International Student Reception at Rennes 2
Making the choice to leave home to study in another country and in another language is no small feat. At Rennes 2, there are a number of different offices and organizations dedicated to helping you feel more at ease as quickly as possible. If you've already had a look at the directions on how to get here, see below for more useful information.
The CMI & Rennes 2 University
The International Mobility Centre in Rennes (CMI) in Rennes, in collaboration with our university, has established a reception system to help guide you when you arrive. Whether you're coming within the framework of an international exchange program, an individual mobility program, or as a student of our French-language Centre - the CIREFE, the CMI is there to facilitate your integration into student life in Rennes.
Once you have been admitted to Rennes 2, the CMI can help to validate student long-stay visas (visa long séjour valant titre de séjour) (VLS/TS). The visa itself is issued to students by a Campus France office in students' home countries prior to arrival in France. Once here, students must have their visa validated by the OFII (Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration) within 3 months of arriving in France. This procedure can be carried out at the special help desk at the CMI Rennes.
The CMI also organizes many informative and fun events such as the International Students' Day in early September. They also publish useful guides including: a guide for international students and researchers coming to Rennes and a guide on cultural events in the area.
Due to a high volume of students in Rennes looking for housing, we advise you to start your search as early as possible. Below are some resources that can be help you with this process.
Accommodation in Rennes 2 residences are managed by the CROUS and are in high demand. It is the least expensive accommodation in Rennes, but you must first meet certain criteria to be eligible for it. University residence halls are located near the Rennes 2 campuses and university restaurants. Requests for room reservations should be made as early as possible.
Non-exchange program students can find more information about applying for university housing, as well as other private housing options, on the CROUS website, including: private rooms for rent, private short-term rentals, etc. The CMI and ESN (ERASMUS) Rennes also recommend a number of websites to find private housing options. Those students who choose to participate in the Buddy System (with ESN Rennes) will likely also receive tips and advice on the local housing market from their buddy.
More information on housing is available here.
Mark Your Calendar: Important Dates for International Students
These lists of not-to-miss dates provide you with information on official university events and other events happening on campus and in the city.
- Rennes 2 Academic Calendar (official semester dates and breaks, as well as information on the pre-rentrée week)
- Campus events and beyond: Get to know the campus, city and other people during these events, including:
- CMI welcome events - Don't miss the International Students' Day (ISD) at the beginning of the Fall semester or the Student World Cup Tournament among other things.
- City welcome event dates (international students from all Rennes higher education institutions are invited to join them for a meet and greet)
French Language Courses (CIREFE)
The CIREFE allows international students to take French classes either in conjunction with their classes in other subject matters at Rennes 2 or as a stand alone full-time subject. In addition to learning the language, students will also have the opportunity to interact with other students from all over the world and participate in a number of cultural activities around the city and in the region.
Health and Insurance
The Student Health Centre (Service santé des étudiant·e·s - SSE) accompanies students through their education, providing preventative and medical services, and offering assistance to students with disabilities. Find out more information on the various services offered close to our campuses here or go directly to their website. The Office for Students with Disabilities - Relais Handicap - welcomes and supports students with disabilities, whether permanent or temporary. Staff can be reached at their offices on both the Villejean and Mazier campuses.
Do you have a French Social Security number? If not, you will need to register for coverage of your health care expenses throughout your time in higher education in France. The Assurance Maladie website offers information on the different options of coverage as an international student and can guide you through the 3-step registration process in no time.
* Students from EU member countries should ask for a European health insurance card in their home countries before arriving in France.
Opening a Bank Account
During your stay in France, you will probably need to open a bank account to make transfers from abroad, deposit money, etc. All students staying in France for at least three months can open a resident bank account to obtain a checkbook and a bank card.
To open a bank account, you must:
- Proof of identity (passport, visa, residence permit, etc.).
- Proof of residence (certificate of university residence, rent receipt, etc.).
- A certificate of attendance or a student card.
- Documents proving any possible income.
- Finally, you will be asked to deposit a minimum amount (approximately €20) into your account.
It is a good idea to check with your usual bank to find out if it is associated with a French network/partner bank, which can facilitate banking operations upon arrival.
Attention: close your bank account only after your return to your home country in order to obtain any final payments of housing subsidies.
Also, some banks offer housing insurance. Don't hesitate to ask around!
Getting to know people in Rennes
With one of the highest rates of student organizations per university student in France, Rennes 2 offers many different ways for students join in the dynamism of the university, on and off-campus. See a list of organizations here.
ESN is one the main organizations in the city dedicated to helping international students get acquainted and integrated in their new home. Through the year, ESN team up with nightlife actors so that every week international students have a place to meet other students (international and local ones). They also organize trips and tours each semester (to Nantes, Bordeaux, DisneyLand, the Loire castles and wine cellars...). You can find out more about them on their website or stop by their office on the Rennes 2's Villejean Campus (B Building).
ESN and Rennes 2: The Buddy System
The goal of this program is that every international student can have a mentor/buddy that can help to show her/him different aspects of the local culture. Want to exchange, discover and share? Then the Buddy System is for you! Your buddy will help to: welcome you to Rennes, share aspects of the French culture, lend a hand in dealing with administrative tasks, and guide you to interesting areas of the city. If you're interested, fill out the form on available on the website.
LEEVE is a new people-meeting application which can help international students to quickly meet others who share similar interests or like to practice languages. In partnership with the CMI and Rennes 2, LEEVE will be working to help ensure that international students at our university will benefit from this social application free of charge. If you like to practice languages, travel, and meet new people, then download Leeve and meet new friends near you. Become a #Leever now!
In addition to the resources listed above, students should contact one of the following offices with any further questions:
- Students in exchange programs (including ERASMUS) should contact the International Office for help with for questions that arise.
- Students of the CIREFE, Rennes 2's French-language Centre, should contact them directly.
- Individual students on mobility (i.e. students who are not in a specific exchange program and who are not part of the CIREFE) can send questions to the Direction des Études et de la Formation (DÉVU).
Also available to you:
Rennes 2 has identified pedagogical and administrative advisors available to international students within each faculty and department. As needed, these advisors can help to accompany and guide international students to facilitate their integration within our institution. See the lists on the right-hand side of this page.
Don't forget to check out our new Welcome 2 Rennes 2 youtube page, which includes helpful videos that will allow you to get acquainted with Rennes 2 and it's staff before your arrival!