Congratulations on your acceptance to the Smith in Paris program! There are a number of steps that must be completed to prepare for your year in Paris and to apply for your student visa. The French government requires all students staying longer than three months to obtain a student visa before arriving in France.
If you have any questions about any of the paperwork, please ask! Better to ask a "silly" question than to make a mistake and have your visa application denied.
Please complete each step below by the dates given. Read all instructions and follow them to the letter.
When entering dates, use the European format of dd MON yyyy (e.g., 12 Oct 2016).
Step 1: French Visa Application Overview
Students who hope to participate in the Smith in Paris program must have a valid passport when they apply to the program, valid six months beyond the planned time abroad. A copy of the passport photo page or proof of application or renewal must be submited with the program application.
Students studying on the Smith in Paris program will apply for their long-stay student visas independently. Guidance is provided by the Office for International Study, but students are responsible for researching, understanding and following visa application requirements, which vary by French consulate. Students may apply to the French consulate in Boston or the consulate responsible for their home state.
Things to Consider
Before making any summer plans, students intending to study in Paris must consider the following:
- Applicants must appear in person at the consulate to apply for a visa; applications are not accepted by mail.
- Visa applications cannot be made more than 90 days in advance of departure for France.
- Applying for a French visa requires surrender of the passport to the French consulate for a period of two to four weeks.
Step 2: Homestay Questionnaire - April 8
Please complete the homsetay questionnaire by no later than Friday, April 4th.
Step 3: Determine where you will apply for your visa – April 25
Once you've given some thought as to where and when you will apply for your French visa, please complete the French Visa Plans google doc no later than April 15 to let OIS Know at which consulate you will apply and approximately when.
Step 4: CampusFrance Registration – April 25
The first step to applying for a French student visa is to register with CampusFrance.
Instructions on how to complete the Campus France application: CampusFrance Guidelines 2016
Thursday, April 21 or Friday, April 22 at 4:15 pm
Location: the computer lab off of the group study area in Neilson Library.
Step 5: Associate Director Meetings – April 18-21
Marie-Madeleine Charlier, associate director of the Smith in Paris program, will visit Smith April 18–21. Individual meetings for each student have been scheduled for these three days.
The one-on-one meetings will take place in Wright Hall 004.
Step 6: Predeparture Orientation – April 18, 5:00-8:00
All students attending the Smith in Paris program must attend this meeting.
Step 7: Test de Connaissance du Français (TCF) - April 23 (all day)
The TCF Exam will take place at UMass-Amherst. More information about the day of the exam and what to expect will be provided soon.
Step 8: Schedule Visa Appointment – May 6
Using your consulate's online visa appointment system, schedule your visa appointment for sometime between June 6 and July 15. Do not schedule an appointment for later than July 15. Make two copies of your visa appointment confirmation. Take one with you to your visa appointment, and turn in the other at OIS no later than May 6.
Step 9: Predeparture Information – May 16
1. Emergency Contact Information
This form must be opened in Microsoft Word. Please TYPE all of your answers into the form. Give as much information as possible. On page two, list the people who should be contacted in the event of an emergency. If you want us to contact your parents, list your parents on page two.
Emergency Contact Info (DOC)
Once you have completed the form, save it using this naming convention:
And send it as an attachment to the OIS Student Programming and Support Coordinator.
2. Break Address and Travel Information
Please complete your summer contact information now, and provide your travel plans to Paris as soon as you know them (note that you may need to book your flight in order to complete the visa application process). You can return to this link to update your information as needed.
Step 10: Visa Application - June 6
Review the list of documents required by your consulate. Prepare all your materials with the correct number of copies and payment in the correct form well in advance of your visa appointment. The items listed below may or may not be required by your consulate.
Visa Application Form
Use care in entering dates! Give the Smith JYA program and address as your host institution and also as your address during your stay. If your form asks about your study, say something like "etudes littéraires à Paris IV," and give the the Smith Center address again. For means of support, list Smith College and your family. If you receive financial aid from Smith, answer yes to the scholarship question.
This form must be pristine in presentation both to the consulate and to the authorities in France. No cross-outs or white out are allowed for this document. If you make a mistake, use a new original.
Proof of Registration/Letter of Enrollment/Proof of Accomodation
Marie-Madeleine will provide you with one letter in French that meets each of these requirements.
Smith OIS will give you a letter stating that your tuition, room and board are prepaid, and that you'll get a stipend of at least 200 euros per month. At most consulates, you must also show proof of additional financial support.
Return of your passport: If your consulate will return your passport via mail, be sure to also bring the proper return mail materials.
Please notify the OIS administrative coordinator when you receive your visa.