Student budget and expense

It is difficult to set a spending budget that matches all students.

However, here are some indicative expenses that can help you prepare an initial budget

  • university registration fees: Bachelor’s degree – 170 € / Master’s degree – 243 €/ Doctorate – 380 € / Engineering degree – 601€
  • CVEC: 103€
  • average monthly rent: very variable from – 275€ in a Crous room to 500€ in a private residence
  • deposit for a university room: one-month rent
  • rental insurance with civil liability (mandatory): about 50€/year
  • average price of a meal at the university restaurant: 3.30 €/meal
  • SUAPS (sports at the university) subscription: 30 €/year
  • monthly Twisto pass (urban transport) for those under 26 years old: 22 to 27 €/month
  • basic university supplies: approx. 150 €/year


For other living expenses, we recommend that you visit Numbeo.com, which details the average cost of living city by city, in the currency of your choice.

The Campus France student portal also provides excellent advice on how to prepare your budget.

If you plan to stay more than one academic year in France, you are strongly advised to open a bank account in France.

A bank account can be very useful, especially when you are receiving housing subsidies, scholarship payments, reimbursement of medical expenses by the social security institutions (CPAM) and your insurance company, or if you want to pay with IZLY or subscribe to services such as an internet provider.

It also facilitates the process of renewing your residence permit with the Préfecture. You will be able to provide a bank statement justifying your resources.

The process is quick and simple, and many banks offer special student banking packages with advantages such as a free bank card etc.

Here is a list of documents usually required to open a French bank account:

  • an official identity document
  • a valid visa/residence permit (for non-Europeans)
  • proof of residence (certificate from the Crous, electricity bill…),
  • your leocard or school certificate (downloadable from your UNICAEN digital account)
  • Once your account has been opened, you will be able to print a RIB (Relevé d’Identité Bancaire), a document containing your banking information necessary for direct payments and reimbursements.

You will also be able to request a check book and a French bank card, which allows you to avoid the transaction and exchange fees usually applied when using a foreign bank card.

You will find many bank subsidiaries in Caen and its suburbs. Here is a non-exhaustive list of those near the university:

Most banks are open from Tuesday to Saturday at noon but closed on Saturday afternoons, Sundays and Mondays.

Online banking

International online banks can provide an interesting alternative to more traditional banks. The most popular with international students are Revolut, Wise and Bunq. These three banks offer French RIB/IBAN.

Opening a bank account when you’re under 18

If you are under 18 and want to open a bank account in France, things are a bit more complicated. You will need to be accompanied by one of your parents or a person holding parental authority.
The transfer of parental authority must be done in your country of origin with the competent authorities.

However, there is a right to an account (droit au compte) for foreign minors over the age of 16. To find out more about this procedure, please contact the Banque de France.
Please note that this procedure is longer and more complicated than opening an account with a private bank.

Regarding the age of majority, what is taken into account is the age of majority in your home country. This can be a problem for students from countries where the age of majority is later than in France (e.g. in Egypt, a person is no longer a minor at 21, whereas in France, the age of majority is set at 18).
However, some banks are not necessarily aware of this subtlety, and this might cause problems.

Campus France tutorial: Opening a bank account (English subtitles)

Creating an IZLY account (from the automatically sent email when you register) allows you to transform your (activated) Leocarte into a means of electronic payment on all the campuses and CROUS UNICAEN sites, allowing you access to the following paid services:

  • university restaurants and drink/snack machines on campus
  • Crous laundromats
  • UNICAEN printing and photocopying service

IZLY is also available in App version for smartphones (IOS & Android) in some countries.

Once your IZLY account has been created and activated, there are two options for topping up your account:

  • by credit/debit card on the IZLY web portal or the smartphone application: foreign cards (Visa or Mastercard) are accepted if your card is linked to a bank account opened in a bank of the European Economic Area (the 27 member countries of the European Union plus Lichtenstein, Iceland and Norway) and if your card has 3D Secure Protection.
  • by bank transfer: from a French bank account only

Your IZLY account is national and can be used nation-wide. When you travel in France, you will be able to eat in other CROUS university restaurants at the same prices as in Caen, using your Leocarte or your phone.

Crous tutorial : Izly, your on-campus payment solution

If you have difficulties setting up your IZLY account, pleIf you have difficulties setting up your IZLY account, please contact the CROUS support service: support-izly@crous-normandie.fr