Culture, travel, health and accommodation: in France, students enjoy many benefits and significant discounts. Take advantage of them!
Student discounts for seeing the city in a different light
Culture is accessible to students at a discount. Just present your student card and you will receive discounts when you go to museums, the theatre and the cinema. For European students under 26 years of age, entry to French national museums is free year-round. Entry to libraries is also free for all students.
Urban transit and inter-urban transit is cheaper, too. In the cities, the urban transit companies offer preferred rates to students. Taking the train is also cheaper, thanks to the SNCF's carte jeune for the 18-27 crowd.
If you're on a tight dining budget, try opening the door to one of the 450 university restaurants in France. For 3.25 euros, you can enjoy a complete meal, with starter, main course and dessert. You must show your student card to enter these restaurants. Some are even open evenings and week-ends.
Social assistance, preventive medicine and family planning
Three types of assistance are available from the CAF (Caisse des Allocations Familiales - the Family Allowances Fund) that can reduce the rent you pay: the Allocation de Logement Sociale (ALS - the social housing assistance), the Aide Personnalisée au Logement (APL - the personal accommodation assistance) and the Allocation de Logement Familial (ALF - the family accommodation assistance). To find out if you qualify for any of this assistance, do a simulation on the CAF website. To meet one of the counsellors, go to the CAF Facebook page dedicated to student accommodation.
Each university has a health department, the Service Universitaire de Médecine Préventive et de Promotion de la Santé (SUMPPS). Every student may see a doctor there, have a medical check-up and obtain advice. Some visits are free, including for contraception, screening, vaccination, nutrition and psychological counselling.
You can also obtain help for subscribing to complementary health insurance and thus receive a higher rate of reimbursement of your medical expenses.
If you have any questions about sexuality, sexual relationships or contraception, visit Planning Familial - family planning association - which provides free and confidential appointments. Women may also obtain a suitable prescription for contraception there as well as the day-after pill if necessary. Family planning has offices throughout France.
Students, practise sport at a low cost
At university, do some sport in the Service Universitaire des Activités Physiques et Sportives (the University Department of Physical and Sport activities - the SUAPS). You will have access to over sixty sports for a single payment at the start of the year. Student status also grants you discounts when going to a municipal swimming pool, ice rink or other sport centre.
Good deals reserved for students
Students love burgers, and fast-food chains love students. Some chains have year-long student specials, sometimes even including a free extra sandwich.
Present your student card when you purchase software, a computer or any electronic device. Lots of electronics and IT stores have special offers for students. Photocopying and printing centres also have significant student discounts.