Come study at the school
Whether within the framework of the ERASMUS+ program set up by the European Community, or through bilateral agreements signed with non-European universities, the School of Architecture for Cities and Regions (l'École d'architecture de la ville et des territoires) has developed quality partnerships with selected establishments.
Located on the dynamic “Sustainable City Cluster” campus which, in the framework of the Greater Paris project, groups together institutes of higher learning and universities, the School welcomes students from schools abroad each year.
The first degree program gives each student the means to acquire the basic, fundamental knowledge of architecture. To avoid a scattered approach to subjects, in conjunction with the architecture studio project, the teachings remain focused on four key subjects: territory, history and theory, building cultures, and representation. These four are taught systematically through lectures or tutorials.
This first step is a three-year program of study rewarded with the degree of a Bachelors in architectural studies.
For more information
This second degree program allows the student to develop critical thinking regarding issues linked to architecture.
Upon completion of this degree, each student should be able to design an architectural project autonomously through adding depth to his or her concepts, methods and strategic knowledge. This training prepares for different types of professional fields and practices in architecture, as well as for architectural research. Lasting two years, this program of study is rewarded with the State degree of architecture at a Masters level. Four specialties structure this second program of study: Architecture and Experience, Fragments, Thinking Materials, and Transformation.
For more information
Post Masters Graduate Studies
« DSA d'architecte-urbaniste »
Post Masters State Specialization Certificate in Architecture and Urban Design
Open to French or foreign architects and landscape architects, this degree is based on the premise that the architect-urban designer today is totally committed to the project and its representation in space, thus forming, with respect to urbanization issues, a new profession, which, until now, had no specific training in France. This curriculum associates university teaching, professional situations, and operational research.
For more information
« PoCa » Post-Carbon
Jointly designed with ParisTech School of Bridges, this PoCa Post-Carbon offering has an international scope.
It is concerned with three major facets of the impact that buildings and infrastructure have on the environment: materials and their transformations, the architecture of the structure and the envelope, and their energy score. Orders from private industrial groups or the public sector fashion the reflection and teaching of this training.
For more information
How and when to apply
The student candidates must be attending one of the School’s partner establishments and submit an application file to the head of foreign exchange programs at their home establishment who will then validate the candidacy.
The School receives student applications from the home University, according to the number of students indicated in the bilateral agreement, before:
- May for the first university semester
- November for the second semester
It is advised that students organize a year-long stay corresponding to a full university year or to favor doing a first-semester stay.
Please note that exchange students cannot enroll in the second semester of their fifth year due to the fact that this semester is entirely devoted to the Final Project to fulfill the degree requirements.
The School will send the acceptance letter to the students’ home university in:
- June for the first university semester
- November for the second semester
Preparing your study abroad
As soon as the acceptance letter has been received (in June or December), the students should immediately begin certain procedures and obtain the necessary documents for their arrival in France and at the School of Architecture for Cities and Regions (l'École d'architecture de la ville et des territories).
We encourage you to consult the welcome guide for the international students of the Paris-East University [Université Paris-Est].
Here below is a list of mandatory documents that students must bring, as they are indispensible for accomplishing the administrative procedures for their arrival in France:
For those coming from countries of the European Union or from the European Economic Area
A valid identity card or passport,
A European Social Security (public health benefits) card from your country of origin,
A certificate of liability insurance which guarantees you against damages which you might cause others (in general, this insurance is associated with your home insurance, in your country of origin: be sure that your policy protects you abroad. If it does not, you should sign up for this insurance in France, at a modest price.)
For students NOT from countries of the European Union or from the European Economic Area
A valid passport,
A long-stay student visa (VLS-TS étudiant),
A certificate of iability insurance which guarantees you against damages which you might cause others (in general, this insurance is associated with your home insurance, in your country of origin: be sure that your policy protects you abroad. If it does not, you should sign up for this insurance in France, at a modest price.)
For students from Quebec:
A valid passport,
An SE 401 or Q 106 form for social insurance,
A certificate of civil responsibility insurance which guarantees you against damages which you might cause others (in general, this insurance is associated with your home insurance, in your country of origin: be sure that your policy protects you abroad. If it does not, you should sign up for this insurance in France, at a modest price.)
All students should have:
The student residence permit : the long-stay visa with the denomination “student” functions as the permit
see websites :
International student card
The ISIC card, International Student Identity Card, proves your status as a student anywhere in the world.
It is useful for traveling and gives access to many discount services such as: national and international transportation, foreign money exchange, travelers checks, housing, food, theaters, museums, chateaux visits, concerts, operas, and other entertainment.
It costs 13 euros. It is valid from September 1st to December 31st the following year. An ISIC international guide is given at the same time as the card. You can request this card before your departure on the website www.isic.fr
Open a bank account
To benefit from certain special student rates with the RATP (public transportation system) or to receive lodging subsidies from the Caisse d’Allocation Familiales [Family Subsidies Fund], you must have a French bank account.
To open a bank account in France the following documents are necessary:
- a passport or identity card
- justification of residence address
- a visa if you are a student from a non-European country
- a certificate stating you have been accepted for a year, or a semester, at the School
To change travelers checks in Euros, go to a post office with your national identity card or passport.
French public health coverage (la Sécurité Sociale)
In preparation for your arrival in France for your studies, you must request your affiliation with the French social security health system by signing up on the website : etudiant-etranger.ameli.fr .
You will need to justify the following:
- your identity (national identity card, passport…)
- your inscription in a higher learning institute for the university year in question, to prove you are a student
- your bank details (RIB in French: relevé d’identité bancaire)which will allow you to receive reimbursements should you need medical care
- proof of your civil status in order to create your identity number (commonly called numéro de sécurité sociale).
Accepted proofs of civil status are :
- an integral copy of your birth certificate
- an extract of your birth certificate with next of kin mentioned (or any such document furnished by a consulate)
- an official family record book
- a marriage certificate
- foreign students will need a regular residency permit. To see if you have the definitive permit or to obtain one, contact the French consulate in your country or check the information available on Campus France
- International accords and conventions may specify other types of certificates.
Keep the provisional social security (health) number attributed to you automatically through the website and print your certificate of rights (attestation de droits).
Complementary insurance allows you to improve the rate of reimbursement of medical expenses, but it is not obligatory.
The Social Security (public health system) reimburses about 70% of medical expenses. With complementary insurance, patients can be reimbursed nearly 100%.
In order to guarantee access to housing for all, a system of has been put in place by the French state. According to the type of housing, your income and the make-up of your household, you can most likely receive financial help to reduce the amount of your rent. The housing subsidies are managed by the Caisse d’Allocation Familiales better known as the CAF [Family Subsidies Fund]. Your request for housing subsidies should be addressed to the CAF and it will determine if you are eligible, as well as any amount allotted. The criteria are numerous, it is impossible for us to delineate amounts of such aid. You have the possibility to evaluate the possibilities with a CAF calculation grid. We advise you to make your request for housing aid as soon as you move into your residence. The subsidy may be sent to you, or directly to your landlord, with your rent reduced accordingly.
There are several types of housing subsidies. These types of aid are not cumulable: you can only receive one type. The CAF will determine, through your request, which aid you have a right to.
The School has a limited number rooms reserved on campus. We encourage you to let us know rapidly if you are interested in them. Other ways of finding housing exist: The Crous (organization which helps students in all their steps
http://www.crous-creteil.fr/ ), associative residences, rentals, homes… This guide gives a non-exhaustive list of possibilities. It must be underlined that it can be particularly difficult for students with limited resources to find housing in Paris.
International residence at the Descartes campus
Finding housing for a short stay in France (students)
For information, you can consult these organizations for university housing organizations, though the School cannot take responsibility for, nor recommend any in particular.
CROUS DE CRETEIL 00 33 1 45 17 06 60
RESIDENCES DU VAL MAUBUEE ET DE MARNE LA VALLEE
00 33 1 60 37 24 24
RESIDENCE LES ESTUDINES
In order to facilitate getting around, you can concentrate your housing search around the stations along the suburban metro line A (known as RER A). the School is only 20 minutes from Place de la Nation (Paris).
Ask for advice on housing from students at your school who have already done an exchange program at the School of Architecture for Cities and Regions (l'École d'architecture de la ville & des territoires)
For your information, here are the main private French websites for rentals and appartment shares:
We also encourage you to join the Facebook groups of student associations to ask all your questions and look for housing ads:
- BDE Archi Marne Bureau des étudiants de l’École. (Student Council)
www.facebook.com/AVEDescartes AVED (Association de la Vie Étudiante
du campus Descartes = Student-Life Council).
There are some traps to avoid, notably if the offer seems too good to be true and the person renting out the place asks you to « prove that you are really interested » by paying a down payment; never pay any money until you have visited the apartment.
There are many internet sites dedicated to housing ads.
These sites also give useful advice: rental contracts (lease, or bail as it is known in French), multi-risk housing insurance, housing subsidies, etc.
www.parisetudiant.com, www.espace-etudiant.com, www.pap.fr,
www.seloger.fr, www.mapiaule.com, www.pro-a-part.com,
www.avendrealouer.fr, www.appartement.org, www. locservice.fr,
www.location-etudiant.fr, www.lokaviz.fr, www.lodgis.com .
At the School, check the bulletin boards at the entrance where offers are often made.
It is important to arrive in France with the necessary budget for moving-in expenses.
Here is an idea of what you will need to spend.
(The figures are only estimates.)
Housing: 400-700 euros a month
Transportation: 40 euros a month (with the card: www.imagine-r.com)
Starting School, Orientation
End of August till mid-September
Intensive Workshop: « French as a Foreign Language” (FLE) and “cultural activities »
The goal of these French immersion classes is above all to allow students to use their knowledge of the French language actively to facilitate better integration, as all the classes are given in French. This workshop on French as a foreign language will take place for two weeks at the School. It is worth two credits (ECTS) that you can include on your Learning Agreement.
It is, thus, highly encouraged to attend. To do so, you must imperatively check the box on the application form, page 11 to that effect.
Also, architectural visits in Paris are organized to familiarize you with the city and with technical vocabulary.
This program of visits is also worth 2 credits (ECTS).
Finalization of Learning Agreements
During the class registration, the Learning Agreement will be finalized according to the possible schedule and offering modifications.
Enrolment: Foreign Exchange Student Welcome
First Semester Bachelors classes begin
End of September:
First Semester Masters classes begin
Early February: End of Bachelors and Masters classes
End of February:
Second semester Bachelors and Masters classes begin
End of Second Semester Bachelors and Masters classes
Apply via CampusArt
CampusArt is a network of French establishments proposing training in all fields of art and architecture organized by the Agence Campus France (French Campus Agency) with the support of a number of French ministries: National Education, Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Europe and Foreign Affairs, and Culture. This service is entirely free until the candidate decides to accept one of the training programs proposed. The choice of training is facilitated through a quick, interactive online application program available throughout the world, allowing foreign students to fill out just one application file which is visible among 110 establishments.
For foreign students interested in architectural studies, CampusArt, the internet site receiving the online applications opens in December and closes generally in February.
A reply to applicants is given in March, allowing the student as much time as possible to prepare his or her stay.
Come study in the framework of an exchange program
The student candidates must be attending one of the School’s partner establishments and submit an application file. Get in contact with the head of foreign exchange programs in your home establishment to acquire the application form. It is advised for students to undertake a stay lasting a full university year or favor doing a first semester abroad (September to February). The second semester of the Masters program is not open to foreign exchange students.
Before coming and enrolling in the admissions procedure, it is advised to consult and choose from among the School’s offerings. According to your situation and the country you seek to study in, applications can be made through a variety of platforms. You will find information on this on the Ministry of Culture’s website.
Help with the French language
The School organizes classes in French as a foreign language (FLE) to help exchange students.