... to Toulouse

First few days in Toulouse, or France in general can be difficult if you dont know the French Language. It is best to be prepared with some basic stuff.

You will be required to carry lot of documents. Get them translated to French before arriving here. Alliance Francaise in India offers translation services. Some offices request a document to be translated here in France. You can see the page on translation for more contact details.

Documents that you MUST bring

Documents that you must bring in original are

  • Your birth certificate, also TRANSLATED IN FRENCH
  • Very very important!! Your age is solely determined by this certificate. And it has to be produced to get residence permit. Even birth date on passport is not considered as valid proof.
    • But if you have landed in Toulouse and forgot to get your birth certificate, contact Embassy of India in Paris. They will issue a certificate of birth by referring to the birth date mentioned on your passport and is accepted as birth certificate by French offices. But then for this you will have to personally visit Embassy of India in Paris.
  • Your Marriage Certificate (if married ofcourse ;-)), also TRANSLATED IN FRENCH


  • Your academic record sheets + certificates


  • Salary slips of last 12 months (If you were salaried person)
    • These will be required when you will opt for social security.
  • About 40 or more Photographs (Size: French VISA recommended)
    • You are going to need plenty of them in all administrative matters. In France, only French VISA size photographs are accepted for all administrative purpose. Again, getting photographs in France is costly. So better get it done in India.
Now, for other stuff for day to day life
  • Thermal wear for winter
  • Good jacket for winter
    • Leather jacket if you can afford. Leather items are very costly in France. But jacket is must for winter.
  • A rain coat / Umbrella
    • Bring a strong Umbrella, although it may be of no great help in Toulouse, as winds are very strong.
  • Sport and/or leather shoes / Chappals/ Slippers
    • Slippers are must as floor gets cold in winter.
  • Talcum powder and hair oil if you use. You dont get Talcum powder here. 
  • A basic mobile phone. Though you can buy a new one here, it helps to have a handy mobile during the first few days. You can get a SIM card easily and recharge it whenever needed.
  • Atleast one traditional dress for the cultural events in the city or your university.
  • France is a country of Washing machines, i.e you get Ariel washing powder but you dont get Rin Supreme / Rin Shakti soap bars here. So if you think it is something you will use, bring a few with you.
  • If you plan to cook for yourself
    • Pressure cooker, extra gaskets and safety valves. You will not get these in France.
    • Small saucepan / frying pan. Note that the base of the vessels must be flat as most stoves are electric hot plates here.
    • If you are a Roti/Chappati fan, bring along a chakla-belan. Again you dont get this here.
    • Couple of plates, spoons, glasses etc.
    • Some ready to eat stuff to survive the first week in Toulouse. Maggie .... bus 2 minute ... is useful too.:-)
    • Basic cooking ingredients, again for the first month atleast.
  • French power supply is the same as India (230V). The power plugs are slightly different for the 3-pin plugs. Note the difference in the earthing pin. See the images below. The 2 pin plugs are compatible. 


   French Socket and Plug
 Indian Socket and Plug

Customs and excise rules

 The website of the French customs and excise rules provides information on what you can bring and take from France. A document Welcome in France explains a few rules and regulations
The website of the Indian customs and excise Rules provides information on what you can bring and take from India.


A guide by local council of Toulouse

Marie de Toulouse (Local municipal council of Toulouse) every year publishes a guide to help people arriving in Toulouse. This guide is updated every year to include latest information.

France from Expat's view

Street-wise France: A guide by Finn Skovgaard