Study Abroad or Exchange Students
The section below applies to you if you plan to study in France as part of:
- a student exchange program between an American and a French institution.
- a study-abroad program in France that is operated by an American university or organization.
Before you start
If you are going to study at a higher education institution in France through a study-abroad or exchange program, and/or you are planning to transfer credit for your coursework in France back to your U.S. institution, please follow the instructions below to complete the Campus France online process. You must do this before you apply for a visa.
The steps below will walk you through completing the Campus France online process through a system called “PASTEL.”
Some parts of the Campus France form on PASTEL are in French. The above video will take you step by step through the process of submitting the necessary information to the PASTEL system. Try opening the video guide in a separate browser window so you can play and pause it as you fill out each section.
In addition to watching the video, you can also download and print the Study Abroad User Guide (PDF) in order to complete the Campus France online application process.
The PASTEL system works best on a PC. If you are using a Mac, use Google Chrome as your browser (not Safari). Better yet, gain access to a PC to complete the form to avoid potential difficulties.
Completing the process - step by step
Create your PASTEL account on the Campus France USA website.
Go to www.usa.campusfrance.org and click on the blue PASTEL button in the “Fill Out Your Campus France Form via PASTEL System” box. Parts of this section are in French — make sure you check the video guideor Study Abroad User Guide PDF to help you fill out this section.
Create your profile and choose a login (email address) and password. You will need this information to log in and complete the Campus France form (Step 2).
The creation of your account will then be confirmed, and you will be assigned an identification number (USXXXXXX). You will need to provide this number each time you contact Campus France.
Your account will give you access to an internal Campus France message inbox in the PASTEL system. You will need to check this inbox regularly, as you will not be otherwise alerted to new messages that you receive there.
Please note: You will NOT be contacted via your personal email (Gmail, Hotmail, etc.). All regular Campus France correspondence will go to your Campus France personal mailbox.
Make sure to remember your login and password! If you forget them, contact us.
Use your email address and password to log in to your Campus France account and complete the Campus France form using the PASTEL system.
You must fill out and validate each individual section of the form (Education, Linguistic Skills, Goals) before proceeding to the final validation.
As an exchange or study abroad student, you do not need to complete a Campus France phone interview.
After doing the final validation of your Campus France form, you do not have to complete the “My Procedures” section.
Please note: Your Campus France form has to be officially submitted online through PASTEL in order for your file to be processed. Don’t forget to validate your form!
Send via postal mail (a) a copy of your acceptance letter from your American university’s program or the French university that you will be attending, along with (b) your Campus France processing fee in the form of a money order.
Please carefully read the instructions below:
a) Acceptance letter
This should be a copy of your official acceptance letter or acknowledgment of enrollment, addressed to you and mentioning your full name. It should be printed on institutional letterhead and specify the exact beginning and ending dates (day, month, year) of your academic program, including full contact information for the individual issuing the offer or acknowledgment, as well as the full address of the educational institution.
For students taking part in an exchange program between an American and a French institution, the acceptance letter may be issued from either institution. The formal exchange agreement should be identified in the letter.
For students enrolling in an American study-abroad program in France (operated by an American institution), the acceptance letter must come from the American institution.
b) Processing fee payment
Payment will be accepted only in the form of a money order. You can purchase one at your local U.S. post office; in a bank; or at the offices of Money Gram, Western Union or Currency Exchange.
The money order must be in the amount of $100 and made payable to “MCUFEU."
Please make sure to write your name and Campus France identification number (beginning with“USXXXXXX”) on your money order. Any alteration to the money order (ie. Whiteout) will render it unacceptable.
Please make a photocopy of your money order and send it along with the payment.
Please note: Campus France does not accept any other method of payment. The online payment system is not currently active.
Please note: Students participating in the second consecutive year of the same academic program do not have to repay their Campus France fees for the second year. In this case, simply fill out this form and mail it to us with a copy of your re-enrollment letter.
Send the money order, photocopy of the money order and acceptance letter in the same envelope to the following address:
4101 Reservoir Rd NW
Washington D.C. 20007
Please note: Campus France processing fees are different from and in addition to the visa processing fees requested by each consulate.
Regularly check your Campus France mailbox through PASTEL for your confirmation email and proof of payment. Print copies for submission to the French consulate.
Within about three weeks after Campus France has received your postal mail, a Campus France representative will review your file. If your file (acceptance letter and money order sent via postal mail, AND online Campus France form) is complete, you will receive a confirmation email – which starts with “Your Campus France file has been processed.” – in your Campus France inbox in the PASTEL system.
Please note: Any missing materials (money order or acceptance letter) or an incomplete online form will delay the process. Check your Campus France inbox regularly to see whether you need to take action.
Print out the (a) confirmation email, as well as the (b) proof of payment that you should have received earlier in the process (a PDF attached to the email entitled “Une Quittance est disponible”), as these are among the several documents required by the French consulate.
Request a student visa.
Campus France’s process and the visa application process are distinct from each other. However, students who have not received the email confirmation from Campus France stating that their file is processed and complete may have their request for a student visa turned down at the consulate.
Once you receive a confirmation email in your Campus France inbox through PASTEL, you can request a student visa. Campus France will assign you to the French consulate closest to your permanent address, and you must schedule an appointment with visa services via the consulate's website. Visa request appointments must be booked to take place within 90 days of your departure to France.
The visa application process and visa application fees are separate from the Campus France application and fee. For more information, see the website for the consulate nearest you.
Visas are granted solely at the discretion of the Consulate of France.