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Study in France

If you want to study in a country that is diverse and has an excellent academic reputation, France is the country for you. It is one of the most popular study destinations, making it perfect for international students. The country offers an excellent environment for all international students.

Why study abroad in France

The French higher education system is not only very accessible, it also has a great reputation around the world. Going to a French university will provide you with a degree that is recognised and well-regarded by employers around the world. As well as this, the lower tuition fees make studying in France more realistic for international students.

France is particularly a good choice for those wanting to study business related subjects. The country is a hub for international business and management education, and has lots of business schools in the worldwide rankings. Business and management schools in France also frequently appear in lists of Europe’s top business schools.

France also has a great reputation for providing creative arts and design degrees, and there are many design schools throughout the country that are internationally renowned. You can find out more about this in our best design schools in France article.

Because it is a European country, France follows both the Bologna Process and ECTS. This means that qualifications you gain from a French university or Grandes Écoles will be recognised throughout Europe. This is very useful if you want to pursue further studies or a career in France or another European country.

France is a beautiful and diverse country, with a long history of higher education. It is located in Western Europe, and its large size means it shares border with Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, Monaco and Andorra. It also has extensive coastlines with many beaches for you to enjoy, and famous mountain ranges such as the Alpes and the Pyrénées, which are gorgeous all year round, whether you want to enjoy a summer hike or some winter skiing.

The top tourist attractions in France include:

  • Eiffel Tower (Paris)
  • Chateau de Versailles (Versailles)
  • Mont Saint Michel (Normandy)
  • The Cote d’Azure (Southern France)
  • The Louvre (Paris)
  • Mont Blanc (Western Europe’s largest mountain)

France is home to many interesting cities, a lot of which have great universities to offer. Some of the most popular cities for international students include Paris, Lyon, Montpellier, Lille, Bordeaux and Toulouse.

About France

Continent Europe
Language(s) of tuition English, French
Universities on StudyLink 47 universities
Major Student Cities Paris (capital), Lyon, Montpellier, Lille, Bordeaux, Toulouse

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Common student questions

Can I study in France for free?

Many public French universities offer their programmes at very affordable prices, most of the time domestic and international students will pay the same tuition rate. Private universities are allowed to set their own tuition fees, so can charge more for their courses.

Can I study in France as an international student?

France is an excellent choice for any international student. It is a welcoming country with an interesting and diverse culture. It also has many specialist schools that are internationally renowned, such as fashion schools and business schools. As an international student, you will need to obtain a visa in order to study in France. For more information about this, take a look at our French Student Visas article.

Can I study in France without knowing French?

It is possible to study in France without knowing French. Many French universities offer their courses in English as well as French. If your first language is not English, you will need to provide evidence of your language proficiency. Most French universities accept an IELTS or TOEFL certification.

How to apply

There are two ways to apply to universities in France as an international student. These are applying directly to each university you are interested in, or using a centralised application system called Parcoursup. You will have to pay an application fee for each university regardless of the process you choose.

Common admission requirements for a bachelors or masters degree in France include:

  • A high school diploma (or equivalent) or bachelors degree
  • A CV or resume
  • Evidence of funds (including scholarship information)
  • Proof of language proficiency
  • Recommendation letters

You might be required to have any documents translated into French, depending on the university you are applying to.

More information about applying for French universities can be found on our Degrees and Masters in France pages.

Tuition fees and living costs in France

France uses the Euro (€) as its currency.

Tuition fees at public universities in France are very affordable, as they are subsidised by the government. Private universities can charge whatever tuition fees they would like to, as they are not affected by the government.

If you are from an EU/EEA country (including Switzerland and Andorra), you will pay very little for a bachelors, masters and doctoral degree at a public university in France. These fees tend to be in the form of a registration fee, and range from €170 to €601 per year, depending on your level of study.

If you are from any other country you will be required to pay what is referred to as a differentiated registration fee. This will be €2,770 for a bachelors degree and €3,770 for a masters degree. As a non-EU/EEA student you will pay the same as EU/EEA students for doctoral degrees.

At private universities and Grandes Écoles, EU/EEA students will find that they are commonly charged the same tuition fees as domestic French students. International students from outside of the EU/EEA will be required to pay higher tuition fees.

Your living costs will depend on where you choose to study and live in France. Bigger cities such as Paris will be more expensive than the smaller cities. On average, you should budget between €800 and €2,000 per month for accommodation, groceries, travel and other necessities. Many places offer generous student discounts when you can show a valid student identification card. You can also register for an International Student Identity Card, which is valid worldwide and acts as proof that you are a student, and allows you access to discounts.

Another cost that you need to consider as an international student is health insurance. The health system is France is universal health care, meaning the the cost of accessing healthcare is financed by national health insurance. As an international student you will need to either take out a valid health insurance or register with French social security. Your university will be able to provide you with more information about this.

Student visa

International students who want to study in France will need a valid student visa. If you are from an EU/EEA country (or Switzerland), you are exempt from this requirement. If you are from any other country you will need to apply for a student visa and residence permit.

For more information about applying for a student visa or residence permit, see our France Student Visa Guide.

Language requirements

The official language of France is French.

Most universities in France will offer their bachelors and masters degrees taught in the English language. You can choose to either study in French or English. If you choose to study in a language that is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence of your language proficiency. If your language skills do not meet the requirements, your university might offer language courses in English or French to help you improve.

Whilst many of your peers will speak English (and probably other languages), it is useful to try and learn as much French as possible. This will not only help with everyday communication, but it will also look great on your CV or resume, particularly if you want to work in France after you have graduated.

Photos from universities in France

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