Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Find the answers to all your questions!

Getting ready for you semester or year abroad can be a long process, check out this page to find the answers to frequently asked questions about the MICEFA program and exchanges.  If you do you not find the answer to your question, please contact us through our contact page.

Questions are organized by theme.

MICEFA Application / Acceptance

Please always contact your Study Abroad office as they will need to nominate you to the program.  Your Study Abroad office will send your materials directly to the MICEFA.

If you are hoping to go to the following universities: Paris 1, Paris 3, Sorbonne Université or ICP it is mandatory to write your statement in French.  

If you are hoping to directly enroll in courses in French, please also write your statement in French.

If you are a beginner, or only plan to take courses in English or French as a foreign language you may write your essay in English.

It is best to put the type of course you are hoping to find or fill it in with the course that you are hoping to replace at your home university. 

For example:

  • Upper division French Literature course covering the 18th, 19th or 20th century.
  • Upper division history course covering a topic post WWI

Once your application has been approved by the MICEFA you will receive acceptance materials via email.  These materials will be necessary for the visa process.  In this email you will find the following:

  • Acceptance Letter, this letter is full of information, so please read it carefully.  You will also need to submit this as proof of admission to Campus France.
  • Attestation d’hébergement, you will need to prove that you have housing before you come abroad.  With MICEFA, you choose your housing upon arrival, therefore we provide this document only for visa purposes.
  • Certificat de scolarité, You will need to prove that you are enrolled in a French university for your visa.  This form serves as proof for visa purposes but does not necessarily represent the university you will be attending.

Please contact the MICEFA to reschedule the appointment.  We will find another time to speak as this appointment is critical to your program.

If you are a passport-holding citizen of a European Union country, then you do not need a visa if you come to France using that passport.  If you are a citizen of a non-European Union country you will need a passport.  Please note that the United Kingdom is in the process of leaving the EU and will not be a part of it as of March 2019.

There should be a possibility to select MICEFA directly.  If this option does not appear you may select the university that was listed on your Certificat de scolarité.  

In your acceptance materials sent to you by MICEFA you should have received an “Attestation d’hébergement”.  This is proof of housing for your arrival.  Your address will temporarily be the MICEFA:

44 rue Boissonade
75014 PARIS 

As the delay for Campus France (around 3 weeks) and the delay from VFS (around 2 weeks) is quite long, it is important to start the visa process as soon as you receive your acceptance materials to ensure that you will be able to arrive to Paris on time.

Yes, your passport should be valid for at least 3 months after the end of your exchange period. If this is not the case, please renew your passport.

Around $286.00* 

This is includes:
Campus France fee: $190.00
VFS Fee: $96.00 

You can pay an extra $40.00 to VFS to have your passport mailed back to you.

*This price is based on 2018 prices. 

The OFII visit takes place after your arrival in Paris.  If you selected the long stay visa that allows you to work, when you receive your visa, you will also receive a paper from the OFII.  It is important that you bring this paper with you to France.  You will turn it into the MICEFA who will help you through the process.

No, temporary housing at the MICEFA is optional but highly recommended.  This option gives you a place to stay during orientation while you are choosing your permanent housing and gives you the opportunity to meet other MICEFA students.

Unfortunately no.  The MICEFA office is closed up until the day you arrive for staff vacation between programs.  If you would like to come early to the temporary housing you will need to contact the hostel directly and pay for any extra days on your own. 

Yes, absolutely!  Every student who goes through the MICEFA is able to find their housing and move in within the 10 days of the temporary housing.

No, temporary housing is for MICEFA students only.  Your friends and family will need to find lodging somewhere else.

No, all permanent housing options are presented upon arrival to all MICEFA students.  This is for a number of reasons:

  1. Equality between students
  2. To account for changes in location if you switch universities or fall in love with a certain neighborhood
  3. It is important for you to visit the housing option that you are choosing before living in it.  A photo can not show you everything about the apartment
  4. The Program Assistant will contact you about your about your budget to ensure that there will be enough options for everyone

Yes, all of the housing options are furnished and equipped with basic equipment for living (kitchen appliances and materials, shower curtains, lamps etc.)

You might need to buy a few extra pieces to complete the apartment, but no major purchases will be needed.  

This is not recommended by the MICEFA, but you are not obligated to choose from our options.   We do not recommend this for a number of reasons:

  1. Scams: many students who find a “great” offer and find it to be fake. (Never pay before signing a lease and visiting the apartment!)
  2. You are not a French person and therefore do not have a “guarantor” which means that many landlords will not be willing to rent to you.  With MICEFA options, the MICEFA acts as your guarantor.
  3. In case of issues with your landlord or the apartment MICEFA can not help you.  MICEFA can only intervene with the landlord if they are a MICEFA-approved landlord.  If you have found housing on your own, we can not intervene.

MICEFA works with two providers for people looking for housing options outside of MICEFA.  The options are a little more expensive because they are through a service.  One option is for private or shared apartments and the other is for homestays. 

If you are interested in these options, please contact our Program Assistant: adminassistant@micefa.org 

Getting Settled / Orientation

Yes, all MICEFA students must participate in these programs as they provide with indispensable information that will be pertinent to your time abroad. 

No, orientation and activities are for MICEFA students only, no family or friends will be allowed to attend.

During you intensive you will have orientation and information sessions, an intensive language course worth 3 university credits and cultural activities throughout Paris.

After your Skype interview and your placement is confirmed, your Student Affairs coordinator will send you instructions on how to enroll in the university via email.  

When you arrive, during the enrollment period specific to your campus.  

No, students may only take courses at one university per semester.  Students  staying for a year may change universities after the first semester.

You may take a combination of courses at your host university and courses offered by the MICEFA.

Yes, but we recommend getting a French phone number though it is not mandatory*.

French phone plans are much cheaper than in the states and if your phone is unblocked you can simply put the French SIM into your phone.

The provider we recommend is Free Mobile.  Prices are as follows:

  • Basic Plan: 2€ per month for unlimited talk and text in France
  • Standard Plan: 8.99€ per month for unlimited talk and text in Europe and 10G of data
  • Plus Plan: 19.99€ per month for unlimited talk and text in Europe and to a number of countries including the USA and Canada and 30G of data

We recommend getting a French phone because students and French friends who do not have an international plan will be hesitant to text/call you due to fees.  We have also had feedback from students that their American international plans do not work very well in France.

*If you do not get a French phone number it is mandatory to download WhatsApp on your phone to be contacted by MICEFA in case of emergency. 

 

Yes, France has stores like the US / Canada where you can find everything you need for a reasonable price.  Sending these items is very expensive and can incur customs fees.  We recommend waiting until you get here.

It is recommended to open a French bank account in order to ensure that you don’t pile up international transaction fees.  It will also make directly paying your landlord easier while you are here.

MICEFA works with a specific bank and we will schedule appointments to sign up for a bank account here during orientation. 

It is not mandatory to sign up with a French bank either through MICEFA or on your own. 

Transcripts

MICEFA edits an official transcript in English that is sent back to your Study Abroad office.  This transcript will have all of your classes taken during the intensive session, at MICEFA or at your host university grouped together.  

MICEFA can edit and send official sealed transcripts to any institution that you request for application or work purposes.  Simply fill out the online request form.

This service costs 10€ payable via PayPal for the first transcript, and 2€ for each additional transcript.  If you need a rush delivery, there is an extra 50€ charge.

French Health Care

Yes, it is required by MICEFA that you have international coverage either through your school or home insurance in order to ensure that you are covered when you arrive as the French student insurance takes time to get enrolled in.

All exchange students are automatically enrolled in the French health care system “Sécurité Sociale” upon enrolling at their French host university.  However, it is not mandatory to administratively complete the process if you do not wish to.

In France, in order to create documents for you a proof of the city you were born in is needed.  Unfortunately American and Canadian passports* do not list this information.  You therefore need an official government document that gives this information.  You will need to request a recent version online and then have it “Apostilled” by the secretary of state.  If you live in Canada, you do not need an apostille but your document must be certified by the French consulate in your territory.

*If you have a passport from another country that lists your place of birth with a city you do not need a birth certificate.

No!  Going to the doctor in France is much less expensive than in the states.  It will cost you about 25€ for a consultation.  Specialists can be a bit more expensive.  If you are sick in France, don’t hesitate to reach out to MICEFA staff to get help with a doctor’s appointment to get better as soon as possible!

Yes, no problem!  There are hundreds of bilingual doctors available in Paris.  We also have listed a selection of doctors in the Welcome Packet.

Do not hesitate to be in touch with MICEFA staff if you need help finding a doctor.

Please consult your regular doctor before coming to talk about your options.  Then follow these steps:

  1. Have your doctor prescribe you as much of your medication as possible to tide you over until you can get settled here.  
  2. Bring with you a detailed written prescription for a medication you will need to take.
  3. Keep all prescriptions in original bottles and bring them in carry-on luggage
  4. Be in contact with the Student Affairs Coordinator concerning your medical needs as soon as possible (this is 100% confidential)
  5. Upon arrival MICEFA staff can help you find doctors and specialists to follow-up with you on your treatment and/or provide you with more medication.

It is important that any student needing treatment complete the student sécurité sociale in France (with the help of MICEFA) in order to be reimbursed for medical costs up front and to limit health care expenses.