Student Life

Life at Paris College of Art

More than forty countries are represented in the Paris College of Art student population, bringing to this small community a cultural diversity rare among art education institutions. This, combined with a location at the crossroads of Europe, makes studying at Paris College of Art a uniquely rich experience for young artists and designers.

An elected student council brings issues before the school administration, and organizes social events that consolidate this closely knit community that serves as home base to so many of disparate origin. During the term, excursions are organized to the nearby regions of Giverny or Champagne and beyond the borders of France to such cities such as Berlin, Bruges, London, Florence or Venice.

The Student Life Office

We’re here to guide you through
your transition to life in Paris.

A resource for students from orientation to graduation and beyond, the Student Life office is both the center of student activities and a support network that helps students navigate the many practical aspects of life in Paris. In addition to hosting a wide range of activities on-campus and off-campus, including costume balls, art benefits, museum tours and other cultural activities, Student Life staff helps students obtain residence permits and advises on practical matters such as banking, phones, transportation, insurance and medical referrals. Student Life also provides organizational support for the Student Council and the College Assistance Program (CAP), and provides students with a free, confidential, anglophone counseling service.


Held in the beginning of the fall and spring semesters, orientation is a comprehensive, week-long introduction to life as a student at PCA. Through a series of lectures, museum visits, dinners, walking tours, and other activities, new students have the opportunity to discover the French capital and establish themselves as temporary residents. During orientation, students register for classes, open bank accounts and phone contracts, sign up for health insurance, and most importantly, meet the staff, faculty and fellow students who form the school community.


For students who are new to Paris, finding a place to live in Paris can be both exciting and challenging. The Student Life Office provides several different housing options, designed to accommodate students of different needs, preferences and budgets. Whether students wish to live in dormitory housing, in homestays or in independent apartments, Student Life provides individualized support to both incoming and current students in securing housing and settling in Paris.


Paris is renowned for its food, and most PCA students take advantage of the city’s vast culinary offerings by preparing meals at home, eating in local restaurants or from take-away shops in the neighborhood of the school. Additionally, through the CROUS, a public establishment of the French Ministry of Education, students have access to four restaurants and twenty university cafeterias where they can have a three-course meal for lunch or dinner for as little as 3.10 euros. For more information about university cafeterias see the CROUS website.

Support Services

We provide a quality learning environment for all of our students at PCA we offer access initiatives to address the needs of students with disabilities.

Student Activities

At Paris College of Art, the Student Life office works closely with the Student Council to organize a range of student activities both on campus and off campus.

Residence Permits

The Student Life office guides students through each step of the visa and resident permit process, streamlining the process and responding to student questions. Students from outside of the European Community must apply for and receive a student visa before entering France. Students must apply for a visa in their country of origin and are encouraged to do so as early as possible, as the process can take up to several months. Upon arrival in France, students studying for more than one semester are required to apply for a one year, renewable resident permit called a carte de séjour.

More information about the visa application process can be found on the Campus France website.


Students enroll for French Social Security and choose from one of our supplemental health insurance plans; the combination provides students with extensive health care coverage at a minimal cost. Students may waive this service by showing proof, in a timely manner, that they are: French citizens with French Social Security coverage, or EEC citizens with a European Health Insurance Card or an E-111 or E-109 form giving them reciprocity with the French Social Security, or are covered by an international insurance policy recognized as valid by the French Social Security.

PCA Students Talk About Housing in Paris