La Rentrée 2021

C’est la rentrée! While literally meaning “the return”, the French term rentrée refers more generally to the back-to-school period or start of term.  

La Rentrée 2021

C’est la rentrée! While literally meaning “the return”, the French term rentrée refers more generally to the back-to-school period or start of term.  

Regardless of how you spent your summer, exploring new places, reconnecting with family and friends, working on a summer job or undertaking some work experience, we hope that you had a fruitful summer break and that you feel energised for the year ahead.  

Whether you are arriving in Paris for the first time or returning to the city, this is a particularly exciting time, meeting new faces, reuniting with familiar faces and friends, finding new spots, and exploring what the city of light has to offer. However, this can also be overwhelming, especially in current circumstances, which is why we thought you might appreciate a dedicated web page with useful information and resources. You would have received most of the information below by email, but this way you can always access it. Don’t forget to bookmark it, so you can easily retrieve it. 

With the perspective of a fresh start, this is a particular time to reflect and think about the things you’d like to do or discover in Paris while studying at the University of London Institute in Paris. You will find a few suggestions and tips for students in Paris. We certainly look forward to seeing all our students back on-site and welcoming new faces.  


Freshers’ Week

For those who will be joining us for your first year at ULIP, Freshers’ week starts this date. The schedule is the following: 

  • Monday 20 September
    • 10-11 and 11-12: Admin and IT induction, in half groups (LT)
    • 13-14: Consent workshop (LT + 107)
    • 14.30-15.30: Alcohol & Drugs workshop (LT + 107)
    • All day long: we’ll offer Health and Safety building tours in groups of 10 max
  • Tuesday 21 September
    • 11-12: Digital Literacy (LT) – the speaker will be on-site and the talk can be streamed on Teams for returning students
    • 13-16: Freshers’ Fair (LT)
  • Wednesday 22 September
    • 10-11 and 11-12: Library and Information Skills, in half groups (LT)
    • 13-14: Young Leadership Programme (LT)
    • 14-15: Volunteering in Paris (LT)
  • Thursday 23 September
    • 10-11 & 11-12: Cultural Literacy / Welcome to Paris, France, in half groups (LT)
    • 2.30-4.30: Academic induction (place TBD)
  • Friday 24 September
    • 13-14: Race workshop (place TBD)

Please note that the above is a tentative schedule. You will receive further details and information via email. Check the Students' Union dedicated Instagram account for Freshers' 2021, where you can discover all of the fun evening activities they have organised for this special week.

Pass sanitaire

What is a ‘Pass sanitaire’? 

As you have heard, you will be required to present a ‘pass sanitaire’ (‘health pass’) to access a number of public spaces or activities, such as bars, restaurants, cinema, museums, and more. In a shell, any places where there might be a high concentration of people. Please note that you may also be required to present your pass when travelling long-distance within France and/or in Europe. 

The ‘Pass sanitaire’ consists of a QR code, which may be presented in digital or paper format. There are three types of proof that are accepted: 

  • proof of full vaccination 
  • proof of a negative test from less than 72 hours ago  
  • or proof of recovery from COVID-19 more than 11 days ago and less than 180 days ago 

We recommend you download the ‘AntiCovid’ app, which is the official application created by the French government. This will allow you to keep your digital ‘Pass sanitaire’ (QR Code). It will also provide some information related to the COVID situation in France.  

How do you get your ‘Pass sanitaire’? 

If you are from outside France, here are the steps to get your ‘Pass Sanitaire’: 

  • UK/EU: Covid-19 vaccination certificates issued in England, Scotland and Wales and the EU that contain QR codes are now compatible with France’s health pass scanning technology, TousAntiCovid. Simply download the app and scan your QR codes issued by the NHS or local EU health authority. 
  • Other: Students who have completed a full course of vaccination outside of the EU may apply for a “pass sanitaire” with a QR code. Please follow this link to complete the application. You should receive your QR code within approximately a week 

At this time, there is no procedure to obtain a French QR code proving you have recently recovered from Covid if you tested positive outside of France, meaning you would either need proof of full vaccination or proof of a negative test from less than 72 hours ago. 

Covid Testing

Covid testing is currently free for French residents (free for visitors only if they have a prescription or have been identified as a contact case). However, please note that it is likely that from October Covid testing (antigenic or PCR) will only be free if you have a prescription or have been identified as a contact case.  

There are two main test options: 

  • Antigénique: you can take this type of test in most pharmacies, but some will require you to book an appointment. Unless you have a French social security card (Carte Vitale) it is likely that you will need to pay and claim reimbursement from social security. Results are available within 20 minutes.  
  • PCR: in most instances you will need to schedule a meeting with a lab. Again, unless you have a Carte Vitale, it is likely that you will need to pay and claim reimbursement from social security. Results are usually available within 24 hours. 

You can click here to view all places where you can do a test in Paris.  

Coming back on-site

You won’t be required to show a health pass to enter the ULIP building, however, masks should be worn at all times in the building. Wipes and hand gel are available next to shared touch points. Users are to ventilate classrooms between class periods. ULIP ventilation and air treatment systems are COVID-compliant. 

Please note that a health pass is required to access public libraries as well as to attend large gatherings or a university event or activity which welcomes external participants. The French government is taking strong action to encourage as many people as possible to get vaccinated. It will unquestionably be more challenging for unvaccinated students, even more so once tests are no longer free. With this in mind, we do encourage you to take this information into account when planning your arrival in Paris. 

Vaccination if free for French residents so if you are looking to get vaccinated in France, make sure you have your ID and visa or residency card. You can book your appointment via Doctolib.  


The current guidance from French authorities is that higher education institutions can teach fully onsite at full capacity from September. Teaching is therefore scheduled to start fully onsite starting on Monday 27th September.  

We will make provisions to switch to hybrid or fully online teaching if the situation requires.  

If a student tests positive to Covid, they will need to inform the university and self isolate as instructed by French health authorities. Note that students and staff who have been in close contact (“contact cases”) will only need to self isolate if they have not been fully vaccinated. 

The city of Paris has so much to offer, so much so that it’s hard to list everything here. One thing is for certain, Paris is a bustling capital. There are several websites you can check to see all upcoming events and activities that are taking place in Paris.  

To help you navigate, we’ve listed a few tips for students (under the age of 26) who live in Paris, as well as some of the upcoming events that may be of interest. France offers many discounts to students, so don’t hesitate to specify that you are a student. 


Museums and Monuments

All French museums and permanent exhibitions are accessible free of charge to residents under 26. This includes some national monuments, such as the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Château de Versailles among others. This excludes temporary exhibitions.


  • Theatres: Some theatres have agreed to offer a special ticket price of 10€ for students under 26 . There are limited places and it’s on first-come first-serve basis. They are usually offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. You can either book your ticket via phone or directly at the theatre. Click here to view participating theatres. 

  • La Comédie Française, offers tickets at 5€ one hour before each performance at the Salle Richelieu. These seats are free every first Monday of the month for people under 28 years old. 

  • L’ Opera de Paris offers last minute tickets, 15 minutes before the beginning of each performance, at a special rate for under 28s. 

  • Ticketac Up to 50% off. Secure online payment. Possibility to receive the ticket by SMS for free. 

Sports and Gym memberships

  • SU: take a look at the SU sports clubs. You can also ask them for recommendations, such as gym memberships (Neoness seems to be a popular option among our students) or Facebook groups to join (football, hiking…). 

  • Paris Sport: when strolling in Paris, you might notice that there are some outdoor areas where you can find fitness equipment. The website offers information about where to find these as well as tennis courts, public swimming pools and more. 

Events in Paris


18-19 September 2021 - Journée du Patrimoine – if you are already in Paris, don’t miss the chance of some special visits organised in buildings, monuments and sites, many of which are not normally accessible to the public. 


3 October 2021 - Nuit Blanche - a night-time arts festival, where museums, private and public art galleries, and other cultural institutions are open at night and free of charge. You will also discover art installations, performances and other activities around the city.

Resources - Websites