This post is also available in: Français (French)
I first looked for training/educational programs that would match with me.
I initially came to France with a tourist visa to sort out my registration at the university, finish my visa application to the consulate, open a bank account… afterwards, I was able to get my visa and a student residence permit for one year, to then be renewed each year.
It’s the temporary residence permits which make everything more complicated: access to housing (impossible to put together a file), employment (with student status, you can only work three months per year)…
And that hasn’t always been simple even with ID documents!
For example, in order to set up my student visa application, I needed to have an account in France, but for French banks I had to already be a resident here: it’s a vicious cycle.
I tried tens of banks who rejected me until finding one that accepted (it was the employee who knew how to listen to me). If I had stopped at the first rejection, I wouldn’t have succeeded.