What you should know

What you should know

Immigration (Campus France-OFII)

After receiving your acceptance letter from Sciences Po Lille’s International Programs and services, the Consulate of France shall issue, provided adequate livelihoods, will provide you with a « student » visa allowing you to enter French territory.

If you need more information about this, please have a look at the Campus France website: http://www.campusfrance.org/en/page/long-term-visa-used-residence-permit-vls-ts

Upon your arrival in France, to receive the ‘long stay’ visa which is valid for residence (VLTS) which is also the equivalent of the « titre de séjour », students who are not natives/nationals of the are not European Union, and whose length of stay exceeds three months, will have to pass a compulsory medical examination (organized by the OFII regional directorates) and must pay a fee amounting to 60 euros which comes in the form of an OMI stamp (ANAEM, stamp which they will be able to use in the dematerialized format directly from the website : www.timbresofii.fr or either in paper format from tobacconists or tax offices).

Please have a look at the OFII website (in French):  http://www.ofii.fr/etudier_en_france_50/visa_long_sejour_titre_de_sejour_pour_les_etudiants_954.html


Health Insurance

In France, and thus at Sciences Po Lille, all the students must have an insurance in order to registered administratively.

There are 3 cases:

  1. Students studying in the EU (with a European Insurance card)
  2. Students from outside the EU who will have to buy student insurance once in France
  3. Students from Québec who are able to make use of the agreement between the French and the Québec governments (Agreements: SE-401-Q-102 or SE-401-Q-106)

AFFILIATION TO SOCIAL SECURITY

A- For students who are residents of the European Union:

The Primary Health Insurance Fund (Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie, CPAM) will cover the reimbursement of treatments when the European Health Insurance Card (CMEA) is presented, so it is vital that you bring this card with you before you leave your home country for your studies at Sciences Po Lille. In order to be refunded, you must visit the nearest CPAM with your CMEA, sick leave certificates and your RIB number. This will enable being refunded to your bank account.

You can also subscribe to a complementary health insurance to obtain additional reimbursement of medical expenses that are not taken into account by Social Security.

B- For students who are not residents of the European Union:

  • If you are under 28

You must affiliate yourself with the student Social Security will reimburse 35% to 70% of your medical expenses. In order to qualify, you must pay a membership fee of 217€ (academic year 2017-2018) at the time of administrative registration, and choose a connecting body (SMENO or LMDE).

If you choose LMDE, you will have to send by mail the following documents:

  • Copy of your passport and visa
  • Your birth certificate and its translation into French
  • A RIB (bank document from a French bank – in order to complete your registration, you must indeed open an account in a French bank)
  • Your “certificat de scolarité” (the certificates of registration you will get along with your student card) that states “LMDE” on it
Send these documents to: LMDE ASSURANCE MALADIE 35070 RENNES CEDEX 9


If you choose SMENO, you must go to one of their offices in Lille (15 Place Charles de Gaulle / 43 Boulevard Vauban) with the following documents:

  • Copy of your passport and visa
  • Your birth certificate and its translation into French
  • A RIB (bank document from a French bank – in order to complete your registration, you must indeed open an account in a French bank)
  • Your “certificat de scolarité” (the certificates of registration you get along with your student card) that says “SMENO” on it

When you register with Social Security, it is advisable to choose a doctor. This is whom you consult first. If you need special care, he will refer you to a specialist. If you do not choose a doctor, you will not be reimbursed as much.

You can also register with a complimentary health insurance (SMENO, LMDE or other mutual) to obtain an additional reimbursement of medical expenses that are not taken into account by Social Security.
  • If you are over 28

You can also buy private health insurance or benefit from the CMU (Couverture Maladie Universelle, proposed by the State) under certain conditions. For more information, check with the CPAM.

Below is the list of private health organizations which offer insurance :


Some advice if you need medical treatment, a doctor or…an ambulance

If you are ill : who do you go to ?
In case of illness during your stay, you can consult a doctor for medication. For serious illnesses or injuries the hospital emergency department is open 24/7.

The GP (General Practitioner)

When you are sick for the first time in France, you can choose a doctor who will become your GP for the duration of your stay. This means that you will always see your GP first before consulting a specialist, go to the physiotherapist or to get an X-ray.

The doctor (In french - médecin)

The doctor can auscultate you: they asks you to explain what is wrong, listen to your heart, take your blood pressure, look for symptoms to identify your pain;

He/she can also write you a prescription based on their diagnosis. They can prescribe medication that you find in pharmacies or they can prescribe further medical care (blood tests, physiotherapy, radiology, etc.).

The doctor is the central person in the French healthcare system: you are unable to buy some medication without a prescription.

If you see a specialist without a doctor’s referral, you will be reimbursed less money by the Social Security.

The "pharmacie"

This is where you buy medicines. Some are freely available which means that you can buy without a prescription. This is the case with aspirin, certain cough syrups, medications against colds, etc. When buying OTC drugs without prescription, you cannot be reimbursed by Social Security.

Prescription drugs are sold only with the authorization of the attending physician. This is the case of antibiotics, birth control pills, and usually all powerful medications.

The emergencies

In case of serious injury that requires a quick response, you must go directly to the nearest emergency hospital. These services are open 24 hours a day.

If you are unable to move, call the fire brigade (In French: les pompiers) by dialling 18 from a landline or 112 from a mobile phone.


General Safety

Lille is a great, young, vibrant city. International Exchange students should exercise the same safety precautions that they would at home. In addition, you need to be mindful that it will be difficult to conceal that you are a foreigner, and this could make you more vulnerable to theft and crime.
Naturally speaking and understanding some French could help (a reminder: we propose French language courses during the introductive seminars). The more you understand what is going on around you and the easier it is for you to communicate, the safer you will be.
Become familiar with the local emergency numbers and the procedures for obtaining emergency health.

•    Police: 17

•    SAMU (Emergency medical service): 15

•    Pompiers (fire service): 18

•    Centre anti-poison (Poison control center): 0 800 59 59 59

Carry your card with emergency contacts, insurance details and your ID with you at all times.

Use and abuse of alcohol and drugs abroad can increase the risk of accident and injury. Many study abroad accidents and injuries are related to the use and abuse of alcohol and drugs abroad. Violating drug laws abroad may result in very serious consequences. In some countries you may visit, being found guilty of violating drug laws can result in serious consequences.

Many students underestimate the risk of road safety abroad and become victims of a road or traffic-related accident (for instance, make sure that you are easily visible to drivers when walking). Try to be as careful as possible.

Finally the main line here would be: Lille is not a dangerous city, you will have a marvelous experience during your stay… but you need to practice the same safety precautions that you would at home.

To find help and advice for EU nationals and their family