System of higher education in France

How does it work?

General introduction

Higher education system combines several establishments that can be either public or private:

  • Universities,
  • « Grandes Ecoles » and other specialized higher education schools,
  • Short cycle schools, professionally oriented: “Brevet de Technicien Supérieur” (BTS) in high schools and “Instituts Universitaires de Technologie” (IUT) within universities.

LMD system

France, like more than 50 European countries joined the Bologna Declaration (1999), which really started the construction of the European area of ​​higher education.
This system is based upon the 3 following grades:

  • Bachelor, 6 semesters : 180 credits ECTS, bac+3,
  • Master, 4 semesters : 120 credits ECTS, bac+5,
  • PhD, bac+8

The LMD system aims to promote the students mobility within Europe. A bachelor degree or even a semester obtained in France can be validated in any other country of the EU as part of a studies project.

Registration at the university

The enrollment in higher education establishments is annual and individual.
Each institution has its own procedures and its own registration calendar, it informs you when you confirm your wish to come and carry out your studies. In any case, pay close attention to the required documents; submission of originals is often required.

Enrollment at the university usually proceeds in two times: administrative registration and academic registration, which may be conducted simultaneously or in two stages, depending on the establishment policy.

Student exchange program: The enrollment process is done between the home university and the host university. The student only has to choose his academic subjects.

University administrative enrollment

This formality results on the issuance of your student card. On this occasion you will subscribe to our Social welfare system, select an optional health insurance and pay the tuition fees.
Check your university website to know when and how to proceed.
This procedure is important for two reasons:
1- You will not be allowed to pass your exams without paying the tuition fees.
Exception: Students in exchange program (Erasmus, ISEP, CREPUQ...) pay the fees in their home university.
Advice: Don’t forget to ask your establishment which are the accepted means of payment. Usually it is possible by cheque or credit card. You can also pay in several times.
2- The student card is a proof that you truly are a student enrolled in some higher education establishment. You will need it to:

  • Sit an exam,
  • Access some services within the university: library, photocopies, lunch...),
  • Get some discounts (concerts, museums, cinemas...).

If your student card is not delivered during your administrative registration, ask for an enrollment certificate, you will need it to get your resident permit (see below).
You should always have your student card with you and to make a copy of it, useful in case of loss.

University academic enrollment

This second phase of the enrollment directly concerns your courses and examinations: you select your courses and organize your school year.
Each validated semester in France delivers 30 ECTS credits. However it is possible for your home establishment to have different requirements.
Exchange students are required to make their choice of courses validated by the teaching manager of their home establishment.

Enrollment in others higher education establishments

Others higher education institutions are free to set their own enrollment procedures, they inform the concerned students before their departure.

My accommodation

It is sometimes difficult to find an accommodation in Toulouse because of the large number of students, particularly in September and October. That is why we recommend you to book an accommodation before your arrival in France.
Your rental agreement that establishes the terms of your lease shall contain: the duration of you stay, the monthly rent amount, the termination notice, the amount of the security deposit and renewal terms. It also sets the terms of payment of the rent.
This contract has to be signed by the tenant and the landlord. The tenant must keep a copy of his contract; it is a proof of residence.

How to find an accommodation

The Crous residences

There are about 100,000 students in Toulouse. CROUS residences: are thus in high demand, especially as it only provide around 10,000 housing. They are reserved in priority to students beneficing of a CROUS scholarship, but some of them are dedicated to receive foreign students with a scholarship of their own country or who can be considered as a priority by their host establishment (students in Master 2, exchange students).
If you are a foreign student, ask to the international office of your host establishment if you are considered as a priority and, if yes, ask to be registered on a waiting list.
You can also have a look on the Crous website which informs you about the current available residences.

Student residences

There are many student residences in Toulouse, socials or privates, but be careful, the closer of the beginning of the academic year we are, the less there is available accommodations.
You can have a look to adele: website and contact directly the residences.
Some establishments propose several accommodations from private owners.
However, most of the time those lists can only be consulted within the university, which means that you must be arrived and enrolled in Toulouse. 
The Toul’Box offers an accommodation booking service. We propose you a catalog of around thirty housing partners who will provide you advantages if you go through the Toul’Box as your intermediary. This catalog allows you to select your accommodation depending on your own criteria: location, pictures, services, rent, etc.
We check the availability of the places interesting you and we help you through the booking process.

Real estates, private owners and homestay
There is of course a large supply from real estate agencies and private owners, but it generally is difficult to reserve an accommodation from abroad.
For smaller budgets, there is the option of renting a room in private homes. The kitchen and bathroom here can be shared or privates.
Some dedicated websites are full of housing advertisement:

Finally, we would like to draw your attention to "agencies" that require you to pay to see lists of available places. Avoid this kind of "agencies"; their lists are unreliable and rarely updated.

Shared accommodations

This kind of housing, usually appreciated by students is a solution with some advantage like sharing the rent but also some traps (if a flat mate leaves the apartment, it might be your job to find someone to take his place). 
There is no specific regulation about shared accommodation; each owner has its own preferences.
The inventory: it has to be done when you move in and when you move out from the accommodation. The owner and the flatmates sign two copies at once: it is preferable that all are present at that time.
The rental contract: every flatmate has to sign it; they will all have this way the same rights and obligations.
You must know that a “clause de solidarité” (clause of mutual solidarity) that bounds the flatmates between them is often required. This clause allows the landlord to ask one of the flatmates to pay the full rent if the others don’t pay their part.
Home insurance: This insurance is mandatory and covers expenses due to accidents and damages. The best is for all the flatmates to have the same conditions.
Main website for shared flats:

Average rent in Toulouse:

  • CROUS : 160 to 360 € / month
  • Student residences : 375 to 430 €  / month
  • Private residences : 480 to 600 / month
  • Shared flat : 250 € to 500 € / month
  • Unfurnished accommodation: 350 to 550 € / month
  • Homestay : 250€ to 400  / month

Once you have found an accommodation, there are some formalities you need to do before to move in:


A renting contract (lease) is required. The tenant (yourself) and the landlord (owner of the accommodation) must sign this document in two original copies.

Incoming inventory

This document is the precise description of the housing and its furniture at the time you are moving in. The tenant and the landlord must sign this document in two original copies.
This document is very important; it will be used as a proof of the place’s state at your arrival in comparison to its state when you will leave it in order to check if there are damages in the place resulting of your stay. An outgoing inventory is made for the checkout and if you are responsible of damages, the amount of repairs will be deducted from your security deposit.
This is why it is important to make an inventory when you entering and take notes for everything that might be a reason to keep money from your deposit like the holes in the walls, damaged furniture etc.

The security deposit

You have to pay the deposit when signing the lease. The amount is usually one month of rent for an unfurnished accommodation and 2 months rent for a furnished accommodation. This amount should be returned to you no later than two months after your departure.
To help you to pay the deposit you can make an interest free loan:

  • Pass-Log of Toulouse (only for accommodations that are located in Toulouse)

More informations on

  • Locapass

More informations on

The guarantor

In order to rent a place and sign a lease, landlords will ask you to provide a guarantor. A guarantor is someone or an institution that bind itself to pay your rent in case of a failure from yourself.
Usually, landlords prefer to deal with natural person guarantors, living and working in France. The condition here for this person is to earn at least three times the amount of your rent.
Required documents to check the solvency of your guarantor:

  • payslip
  • employment contract
  • last taxes notification
  • birth certificate
  • account number+swift code
  • property tax (not always)

Some documents cannot be asked, see more on service public site:
If you don’t have such a guarantor in France, you must apply to one of these services:

    • Clé (Caution Locative Etudiante),
    • Loca-Pass

The Loca-Pass is dedicated to students beneficing of a Crous scholarship or some students having an internship and workers. They must rent a « social » accommodation (Crous residences or HLM ones).
More informationon on
The « Clé » system is a government guarantee.
This service is held by the Crous and is now available everywhere in Metropolitan France.
The device can benefit all students:

  • with incomes but no family bond, friendly or bank,
  • seeking to stay in France, to do their studies,
  • under 28 on September 1st of the year of signature of the lease;
  • over the age of 28 on September 1st enrolled in a Ph.D. or with a postdoc contract. (Ph.D. obtained in the last 6 years, occupying a position in a researcher unit or in a research laboratory, under a fixed-term contract).

You will find information and the procedure for the Garantie CLE at the CROUS or on
Keep in mind that you must pay your rent; this mechanism only exists to protect the landlord, not the tenant.

Home insurance

This insurance is compulsory in order to cover expenses due to eventual accidents:
- Occasional troubles (locksmith, plumbing, heating / gas / electricity), with a phone call to arrange emergency surgery,
- Problems in housing losses (fire, storm, natural disaster) with support (temporary housing, etc.).
You must hand it to the landlord before to move in the accommodation. This insurance can be purchased from a bank or an insurance agency.
The cost of that insurance varies from one company to another but for an annual coverage, prices can vary from 1 € to 150 € depending on the extent of cover and the subscribed options.
Choose an insurance that covers different types of risks and that includes civil liability insurance.

Subscription for electricity, gas and water

In Crous residences, there is no need to subscribe and the price is already included in the rent.
Most of the student residences and private accommodations already include the water in the rent. Yet you still need to open a line for electricity.
There are now several gas and electricity providers. You will find bellow the historical ones :
Contact of the electricity provider (EDF: for English speakers:
tél. +33 5 56 17 40 70 (commissioning),
tél. 0800 123 333 (national number)

Contact of the gas provider (GDF: ):
tél. +33 9 69 32 43 24

Subscription for electricity and gas (EDF/GDF)

To have your own subscription to electricity and/or to gas you can easily declare your entry in the place online: or by phone: +33 5 56 17 40 70
You will need to:

  • Give the number written on the electric meter and the former tenant’s name
  • Give your account number+swift code for direct debiting
  • To note the numbers written on the electric meter of your accommodation

Subscription for Internet and phone

In France there are many operators and Internet providers that offer deals giving access to both the Internet and telephone (limited and unlimited plans with international options). Usually, it is also possible to subscribe for your cell phone. This type of offer allows you to group all on one same bill.
To subscribe, you will need:

  • RIB
  • Copy of your passport + visa
  • Copy of a proof or residence (ie. a bill)

Leaving the place

The tenant can leave his accommodation at anytime during the contract but still has some obligations:

  • A three months notice must be respected (for furnished rooms and student residences the notice may be under 3 months, read the lease which specifies the exact duration).
  • You must announce your departure to the landlord by a letter with acknowledgment of receipt (courrier recommandé avec accusé de réception) within the notice period. To send that type of letter you need to go the post office (paid service).
  • Example:

If you want to leave an unfurnished accommodation on the 30/06 you need to send your letter on time so your landlord receives it before the 30/03.
If you are staying in a Crous residence you must send your letter in order for the CROUS to receive it at least one month before the date of departure. But keep in mind that any started month must be paid entirely. As an example, if you leave your place July 2nd, you will have to pay the entire month of July.

Don’t forget to terminate every subscription you made on your name (electricity, gas, water, internet…).
Take note on the meters of your energy consumption before calling to terminate your contracts.

Housing allowances

The CAF: (Caisse d’Allocations Familiales) is a French social structure that can allow you an assistance to pay your rent. The amount depends on the location of your accommodation, your personal situation and your incomes.
These allowances are called APL (Aide Personnalisée au Logement) and ALS (Allocation de Logement Sociale).
Whatever your nationality, if you have a residence permit you can apply for that allowance. If you are not from EU you must present a birth certificate translated in French.
The maximum allowance you can get from the CAF by living on your own as a student in Toulouse is about 170€ and less if you are in a shared flat.
Be careful:

  • The first month of rent is not taken into account by the CAF.
  • You have to wait 2 to 3 months before the payment begins. 
  • Sometimes allowances are directly paid to the landlord, especially with the CROUS, and sometimes it will be paid to you, it depends on the landlord.
  • You must provide a RIB to the CAF.
  • Non-European students, you must provide the OFII stamp.

You can make the application online:
We put a tutorial at your disposal to help you with that matter.


Welfare system in France

Health coverage is divided in two stages:

  • The “Assurance maladie” also called “Securité Sociale”. This mandatory insurance covers 70% of your medical expenses. European citizens coming from an EEE state and owner of a European health insurance card are exempted from subscribing it. 
  • An additional insurance, which is not mandatory but strongly recommended, proposed by a lot of "mutuelles complémentaires".



Refunded by the Assurance Maladie

Refunded by your private insurance

General practitioner


15,10€ (70%)

0 to 6,9€



18,60€ (70%)

0 to 8,4€


  • Daily charge for the stay, meals, maintenance


0% (except for CMU)

0 to 18€

  • Cares

Depends on the care received

80% (sauf bénéficiaires de la CMU 100%)

0 to 20%

Be careful:

  • 1€ will always be kept from your refund for the Assurance Maladie on every consults, medical examination and medical tests.
  • You can only be refunded if you made the « déclaration de médecin traitant ». The general practitioner performs this process during your first visit.

More information on the Assurance Maladie website:


    • There are two specific providers in Toulouse for students health insurance: LMDE and VITTAVI. Both of them also provide a “mutuelle complémentaire”. The contribution is paid at the University enrollment: 213€ for 2014/2015.
    • This is free of charge for students beneficing of a CROUS scholarship.
  • The “mutuelle” can be subscribed through VITTAVI or LMDE or also in the many agencies in France. Some students can keep their parents’ insurance during their studies.

European students

  • You can use your European Health Insurance Card if this one is valid (you must bring a copy of the card and be covered for your entire stay in France).
  • If you do not provide your home country card, then you must join the French social security which costs around 210 € and confers a social security number which is required in almost all administrative procedures, including university enrolment or even to find a job.

Non-European students, depending on the length or your stay:

  • For a full school year - the French social security system covers from October 1st to September 30th of the following year.
  • If you only stay in France from September to December you just need a private insurance and not the French social security.
  • If you stay from January to May you must subscribe to the French social security.
  • If you are over 28, the best for you is to subscribe to a private social security covering your stay in France.
  • For citizens of Quebec, your home insurance is valid in France (under one condition, it must cover you for the whole year).To benefit from it, a copy of the formulary SE 401-Q-106 is required.

Care establishments

In Toulouse, you can find:

  • Several private clinics
  • 2 public hospitals, Purpan and Rangueil

You can also receive care services and social support to SIMPPS and CROUS.


The SIMPPS (Service Interuniversitaire de Médecine) offers some free services and accompanies you during the year for:

  • Questions about health, emergencies (contact the nursing office) 
  • Health concerns (take an appointment with a doctor) even specific (you can make an appointment with a dermatologist, a gynecologist, a tobacco specialist, a nutrition specialist)
  • Problems of discomfort, depression ... (ask for an appointment with a psychologist or psychiatrist)
  • Social questions, administrative procedures, you can see a social worker
  • The introduction of special measures necessitated by a disability, whether temporary or permanent (take an appointment with a doctor).

The social workers of SIMPPS are distributed in universities and schools.
For more information follow:


Nurses of the CROUS provide permanence for accommodated CROUS students. They are based in two residences:

  • Arsenal: Monday and Wednesday from 1pm to 6pm, Tuesday from 1pm to 4.30pm and Friday from 1pm to 4pm (phone: +33 5 62 25 60 03)
  • Chapou: From Monday to Friday from 8am to noon (phone: +33 5 61 12 55 77)

Getting around


Urban Transport in Toulouse (Tisséo)
Whether to go to class, visit yours friends or enjoy the cultural and sporting life, Tisséo network ease your movements around the city and surrounding area.
Tisséo public transport network includes:

  • two metro lines: line A and line B, which intersect in the city centre at the Jean-Jaures station.
  • two tram lines: line T1 and line T2
  • many buses: over 80 during the day and the TAD lines (Transport On Demand), that  function on reservation
  • an Airport Shuttle: connects the airport to the railway station by making several stops in the city centre (journey time: 20 to 45 minutes depending on traffic conditions)
  • the evening network ( ) and night service Noctambus ( ) serving the main University residences on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights between 1 am and 5 am
  • the City Centre Shuttle : electric, free and will take you to the heart of the historic city. It operates between 9 am and 7 pm, Monday to Saturday. A simple wave and the driver will stop for you.

To optimize your trip, use the interactive map ( ) and the journey calculator on the Tisséo website or the mobile application ( ) on your smartphone. The paper maps of the transport network are available at the Tisséo agencies all over the city.

Personal public transportation card Pastel

The Pastel card can be loaded with any of the transport passes and needs to be validated on each journey. The card can only be used by the owner of the card. For more information follow:
You can buy the Pastel card in the Tisséo agencies and you can use it for the Vélô Toulouse: and Citiz: contracts.
Some examples of the fares (applied by the 1st of September 2014):

  • Single ticket = 1.60€
  • 10 trips (for under 26 years old) = 4€
  • 10 trips (26-35 years old students) = 9.80€
  • 10 trips = 13.40€
  • Airport Shuttle single ticket = 8€
  • 1 month pass (for under 26 years old) = 10€

You must validate your ticket every time you enter the metro, tram or the bus.
Each trip allows using 4 different lines (3 if using the parking) within one hour from your ticket’s first validating (one hour and a half if using the Airport Shuttle).
For more information visit Tisséo website:

The bike sharing system: VélôToulouse

This bike sharing system is open 24/7. There are 253 stations all over the city. Take a bike and return it where you like on another station. Choose the hire option that suits you best. Sign up for a long-term subscription or buy a 1-day or a 7-day ticket. The first 30 minutes of each trip are always free of charge.
Activate your long-term subscription on your Pastel card or student card and get some reduction or use the one delivered by VélôToulouse. For more information follow:

Tourism cars with driver

In Toulouse, the private transportation service is offered by Pink Me Up ( ). It works on online reservation and provides attractive rates. Just book your car before go out at night and you will be picked up and taken back to your home.

Travel and discover France by rail

French railways – SNCF ( ) offers a huge rail network to discover France and Europe. Make some savings on train travel by buying an SNCF card. For example, with the Youth Card (that costs only 50€) you can have up to 60% off tickets. This card is valid for one year and you must be between the ages of 12 to 27 the day of the first use of the card.

Travel more with bus

A few meters from the main railway station Matabiau, there is a bus station. The meeting point of the intercity “Arc-en-Ciel” bus, the regional, national and international lines. The bus station is also the starting point of the Tisséo Airport Shuttle.

Travel further on plane

Toulouse Blagnac Airport is located 7km from the city center of Toulouse. The Tisséo Airport Shuttle connects the airport to the railway station by making several stops in the city centre (journey time: 20 to 45 minutes depending on traffic conditions). Air France is the main French airways operator. However there are a lot of other airlines, for example, low-cost ones such as Easyjet or Ryanair. They propose a huge number of flights all over Europe. However be attentive on the paying services (aircraft hold luggage, meals, different insurances, additional luggage’s weight etc.).

Travel cheaper with car-sharing – covoiturage

Travel in the car of a person who goes on the same place as you. By having more people using one vehicle, covoiturage reduces each person’s travel costs such as fuel costs and tolls.There are a lot of safe and reliable websites that link drivers with empty seats in their car with passengers seeking paths:

My leisure time

Studying successfully in France also means enjoying the leisure time and discovering the French cultural life. In this section you will find all the most important information about the culture, sport and leisure time and some tips to enjoy special advantages in Toulouse. Here come some examples of discount cards that you can find in Toulouse.

Chéquier Toulouse Jeunes

You are between 18 and 26 ? Toulouse offers you reduced prices to performances, theaters, museums, cinemas, sports games and operas. For more information:

Carte MonToulouse

Use MonToulouse card for your subscriptions at Vélo’Toulouse, municipal pools and museums. This card costs 4€ and it is personal, with your photo and name. Stay tuned for updated, this card will open you more doors soon. For more information:

Carte SoToulouse

Get a benefit from free entry to the main cultural heritage sites. There is only one condition: you must be accompanied by at least one person paying the full or discounted price. For more information:

Carte Muséelibre 

With this card all the permanent exhibitions of the museums managed by the City Council are free during the weekends. Pick up your card at the reception of the Hôtel de Ville. Just don’t forget to bring a proof of your domicile in Toulouse and your photo. The concerned museums are: Museum of Natural History, The musée des Augustins, Saint-Raymond, Paul-Dupuy, George-Labit, Ensemble conventuel des Jacobins, Amphithéâtre Romain Toulouse-Purpan, Crypte archéologique de Saint-Pierre-des-Cuisines.
Even if you are new in Toulouse, soon this city will not have any secret for you.

Cultural events throughout the year

La nuit des chercheurs – European Researchers’ night

Explore science through fun learning. Meet, discover and share this innovative event with researchers and artists. Promoted by the European Commission in 2005, European researchers’ night is one of the unique opportunities for the scientists to present and talk about their unusual works to a large public. During one evening all over Europe and in 20 cities in France, you can discover what researchers really do and why it matters for your daily life. Whether with family, friends, your school, or on your own, you will find yourself exploring science in engaging ways.

Fête de la scienc - Science Festival -

This event promotes exchanges between the scientific community and the public. The scientific community, industry (Research and Development sectors), educational community, associations and local authorities are mobilizing to show the importance and quality of research in the Midi-Pyrenees. It is a way to understand a little bit better the world around us, to access to the latest technological innovations and to understand their effects on daily life and develop a scientific culture among the youngest through 200 events and 8 science’s villages.

Journées européennes du Patrimoine – European Heritage Days

Created in 1984 by the Ministry of Culture, the European Heritage Days are held annually on the third weekend of September. Cultural event of the season, those days are a special time to visit national heritage, monuments, churches, theaters, castles, but also private houses, banks, courts, prefectures, courthouses, city halls, etc., all kinds of buildings that are usually closed to the public or poorly attended.

Scientilivre - Discovery of the Science and Books

The object of this festival is the development of scientific and literary culture. This festival counts 7000 visitors over 2 days, twenty scientific workshops with fun and interactive experiences, forty meetings with authors in the bookshop, lectures by experts in the scientific and literary worlds, performances of scientific activities, readings ...

Piano aux Jacobins

The Piano aux Jacobins International Festival hosts every September in Toulouse famous and young performers. It is held in the cloître des Jacobins and other various places of the city. On the program: several piano recitals per week and other performances.


Meet the culture of Occitania throughout more than 80 events in Toulouse and its region.

Semaine de l’étudiant

During this week that actually lasts ten days (when it comes to partying, Toulouse do not hesitate to break the rules!) you will certainly enjoy a huge number of cultural events that are free for  students. Whether you come from the other side of France or the other side of the world, if you want to know more about the city and ready to make new friends, feel free to join this project as an artist (call for projects in April), as a volunteer or a spectator. Stay tuned with the official Facebook page of the event: and the web site

La Novela, festival of the shared knowledge

This festival of knowledge gathers all sciences. Alliance between creativity, science and art, La Novela offers everyone the different way to meet the sciences, through the wonder, aesthetics, the pleasure of discovery and encounter.

Toulouse les orgues

Each October enjoy the unique and historical heritage of organs, the performances of the world-renowned musicians and artists.


Spanish cinema in Toulouse and all over the Midi-Pyrenees region. Be the first to see hundreds of new films.

Entre en scène !

Student theatre companies invite you to two weeks of student’s creation shows. Come to see what happens on the stage of universities and schools, and who knows, you can even join them! This festival is held in different students’ spots in Toulouse.

Festival International Séquence Court-Métrage - the Sequence shortfilm International Festival

This international festival highlights the richness of the short film. Enjoy the professional and amateur short films of regional, national and international productions.


In twenty years of existence Cinelatino has changer Toulouse into the center of Latin American cinema. There is a generous and highly dynamic association behind this big annual event and professional and trade journal platform.

Carnival of Toulouse

Each April the Carnival metamorphoses the city. A huge parade offers you an incredible number of performances, a beautiful music and a spectacular climax with the cremation of Mr Carnival.

Printemps du rire

Each year in March the fun invades Toulouse. This festival was created in 1995 and has become one of the largest European comedy festivals.

Rencontres du Cinéma italien –Meetings of Italian Cinema

Once a year ABC movie theatre welcomes and projects the best of the old and new Italian films with the special presence of the actors and directors.


Three weeks of modern theater of all over the world. The Universcènes is the result of close collaboration between the University Theater and theatrical institutions in the city of Toulouse.

Inox Electronic Festival

This is the biggest French festival of electronic music. Enjoy the performances of famouses French and international DJ’s.

Rio Loco 

Annual festival of world music placed under the sign of cultural diversity. It combines music, visual art, cinema, circus and street art. This festival through a festive spirit reflects the diversity and richness of the guested countries.

Les siestes electroniques

It has been 10 years that this festival offers the free open air concerts of contemporary music.

La fete de la musique – World music day

Every year on June 21 the streets of Toulouse and all over France are invaded by the amateur and professional musicians. You will certainly enjoy this day.


The end of June is a good time to enjoy the world music and the view of the Canal du Midi. This festival offers you a lot of free concerts from the bridge of a barge.

Le Grand Fenetra

Le Grand Fenetra is a festival that dates back to the Gallo-Romans. It begins with the parade named “Passe carrier” which leads to the Capitol for the official opening. Then there are several days of dance performances, traditional songs and music. It is held every year the last weekend of June, from Saturday to Tuesday.

Marathon des mots

Every last weekend of June, this festival honors writers, essayist and poets. The public is invited to a great trip over words and letters. The program includes forums, meetings, public readings, musical performances and the meetings with authors and major national and international publishers.

Toulouse Plage

Toulouse Plages is a wide variety of activities for all ages, on four spots along Garonne: Daurade, Espace EDF-Bazacle, Jardin Raymond VI and Quai de l'Exil Républicain Espagnol. Enjoy water and beach sports or just sun while resting on the sunlounger.

Toulouse Game Show

Discover a part of a Japanese culture with this annual manga convention. It proposes different activities such as cosplay, conferences and drawing. If you like video games, manga and anime you will definitely appreciate Toulouse Game Show.

Dynamic city where it feels good to live 

What to do on weekends?
On Sunday morning you can:

  • Hanging around the city and buy some fresh products at the markets. There are some covered ones, as  Marché Victor Hugo, Marché des Carmes, Marché Saint-Cyprien
  • Open-air markets: Marché Saint-Aubin, Marché Jeanne d’Arc
  • Visit the flea market of Saint Sernin
  • Go to the pool or to the ice rink (most of them are open the Sunday morning but closed the afternoon).

You like sunshine and fresh air? You can:

  • Go for a walk to Prairie des Filtres, wander along the banks of the Garonne or the city center
  • Enjoy sports around Sesquières Lake or at the Ramée sports complex (you can also enjoy your lunch on open air there)
  • Practice soccer and rugby in one of the stadiums of the city
  • Practice water sports on the Garonne: water skiing, rowing, canoeing
  • Watch soccer or rugby matches
  • Have a good time at one of the recreation center all over the city

Follow this link for more information:
The PetitTou magazine will help you to find out more interesting places frequented by students, where to eat, to club or chilling out. This magazine is created by students for students, so you will certainly not be disappointed. Here is its online version of it:

The vocabulary of Toulouse

Don’t worry, we speak French in Toulouse. But you will be surprised to find expressions and words borrowed from Occitan (the regional language). The names of the metro stations are announced in French followed by Occitan.
And there are purely local expressions. In Toulouse, the famous French pastry “pain au chocolat” called “chocolatine”. And at the supermarket you should ask for a “poche” and not “sac” when you want a bag.
Look for more expressions and words on Internet:

Students associations

There are a huge number of students associations in Toulouse. We propose you a list of the association of the Universities and schools of Université de Toulouse. Don’t forget to meet some of them at the Students’ Place during la Semaine de l’Etudiant.


In general, you can find three types of sports on campus:

  • Sports integrated to courses (“module sport”)
  • Extra-curricular sports, regular courses and trainings of leisure and learning sports
  • High-level competitive sport

Some Universities have particular offers on Handisport.
For more information, contact the service/department/office of sports of your University, or have a look on our web page:

Working as a student (so-called student jobs)

As a student, whether you are French or from a foreign country (as long as you have a residence permit) you are allowed to have a job beneath your studies. The students from foreign countries are allowed to work within the limit of 60% of the statutory working hours, or 964 hours per year.
In most cases, you don’t need any special authorization. However, if you are an Algerian, if you want to work more than 60% or if you have a temporary residence permit, you must request permission to work through DIRECCTE.
See more about this item in the “Welcome Pack” menu “right for foreigners” and on

More common part time jobs

You might need to find a job in order to help you pay for your everyday expenses. Some sectors are more used to employ students for part time jobs:

  • Hotels, fastfoods, restaurants, cafés, and CROUS restaurants offer various possibilities of part time jobs. They also need extra staff mainly during the summer or for special events. For the summer season, you have to apply between March and June, the sooner the better.
  • Tutoring or school supervisor
  • Sales, delivery and unloading of trucks
  • Hypermarket networks and telemarketing firms: both are big providers of part time jobs
  • Home care services companies (babysitting, taking care of elderly people, doing some gardening)
  • Cleaning and maintenance services
  • Public transport services, security for carparks, gas stations
  • Tourism and culture: accompanying tourist groups, being a host or hostess in shows and exhibitions

Other job suggestions and tips on

How to look for a student job

There are several sites dedicated to students where you can find job ads

  • Jobaviz: the CROUS job board: after creating your account on the site, you can have access to seasonal jobs, or jobs throughout the year in different fields. You will also be able to find information about various professions, the different types of contracts, as well advice as how to write your resume and application letters
  • CRIJ: this platform dedicated to students and young people in general provides information and organizes many workshops on: writing your resume and application letter, using internet and office software, how to prepare for an interview, etc…
  • Temporary work agencies: they propose the offers of the work for temporary assignements. They are usually specialized by sector (construction, hotels and catering, administrative, sales etc…). There are a lot of agencies in Toulouse; the best way is to go derectly to one of theses agencies or to make a registration on their web site. You can find a list of them on pagesjaunes site:
  • Pole-emploi  is the national employment agency. You can check for the offers directly on their site:
  • And there are many other websites like: indeed:, studentjob:, letudiant:
  • Don’t hesitate to leave spontaneosly your resume in restorants or stores.
  • You can also take a look at the job opportunities offered by your university.

What kind of contract?

In France you must sign a contract before start to work. Let’s see a little bit more in details the particularities of differents types of contracts.

Le Contrat à Durée Déterminée (CDD)- Fixed-term contract

Employement conditions

The use of fixed-term contract may occur in many cases. The first is the replacement of an absent employee regardless of the reason (other than strikes). Another one is the temporary increase of the activity of the company, unless the company has conducted an economic redundancy within the previous 6 months. In addition, the other reason is a seasonal work if the requirements are recurrent from one year to another and similar dates. This is the case of seasonal activities such as agriculture and tourism for example.

The duration of the contract

The duration of this kind of contracts is limited; the time must be specified in the contract.The duration of the contract is based on the reason of hiring; the website of the Ministry of Labour presents all these durations according to the motivations of hiring.

Duration of the trial period

The trial period is not mandatory for a fixed-term contract.
The duration of the trial period is limited to one day per week for contracts up to 6 months, in the limit of two weeks duration. Regarding the contracts exceeding 6 months, the maximum duration of the trial period is one month.

Le Contrat à Durée Indéterminée (CDI) – The open-ended contract

The open-ended contract must be used if the fixed-term contract can not be applied.  
With no end date, the open-ended contract can be ended by:
• resignation
• dismissal
• retirement
• "conventional rupture"
Never accept a job in black (without contract) it is prohibited by law and you will certainty not have access to your rights (salary, insurance, holidays, etc ...)

How to respond to a job offer?

CV – The resume

Your resume should be clear, concise and demonstrate how your profile matches the job you are applying. It must be written on a computer, so you can send it by mail (preferably in PDF format). It must feet on one page. Once your CV is written ask some of your friends/teachers etc to read it and to check for misspellings.
Consider also using the online resume, using dedicated platforms as DoYouBuzz: , Viadeo:, LinkedIn: and other. Theese sites allow you also to create a professional network.

La lettre de motivation – The covering letter

In France this letter is almost mandatory to get an interview. As its name suggests, the letter, should reflect your motivation and demonstrate how you fit the job you are applying for.
You should not repeat your resume but present your skills and knowledge with the objective to convince your employer. To write your covering letter, start by listing your skills, quoilifications and experience related to the job offer. Then you organize your writing as follows:

• introduction: The point on the offer and its context
• your presentation: Summary of your experience and skills
• how you fit the ideal candidate and why they should hire you
• conclusion: Your disponibility for an interview and politeness formulas

L’entretien – The interview


You found an offer, sent your resume and covering letter and now you are invited to an interview. Bravo! However, the most important step is to come; now you must convince the rectuiter that you are THE candidate.
It is essential to prepare your interview. You must be familiar with the following topics:

• the activity of your employer
• the exact content of the job you are applying for
• your strengthsand faults for this position
• why are you interested by this offer

To settle in Toulouse with my family

Different types of childcare exist in France and Toulouse.

Children under 3 year of age

The CAF’s website offers a general presentation on the different types of childcare.

The city of Toulouse also provides a detailed guide of the various types of childcares ( ), their cost, the ways to apply, etc. and the list of the “espaces petite enfance” (spaces dedicated to children - ) in which you will find all the information you need and realize the registration formalities.
There are two main systems of collective childcare for children under 3 years of age:

  • Les crèches (kindergarten): specialized and supervised collective structures.
  • Les crèches familiales (family house kindergarten): semi-collective childcare of a few number of children at a nurse’s who takes children several times a week in a nursery to participate supervised activities.

Conditions for these two types of nursery are:

  • The child must be between 2 months and 3 years of age
  • Except special medical indication, it should be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus and polio (DTP) (Other vaccinations, smallpox, whooping cough, etc. are not mandatory)

The parents financial contribution is calculated based on their income and the family composition. As an example, the cost for a single mother with one child and an income of € 1,400 per month, is about 25-35 € per month. You can directly calculate the price on a dedicated website: . You can find the structures list on the “Mon Enfant” website: or on the city of Toulouse one: , by indicating 31 000 as postal code.

There are also individual solutions:

  • Independent children nurses (Nannies): They accept from one to four children in their house at the same time.
  • Babysitters: They watch over children at the parental house.

You will find information and a list of organisms on the city of Toulouse website:
It is a more expensive solution but easier to implement.

For occasional needs, you can turn to day nurseries or kindergartens structures. This type of care promotes early learning and the socialization of the child thanks to different activities (music, tales, etc.). Again, the parent’s financial contribution is calculated based on their income and the family composition.
Find the list of these structures on the city of Toulouse website:

Information upon benefits for families is also available:

  • Information and enrolment in kindergarten:

- Espace Petite Enfance of your neighborhood

  • Information and enrolment to recreational center (Wednesdays and school holidays):

- Child under 6: Espace Petite Enfance of your neighborhood
- Child over 6: hotline +33 5 61 22 23 68

  • School enrolment

- District town hall
- For people living in Toulouse CBD, at the district town hall “Mériel” located in the “Maison de la Citoyenneté Centre”, 5 rue Paul Mériel (+33 5 81 91 79 52)

There is a specific website dedicated to children: . You can find there information on artistic activities, kindergartens, and leisure activities.

Children over 3 years of age


French educational system is organized into three main stages: school, middle school and high school. Primary and secondary are free, neutral, secular and compulsory from 6 to 16.

All the information about enrollment at pre-school ( ) and primary school ( ) is available on the city of Toulouse website.
You will also find the list of Toulouse secondary establishments by following this link:

Good to know



The city of Toulouse provides a local dispositive of school monitoring (CLAS) which is dedicated to children and teenagers to help them through their educational experience. CLAS actions are focused on homework assistance and the provision of a cultural basis necessary to success at school. Free of access for families, this dispositive is implemented by associations, social centers and the direction for social development of the city of Toulouse.

Educational success
The dispositive of educational success of Toulouse relies on a strong partnership between the Ministry of Education and the municipality. It depends on the direction of social development of the municipality of Toulouse. It is designed for children and adolescents from 2 to 16 years of all schools in the city. Its purpose is to give a chance to children who do not have a social, family and cultural environment favorable to their success.

Leisure time
Toy libraries, hospitality and leisure centers, holiday camps and mini-breaks, the city of Toulouse offers a variety of activities.


Documents to keep with you (in case of possible problems with luggage)

  • ID: passeport (+visa) / resident permit…
  • Birth certificate (and its French traduction)
  • Driver's license: if you want to drive in France, renting a car for a weekend, etc.

For your studies

  • Proof of enrollment/acceptance to the University
  • Language level certificate
  • Previous Degrees: translation and copy (if your University asks for it)


  • Health book: a copy or an original

Everyday life

  • Your cellphone (activate the international rouming service)
  • Some printed ID Photos     
  • Ask your bank if you can pay in France wth your credit card
  • Print your housing booking and all the documents that you need for your housing
  • Check how to get to your housing from the airport or train station

The main information points for students and youth

CROUS Toulouse et Midi-Pyrénées
58, rue du Taur - 31000 Toulouse
Tél. 05 61 12 54 00
Housing and student jobs offers

17 rue Metz (Métro Esquirol) - 31000 Toulouse
Tel: 05 61 21 20 20
Housing and student jobs offers etc…

La Mairie de Toulouse

Office du tourisme
Square Charles de Gaulle, 31000 Toulouse

COMUE – Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées
41 Allées Jules Guesde -CS 61321


Free wi-fi spots:

  • Capitol Square
  • University Libraries
  • Some coffe shops, bars, restaurants…