Plan ahead for your stay in Bordeaux

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Find out how to apply and get ready to study in France... Here's all the information you need about the level of French required, registration fees, visas and residence permits, accommodation, budget, etc.

Photo : Applications for residence permits need to be done in advance © Gautier Dufau
Applications for residence permits need to be done in advance © Gautier Dufau

French proficiency requirement

A B2 level in French is compulsory, proven by a certificate (TCF or DALF). You will be asked for this document when you make your preliminary application for admission (DAP).
The B1 level is required for supervised mobility.

The University of Bordeaux is approved by the FEI (France Éducation International) as a test centre for the French language comprehension test (TCF-DAP). The cost of the test is 73€.

Yo do not need the TCF or DALF if:

  • You come from a country where French is the official language or when secondary education was completed mainly in French.
  • You are a foreign student who graduated from a French bilingual section listed by the French Ministry of Education and Foreign Affairs.

Improve your French with French as a foreign language courses!

Thanks to the MooFLE platform, you can improve your French and also get tips and information about Bordeaux before you even arrive!

To sign up, you need to login by clicking on "Connexion" in the top right-hand corner of the screen, proceed to self-registration (student) and then click on the icon "Accéder aux différents modules/Access the different modules". Registration for all courses (modules 1 to 9) is required on first login. The MooFLE modules will then be displayed on the dashboard of your digital work environment in the tab Formation > Plateformes pédagogiques.

Sign up

Registration fees

  Bachelor, vocational Bachelor,
Master Engineering programmes 
French students without scholarships,
EU / EEE / Switzerland / Monaco nationals
170€  243€ 601€
Students with refugee status or beneficiaries of subsidiary protection Exempt Exempt Exempt
International students from low- and lower-middle income countries (according to the World Bank) + Algeria and Gabon 170€ 243€ 601€
International students (not mentioned above) 2770€



Student and Campus Life Contribution

The CVEC (Student and Campus Life Contribution) is 95€ per year and is collected by the CROUS. It is used to improve life on campus: reception, health, culture and sports...

All ​​​​​​foreign students must pay this fee before beginning the registration procedures.​ ​​​Students who are exempt from paying this fee are:


  • Scholarship students or beneficiaries of a yearly allowance granted by the university
  • Refugee students
  • Students who are subsidiary protection beneficiaries
  • Students registered as asylum seekers with the right to remain in the country
  • Tuition fees

    For diplomas earned at French public universities, tuition fees are set by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research and the French Ministry of Economics, Finance, Industrial & Cyber Sovereignty.

Scholarship programmes

Applications for scholarships awarded by the French government should be made to the Cultural department of the French embassy in your country of residence.
The selection criteria for applicants vary depending on the cooperation programmes established between the French government and the authorities of the country concerned. Scholarships are generally awarded to Master- or Doctorate-level students.
The duration of a scholarship depends on the goal. Applications are processed as from March prior to the start of the academic year; as such, it is advisable to apply as early as possible.

Campus France provides a very comprehensive online catalogue of scholarships.

Consult the CampusBourse catalogue

Long-stay visa or residence permit

To pursue your university studies in France, you may need a residence permit.

Nationals from the following countries are exempt from visa and residence permit requirements: European Union, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Iceland and Norway.
A valid ID card or passport is all that is required.

All other foreign students must apply for a long-stay visa equivalent to a (VLS-TS) residence permit with student status (valid for 4 months to 1 yr).

After 1 year, you can apply for a temporary student residence permit (valid for 1 year) or a multi-annual student residence permit (valid for 2 to 4 years). In some cases, the residence permit may be issued automatically.


French law requires that a foreign student has sufficient means of subsistence to study in France without working, i.e. a minimum monthly amount of 615€. You will be asked for proof of this when you apply for your visa.

To live comfortably in Bordeaux, it is important to plan your budget sufficiently, in particular for accommodation outside of the CROUS university residence halls, as costs are very high: rent for a single university room is 150€, a university studio apartment is 340€, and a private, unfurnished studio apartment is approximately 500€. 


Health coverage

To register at the University of Bordeaux, you will need to provide:

  • For European Union nationals: a copy of your European Health Insurance Card.
  • For non-EU nationals: proof of international insurance valid for the entire duration of your mobility.
  • For all: proof of repatriation and civil liability insurance, valid for the entire duration of your mobility.


Once you have found your accommodation, you will need to take out home insurance, which is mandatory in France for all places of residence.

Accommodations in university residence halls

International students can access CROUS residence halls during the complementary application session which starts on 9th July each year.

Apply for accommodation

  • Finding accommodation

    Your number one objective after registering is to find accommodation and that can be quite a challenge! Especially in Bordeaux. Here are a few tips to help you in your search.

  • Food and dining

    There are lots of on-campus possibilities for lunch and even dinner. Solutions for students struggling with food insecurity are also available.

  • Getting around

    All the University of Bordeaux campuses are easy to reach. Choose the means of transport most suited to your needs, whether active mobility, ride-sharing or public transportation, etc.