Opening a French bank account is one of the things international students should do as soon as they arrived in France, or even before they flew to the country. Having a bank account while studying in France has many benefits and conveniences.

To help international students, here’s a quick guide to opening a bank account in France.

Why You Should Open a Bank Account in France

Opening a French bank account is part of the rights of international students while studying in France. Thus, they are allowed to open one in any bank in France. 

There are many reasons why opening a bank account is useful for international students in France. For one, it brings convenience. Owning a bank account enables easier payment of bills including utilities, rent, and phone. Moreover, in case students may have to reimburse some expenses for healthcare, it is easier to do it if they have a bank account. The same goes for those who are working, where it is more convenient to get their salaries through their bank.

A bank account also assures that students won’t have to pay exorbitant foreign fees when accessing their money wherever they are in France.

Things to Consider 

Before opening a French bank account, students should first consider these things when choosing their bank and bank account type: 

Check first the fees to pay for keeping a bank account in France. For example, some banks may require a maintaining balance or deposit fee when you open an account. Also, when you withdraw cash from an ATM, is it free? How much is the fee when you withdraw from your bank’s ATM? How much is the fee when you use another bank’s ATM?

Another thing to consider is the accessibility of the bank’s services. For example, can you apply for online or mobile banking? Are there many ATMs for your chosen bank, in case you visit other parts of France? You should also ensure that the bank where you are applying should have an office near your accommodation or educational institution. 

Types of Bank Account

France has three types of bank accounts. However, for students who are staying for only a few months to five years in France, they can choose between a current account (compte courant), or a general savings account (livret). 

The Current Account is for basic bank transactions such as managing one’s daily expenses. This is due to this type of account’s easier access feature. Moreover, most current accounts usually do not have fees for their basic package. 

General Savings Account is for students who want to store their funds for the meantime and not use them immediately. 

Requirements for Opening a Bank Account

Opening a bank account in France is easy. In fact, international students only need to submit three documents:

After submitting these requirements and successfully opening a bank account, students will get their Bank Account Information Slip (RIB) and a checkbook. 

Learn more practical tips and information about France. Check out MSM Unify’s article on How Much Does it Really Cost to Study in France to know more.