Depending on your country of origin and on the duration of your stay, the procedures are different.
No visa is required by the French authorities. You will only be asked to hold a valid passport or a valid ID card during your stay.
*** EEA countries include: 28 EU countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom) and 3 EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).
You must have a valid passport with you in order to enter and reside in France.
Some country nationals do not need to obtain a visa for stays of 3 months or less. Please consult the list on the website: http://www.campusfrance.org/en/page/short-stay-visas-less-90-days
Short stays visa (less than 90 days) or tourism visas valid throughout the Schengen area allow stays of up to 3 months within a given 6-month period. The number of days during which the holder may remain in the Schengen Area is specified on the visa sticker, along with the validity period of the visa, provided the holder's passport remains valid during that time. Students wishing to engage in language training or other short instructional programs are eligible for this visa.
All students will have to apply for a visa. Since September 2009, the French authorities have issued for students living in a non-European country a long-stay visa (VLS-TS). Holders of the VLS-TS visa no longer have to obtain a residency permit from the prefecture having jurisdiction over their place of residence in France. There are two types of long stay visa:
If your stay in France is longer than 90 days but shorter than 6 months, you might have obtained a temporary long stay visa (which is not a student visa) indicated at the bottom of your visa. In that case you are allowed to stay for the duration of your visa without any other procedures to follow.
Students have to report to the OFII (“Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration”) and complete several administrative formalities. Please read the procedure : OFII process (valid for one year only).
Algerian students are still covered by the Franco-Algerian agreement of December 27, 1968. Therefore, the former procedure is still implemented. You need to apply for a Residence permit (Titre de séjour). Each residence permit is only valid for one year. If your studies exceed one year (Double Degree Students) and when your student visa expires, you will get an extension by presenting your enrolment certificate.