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Your arrival at the University

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To do your PhD at the University of Bordeaux, you'll need to complete a certain number of administrative formalities before and upon arrival in France. The university can assist you with that process.

Once your enrollment has been approved by the doctoral school, you will need to complete the administrative formalities associated with your arrival in France.


If you are a citizen of the European Union, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Liechtenstein, Iceland or Norway: you do not need a visa or residence permit. All you need is a valid identity card or passport.

If you are not a citizen of the European Union or one of the countries listed above (unless there are specific agreements between France and your country of origin): you will need to apply for a visa in your country of origin before you can come to France.

If you're not sure which visa you need, visit the government's France-Visas website by clicking on the button below. If in doubt, you can also contact the Welcome Centre for International Researchers (BACI) for advice.

Please note that the type of visa also depends on your status (if you have an employment contract or a scholarship, if you do not benefit from funding for your PhD, etc.). If you were previously a student in France on a student visa and now have an employment contract, you will not be able to keep your student visa: contact the BACI as soon as possible to change your residence permit.



Finding accommodation can sometimes be difficult, especially in Bordeaux. The University of Bordeaux has put together some tips and advice to help you in your search.

Once you have found accommodation, don't forget to take out home insurance, which is mandatory in France.

It is also possible, under certain conditions, to apply for financial assistance from the Family Benefits Agency -Caisse d'Allocation Familiale (CAF). The amount depends on the type of accommodation (furnished or unfurnished), the rent and your income.

Opening a bank account

Opening a bank account in France makes it easier for you to pay your bills and receive your wages, and makes day-to-day life easier for long-term stays.
It is not legally possible to open a bank account in France from abroad. However, it can be opened very quickly once you have arrived in France.

Visit the Campus France website for more information, or contact the Welcome Centre for International Researchers (BACI).

Insurances and Health

For more information about social security, repatriation insurance and the medical cover you need to cover your medical expenses, visit the EURAXESS website or contact the Welcome Centre for International Researchers: accueil.chercheurs@u-bordeaux.fr.

And don't forget to take out home insurance, civil liability insurance, car/motorcycle insurance, etc.

Income tax

If you are a resident in France for tax purposes, or if you have an employment contract in France, you are required to declare your income to the French Treasury Department.

The Welcome Centre for International Researchers can assist you in this process.

Everyday life

The University of Bordeaux can help you organise your day-to-day life. Find out more about:

  • the catering facilities on campus
  • the resources available (university libraries, digital resources)
  • cultural activities and events
  • sport activities and events
  • health facilites
  • how to get around Bordeaux

Need help?

The Welcome Centre for International Researchers and the Student Life Centres can guide you or assist you with certain procedures, so don't hesitate to ask!

Welcome Centre for International Researchers (BACI)

Doctoral School of Society, Politics & Public Health

PhD students of the Doctoral School of Society, Politics & Public Health (ED SP2) are committed to helping new arrivals, particularly French or international candidates who have not completed their university studies in Bordeaux or France, to adapt and integrate into university life.

More specifically, our PhD students can help you:

  • with the PhD enrollment process;
  • with the missions of the various departments (laboratories, doctoral schools, the Graduate Research School);
  • by answering general questions, particularly those relating to individual thesis committees;
  • etc.

For individual support, simply send a request to edsp2@u-bordeaux.fr.


  • Welcome Centre for International Researchers (BACI)

    Victoire Campus (Bordeaux)

    166 cours de l’Argonne 33000 Bordeaux

    + 33 5 40 00 68 73


  • Student Life Centre (BVE)

    Peixotto-Bordes Campus (Talence)

    351 cours de la Libération, Bât. A22 33405 Talence Cedex

    +33 5 40 00 64 02


  • Student Life Centre (BVE)

    Montesquieu Campus (Pessac)

    Avenue Léon Duguit 33608 Pessac

    +33 5 56 84 62 61


  • Student Life Centre (BVE)

    Carreire & Victoire Campus (Bordeaux)

    146 rue Léo-Saignat 33076 Bordeaux Cedex

    +33 5 57 57 17 79