Welcome to UNICAEN

  • Post last modified:13 May 2024
  • Post category: International


Save the date!
Don’t miss the Back-to-School Fair on Wednesday September 4th, 11:30 am to 4:30 pm, in Aula Magna with all the student life services and partners!
More information to come!

International students: tips and advice for a successful start of the academic year.

You have been accepted to study at the University of Caen Normandy: the International Students Support Center (pôle Support aux Publics Internationaux) has listed the main steps to be followed for a stress-free start to the new academic year!

Beware: students pending visa approval are allowed to arrive until September 30, 2024.

All university services will be closed from July 24 until August 18. You will not receive any feedback during this period, even by e-mail or telephone.

Before departure

Before your departure, check the France-Visas website assistant to find out whether you need a visa to come and study in France: https://france-visas.gouv.fr/web/france-visas/ai-je-besoin-d-un-visa
If so, you must submit your application via your espace Campus France if you reside in a country covered by the “Studies in France” procedure. Otherwise, you must apply via France-Visas.

There are several types of accommodation available to you, depending on the length of your stay, your budget and your expectations. It is crucial to anticipate and get well organised. If you wait until you arrive in France, there will be very little accommodation left at affordable prices.
Accommodation provided by the Crous is in high demand and demand for accommodation is greater than supply: consider having a back-up plan!

Once you have found your accommodation, do not forget to take out home insurance with third party liability.

More information on our webpage dedicated to accommodation: https://www.unicaen.fr/en/international-en/welcome-to-unicaen/individual-students-free-movers/housing/

Tip of the SPI: : check your acceptance site carefully. If you are studying on the Cherbourg campus, it does not make sense to look for accommodation in Caen, which is 1 hour away by train.

To avoid any unwelcome surprises, make sure you are aware of the expenses you will have to make in France, especially during the first few weeks, as you will have more expenses when you arrive.

Means of payment: if you have a bank card, check with your bank to know what fees will be charged if you use your card in France. If you do not have a bank card, you should bring enough money in cash for your first few days in France, before you open a bank account in France.

UNICAEN is a “cashless campus”, which means that cash is not accepted on campus (university restaurants, vending machines, laundry, photocopies and printing), except for the payment of registration fees. If you have accommodation provided by the Crous, you will have to pay your security deposit by credit card.

You must apply and pay for the compulsary Student and Campus fee (Contribution de vie étudiante et de campus · CVEC) online before your arrival. Without your CVEC certificate, you will not be able to register at university: https://cvec.etudiant.gouv.fr/

Check your phone and internet plans: if they remain active in France, some additional charges may apply.

You will not have on-campus WIFI access until your administrative registration is finalised and you have activated your digital account.

On arrival

  1. Consult the UNICAEN 2023/2024 calendar to find out the date of your first meeting. If in doubt, do not hesitate to contact your faculty office.
  2. Make your administrative registration and pay the fees (Bachelor: 170€, Master: 243€, PhD: 380€, engineering degree: 601€) by credit card or cash. Don’t forget to bring along your CVEC certificate!
    Face-to-face registration only from July 64 to July 20 and August 16 to September 30. You must make an appointment beforehand: https://gest.unicaen.fr/rdv/accueil_deve.php
  3. Create your digital account via the registration confirmation email you received on your personal email address: https://www.unicaen.fr/vie-de-campus/vie-numerique/compte-numerique/
  4. Make your course registration and get your timetable.
  5. Apply for your student card, i.e léocarte
  1. Register online for the French free national health plan: CPAM
  2. Depending on your needs, you can subscribe for additional health insurance.
  3. Make an appointment for your medical check-up with the student health service in Caen.
  4. Disabilities: if you have a disability that requires special accommodation on the part of the university, contact the Handicap Santé office – http://vie-etudiante.unicaen.fr/sante-handicap/handicap/

More information: https://www.unicaen.fr/en/international-en/welcome-to-unicaen/individual-students-free-movers/health/

  • Open a bank account in France in the bank of your choice.
  • Create your IZLY account via the activation email you received on your UNICAEN email account and recharge your account to pay on campus.

More information: https://www.unicaen.fr/en/international-en/welcome-to-unicaen/individual-students-free-movers/student-life/finances/

Public transport networks (bus, tramway) will take you to the campuses: TWISTO in Caen, Cap Cotentin in Cherbourg and AltoBus in Alençon.

To save money, it is worthwhile to get a monthly or annual subscription. Discounted rates are available for under-26s and students.

Within 3 months of entering France, you must validate your visa or apply for a residence permit (Algerian students) on the online platform « Étrangers en France » .

More information: https://www.unicaen.fr/en/international-en/welcome-to-unicaen/individual-students-free-movers/procedures/the-residence-permit/

In France, any student who rents accommodation is entitled to means-tested housing benefit from the Caisse d’allocations familiales (CAF).
Application must be made online: https://wwwd.caf.fr/wps/portal/caffr/aidesetservices/lesservicesenligne/faireunedemandedeprestation#/logement (French only)

In need for additional support? Come visit us!

  • In Caen : Campus 1 · Building i / Maison des langues et de l’international · Espace AAPI (Li 242)
  • In Cherbourg : Site universitaire de Cherbourg · Bldg BU/MDE · 2 rue Max-Pol Fouchet
  • In Alençon : IUT main lobby · Site universitaire de Montfoulon · Damigny

And at the student forum which will be held on Campus 1, on September 4, 2024 (more information to come).