An ID CARD is enough to enter France for students coming from European Union countries and from European Economic Area countries (EU + Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway).
Students coming from a non-European country must get a valid passport and a visa.
Students coming from a non-European country must get a visa before their arrival in France through the French Consulate of your country of origin.
There are 2 different types of visas:
short-stay visas for less than 90 days
long-stay visas for more than 90 days
Be aware that it is not possible to get a French visa while being in France.
SHORT STAY VISA : "VISA SHENGEN" The Schengen agreement refers to free circulation of persons between signatory states.
LONG STAY VISA : "VISA LONG SEJOUR VALANT TITRE DE SEJOUR = VLS-TS" (long stay visa equivalent to a residence permit)
The long-stay visa is usually delivered to students coming for more than three months. This visa allows you to transit through the Schengen Area on your way to France and to move freely throughout the Schengen Area within its period of validity.
Some long-stay visas are valid as residence permits during the 1st year of study in France.
Student having a Long Stay Visa or a Schengen visa are allowed to travel within the Schengen area.
Here is an exhaustive list of the signatory states