General information


The student’s family (spouse and children) can live in France.

All members of the family have to apply for a visa.

Usually, the visa delivered for the spouse is a “visitor” visa which does not allow to work.

In addition, the whole family must have a health insurance as the French student health insurance is only valid for the student.


The French Education system

Crèche – Baby nursery

Nursery where babies and young children below the age of three are cared for during the working day.

Maternelle - Infant school

For the children aged between three and six.

Ecole élémentaire  and Collège - Elementary and Secondary school

School education is compulsory for children aged between six and sixteen; this obligation covers both elementary education (école élémentaire) and the first four years (collège) of secondary education.

Private schools are fee paying and state schools are free of charge (excluding lunch)


Enroll children in school

State schools

Enrolment takes place during the first half of the calendar year at the City hall near the place of residence.

A special rule applies in day nurseries: children who reach the age of three between September and 31 December of that year may attend nursery school from September on. Children who turn three between 1 January and 1 March may go to nursery school, subject to availability of places, from 1 January until the end of the February holidays at the latest. Children who turn three after 1 March may go to day nursery until the start of the new school year.

Documents needed to apply

To get a certificate of enrollment from the local city hall,you have to submit the following documents

  • Birth certificate
  • Proof of vaccinations : certificate to show that the child is immunized against diphtheria, tetanus, and polio
  • Proof of residence – usually a copy of a utility bill or rental agreement showing your home address


International school

Several English/French schools exist in Lille and Nice. Even if most pupils attend local and state schools, which are free. However, foreign families may consider an international school to ease their child's transition.

International schools in Lille

International schools in Nice

ABC school

International school of English


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