It is well known that France is one of the countries with the highest spending on social programs in Europe and the world. These French welfare programs obviously have many supporters, but also a lot of detractors due to the abuses that unfortunately happen very often and are very difficult to control.
Due to these abuses, these programs are likely to be reduced in the medium or long term. However, while they continue to exist, they will be of great help for foreigners who come to pursue their studies in France.
One of the things that will make you say ¡Vive la France! and that makes the country also very attractive for foreign students, is that both nationals and foreigners have the same rights in terms of social assistance, by the mere fact of residing in the country.
In this entry I am going to talk about an aid that is quite useful for our student budget, ti’s l’aide au logement or CAF as it is popularly known in France, thanks to the name of the institution that grants it (Caisse d ‘familial allocations). This aid allows you to reduce the amount of your monthly rent by approximately one quarter.
To get this aid is very simple, you just have to go to CAF’s website, there you can do a simulation according to your situation. From the results of your simulation you can make your request.
To complete your application, it is important to have at hand the following information and documents:
- Email address;
- Rental contract;
- Amount of your income for the last two years (normally 0 for students);
- A RIB (if you do not know what a RIB is you can find the definition in this post);
- Landlord’s information (name or business name, telephone, etc).
Once this is done, the only thing left to do is to wait for the French bureaucracy to do its magic. In some cases, this process does not take long, but in others (like mine) it can take a year. However, do not worry, once your application is approved and you receive the aid, the amount you receive will be retroactive from the month after you sent your application, so be patient and think of it as savings, at the end of the day it is a gift the French government is doing to you 😊.
This was how my account looked after receiving the CAF, or at least this is how I saw it.
To give you an idea of the amount of this aid, I just made a simulation on the page for a 25 years old student, single, living in Paris, and renting an apartment with a rental amount of € 700 per month, the amount of aid in this case would be € 206, which means that you would only pay € 494 per month, a 30% reduction, not bad!
If you have any questions or want to share your experience with the French welfare, do not hesitate to leave a comment!