What to do to leave the city?

Leave it in order…

Here I told you the initial steps for your new life in a country or city that you don’t know. But what about the end phase? What do you have to do when you need to leave the same place after some months?

I suppose you are here because you have finished (or are about to finish) your Erasmus or exchange semester. Now you will have to start again to think about all the steps for your new move.

Remember to do the packing as good as you can; either because you are going for another exchange experience or back to your place. There are things you will not need anymore, therefore this post might be useful.

This is only an advice based on my personal experience. For a better procedure, I recommend each person to ask in the international office of their host or home universities. Each specific case is different.

City hall

As long as you want to be kept as a European resident, every country needs to know your new address. When you leave a country, make sure to register in the new city hall (same as done in your first city). With the proof of residency (resident card or stamp in your passport), contact the former city hall via email. You must provide them the information about your new address with a copy of the proof (card or stamp). This way they will unregister you from the national system but will be aware of your current location. This is just in case they need to contact you again in the future.

Health insurance

When you are a student and younger than 28, you are automatically covered for free by the public health care insurance. Normally CAAMI and CPAM respectively for Belgium and France. For this you have to go to their office and bring the normal paperwork: university registration, passport, proof of accommodation, etc. You might have to unsubscribe from the previous health insurance as long as you get the new one. For more information about this, refer to the international office of the university you are about to visit.

Do I need an international insurance?

cardWhen you are about to leave the city, it is important that you have your own international insurance. Sometimes the national social security sometimes does not cover your trips abroad. In the case of CAAMI you will be covered without a problem. In this case, you need to ask them for a European card (just like in the picture), which you will bring with you all the time. Anyway, you will still need the international health insurance. I personally never unsubscribed from CAAMI after moving to France and Germany, although I was recommended to do so. In the end, it was very useful to keep it because I moved back to Belgium, but unless you do the same, it is not completely necessary to keep it if you already have the insurance in the next country and the international one.

In Germany, however, you have to take care of your own health insurance, and this is very important for the visa approval as well. For example, since I had an Erasmus Mundus scholarship, I was also covered by the international health insurance MARSH and it was enough for my initial resident permit, but since it expired a few months after I finished the program, I had to get a new insurance that covered all the time I wanted to extend my visa for. I will talk about this detailed in a new post.

If you don’t have an Erasmus Mundus scholarship, you probably already have the international health insurance acquired in your country of origin. It will be enough if it is correctly renewed, so just make sure that you have the latest version and it will cover the next semester if you need to.

Bank account

You have to inform the bank that you are moving abroad and also provide them the new address. Some banks in Belgium work perfectly well in France and Germany, in fact, I never canceled that account (and works pretty good in all Europe). I had to open a new one in every upcoming country, due to organizational matters (getting paid or paying bills from a national bank was necessary). Therefore I got 3 different bank accounts, one for each country I was registered in. You can cancel the accounts as well when you are close to leave (in some banks only personally, not by email nor post), it is your personal decision, especially if you are older than 28 and they rate you for having an account.

However, you can close the bank account once you are in the new address. All you have to do is send a mail by post with this information:

  • Your name and IBAN – BIC of the Belgian (or the country you were in) bank account
  • Copy of your passport or identity card (use the same as to register in the bank)
  • IBAN – BIC of your new bank account (in France or the country you are in now)
  • New address (in France or as it corresponds now)

Of course, don’t forget to ask them to transfer what remains on your old account to your new account.


Before you leave the city, make sure to get your garbage out of the apartment and clean it. If you did a contract through a real estate house, they will probably make you pay a fine if something is damaged or walls are dirty. Be sure to sign with the owner (or the real estate) a written description of the property before you leave it. Keep a copy of it because it will be the proof for getting the deposit back.

If you live in the university residence, just ask them for the procedure of leaving, and ask for your deposit just before you leave.

Now just go. I hope you have a nice trip to your next stop!

I hope this post was useful, please share and comment if you find it interesting.

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