International Office

Opening a bank account & Banking Services

General Information

Opening a French bank account is necessary for the housing allowance and health reimbursements, even if you stay for one semester. It is sometimes possible to organise automatic bank transfers for paying rent. Different banks are also present for students in the Guichet Unique / UCP Campus every year, in September. You are free to choose the bank you prefer.

Banks are usually open up from 9.00am to 12.00am and from 14.00pm until 17.30pm. They are always closed during lunchtime, on Sundays and bank holidays. Some banks are also closed on Monday so better plan ahead.

The main bank agencies in Cergy are located on the main place not far from the RER and in proximity of the Commercial centre. There more than 10 of them, so you have a choice J 

 Bank Holidays in France 2013/2014

2013

Description

2014

Tuesday

1 January

New Year’s Day

Wednesday

1 January

Monday

1 April

Easter Monday

Monday

21 April

Wednesday

1 May

Labour Day

Thursday

1 May

Wednesday

8 May

World War II Victory Day

Thursday

8 May

Thursday

9 May

Ascension Day

Thursday

29 May

Monday

20 May

Whit Monday

(Pentecost Monday)

Monday

09 June

Sunday

14 July

Bastille Day French National Day

Monday

14 July

Thursday

15 August

Assumption Day

Friday

15 August

Friday

1 November

All Saints' Day

Saturday

01 November

Monday

11 November

Armistice Day

Tuesday

11 November

Wednesday

25 December

Christmas Day

Thursday

25 December

Currency

The Euro (€ or EUR) is the official currency of France and 16 other member states of the European Union since 2002. 1 Euro is equivalent to 100 cents.

Means of payment

We recommend you to always have a little bit of cash with you in case credit cards are not accepted (for example to pay a taxi, buy public transport tickets, buy a “baguette”, etc). The Euro currency is represented by coins (0.01, 0.02, 0.05, 0.10, 0.20, 0.50, 1 and 2 Euros) and bank notes (5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Euros).

Credit cards VISA, AMERICAN EXPRESS, MASTERCARD and EUROCARD are accepted almost everywhere in France. You can withdraw money with your debit card from ATMs or pay with credit cards in most of the shops. You will have to key in your 4-digit pin code when paying with a French card.

It is very common in France to use a chequebook rather than credit cards and cash, but they are not accepted everywhere.

Western Union system can be used to receive or send cash in every bank or post office.

Students can bring travellers cheques in Euros or in other currencies such as US dollars, UK pounds, etc. However, note that you cannot pay with them in France. You will have to change your travellers cheques into Euros in a French bank (with bank charges).

Remember to have enough money (cash and/or the possibility to withdraw money with your credit card) available for your arrival in France to deal with your first expenses (ex: paying the shuttle, the public transport fare, buy food, pay the housing deposit and insurance, the healthcare insurance…) as it can take up to three weeks to obtain a French credit card when you open a bank account in France.

Exchanging money

To exchange money we recommend you to go in the national banks or to withdraw money with your credit card to have the best rates.

Argentina

1 Peso

0.17 €

Israel

1 Shekel

0.21 €

Australia

1 AUD

0.76 €

Japan

1 Yen

0.0087 €

Brazil

1 Real

0.45 €

Marocco

1 Dirham

0.0886 €

Canada

1 CAD

0.73 €

Mexico

1 Peso

0.060 €

Chile

1 Peso

0.0015 €

Norway

1 Kroner

0.13 €

China

1 Yuan

0.11 €

South Africa

1 Rand

0.10 €

Denmark

1 Krone

0.13 €

Sweden

1 Krona

0.11 €

Hungary

1 Forint

0.0038 €

United Kingdom

1 Pound

1.12 €

India

1 Roupee

0.016 €

U.S.A.

1 USD

0.70 €