, at 12:41 PM