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STUDYING IN FRANCE

Students: How to find out how much you can claim in housing benefits in France

If you're set to start university in France in September and are still looking for accommodation then you should find out if you are eligible for benefits first.

Students: How to find out how much you can claim in housing benefits in France
Illustration photo: AFP
If you are starting school at a French university this year, then no doubt you have an exciting 12 months ahead of you. 
 
But before the fun can begin, you'll need somewhere to stay – and there are housing benefits available in France that can help ease the costs of accommodation, even for foreign students. 
 
To find out exactly which benefits you have access to, visit the Caisse d'allocations familiales (CAF) website. 
 
Here, you can start by seeing what you could claim with an online calculator for which you will need certain information, including your income for the past two years. 
 
You can make the request for funding online and if you want to track the progress of your application and find out when the first payment will arrive, you can download the mobile app.
 
The CAF also offers a series of videos on subjects such as what to do if you're a foreign student, when you should apply for the benefits and how the level of benefits you receive is calculated. 
 
There is also information available in English and Spanish at the bottom of this webpage
 
France is the fourth most popular country in the world for international students, with thousands of Americans, Brits and Australians coming here to study every year. 
 
Nevertheless, the number of foreign students in France, which sits at the 343,000 mark, dropped by 8.1 percent between 2010 and 2015. 
 
 
READ ALSO:

Who are all these international students in France and where do they study?Photo: AFP

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HEALTH

France to make period products free for students

The French government said on Tuesday it would make period products free for students, joining a global drive to end "period poverty" - the inability to pay for menstrual protection.

France to make period products free for students
Last year, Scotland became the first country in the world to offer free universal access to period products. Photo: Andy Buchanan / AFP

Higher Education Minister Frederique Vidal said that machines containing free tampons, sanitary towels and other period products would be installed in student residences and university health services in the coming weeks.

She added that the government aimed to make period protection “completely free of charge” for all by the start of the next academic year in September.

In November, Scotland became the first country in the world to make period products free for all, blazing a trail that inspired feminists and anti-poverty campaigners around the world to also take up the issue of period poverty.

In England, free period products are available in all primary and secondary schools – a move New Zealand said last week it too would implement.

In December, President Emmanuel Macron had promised to also address the issue of period poverty.

Commenting on the plight of homeless women, he noted that “the fact of having your period in the street and to not be able to buy something to protect yourself and preserve your dignity” added to the humiliation they suffered.

The move to make sanitary protection free for students comes amid a growing focus on youth poverty following shock images of food banks being swamped by hard-up students due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many students say they are struggling to make ends meet after losing part-time jobs in cafes and restaurants which have been closed for months due to the health crisis.

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