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Pre-arrival information



Congratulations on your admission to the MSS Program. ISU is looking forward to welcoming you all !

We understand that preparing your arrival can sometimes be a daunting experience, particularly for those of you coming from outside France and having to deal with visa applications and other administrative formalities prior to your arrival. The best tip we can give you is to start your preparations as early as possible and please do not hesitate to contact the Student Affairs Office for advice and guidance.

Please take note of the following initial KEY DATES: 

28 August - 3 September 2019- Intensive French classes (optional)
4 September 2019 - Registration Day 

TERM 1 : 5 September - 23 October 2019
5 September 2019 - MSS20 Opening Ceremony (and MSS19 Graduation Ceremony)
9 September 2019M1-ITS Introduction to Space curriculum begins
25 October 2019 - Registration for incoming SSP & Modular students
20 - 27 October 2019 - BREAK A

TERM 2: 28 October 2019 - 24 May 2020
28 October - 02 November 2019M2-ISS Interdisciplinary Space Studies curriculum begins 
28 October - 02 November 2019 - M3-IPR Individual Project curriculum begins 
28 October - 02 November 2019 - M4-TPR Team Project curriculum begins

19 December 2019 - 5 January 2020: BREAK B
8 - 16 February 2020 : BREAK C

14 - 24 April 2020 : elective #1
27 April - 7 May 2020 : elective #2

TERM 3 : 25 May – 28 August 2020
25 May – 14 August 2020 - Internship period (can be extented till 27 November for longer internships).


Other key dates will be provided later on.

Tuition fees and deposit

All tuition fees must be paid (or proof that payment is in process must be provided) by 30 June 2019. Proof that payment is in process can be provided either through a letter from a sponsor guaranteeing that payment is in process, or through a bank document certifying that a bank transfer to ISU’s account is in process.

Prior to the start of the program, each student is also required to pay a 290 € deposit. 

The deposit is used to cover various expenses which ISU will pay on the student’s behalf during the academic year and which are not covered by the tuition fees.
Such expenses may vary slightly depending on the situation and requirements of each student but will include, where applicable, mandatory expenses related to residence permit applications and student association fees.
Fees the student incurs due to loss of their access badge, loss or late return of ISU library books, or damage to other material or equipment borrowed from ISU during the course of the year will also be taken from this deposit. Students are entitled to request a statement of expenditure of their deposit at any time during the academic year. This amount must be paid to the ISU Accounting Department.

At the end of the year, each student will receive a list of the expenses paid from the 290€ deposit together with reimbursement of the remaining amount, if any.
If the tuition fees and payment of the deposit have not been fully settled, the student will not be permitted to register for the MSS program.

Documents to provide

Please provide documents in blue by email before the registration - PDF or JPEG formats only-.

Please provide documents in black at registration.


Ο Passport (your passport must be valid until at least the end of February 2021 and must contain a minimum of 3 or 4 blank pages). Provide scan of the identity pages of your passport in advance.
Ο Proof of social security coverage in France 
Ο A scan of the "certificat individuel de participation à l'appel de préparation à la défense"
Ο A scan of an official passport photo (JPG. or PNG. formats)
Ο Original diploma


Ο Passport (your passport must be valid until at least the end of February 2021 and must contain a minimum of 3 or 4 blank pages). Provide scan of the identity pages of your passport in advance.
Ο Proof of Eurpean Health Insurance Card and the required health insurance coverage (refer to the insurance section below).
Ο A scan of an official passport photo (JPG. or PNG. formats)
Ο For students who are married: the original copy of your marriage certificate (with a certified translation).Provide a scan of your marriage certificate and its translation in advance.
Ο Original diploma

** The EEA consists of the European Union Member States, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.


Ο Passport & Visa (your passport must be valid until at least the end of February 2021 and must contain a minimum of 3 or 4 blank pages).Provide scan of the identity pages of your passport and scan of your visa in advance.
Ο Proof of the required health insurance coverage (refer to the insurance section below).
Ο Proof of financial resources (please provide the same documents which you presented to the French Embassy or Consulate for your long stay student visa application).
Ο A scan of an official passport photo (JPG. or PNG. formats)
Ο 6 official passport photos professionally printed on good quality paper, with white/pale backdrop (format 3.5 x 4.5 cm) and conforming to official French specifications.*
Ο Original copy of your birth certificate with a French translation certified by an official translator (Original birth certificate + Translation). Provide a scan of your birth certificate and its translation in advance.
Ο For students who are married: the original copy of your marriage certificate (with a certified translation).Provide a scan of your marriage certificate and its translation in advance.
Ο A copy of the passport pages stamped by the Immigration Officer or by the authorities of the transit State mentioning the date of transit at the border
Ο Once you have secured housing in Strasbourg, you will need to provide ISU with a copy of your housing lease contract in your name.
Ο Original diploma
Students accompanied by a spouse and/or children will be required to provide the same above documentation for each accompanying person.

* For detailed photo specifications, see http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/IMG/pdf/depliant_norme_photo-2.pdf
If photos do not conform to official specifications, they will not be accepted.

Please be aware that, for visa validation/residence permit applications later on, French Authorities will not accept photographs of a person wearing any form of head-covering ie. head-scarfs, hats, turbans, etc. Photos must show full face and head.

Passport requirements

  • All students coming to ISU must have a valid passport (including French students). This passport must be valid until at least 6 months after the end of the Academic year (i.e.February of the following year), and have several blank pages available for any visa stamp required during the MSS Program.

Visa requirements

Who does NOT need a Visa?

Students from the European Economic Area (European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or from Switzerland, Andorra or Monaco do not need a visa to enter France to study.

Who NEEDS a Visa?

Ο Students from all other countries entering France for a study program for more than 3 months must obtain a student visa.
Ο Students registering in the MSS program for more than 6 months must obtain a long-stay student visa (Student long-stay visa, or student VLS-TS = "visa de long séjour étudiant - VLS-TS"   ). This visa enables the student to apply for temporary residence status for the academic year after arrival in France. https://www.campusfrance.org/en/student-long-stay-visa and https://france-visas.gouv.fr/web/france-visas/visa-de-long-sejour
Ο Modular students registering for a period of less than 6 months must obtain a temporary student visa ("visa de long séjour temporaire étudiant"). This allows to study in France for up to 6 months without the need to apply for temporary residence status. Note that this visa cannot be extended or changed after arrival in France. https://www.campusfrance.org/en/the-different-types-of-visas and https://france-visas.gouv.fr/web/france-visas/visa-de-court-sejour
Ο Modular students planning to study at ISU for less than 3 months must enquire with the French Consulate in their home country whether they need a short stay student visa.

List of French Consulates around the world: List 

Note that there is a new platform to do your visa request: https://france-visas.gouv.fr/

ISU is not a member university of Campus France. Therefore ISU incoming students must follow the Campus France procedure for non-members.

Ο Students arriving without the appropriate visa will not be permitted to register at ISU.

  • For many countries, visa processing and delivery can take several months, therefore it is strongly recommended to apply as early as possible.
    Students requiring a visa to come to France will receive a letter to this effect from ISU, together with a certificate of pre-enrollment ("Attestation de Pre-inscription") to be included with the visa application.
    The visa application must be filed with the appropriate French Consulate in the student’s home country.
    Links to French Consulates in most countries can be found at: www.mfe.org (under the section “Annuaires”,then “Ambassades et consulats francais a l’etranger”). Please refer to the Consulate in your home country for specific information on the visa application procedure.
  • When applying for your visa, students with more than one first or last name should ensure that they clearly indicate their first and last names exactly as they are stated in their passport.
  • Visa Fees: In 2018, the cost of a Long Stay Visa Application (more than 90 days) was 99 € and the cost of a Short Term Visa Application (less than 90 days) was 60 €.


You are requested to have 2 types of insurances during your stay at ISU:

1. Health insurance: with your student status in France you will be automatically linked to the basic French health care system. 

Each student is required to pay a 91-euro contribution for the "Student and Campus Life Scheme". This scheme covers student basic health care, emergency health access on campus, access to sports facilities on campus, access to cultural activities. More information to be found here: https://cvec.etudiant.gouv.fr/  
The 91-euro contribution will be taken out of your deposit (cf section on the security deposit).

The procedure to get the "Student and Life Campus Scheme" will be done by our Student Affairs Lead once you are fully registered at ISU. Do not start it before coming to ISU!

2. Additional private insurance: in addition to the basic health care insurance, students are also required to subscribe to an additional complementary private insurance policy which includes cover for remaining health care expenses, repatriation to the home country in the event of an emergency, as well as personal, accident and third party liability coverage (if you plan on doing your internship outside of France, make sure it covers you in other countries as well). This insurance coverage is mandatory for all students and must be valid from the moment they arrive in France until their departure at the end of the program. Note that ISU will check that you are correctly covered at Registration Day.


Be aware that in France some landlords require from tenants to have an accommodation insurance when renting a flat / room / house. This insurance is called "assurance habitation". Check with your landlord once you have found an accommodation in Strasbourg.


Suggestions of private insurances: 

Aon ICS Complete insurance package: To be subscribed from the date of the students' arrival in France till the end of the academic year.

You can subscribe to it online at www.aonstudentinsurance.com . It provides worldwide coverage, including personal liability coverage and the necessary coverage required for the internship.The cost of this insurance is around 40 € per month (in 2018: 1,31€ a day). 
Students should be aware that, depending on the conditions of their complementary insurance policy and the location of the internship, additional health and accident insurance coverage may be required for the internship period (especially if carried out outside of France).

Personal insurance of your choice to which you subscribe in your home country: it has to cover you for remaining health care expenses, repatriation to the home country in the event of an emergency, as well as personal, accident and third party liability coverage. 

Each student is free to subscribe to the insurance of their choice.


European Students :

Students from another country within the European Economic Area (EEA) have to obtain a European Health Insurance Card that is valid for the full academic year (see http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=559).

This Card must be obtained from the government health authority in the student’s home country before coming to France. The card is free of charge and enables the student to register directly with the French health insurance authority in Strasbourg (Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie) and receive treatment within the public health system. This card entitles students to partial reimbursement of health care expenses (generally between 35 and 70 %, depending on the type of treatment). Students in this category are also required to subscribe to an additional complementary private insurance policy which includes cover for remaining health care expenses, repatriation to the home country in the event of an emergency, and personal liability coverage.



The Euro (€) is the official currency in France.
The Euro is divided into cents. 1 Euro = 100 cents.
There are 1, 2, 5,10, 20, 50 cent coins as well as 1 and 2 Euro coins and 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 Euro banknotes.
Please note that 200 and 500 Euro banknotes might be refused (especially for small purchases).

Your budget for accommodation and living expenses in Strasbourg will, of course, depend on your personal preferences and activities. However, as a minimum, it is advised that students budget for at least 900 Euros per month.

Be aware that you are responsible for:

Ο your living expenses for the duration of the program
Ο your round-trip to Strasbourg and back
Ο your insurance
Ο your living expenses and travel related to your mandatory internship.

Budget for the internship:

Note that the cost of living for the 3-month internship period of Module 5 will vary greatly depending on the location of the internship. Be aware that some of the host organizations do not pay their interns, you should therefore plan your budget in advance.

Registration day

Ο Registration will take place by appointment on 04 September 2019 in the ISU Library 
Ο You will receive notification of the time for your appointment approximately one week before registration.
Ο All students must be in Strasbourg for the registration day.
Ο Any students arriving after the registration day must inform the Student Affairs office in advance and will be required to justify their late arrival. Please be aware that late arrival may jeopardize your admission into the program.

During your registration appointment, academic records will be checked, payment of tuition fees will be confirmed and receipt of all documents required for administrative formalities will be verified (see the list of required documents). Once registration is complete, students will receive a certificate of enrollment.

Please note that students requiring a student visa will be required to provide a copy of their visa during registration otherwise they will not be permitted to register for the MSS program.

What happens at registration:

STEP 1 - Welcome

    Ο Distribution of Program Documents
    Ο Photo (a headshot of each student will be taken for the MSS class listing)
    Ο Verification of any outstanding admissions documents

STEP 2 - Finance

    Ο Verification that Tuition Fees* have been paid in full
    Ο Payment of Deposit* : 290 €

STEP 3 - Student Affairs (please see Documents to provide):

    Ο Verification of Health Insurance Requirements
    Ο Student Card Applications
    Ο Application for Visa Validation (where applicable)
    Ο Acknowledgement of MSS program policies and regulations
    Ο Certificate of Enrollment

STEP 4 - Computer and Network Services

    Ο Configuration of personal laptops for ISU working environment (if you have a personal laptop, please bring it with you at registration)
    Ο Acknowledgement of CNS policies and regulations

STEP 5 - Library

    Ο Library registration

STEP 6 - Access Card (At the reception desk)

    Ο Distribution of ISU building access card
    Ο Distribution of keys for ISU vending machines