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    I have to fill in my form for the Erasmus grant soon and as I don't yet have a French bank account open, I'll have to put it in my student account here. Does anyone know if it is possible to change the account that the money will be put into later? I don't know where exactly the form is sent to because I have to give mine in it at uni.
    Can anyone recommend a good French bank? Are there any that have links to any banks here? Is there any way to avoid charges when you need to transfer money from a UK bank account to a French one?
    Any advice on the finance side of the year abroad (particularly relating to France) would be appreciated!
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    (Original post by fireit)
    I have to fill in my form for the Erasmus grant soon and as I don't yet have a French bank account open, I'll have to put it in my student account here. Does anyone know if it is possible to change the account that the money will be put into later? I don't know where exactly the form is sent to because I have to give mine in it at uni.
    Can anyone recommend a good French bank? Are there any that have links to any banks here? Is there any way to avoid charges when you need to transfer money from a UK bank account to a French one?
    Any advice on the finance side of the year abroad (particularly relating to France) would be appreciated!
    My Erasmus grant was handled by the International Exchanges Unit at my university. You should contact the equivalent at your university about changing the account details. If I remember correctly though, for me, once the account was set up, it was not possible to change it.

    The only French bank that has obvious links with the UK is HSBC. It's easy enough to setup an account with them, although you still get charged moving money between HSBC accounts. I think you need slightly less identification if you already have an account with HSBC in the UK.

    Banks in France are really different to in England - the banks themselves are more like offices and you need to make an appointment for the simplest of things (opening/closing an account, for example). You will also get charged a monthly fee just for having a bank account open.

    In terms of finances in general, I have never felt as rich as I did during my YA. I didn't have to pay tuition fees, I still got my normal student loan on top of the Erasmus grant, and accommodation was about 75% of the price in France. One thing to beware of though is not to rely on the Erasmus grant for anything as it will probably get to you really late. I got my grant in December, about 2 weeks before my time in France was over.
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    (Original post by james99)
    My Erasmus grant was handled by the International Exchanges Unit at my university. You should contact the equivalent at your university about changing the account details. If I remember correctly though, for me, once the account was set up, it was not possible to change it.

    The only French bank that has obvious links with the UK is HSBC. It's easy enough to setup an account with them, although you still get charged moving money between HSBC accounts. I think you need slightly less identification if you already have an account with HSBC in the UK.

    Banks in France are really different to in England - the banks themselves are more like offices and you need to make an appointment for the simplest of things (opening/closing an account, for example). You will also get charged a monthly fee just for having a bank account open.

    In terms of finances in general, I have never felt as rich as I did during my YA. I didn't have to pay tuition fees, I still got my normal student loan on top of the Erasmus grant, and accommodation was about 75% of the price in France. One thing to beware of though is not to rely on the Erasmus grant for anything as it will probably get to you really late. I got my grant in December, about 2 weeks before my time in France was over.
    Hmm, I think I'll just get the Erasmus grant put in my normal student account here then. I don't really want to (or have the time to) open another account and if you still get charges for transfers of money then there doesn't seem to be much point. I guess the majority of students don't have accounts set up abroad at this point anyway.

    Urgh, you get charged a monthly fee?! Is that with all French banks?

    Yes, I remember other people saying how the grant can come in quite late in the year. The accommodation prices I've been looking at though don't seem to be that much cheaper than my cost of living here.

    Anyway, thanks for your help!
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    I just get my grant paid into my normal student account, which hasn't been a problem.

    What are you doing on your year abroad? If you're going to be at a university, then you'll need to get your grant and loan to your French account somehow, and I don't know how you do that. If you're working as an assistant, other than the first month until you get paid, you probably won't need to touch your grant and loan at all while you're in France. I've only used my English money when I've been at home in the holidays, to order Christmas presents online, and recently to buy a laptop when mine broke. Other than that, I've been living off my assistant's pay, which goes straight into my French account.

    Not really sure about the French banks. I'm with Credit Agricole, and can't say I've had any problems, but I don't know if other ones are better. I think pretty much all banks here charge you for your account, which is annoying. I get charged something like 2 euros a month. My mum told me she thinks the post office bank account doesn't charge you, but I don't know if that's true.

    I'm not sure how much bank transfers are, as I've not done one yet. When I opened my French account, I just drew a few hundred euros out of an ATM with my English card, and paid it into my French account. I think that cost 4 euros, in bank charges from the English bank. So that's always an option when you first get here.

    I'd just set up your account when you get there. That's what I did, and it wasn't a problem. The first week will be pretty mental, with setting up a bank account, getting a French mobile phone, sorting out accomodation, internet etc. After that, things calm down. Expect massive amounts of bureaucracy - the French love it. :p:

    The grant really depends on your university, rather than anything else, so there's no telling what time it'll come in. Mine was a lot earlier than James' - it came in on the 24th October.
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    (Original post by Keziah)
    I just get my grant paid into my normal student account, which hasn't been a problem.

    What are you doing on your year abroad? If you're going to be at a university, then you'll need to get your grant and loan to your French account somehow, and I don't know how you do that. If you're working as an assistant, other than the first month until you get paid, you probably won't need to touch your grant and loan at all while you're in France. I've only used my English money when I've been at home in the holidays, to order Christmas presents online, and recently to buy a laptop when mine broke. Other than that, I've been living off my assistant's pay, which goes straight into my French account.

    Not really sure about the French banks. I'm with Credit Agricole, and can't say I've had any problems, but I don't know if other ones are better. I think pretty much all banks here charge you for your account, which is annoying. I get charged something like 2 euros a month. My mum told me she thinks the post office bank account doesn't charge you, but I don't know if that's true.

    I'm not sure how much bank transfers are, as I've not done one yet. When I opened my French account, I just drew a few hundred euros out of an ATM with my English card, and paid it into my French account. I think that cost 4 euros, in bank charges from the English bank. So that's always an option when you first get here.

    I'd just set up your account when you get there. That's what I did, and it wasn't a problem. The first week will be pretty mental, with setting up a bank account, getting a French mobile phone, sorting out accomodation, internet etc. After that, things calm down. Expect massive amounts of bureaucracy - the French love it. :p:

    The grant really depends on your university, rather than anything else, so there's no telling what time it'll come in. Mine was a lot earlier than James' - it came in on the 24th October.
    I will be studying. I think I'll just have to transfer money from my student account here to my French account once its open and perhaps do as you did and withdraw some money to put in it when I open it. Is there a limit of money that you have to put into your account when you open it?

    Yes, I've been hearing that a lot about the bureaucracy. :redface:
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    (Original post by fireit)
    Can anyone recommend a good French bank? Are there any that have links to any banks here?
    LCL (credit lyonnaise) never let me down
    they ask for a lot of documents (which are easy to obtain) but their student accounts cost 1euro a month which is pretty decent
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    (Original post by yellowwdaisy)
    LCL (credit lyonnaise) never let me down
    they ask for a lot of documents (which are easy to obtain) but their student accounts cost 1euro a month which is pretty decent
    I agree, I'm with LCL and they've been really good. I didn't actually have to provide many documents though - just a passport and proof of address I think!
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    Thanks, I'll look into LCL then.
 
 
 
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