It is very important to open a bank account as soon as is possible after arrival in Nantes (and if this can be done before arrival, even better). For many administrative processes i.e. cellphone, insurance, the 'RIB' is required. Furthermore, associations on Campus often only accept cheques, no cash payments.

Note that banks are closed Sundays and Mondays, and also at lunch time (12 to 2 pm).

Opening a bank account

The university has a close relationships with 2 banks in Nantes

  • BNP Paribas - download zipped files for more information on how to open a bank account with BNP Paribas here
  • BPA - Banque Populaire Grand Ouest
This means it is possible to open a bank account by simply sending an email to the  contact person at the banks above (the DRI will have sent you the relevant contact details).

Documents needed

  • Student Card (Admission letter will suffice if not in possision of student card)
  • Visa + Passport
  • Accommodation certificate

R.I.B "Relevé d'Identité Bancaire"

The R.I.B is a document showing bank account details received when opening a bank account. This document is needed for many administrative processes, be it to authorise debit orders, or allow institutions to reimburse any expenses. 

Phone and Internet

Cellphones and a good internet connection have become a basic need. When moving to France students will need a good network provider. In France there are 4 main phone operators:
  • Orange
  • SFR
  • Free (known to be the cheapest)
  • Bouygues Telecom
There are different packages (phone plans) and students will need to research what works for them. It is important to check if the plan has an "engagement" (minimum duration), this means that you will not be able to change it for a period of time, usually 1 or 2 years. Fortunately, each operator has his own cheap and no-engagement plan. They are:
  • SOSH, by Orange
  • B&You, by Bouygues
  • RED, by SFR

Take note of the documents required to subscribe for a provider or purchase a phone:
  • Passport
  • RIB
  • Proof of address (Justificatif de domicile)

Living Costs

The first month in Nantes will be very expensive, from insurance subscription costs, to accommodation deposit + rental, and then settling in expenses (purchasing homeware - pots, bed linens, cleaning supplies, etc). We have drawn up an estimated budget to help plan accordingly for your stay in Nantes.

Estimate of total expenses for first month in Nantes ~ €1 267
Estimate of average monthly expenses ~ € 500-600
See section Living Costs under Nantes tab for detailed budget

Medical Treatment

In France if you seek specialised medical treatment, you must first obtain a referral from a General Practitioner (GP).
For minor illness, there is a school nurse situated at the infirmary on Campus; the nurse is available from 8am to 12 pm and from 1.15 to 5.30 pm every weekday except Wednesdays. Should the student require more medical assistance, she can recommend doctors to visit.

First year students can consult a General Practitioner (GP) from SUMPPS (Service Universaitare de Médicine Préventive et de Promotion de la Santé) free of charge. These GPs are only allowed to perform minimal treatments and to provide medical certificates. Master's and second year students however do not have access to these GPs. 

Payment for medical services

For doctor consultations and medication (medical supplies from a pharmacy), a student can pay upfront and later on request a reimbursement from their health insurance provider. For a reimbursement, a student will have to sign the "feuille de soins" that the doctor or the pharmacy will provide and then send this document to their insurance provider.

European students, should they not have a "mutuelle", they will have to claim reimbursement from the "Securité Sociale" (CPAM). For their first claim they will have to attach a R.I.B and a copy of their European Health Insurance Card to their "feuille de soins".

Should you have any problems or require any assistance, do not hesitate to contact the school nurse.

English-speaking doctors

In case French language is a problem for you or you just feel more comfortable in English, there are some English-speaking doctors that you can go to:

  • Dr. BIHOUÉE - 1 Rue des Franciscains, 44300 NANTES (Tram line 1, stop Bourgeonnières)
  • Cabinet SAVAGE ALINE - 117 Boulevard Michelet, 44300 Nantes (Tram line 1, stop Morrhonnière - Petit Port)



Published on July 11, 2017 Updated on March 18, 2020