Student Life
 /  Student Life

UTBM is located in a vibrant region and spreads over three campuses—you will not be bored here! In this section, you will find the broad range of activities organized by the AE (Student Association) and the Welcome Club, but also useful day-to-day information about our three campuses: Belfort, Sevenans and Montbéliard.

In Belfort, UTBM offers programs in Computer Science, Energy and Electrical Engineering.

In Sévenans, you will find the Common Curriculum, the programs in Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Systems and Logistics, as well as the Humanities department.

In Montbéliard, UTBM offers programs in Mechanical Engineering and Ergonomics.

“I chose France because I always loved France. I discovered many different cultures, gained autonomy, accessed great professional resources and met amazing people. For me, France is the best country for an international experience.”
Ariadna Gerol, Argentina

“The UTBM gave me an excellent university experience: wide range of courses to choose from (also in English), high-level technical accessories in the laboratories, interesting projects and meeting students from all over the world. The sporting opportunities, the uni-organized programs, trips, night events, the activity of the Student Association and the Welcome Club were significant! Everybody can find the suitable things to himself. And if I had a question, I always knew, who would have the right answer for me quickly. The university takes care of the international students, it’s impossible to get lost if you aren’t the best French speaker. Of course, the city was interesting and pretty for me, especially the “Vieille ville”, the “Lion” and the “Citadel”.”
Attila Mracsko, Hungary


As a UTBM student, you will have access to the libraries. They offer a wide range of newspapers, magazines, books and reference works (dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc.) in the fields of science, technology, languages, humanities and social sciences. There are three different libraries, one for each campus.

For more information regarding opening hours, online resource, etc. you can visit the library’s website.

The AE (Student Association)

Live your dreams

Being a UTBM student means getting involved, exchanging ideas and participating in associative activities. With facilities designed to promote exchange, creativity and enthusiasm, the AE offers more than 50 different activities, ranging from artistic to cultural, humanitarian, technical and sporting ones.

You can explore the major events on the AE’s facebook page.

The Sports Association (BDS)

The Sports Association offers 25 sports activities you can engage in, such as rugby, capoeira, weight training and squash. Each year the BDS organizes three major sporting contests in partnership with the network of universities of technology (UTC and UTT). The Ski’UT takes students away skiing for a week to one of France’s largest ski resorts. The Inter’UT is a sporting contest between the three universities of technology. The Raid is a marathon that starts out in Belfort and goes to Compiègne via Troyes.

You can check out the BDS’s facebook page.

The Welcome Club

This club aims to provide international students the best conditions of arrival, and a better integration in UTBM’s student life and in the French social life thanks to a broad range of activities organized throughout the semesters.

For more information, check out the Club Welcome’s facebook page.

Check the baggage allowance before arriving at the airport. If you exceed the baggage allowance, it can cost you a lot. Each airline has different rules about how much you are allowed to have and the cost of extra baggage.

Please note: If you have any connecting flights, the baggage rules of one of the flights may not be the same as the connecting flight, so be sure to check the baggage allowance for all airlines you are traveling with.

Don’t bring any bedding (sheets, blankets) with you. You can buy it in France at a low cost. The same goes for kitchen utensils and cutlery.

Don’t bring any plants or food that may be forbidden by French customs. For more details check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

Remember to take an adapter with you or purchase one when you arrive at UTBM. In France, the power sockets are of type E. The standard voltage is 230V and the standard frequency is 50Hz.

Pack according to the local continental climate (cold in the winter, down to -10° C, and hot in the summer–up to 30°), the length of your stay at UTBM, whether you will be attending UTBM during the spring, the fall semester, or both.

There are plenty of shops in Belfort/Montbéliard. Therefore, you should have no difficulty finding anything you need after you arrive.

Pre-arrival checklist
  • Any administrative documents
  • Contact names and phone numbers
  • Credit cards
  • Diplomas or certificates
  • Your acceptance letter to UTBM
  • Electronic adapters
  • Necessary prescriptions or medicines
  • Camera
  • Laptop
  • Photos of your family, friends and country if you worry about feeling homesick
  • Sports equipment

As an international student coming to UTBM, you should plan your budget in advance according to the cost of living in France.

Here is some advice:

You should know the exchange rate between the Euro and your home currency.

Don’t bring a lot of cash with you. You should preferably use credit cards.

You must plan a budget for your first month in France, and also for your entire stay.

1st month budget: up to €1,500
  • Rent: between €250 and €400
  • Security deposit: usually one month’s rent
  • Housing insurance for the year: €50
  • Tuition fees
  • Registration to Social Security: €215
  • Additional health insurance cost: anywhere between €70 and €300
  • Other utility charges (phone bill, electricity, etc.): €100
Monthly budget: €500 (recommended)
  • Rent: between €250 and €400
  • Meals: €3.10 for a full-course meal at a university cafeteria
  • Textbooks/materials: less than €100 per semester
  • Transportation: a maximum of €34 per month
  • Leisure/activities/travels: €100 per month
Short on money?

Here are a few suggestions to manage your budget:

Check that you are receiving the grants and funding you are entitled to from your own country and your host country. Ask for information from the Office of International Mobility at UTBM.

Don’t pay to access your own money! If you are using a foreign bankcard, make sure that you aren’t paying transaction fees when you withdraw money.

Open a French bank account (to get the CAF government grant for example). The Office of International Mobility can help you with the process.

To open a bank account, you will need to:

  • Choose a bank and make an appointment
  • Bring the following supporting documents: ID or passport, residence permit (except for EU students), proof of residence (electricity bill, rent receipt, accommodation certificate, that are less than three months old), student ID to benefit from special rates

In most cases, opening a bank account is free but some services can be charged. International students can either open  a “non-resident” bank account or a “resident” bank account (in Euro or other currency) according to the length of their stay.

Make the most of your student status! With your ISIC (International Student Identity Card) and the “Avantages Jeunes” card (available at the Bureau Information Jeunesse), you can have a huge range of discounts. Find out which shops and services offer discounts if you present these cards. Do you travel a lot? Buy the Youth 18-27 Railcard at the train station to get up to 50% off on train tickets.

Don’t forget to get for a free reward card (not credit card!!) at the supermarket. When you accumulate points, you save money off your shopping bill! (Available in supermarkets such as Leclerc, Cora or Auchan)

Buy second-hand. There are many notice boards at UTBM where students advertise to sell second-hand belongings, books or furniture. Don’t forget to sell yours before you leave. You can also have a look at the following classified ads website: for sale or purchase.

If you have a work permit or visa for France and all of your grants allow it, why not find a part-time job for a couple of hours in the evening or the weekend? Ever fancied being a barman or cashier? Contact the AE for more details.

What are the transportation options in Belfort? How to travel from one campus to the other? How to travel around France or Europe?

In this section, you will find all the information needed about transportation.

You want to go grocery shopping, go to the city-center, meet your friends at a local bar, travel from Sévenans to Belfort in the blink of an eye, don’t worry, Optymo is here.

Optymo is the public transportation network in Belfort, offering buses as well as public bike rental. With 29 bus lines going from one end of the area to the other, it serves more than 100 villages in total.

  • To travel in an Optymo bus, you will have to get a transportation card called a “Pass Optymo”. You can get it in the Optymo boutique located at: 13 rue de Madrid, 90000 Belfort. It will cost you €1 per trip, but won’t exceed €34 per month. If you receive a government grant, it will cost you a maximum of €11 per month.
  • You can get an Optymo VLS (self-service bicycle) at one of the 30 stations spread over 5 villages (Belfort, Bavilliers, Offemont, Essert and Valdoie). It will cost you €0.02 per minute. Keep in mind that one rental bike is available for 24 hours only. If you keep it longer, you will have to pay a €150 fee. For bicycle routes in Belfort and its surroundings, you can have a look at the following maps: map of Belfort, map of the area.

To visit the region, to go on a biking tour, you can have a look at the tourist office of Belfort and Montbéliard websites.

In the Montbéliard area, the public transportation network is called évolitY. If you are under 26 and want a monthly subscription, it will cost you €10. You can buy the bus card online.

You want to travel around France or Europe, visit Strasbourg’s incredible Christmas Market, go skiing in the Swiss Alps, or climb the Eiffel Tower in Paris, several transportation options are available to you.

  • The SNCF is the national French railway company you can use to travel around the country. The sooner you book your train ticket, the cheaper it will be, so plan ahead of time and go for it! There are three different train stations in the area: one in Belfort, one in Moval (TGV station) and the last one is in Montbéliard.
  • The closest airport is Mulhouse/Basel/Freiburg Euroairport with connections all over Europe.

For low budgets, other alternatives are available:

  • Thanks to Flixbus, you can travel around France and Europe at a lower cost.
  • Blablacar is the biggest carpooling company in France and it can help you to travel at a lower cost while making new acquaintances.

If you need to find someone’s UTBM phone number, please check the UTBM directory (only available for UTBM students and staff).

If you need to find the phone number of a business in France, please check the Yellow Pages directory.

To make a call from France to another country you must dial 00, followed by the country code (e.g. France = 33). Then you dial the telephone number WITHOUT the first 0 (e.g. to call England, the number you have is 01293 547854, you must dial 00 44 1293 547854).

To call from another country to France you must dial 00 33 then the number WITHOUT the first 0 (e.g. the number is, you must dial 00 33 3 84 96 76 24).

In France, all numbers starting with 01,02,03,04, or 05 are landlines (e.g. 01 = Paris.

Phone numbers that start with 06 or 07 are for French mobile phones (e.g. – the main mobile phone operators are SFR, Orange, Bouygues Telecom, and Free.

To purchase a French phone plan, you can subscribe to one of the main mobile phone operators online: SFR, Orange, Bouygues Telecom, Free or directly go to their store. Keep in mind that you will need a French bank account before you can get a phone plan.


You are expected to say “Bonjour” or “Bonsoir” (good morning, and good evening) with or without the honorific title “Monsieur” or “Madame” each time you meet someone.

Frenchmen usually shake hands whereas Frenchwomen often kiss on the cheeks. Depending on the situation (business meeting, first meeting, between colleagues, etc.), you may be expected to shake people’s hands instead of kissing them on the cheeks.

Depending on the region, the number of kisses can change. In Franche-Comté, we kiss twice, once on the right cheek, once on the left cheek.

First names are reserved for family and close friends. Wait until being invited before using someone’s first name.

Tu and Vous

They both mean you.

You can use “tu” with your friends, your family, people your own age or younger.

You can use “vous” in shops, with strangers, with your teachers and older people.

When in doubt, use “vous” at first, then ask the person if you can use “tu” with him/her.

For more details, please check this website.

Cuisine and Meals

Food is one of the great passions of the French people.

There is usually a lunch break at 12 pm. It lasts one to two hours.

During this break, most shops are closed except in big cities. It is quite common to eat at a restaurant or a cafeteria for lunch. There are a few cheap student cafeterias around UTBM.

Dinner does not start before 7 pm (usually at 7:30 or 8 pm) but it varies depending on the region.

The traditional meal is divided into the appetizer, starter, main course, cheese, desert and coffee.

If you’re invited to eat at someone’s place, it is advisable to bring a gift such as a bottle of wine, flowers or chocolates.

Public Holidays
  • July 14: Bastille Day celebrates the storming of the Bastille, which occurred on July 14, 1789. Since then, July 14  has been a public holiday in France.
  • January 1: New Year’s Day
  • Easter Monday (on a different day every year)
  • May 1: Labor Day
  • May 8: Victory in Europe Day
  • 40 days after Easter: Ascension Day
  • 7th Sunday after Easter: Pentecost
  • August 15:  Assumption Day
  • November 1: All Saints’ Day
  • November 11: Armistice Day
  • December 25: Christmas Day

Comité Régional du Tourisme de Franche-Comté

Tourism office of Belfort

Tourism office of Montbéliard

City of Belfort

City of  Montbéliard

Eurockéennes Music Festival

International University Music Festival

Entrevues Film Festival

The “espace multimédia Gantner”

The “Centre Chorégraphique National de Belfort”

La Poudière, contemporary music stage

Your outings:

Ridesharing in the Urban Area


Unité Theatre in Audincourt

Granit National Scene in Belfort

Allan, Montbéliard National Stage

Museum of the Peugeot Adventure

The Pavillon des Sciences

Soccer Club Sochaux-Montbéliard

The 19 CRAC

The Arche



90010 Belfort cedex
Tel : +33 (0) 3 84 58 30 00
Fax : +33 (0) 3 84 58 30 30
Etablissement public membre de la Conférence des Grandes Ecoles (CGE), l’UTBM est habilitée par la Commission des Titres d’Ingénieur (CTI) à délivrer le titre d’ingénieur français et le label européen de qualité EUR-ACE pour la reconnaissance de ses 9 spécialités de diplôme d’ingénieur.

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