Want to study in France?
France is a beautiful country with a long history of higher education. Located in Western Europe, it occupies a geographically diverse area from the Mediterranean Sea to the North Sea and the English Channel. This gives France stunning natural beauties you may wish to explore. Culturally, France is a country with a long history as well as rich artistic, philosophical, and scientific traditions. France is one of the major centers of culture, cuisine, and literature. All these reasons make it an exciting destination for international students across the world.
The top tourist attractions in France include:
- Eiffel Tower (Paris)
- Chateau de Versailles (Versailles)
- Mont Saint Michel (Normandy)
- The Cote d’Azure
- The Louvre (Paris)
- Mont Blanc (Western Europe’s largest mountain)
Why Study in France?
To put it simply, the French higher education system is one of the best in the world. It is also one of the most accessible ones. With low tuition fees, studying in France is more economic for international students. French universities are near the top of renowned university rankings each year. Their institutions offer an education that easily competes with other countries.
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.
France has 71 public universities and they are all funded by the national government, offering excellent education at a very affordable price to all students, domestic or international. There are also a number of private universities (grandes écoles). The academic year begins in September or October and ends in May or June, depending on the program and institution. There are two semesters, divided by a break following final examinations at the end of the first semester. There are two main types of courses offered at French universities: large lecture courses, where the professor speaks and students take notes, and sections & labs, designed for smaller groups of students where the material covered in lectures is explored in greater detail. Usually, attendance in sections & labs is mandatory. Some career-oriented programs also require internships and practical training.
When it comes to degrees, French universities use a format popular throughout the EU: license, master, doctorate. Licence refers to undergraduate studies and it lasts for 6 semesters (3 years), with 180 ECTS earned. Master studies last for an additional 4 semesters (2 years), for a total of 5 years of study and 300 ECTS earned. A doctorate can be obtained after the additional 6 semesters (3 years). Find out what the ECTS is from Anna, our study abroad expert. It’s also important to know that every university has an internship referral system and a career services office. This means you will always know of the most recent internship and job opportunities available to you.
Cost of Studying & Living in France
France uses the Euro (€) for its currency. Tuition rates at public institutions are set by the government and they are very affordable. In fact, tuition rates at France’s public institutions of higher education are identical for domestic and international students.
Tuition costs are set every year. In 2017, average annual tuition costs for undergraduate studies were less than €200 (under US$250). For master’s studies, the rates are around €259 (around US$305) and for doctoral studies, it’s around €393 (US$460). Students are often required to pay certain administration fees which raise tuition costs slightly. Despite these fees, studying in France remains one of the most affordable options for international students who seek a quality higher education.
These rates apply to public institutions only. If you wish to study at a private institution, the rates tend to be much higher and go up to €10,000 (US$12,000) per year.
There are also certain scholarships and mobility schemes available for those who wish to study abroad in France. Some of the most popular ones include grants from the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research, funding made by National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), awards from regional councils, Erasmus and Erasmus Mundus programs.
Unlike tuition rates, the costs of living in France tend to be higher than in neighboring countries. Luckily, students are often eligible for subsidized rates at restaurants and transportation. There is also specialized housing for students who is available to international students who wish to study in France. Costs of living are lower in smaller towns, so this is something to keep in mind when deciding on where to study.
International students will have several choices for accommodation in France. You could live in university accommodation for around €120 per month. The demand for these is very high, however. Selection is based on social criteria and given to exchange or scholarship students. Renting a private studio apartment will cost around €457-€542. Homestay is another option for international students. This will cost around €200-€800 per month depending on the location. Homestay also includes at least one meal per day provided.
Students have the option to apply for a grant from their local Caisse deallocation Familiale (CAF). It is free to apply for, and if you are eligible you can get up to 35% of your rent back monthly.
Other living costs may include:
- Electricity, gas, internet – €60 per month
- Study materials – €50 per month
- Travelcard or transport pass – €70 per month
- Return train ticket – €25 (in advance)
- Groceries – €250 per month
- Eating out – €12 on average
- Gym membership – €38 per month
Many galleries and museums are free to people under the age of 26. France is one of the best countries for student discounts, so it always worth asking about this when you go out.
Working in France after graduation
The French language is also one of the larger hurdles if you plan to stay after your graduation from a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in France. To find a job, you will almost inevitably need to be fluent or at least near-fluent in French. Other than that, when compared to other countries in Europe, it is relatively easy for international students to start their career in France after graduation.