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Social Security Cover

Social security cover during your stay in France is compulsory. Whatever the length of your stay or your status, you must be protected by adequate social security cover, depending on your situation.
> Students concerned by student social security
This type of student social security concerns French students and nationals from outside the European Economic Area, under 28 years old on 1st October of the current academic year and enrolled in an establishment accredited for that purpose by the French Social Security system. Membership begins when you enroll at ENS Rennes. It is subject to payment (€213 for the 2014/2015 academic year) and this payment is made at the same time as tuition fees.
You have the choice between LMDE ( and SMEBA ( You will find information in several languages on their websites.
> Students exempt from student social security
Nationals from the European Economic Area are exempt from the student scheme of the French social security system. They must simply be in possession of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued by the social security fund of their country of origin or another similar form, which covers the
entire stay in France. Healthcare is reimbursed by the French Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie – CPAM (local health insurance fund), which you must join.
> Students unable to benefit from student social security
If you are over 28 years old, you must take out private voluntary health insurance in France or in your country of origin. If you are unable to do so due to your financial situation, contact the French student mutual health insurance funds about universal health cover. It will allow you to benefit from health insurance benefits for your healthcare expenses.
> Complementary health insurance
As basic student social security cover in France does not cover the totality of healthcare costs, it is strongly recommended to take out complementary health insurance with one of the student funds or the CPAM. You can request the application form during your administrative enrollment at the student welfare office. For students over 28 years old with basic universal health cover, complementary insurance exists. This is known as ‘CMU Complémentaire’ (complementary universal health cover).
N.B.: As the time to process universal health cover applications takes several months, this will also defer your enrollment date at ENS. You can also take out health insurance with one of the student social security funds: SMEBA or LMDE. This will cost approximately €560 and the cover takes effect immediately when you go directly to the offices one of these mutual insurance funds.

Bank account

During your stay in France, you will have to open a bank account to make transfers from abroad, lodge money, receive reimbursement for medical expenses, receive your CAF benefit, or the payment of your scholarship. All foreigners residing in France for at least three months can open a resident’s bank account entitling them to a cheque book and a cash withdrawal and/or payment card.
N.B. foreign students must have minimum monthly resources of €615. These resources are verified by the prefecture if a residence permit is requested.
To open a bank account, the following documents are required:
  • proof of identification (passport, visa, residence permit, etc.),
  •  proof of address (electricity or telephone bill, rent receipt, etc.),
  • proof of enrollment or a student card,
  • documents justifying your monthly income.

Internet and email

All students enrolled at ENS Rennes have free access to computer rooms during the opening hours of the school. From the moment of enrollment, students receive a computer account and an ENS Rennes e-mail address.


During your stay in France, you will more than likely need to communicate with your country of origin. Several solutions are available:
You can use your mobile phone in France, provided that it is unlocked so that you can use a SIM card from a French operator. In this case, you can apply for a telephone subscription (N.B. subscriptions are often for a two-year period), or purchase a pre-paid card. The main operators propose special rates for foreign calls. Their websites are as follows:,,
If you do not have an unlocked phone, you can purchase a basic mobile phone with a pre-paid card for approximately €30.
At the following address you will find all the dial codes per country, allowing you to phone abroad from France :

Date of update May 23, 2017