|ADMISSIONS | TRAVEL to FRANCE – Visa and Passport Questions, Group Arrival, Entry/Exit from Argenton-Chateau|
“In drawing a figure, attach yourself before all else to determining and well-characterizing its movement. I could not repeat it to you too much: movement is life.”
– JAD Ingres, Ingres, sa vie, ses travaux, sa doctrine (1870)
NOTE: Our normal admissions process for physical courses in Paris and Argenton Chateau has been suspended due to COVID 19 until December 2020, pending normalization of health regulations and international travel.
See our Course Schedule page for the most current information on upcoming online courses, news about our 2021 physical course schedule, and how to apply.
Passport/ Visa/ Immigration Requirements
As a practical matter, it is each student’s responsibility to establish and attest to their own legal right to travel to France, before they are admitted to any course.
All applicants are asked to provide valid, current passport information at the time of application.
To study in France at Studio Escalier, a valid passport is all that most students need.
If you are awaiting arrival or renewal of your passport or travel documents at the time of application, please say so in the space provided for passport information on the application form. When you receive your new passport or documents, kindly let us know, and the information will be added to your application file.
U.S. citizens should not need a visa of any kind. Any ordinary visitor from the US, EU, Canada, UK, Australia or New Zealand is granted an informal 90-day tourist visa in France just by walking off the plane. All other foreign visitors to France should contact the French consulate in their home country for current information.
U.S. resident aliens (green card holders) need to provide proof of their current right to travel internationally or proof of their recent application to USCIS for same at the time of their application. Green card holders are advised to apply for travel documents and visas at least eight months in advance of their departure date. (i.e. before you even apply to a Studio Escalier program). The school cannot be held responsible for any financial loss incurred due to difficulties with the USCIS.
For everyone’s protection, a short questionnaire will be completed by all enrolled students — including passport #, home address, family contact, and relevant medical information — and kept on file for police and emergency services, should the need arise.
About Group Arrival – Argenton-Chateau
Individual travel options and incoming travel itineraries will be discussed with accepted applicants.
Incoming students should arrive in Angers no later than 5:00pm for pick-up and transit to Argenton-Chateau.
A hired shuttle/taxi service will meet arriving students at the Angers/St Laud TGV station at that time, for a 5:30pm departure to Argenton-Chateau. ( Shuttle costs 20 euros per person, payable after arrival).
Students wishing to rent a car for the season, or just for entry, should pick up their car in Angers, and follow the group shuttle. All the major European car agencies are represented inside the train station (Hertz, Avis, Europcar).
Students cannot arrive any earlier than the group arrival date. We will have 3-day orientation period after arrival, with the first studio session to be held on Sunday morning.
Air and Ground Links to Argenton-Chateau – ALL COURSES
You need to book TGV bullet train tickets in advance, but the earliest you can book is three months before the day you intend to travel.
Students are strongly advised to arrive and exit via Charles de Gaulle airport, and to take a TGV train directly from CDG airport to Angers/St Laud station. It is the easiest, quickest and least expensive way to reach us.
If you fly into Paris-Charles de Gaulle, direct TGV service (bullet train) now runs several times daily from Paris-CDG to Angers. Angers/St Laud TGV station is the closest one to Argenton-Chateau. (50 min. by car)
Click SNCF.com to make TGV train reservations or check schedules. ( French language site )
Type AEROPORT PARIS – ROISSY – CHARLES-DE-GAULLE (CDG 2) – GARE TGV as your departing station, and ANGERS as the arriving station. (You may not be able to book the CDG Airport –>Angers train on the English language site.)
You can also use the RER B train to travel from CDG airport to Paris – Gare du Nord. Trains depart for Angers almost hourly from Paris – Gare de Montparnasse, but you will need to get cross town on the Metro or by taxi. You will depart from Paris – Gare de Montparnasse (type PARIS MONTPARNASSE 1 et 2 on the SNCF site).
You can also use the AIR FRANCE BUS to travel from CDG airport directly to Paris-Gare de Montparnasse. You will depart for Angers from Paris – Gare de Montparnasse (type PARIS MONTPARNASSE 1 et 2 on the SNCF site).
For other trips inside Europe, it is useful to recall that Argenton-Chateau is 1 to 1.5 hours by car from four major cities:Nantes, Angers, Tours, and Poitiers. The three highlighted cities also have regional/ international airports with daily inexpensive service to/from London-Gatwick, London-Stansted and other European cities. (Shannon, Dublin, Paris, etc)
Poitiers and Tours offer daily service to London-Stansted, but Nantes will have the most flexible schedule of intra-European flights.
Midsummer Vacation: Exit and Return – SUMMER INTENSIVE ONLY
The Summer Intensive course runs 5 days weekly, from Sunday to Thursday.
During the Summer Intensive vacation week, students are free to remain in Argenton-Chateau at no charge. Your rent for the vacation week will already have been paid. Note: You may plan to receive guests, pending prior approval by your flatmate and landlord. (Nightly guest charges will apply. See the Guest Policy in your application brochure, or in your individual lease agreement.)
A vacation exit shuttle is always scheduled to leave Argenton-Chateau at 8:00 AM on the first Friday of the summer vacation period, arriving Angers – Gare SNCF at 9:00 AM.
A vacation return shuttle is always scheduled for the final Saturday of the vacation, with pick-up in Angers – Gare SNCF at 5:00 pm, returning to Argenton-Chateau by 6:00 PM Saturday night.
The vacation shuttle costs approximately 20 euros per head, each way. The cost is paid in cash upon arrival, and is the same for all riders, regardless of their number of bags.
Final Exit from Argenton-Chateau – ALL COURSES
Please do NOT schedule your exit flight on the final Friday after class. All students have a two-night “cushion” after the final Thursday of the program, for cleaning, packing and a farewell Friday evening together.
All students must take time to return their assigned housing to Studio Escalier in the condition it was received.
A group exit shuttle is always scheduled to leave Argenton-Chateau at 8:00 AM on the Saturday after the last day of class, arriving Angers – Gare SNCF at 9:00 AM. See below for details.
For your own convenience, please do NOT schedule your exit flight from France before 2:30pm on Saturday.
If you take the 8:00 AM group shuttle, you will depart Angers after 9:00 AM. Immediate TGV departure to Paris-Montparnasse will arrive at 11:30 AM. Direct TGV service from Angers to Charles De Gaulle airport will arrive at 1PM.
We require all students to vacate their program housing no later than 10:00 AM on the final Saturday, after the last Thursday of class. ( Student enrolled in consecutive courses may be able to remain in program housing through the break, for a small nightly fee. Costs for such housing assignments will vary.)
The group exit shuttle cars to Angers on Saturday costs approximately 20 euros each. The exit cost is paid in cash to your driver upon arrival in Angers, and is the same for all riders, regardless of their number of bags.
All students pay individually for their own exit from Argenton-Chateau (either by group shuttle on Saturday at 8:00 AM, or by 10AM that same day, if by other means — taxi, rental car, etc.)