France and 15 other countries of the European Union—Germany, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain—use the euro (€) as their currency.
International students may open a "nonresident" bank account (in euros or another currency) or, if they will stay long enough, a "resident" account (in euros or another currency).

You may wish to ask your bank at home if it maintains ties with a French banking network, which may make it easier for you to open an account (perhaps even before you arrive in France) and transfer funds. 

You will probably be asked to provide a bank identity statement, or RIB (Relevé d’Identité Bancaire), which you can obtain from your bank, to enable deposits to or withdrawals from your account—for example, direct deposit of your wages or automatic, scheduled payments of your bills. 

The major bank cards (Visa and Mastercard) are accepted by most French businesses for transactions in excess of €15. Cash transactions must be made in euros. 

Checks are used less and less in France. Few businesses will accept checks drawn on foreign banks.

Indicative monthly budget (excluding fees for schooling and outside of Paris)

Accomodation
400 euros
Restaurant meals
230 euros
Schools supplies
50 euros
Transports35 euros
Cultural events
45 euros
Leisure30 euros
General maintenance35 euros
Total825 euros