Students are allowed to get a bank account. It can very handy in your day-to-day life.
It can be very handy to get a bank account in France, in particular for paying bills (electricity, telephone, rent) and subscriptions (transportation, Internet). You will also be able to cash any wages you receive and it's easier to be reimbursed for healthcare expenses. A French payment card also lets you pay for most things so you don't have to carry large amounts of cash with you.
Getting a bank account is a right recognised by French authorities. A foreign student can open a bank account in any bank in France. The different banks have branches in most cities; just open the door and make an appointment with a counsellor.
Compare what the different banks offer. The costs of the bank card, international transfers and cash withdrawals abroad may vary noticeably from one bank to another.
Three documents are needed to open a bank account: identification, proof of residence and an attestation of enrolment or a student card. If you still don't have any accommodation, you may be able to use the address of the service of international relations of your institution.
After you open a bank account, you will have the right to a bank card and a cheque book. With your Relevé d’Identité Bancaire (RIB - bank account information slip), you will be able to easily make the different monthly payments you have.
If you face difficulties to open an account, a process called "droit au compte" (right to account) can help you: the Banque de France will appoint a bank and force it to open an account for you. Details of this process, documents to provide and associations offering help are available on the Banque de France website.