Bonjour! Ca va bien? If you’re dreaming about having your Emily in Paris moment, studying abroad in the land of the baguette, France, maybe the ideal study plan for you.
Speaking of the baguette, when you head out to France, you’d better not turn it upside down on a table, as the French believe this can cause you years and years of bad luck. This belief started in the Middle Ages, relating to executioners who would perform capital punishment.
If you also love taking selfies, it’s interesting to know that the French are the ones who invented the camera phone. In 1997, Parisian Philippe Kahn created the camera phone and took the first mobile phone photo ever of his baby daughter, Sophie.
You may also have heard that Paris is one of the world’s foremost fashion capitals, so those who want to study fashion or design tend to flock to the country to pursue their studies. But did you know that the French army was the one who invented the camouflage print? It was designed in 1915 during World War I in France for the French military to wear.
And these are only some of the fantastic facts about french culture. A charming country full of a unique culture, excellent schools, the city of love and the highly desirable language of French, it is genuinely a fantastic study abroad location for international students.
Interested to know more about why you should study in France and how you can apply to join one of their fabulous world-class institutions? “Allons-y!” (“Let’s go!”)
One of the unique things about France is the French language. French is the official and national language in France, so studying there is the perfect opportunity to learn, or improve, your french.
But be careful when you try speaking with locals as French is one of the languages in the world with the most homophones, words sharing the same pronunciation but spelt differently and with different meanings.
For example, try not to say “As-tu vu le vert ver allant vers le Verre en Verre vert ?” (“Did you see the green worm going towards the green glass glass?”) as this can really cause you to get your tongue in a twist.
France is a member of the European Union, which means it uses the euro as its main currency when it comes to currency. Euros first started being used in France in 2002, after a three year transition period. Before that, the French used the Franc as their national currency.
Geographically, France is a country located on the western edge of Europe, near the United Kingdom. The French people refer to their country as “L’Hexagone” (“the hexagon”) because of the shape of its mainland. Of course, other islands aren’t included in this hexagonal shape.
If you want to know how big it is as a country, France is a little bit smaller than the American state of Texas. Even though in comparison, you might not feel it’s too large, but it is, in fact, the largest country located in the European Union. To put things into perspective, it’s twice as big as its neighbour, the United Kingdom, and eight times as big as Ireland.
Around 66 per cent of the French population identify as Catholic Christian, while 28 per cent don’t identify with any religion. Around 9 per cent are Muslims, while 1 per cent of French people are Jewish, Buddhist or other faiths.
On a political level, France is has a semi-presidential political system, with a president and a prime minister. This system was created by the French constitution of the French Fifth Republic. The nation is said to be a social republic that is secular and democratic.
France is considered the most visited country globally, with about 90 million visitors every year. Additionally, France’s capital, Paris, dubbed by many as the city of love, is one of the most visited cities in the world.
From mesmerizing landmarks and incomparable architecture to breathtaking beaches and food that is off the charts, France is perfect for tourists of all interests, so be sure that you’ll enjoy studying there if you choose it as your study destination.
Top attractions there include the infamous Eiffel tower, which many flocks to climb every year. The Louvre museum is also a tourist hotspot, the largest art museum globally. It’s said that if you wanted to look at every single art piece for thirty seconds, you’d need 100 days to look at the entire collection at the museum. It features spectacular artwork from the Mona Lisa to the Venus De Milo to the Raft of the Medusa.
Another top attraction there is the Château de Versailles which shows the glory of France during the reign of Louis XIV. With breathtaking views and scenery, you can take a whole weekend there to marvel at the glory of the palace and its surrounding gardens and buildings.
Finally, you can’t forget Disneyland Paris. No matter how old you get, you have to visit the thrilling amusement park infused with French culture.
Finally, the French are all about their unique delicacies when talking about food. A fun fact is that the French eat 25,000 tons of snails annually, which is an awful lot for those slimy creatures.
Thankfully, if snails aren’t for you, there are also many other types of fantastic food available, with France producing over 1,500 types of cheese from Camembert to Brie to Fromage Blanc to Roquefort. Cheese lovers will find themselves in heaven when in France, trying all the different kinds of Fromage.
A traditional dish is this rich soup, filled with onions and beef stock. It is usually scattered with croutons and a generous serving of melted cheese on top. Although this was previously a peasant dish, now people enjoy it all over the world and in France, you can find the best and most rich type.
Another french food is Coq au Vin, made up of chicken seasoned with wine, mushrooms and bacon. They also add mushrooms, onion and garlic. Julia Child made this dish famous by making it one of her signature meals.
If you decide to study in France, there are many reasons why this would be a great idea. From learning a new language or improving your French to attending highly ranked universities, going to France to pursue your study abroad adventure will be an experience that is highly fruitful for you.
Learning a new language to enjoying the charming French culture, the reasons to study in France are truly endless. Read more details about this in the upcoming section to see whether it would be a good fit for you to study abroad there.
One of the most popular reasons why students choose to study abroad in France is to improve their French. Some also want to learn the language from scratch, and what better country to learn French in than the origin where it started from.
It’s super important to know french while you are living there, as many people don’t speak English, so you will need to be able to have at least basic communication skills to be able to get around, especially in areas where there aren’t many tourists.
Universities may offer students french courses and their degree programs, especially if their practices are in English, to help them improve their French language skills.
You can find many highly ranked schools in France, from the University of Sorbonne to Pantheon Assas University. They all have excellent reputations, and there are institutions for every subject area under the sun. For example, if you want to study law, you should go for Pantheon-Assas or Université Paris Nanterre. On the other hand, if you have a passion for fashion, you should sign up to go to the Institut Français de la Mode, as this is one of the best schools in the world to study fashion.
If you’re looking for your own Emily in Paris moment, you should look no further for a study destination. The charming french culture is everywhere, and you can soak up in it wherever in France you study. Food is a majorly important part of French culture: art, fashion, literature, and history. So many tourists head there to immerse themselves in the culture, which is unique from anywhere else in the world. As a student there, you’ll be able to have indeed a life-changing experience that you can go back to your country with after studying.
Even though many people think of Paris when they think of France, it’s important to note that there are many other cities and towns where you can study and have great cultural experiences. From Bordeaux to Lyon to Marseille, each of these has its own unique cultural heritage and will give you the experience of a lifetime.
Another advantage to studying in France is the splendid weather. France enjoys a moderate temperature for most seasons of the year because of its location around the globe. If you don’t like extreme temperatures, you’ll love the temperate weather conditions in France while you are studying abroad there.
However, if you also love warmer or colder weather, you can also find a city in France for you. If you love warm weather, you can head to study in the South of France. If you’re all about snow and skiing, you can go to the regions of France next to the mountain. Due to the country’s geographic diversity, there’s something for everyone.
Even though we previously mentioned the fascinating culture, many international students decide to study in France, primarily because of the fantastic cuisine, so we thought it deserved a section of its own. From delicious food and drinks from buttery croissants from the local bakery to rich and creamy brie cheese on a freshly baked baguette, you can be sure that you’ll always be indulging in lovely food. Warning: you might have to spend some extra days at the gym, or you might put on much weight due to how delicious the food truly is. You’ve been warned…
After hearing all of the advantages of studying in France, you may be eager to get going and start your applications. However, an important thing you might be considering is how much it will cost you to study there. The following section details how much you’ll pay on average on your study abroad journey.
If you are talking about public universities, when it comes to Bachelor’s programs, you can expect to pay around 187 dollars per year, while in engineering schools, you might have to pay about 680 dollars per year. If you pursue a degree in medicine, you will pay around 500 dollars per year.
When it comes to postgraduate studies, you will pay on average 290 dollars per year for your master’s degree, while you will pay 435 dollars per year for a doctorate degree. Some different, more specialized degrees may be more expensive, so you should look at your program’s website if you want to know exactly how much you will be paying.
Besides tuition fees, you’ll typically pay a student fee of around 100 dollars per year.
Keep in mind that these fees might only apply to EU students in public universities, so as an international student from a Non-EU country, you may have higher prices to pay.
At a special kind of university that France calls ‘Grand Ecoles or ‘great schools’, international students will need to pay fees from around 600 dollars per year to about 10,000 dollars per year, depending on the school and the prices they have set.
At private universities, tuition fees fall in the range from anywhere between 1,700 dollars to 21,000 dollars per year. If you attend a business school, whether with an undergraduate or graduate degree level, you’ll pay fees of around 6,000 to 31,000 dollars yearly.
If you are considering studying in France, you should know that you will need to set aside money for living costs from 1,300 to 1,900 dollars per month if you want to live in Paris.
If you intend to live in Nice, you’ll need to pay something from 1000 to 1500 dollars per month, while in Lyon, Nantes, Bordeaux or Toulouse, you’ll pay around 900 dollars to 1,100 dollars per month for costs of living.
For international students in France, they have several options for accommodation. The main housing options include student residence halls, private rentals or staying with a host family. This section describes each of the accommodation options in detail so you can decide which would be the most suitable for you.
Students tend to go for the first option is the student residence halls, or “cites U”. These rooms are managed by the Regional Centres of University and Academic Services. Around 15 per cent of international students studying in France tend to choose this type of accommodation, as it’s easier for students who have never studied abroad.
As this is typically the cheapest kind of accommodation, you can expect to pay an average of 250 dollars per month, or around 450 dollars if you live in Paris.
Apart from the Cites U, there are also private student residences where room rental is a bit more expensive. This is because they tend to have more services available for those renting there, such as a good laundry room, internet services and an onsite gym and study rooms, among other benefits.
Another option for students is private flats or room rentals. You can either rent a room alone or if you choose to lower your expenses, you can share with a roommate or several. You can also make lifelong friendships with your roommates. When it comes to services offered, these rooms are either furnished or unfurnished and may include utilities or may not, so be sure to check the lease before agreeing, so you know exactly what you are getting yourself into.
In general, you will pay between 450 and 750 dollars per month in most french cities while it will cost a bit more in Paris (up to 850 dollars per month). You can probably find a small apartment in smaller French towns for around 350 dollars monthly.
If you live with family members, either a spouse or children, you will pay a bit more as you’ll need more than a one-bedroom apartment. In this case, you can expect to pay from 750 to 1,500 dollars per month, and it could be more expensive if you decide to live in the town or city centre.
A popular option for experiencing the fascinating French culture is staying with a host family. In addition to improving your French and getting an irreplaceable daily opportunity to practice your language skills, staying with a host family is cheaper than the other accommodation options. In most cases, they will offer you a private room in their house or apartment.
Some hosts even offer you a room for free or a meagre rate in exchange for help around the house, such as babysitting, house chores or cooking. Some might even do it in exchange for learning your language, as a language tandem exchange.
In the case of staying with a host family, you should expect to pay somewhere between 250 dollars to 850 dollars monthly if you are in Paris, and relatively cheaper if you are staying in other French cities.
For other living costs, you can expect to pay from 35 to 80 dollars per month for your transportation pass. For groceries, when it comes to one person, you will pay from 300 to 350 dollars monthly in Paris, depending on what you buy. For smaller cities, food is typically cheaper, so you can set aside a little less.
When it comes to health insurance, you will pay from 25 to 55 dollars a month, and for a small apartment, utilities like electricity, heating and water, you should set aside about 160 dollars a month. You’ll need to pay about 30 dollars extra for internet services. If you decide to join a gym, you can expect to pay around 40 dollars a month for the service.
Universities in France are known for being excellent worldwide. There are several types of degrees available, and France has 36 of the world’s 500 best universities, 10 of which are in the top 300 worldwide. Read on to learn more about the degrees available in France and about the highest-ranked universities there.
If you want to pursue your study abroad dreams in France, three types of university degrees are available for you to study. The first type is the Licence, which is equivalent to the Bachelor’s degree. It typically takes three years to complete.
The second type of degree is the master’s degree that is completed in two years. There are two types of master’s degrees available: research and vocational master’s degrees. Research master’s degrees are a stepping stone to doctorate degrees, while vocational masters are more for people who want practical knowledge to use in the work field.
The third type of degree is the PhD, or doctorate degree, which is the highest degree level. It typically takes students three years to complete this degree.
There is also an engineering degree, a national degree that receives its qualifications from the national institute for engineering. This allows them to be able to award engineering degrees.
Many excellent universities in France are ranked highly on the world ranking lists. From Paris Sciences et Lettres Research school to Ecole Polytechnique, there are numerous schools to choose from. Read on to learn more about each university in the top five schools in France.
In first place among French universities, Paris Sciences et Lettres Research University (PSL) is a university that was founded in 2010. It is made up of nine schools, one of which is the highly exclusive École normale supérieure (ENS Paris).
PSL scores very high when it comes to employers, maintaining strong connections with companies while also having solid relationships with other great universities around the globe.
At Université Paris-Dauphine, one of the schools of Université PSL, students can choose to pursue Bachelor’s degrees in many fields like management, finance, applied mathematics, computing and journalism.
The university also has training programs for postgraduate students in many subjects such as engineering, applied arts, management, humanities and social sciences, among other disciplines.
A fun fact about the university is that over 70 per cent of students are postgraduates pursuing Master’s or PhD degrees. At this level, the best degree programs are humanities (for master’s degree students) and cognitive sciences programs (for doctorate students).
The following school on the list, Ecole Polytechnique (ParisTech), specializes in science and business degree courses. It also has a high ranking in employer reputation, ranking as the fifteenth around the world. A beautiful campus located outside of Paris’ city centre has 120 hectares of greenery, so it’s a stunning and relaxing place to study.
The best university in science and Technology and the ultimate school in engineering, it has a great history of almost 300 years in the field. It has numerous academic programs in many subjects for undergraduate and postgraduate students, so you’ll be sure to find the subject of your dreams.
Sorbonne University in Paris is ranked number three on the list of best universities in France. It’s a research university of high level, offering a wide span of degrees in arts, humanities, sciences from social sciences to engineering to medicine. The government created the university by merging two world-class universities: Paris-Sorbonne University and Pierre and Marie Curie University.
The best subjects to study at Sorbonne university are Agriculture sciences, arts and humanities, biology and biochemistry and applied microbiology. If you are interested in any of these subject areas, Sorbonne University could be an excellent choice for you.
Located in the French city of Saint-Aubin, Centrale Supélec was also formed by merging two excellent universities in the year 2015: École Centrale Paris and the Supélec graduate school of engineering. It is one of the original founders of the Université Paris-Saclay, an exclusive group of research-focused schools.
It is considered the second-best engineering school in France, ranking just below the Polytechnique. The best subjects to study at the school are Computer Science and Information systems and Civil, Structural and Electrical Engineering. If this is the route of subjects you’d like to pursue, then Centrale Supélec might be an excellent school for you to look into.
Ranked the Fifth in the best universities in France, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon is a great school and one of the grande écoles. It is a prestigious, highly selective institution that focuses on helping students excel in the humanities and sciences and research related to these subjects.
There are two roads of study available at the university, a bachelor of art in literature or a bachelor of science, with many specializations. The best degrees for a postgraduate level are degrees in sociology and statistics, geopolitics and neuroscience.
Besides those in the top 5 in France, other examples of great universities include schools like Emlyon Business School, HEC Paris, EURECOM – Graduate school and Research centre in Digital Science and the Université de Lyon. If you are considering studying abroad in France, these are also worth applying to.
Suppose you’re excited about studying abroad in France after reading all about the great universities there. In that case, you will need to learn about the study visa process, as most students require a student visa to be able to study in the country. Before learning about the visa process, you should consider whether you actually need one or not, as some students won’t require one to study in France.
Whether you need a visa or not is based more or less on whether you are an EU citizen or not. EU citizens or citizens of EEA, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein don’t need student visas to study in France. You’ll just need a passport or another valid form of an identification document to be able to sign up for university.
If you are a non-EU national, you’ll have to obtain a study visa to study at a university in France.
When you are applying for a visa to study in France, several kinds are available based on how long you choose to study in France and what you need it for.
If your study course takes less than three months to complete, you can apply for the court séjour pour étude, or the short-stay or Schengen student visa. This visa is free, but you can’t renew it again.
If you are travelling to France to do an entrance exam for a university, you can simply issue an entrance exam visa. If you pass your university entrance exam, you will be allowed to apply for a one-year residence permit that you can later extend.
The visa de long séjour temporaire pour études, or the temporary permit, lets you stay in the country for up to half a year. If you get this visa, you won’t need to separately apply for a residence permit.
The final type of visa is the long term visa, known as the visa de long séjour pour études, which is the one you’ll need if you want to study in France for longer than six months at a time. This visa has a double function as a residence permit and is usually valid for the time of your study period, from two to four years, based on your degree type.
Algerian students won’t require this extended visa. Still, they will need to contact the institution or the French consulate in Algeria to find out what regulations are in place specific to them.
When you have become accepted into a program at a French university, you’ll be able to apply for a student visa. To apply for the visa, you should reach out to the embassy of France in your country and ask them how to apply.
In general, you’ll need to present several documents. From these documents is the official acceptance letter from the university you applied to, with an official header that has the full study details, including start and end dates. You’ll also need to provide evidence that you have enough money to support yourself while studying at the university, about 800 dollars per month. This proof can be presented as a bank statement, scholarship acceptance letter or loan notice that shows funding.
You will also need to prove that you will go back to your home country, often as a plane ticket back home booked. You could also present a handwritten statement that has the dates you intend to leave France on. You will also be required to show proof of medical insurance, with a value of at least 40,000 USD dollars as a cover.
Another document to be presented is any confirmation of where you will be staying, whether a student housing confirmation or a rent agreement or ‘attestation d’accueil’, if you’ll stay with friends or family members. You should also show proof of French language proficiency if you join a degree course in the French language.
If you are awarded an extended-stay visa, you’ll need to send your official visa, along with the official form you received, to the French Office of Immigration and Integration. You can send it by registered mail to Paris, or you can hand it in in person if you are going to live in the capital city. You’ll need to pay a tax of around 80 dollars for these admin costs to get everything done.
With the same documents, you’ll need to present a copy of your passport documents, with the pages with your entry stamp into France and your identity documents as essential pages to be sent.
Once the office has received your documents, they’ll send you the confirmation document and further steps if you need to do so. Your university can help you finish the rest of the process, and you can often submit additional documents to your school if they have an agreement sent. For example, other documents you may be asked for could be to have a medical examination done if you haven’t already done one.
After learning how to get your student visa, it’s essential to also learn how to apply to the institution of your choice. The application process to the institution you want to apply to differs based on your nationality and the type of school you are applying to, whether technological school, public university or grandes écoles.
One of the most critical questions some international students may ask when applying to french universities is whether they can study in English or not. To answer the question, it is possible, although it isn’t widespread. Many good universities have English taught programs, so you can always apply to them if you don’t know French. Most of them will offer you French language courses to teach you the language while staying there to deal more quickly.
How to apply to the program differs based on your nationality. For example, EU and EEA students can usually apply directly through the university website, mainly with the same process as local French students.
If you are a Non-EU student, then you apply through the online application process that was previously called CEF and is now called ‘Studying in France Procedure’. When you apply through this technique, you also get the chance to apply for your student visa on the internet. You will also be able to track your application and see its progress.
If you are living in Europe already but aren’t an EU citizen, that means you can apply through the French consulate in the European city you are living in.
When you apply to technological universities, grand Ecoles and specialized universities, you’ll need to first apply for preliminary admission at Parcoursup system, which has come instead of the Admission Post-Bac (APB) website platform.
Students who apply there will face a very selective entrance exam after a two-year preparation course named “Classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles” (CPGE – Preparatory classes for Grandes Écoles). You will also need to carry out a personal interview. Admissions departments will review results, and those accepted into the program will be announced.
When it comes to applying for study in public universities, the process is different. You can apply directly on their website for some universities rather than through an application system. You should carefully look at the eligibility requirements for undergraduate and graduate courses, as there may be standardized tests required like GRE, GMAT or LSAT.
It’s advisable to apply to at least three different universities to have a higher chance of being accepted. If you are a Non-EU student, you will also need to take the Preliminary Admission exam, named in French the (“demande d’admission préalable” – DAP). You can apply for the exam at the French consulate in your home country.
When it comes to entry requirements to universities in general, you’ll need to hand in several documents. The first document is the university application, diplomas and transcripts from your high school education or Bachelor’s degree if you are applying to a master’s degree. You’ll also need to hand in a passport copy, photos of passport size and English proficiency test results from TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo.
You’ll also need to present a copy of your birth certificate and a document with proof of your parent’s birthplace, translated into French if it’s in another language. You will also need to hand in evidence that you are able to cover your expenses financially. You might also be asked to hand in a college essay.
Furthermore, you might be asked for a Campus France authorization, a copy of your European health card if you are an EU national, A civil liability certificate and an application fee for the university’s application, if applicable.
There are also language proficiency requirements for universities, both for English and French languages, depending on the language of the degree program. Most Bachelor’s degrees are taught in French, but there are also courses in English, especially at the postgraduate level.
For French, you will need to hand in DELF, DALF or TCF test results to show your language level.
Those exempted from the French proficiency requirements are those who have the French baccalauréat, the international or European baccalauréat, and the Franco-German baccalauréat. Also, those who have received scholarships from the French government, multinational corporations or foreign governments who hand out grants approved by French entities are exempt.
Also, you won’t need to present French proficiency requirements if you are from a country where French is the mother language. Students who graduated from bilingual programs, with French as one of their primary languages, will also not need to present evidence of French language proficiency.
For English, proof of proficiency could be as IELTS academic test results, TOEFL iBT and PTE Academic results. To determine which score is the cutoff score, you should look at the requirements for your own university to see which minimum grade is required to be considered proficient in the language.
When it comes to university application deadlines for universities in France, there are typically two cycles per year, one in the Fall and one in the Spring.
For Fall admission, the deadline is usually January 17th or April 1st, based on your degree type and other factors like how many spots are available after reviewing candidates.
For spring admission, the deadline for applications is typically mid-September; unless there are still spaces, then the deadline can be extended. Applications for Post-Bac, Parcoursup, are from the end of January to mid-March. Applications for TCF tend to have deadlines ranging from November until the end of January.
Finally, one of the most critical topics to any student is the students’ scholarships. For international students, scholarships of up to 12,000 dollars are offered by some universities, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or the French consulate from your home country.
The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs usually presents scholarships through the Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Programme for postgraduate students. Master’s students may offer a monthly scholarship of 1,350 dollars per month, while PhD students may receive scholarships of a monthly 1,500 dollars.
In general, grants are classified as need-based and merit-based. Need-based ones are awarded based on evaluations of social factors and may range from 1,800 to 5,000 dollars per year. On the other hand, merit-based grants may be valued at 1,900 to 6,200 dollars per year.
There are several types of scholarships available for studying in France. From governmental ones to scholarships for the cultural cooperation department to The Eiffel Scholarship Program for Excellence, there are loads to look into to find one suitable for you.
The first kind of scholarship is the governmental one. Students can apply for these scholarships through the Campus France office’s website.
These scholarships are handed out to international students by the French embassy in their home countries. These are educational scholarships with connections to educational organizations that give grants to students in the country. Students can apply to them by contacting the French consulates in their home countries.
Another scholarship is the one offered by the Eiffel Scholarship Program for Excellence. This is handed out to students who want to do their master’s or PhDs at French universities. However, these scholarships are only for students in four subject areas: Engineering, Management and Economics, Political Science and Law. You can apply for one of those programs by applying on the scholarship website.