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What is Epiworld?

Epiworld is an IONIS club promoting integration between international and French students by doing events and activities together. Our goal is to share our different cultures, lifestyles and just have fun together. This association promotes curiosity and sharing, and plans several cultural exchange meetings or international related events every semester.

Why Epiworld?

Unlike every other associations at the IONIS group, Epiworld is based on human relationship and cultural experiences. It is very important for an IT school to build international connection, not only with abroad universities, but also with the people that come from them.

Members of Epiworld are people who don't hesitate to discover new cultures as well as sharing their own way of life. They usually develop a good sense of communication and often improve themselves in foreign languages.

Want to join us?

If you want to join us on our journey, you can send us an email at

The EpiBuddy program

In order to help international students make new friends and integrate more smoothly and easily in the school and in Paris, the international department of IONIS set up the Buddy program to help foreign students make a first contact with French culture.

The IONIS student's role is to accompany the international student in his new life in France and help him integrate.

Buddies do many activities for the international students, such as sharing activities they regularly do with their friends, helping with French services appliances (room papers, phone subscriptions, etc.) and of course visiting Paris and its monuments!

In exchange, the IONIS student will get a real inter-cultural experience, being in contact with a student from another culture and language. The buddy program is therefore a two-way interesting and fulfilling experience, and may be the beginning of a real international friendship!

Moreover, participating in IONIS buddy program makes you an ambassador of your school and will help the IONIS group to be better known abroad for its educational excellence and its interesting and innovative students.

Among every other aspects of this program, there is a real opportunity to make contact with people from the same area of expertise: computer science and engineering. It becomes therefore possible to build a real professional connection which could be really rewarding in your future.

EpiWorld's role in this program is to organize events in order to make students bond together more easily.


The information below are the results of students researches and are provided for indicative purposes only.
The procedures may have changed and we cannot be hold responsible for any issue encountered.

Is there any administrative procedure left once I arrive in France?

Even if the visa in your passport is valid for one year, there are still steps to be taken to finalize your legality with the French. In fact, the long-stay visa is only valid as an official identification for three months after the student's arrival. That is, in three months you will not be able to leave or enter the Schengen area without a residence permit. Don't worry, if you are already under the pollution of Paris, it means that you have successfully applied for a visa at home. However, when the visa is issued, the French consulate in your country should have given you an application for an OFII certificate to be completed and sent within three months of your arrival. If the document has been lost, it can be found online easily. It is up to you to fill in the form and send it, along with a copy of the identity pages of your passport, by mail to the OFII's territorial office linked to your residence department (Paris 75, Val-de-Marne 94, Hauts-de-Seine 92, etc.). Then, you will receive a convocation to validate your visa.
On this occasion, you will need to bring the following documents:

  • Your passport
  • A 'no head covering' face photo (photomatons in metro stations can provide 5 pictures for 5 €)
  • A certificate of residence in France (rent receipt, fixed phone bill in your name, or proof of accommodation)
  • The amount of the tax stamp (60 €) to be paid to the OFII (possible to buy it on, or from a tobacco store)

When you arrive in a foreign country, it is normal to feel disoriented, but you must not neglect to take care of these administrative procedures. If you decide to ignore these tasks, your immigrant life might become a nightmare!

Is there any housing financial aid?

The CAF is the French entity that delivers grants. It helps families, students, disabled people, etc. who are living in France.
When you arrive in France as a student, you share the same benefits as the other French students. The APL (the French housing grant) is part of the advantages of the CAF. This financial aid gives you each month a certain amount of money depending your situation to help you pay your rent.
You can apply for this grant on their website:
Once you are on their website, just look for the online services section (“Services en ligne”) and follow the instructions to fill the form.
If you want to come in their office directly, you can check the nearest offices on their website by entering your postal code. Don’t forget to come with your passport, the document from the OFII (not mandatory) and your visa.

Should I open a bank account in France?

When arriving in France, opening a bank account can be an important issue. Owning a bank account is not mandatory, but strongly advised.
Living in France without owning a bank account can be difficult as social security, CAF and many other benefits will not be given if the applicant doesn’t have a french bank account. The same goes for mobile phone plans, mutual funds as well as issues related to real estate. In daily life, wire transfers and checks are still frequently used payment methods.
Credit cards are also very used in France. Cash payments are accepted but strictly regulated. As of today, you can pay in cash up to 3000 euros. However, foreigners are allowed to pay in cash up to 15000 euros.
In France, there are different types of credit cards : direct debit cards, deferred debit cards and regular credit cards. Most French people use direct debit cards.

About direct debit cards:
Each time you will spend money with your credit card, the payment will be debited from your account immediately or within 48 hours. You can also get an authorised overdraft for unplanned expenses.

About deferred debit cards:
Each month, all your expenses will be stored to be debited at the same time at the end of the month or at the beginning of the next month. So the day your account gets debited, it implies that you must have the same amount of money in your account as the one you spent during the past month. Otherwise, you may encounter several issues with your bank and you’ll have to pay incident charges.
Regarding cash withdrawals, they will always be debited on the day of the operation whether you use a direct or deferred debit card.

About regular credit cards:
Regular credit cards are not directly linked to your current account but linked to a liquidity reserve that you can restock according to your needs. Other than banks, finance companies, most of department stores and distribution chains also offer their own credit cards as well as some benefits. Every month or week, the company informs the credit cards holder about all the amount of money spent using the card. According to the terms of the contract, the total amount is automatically debited or payments can be staggered on a defined period. The latter payment method is named “revolving”, and allows to reduce the risk of overdraft. But be careful ! The interest rates can be very high and lead to debts. In order to avoid overdrafts, a law has been established and credit cards must all be marked as “credit card”.
So, how to choose a bank ? Which bank should you choose ?
Many websites offer comparisons between all the different banks according to subscriptions, fees, contributions and offered services. They will help you choosing the bank that best meet your needs. As a general recommendation, you can choose among online banks, because they are cheaper than traditional banks. They offer the same services as traditional banks do expect the customer support is only available online.

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16 rue Voltaire, 94270 Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France

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