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Study in France

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Universities in France and study in France - International Student Country Guide


  •          How can you study a degree in France?
  •          Tuition fees
  •          Immigration and visas
  •          Accommodation and living costs
  •          For Parents
  •          What to do next

Find universities in France and study in France, our guide for international students to study abroad. Thousands of international students flock to France every year, to study a degree in France, experience the French way of life and improve their fluency in the language. Cities such as Paris, Nice and Marseille are some of the most popular destinations for international students in Europe, and can offer some of the very best teaching, culture and cuisine in the world.

It is no wonder that almost 300,000 international students choose France as their study abroad destination every year – indeed, last year Paris was named the best student city in the world in the QS Best Student Cities Survey.

How can you study a degree in France?

France has 87 public universities, which offer thousands of undergraduate courses. Working alongside the universities are the Grandes Écoles - public or private institutions that are well known for providing a very high standard of learning.

 Standard undergraduate degrees in France last for three years.

 The most prominent universities/ Grandes Écoles in France include:

  •          Écoles Normale Supérieure (Paris)
  •          Écoles Polytechnique (Paris)
  •          Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris)
  •          Écoles Normale Supérieure Lyon (Lyon)
  •          Université Paris Diderot (Paris VII) (Paris)

 The majority of universities in France conduct teaching in French, although there is a growing number of courses that are taught partially in English - 33 at undergraduate level - meaning you may not have to be fluent in French to study a degree in France. Often French language courses are taken alongside the degree in order to compliment studies.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees in France are the same for French and international students, and public institutions are funded almost entirely by the government. Average fees for 2012/13 were €181 per year.

 Private institutions may charge between €2,800 and €9,343 for courses such as management.

Immigration and visas

  •          EU citizens can study a degree in France providing them
  •          Are studying in France for more than three months
  •          Are enrolled at an accredited university or institution
  •          Have proof of living funds for duration of course
  •          Have health insurance cover
  •          Non-EU students will need to apply for an extended-stay student visa, with residency permit (VLS-TS).
  •          When a VLS-TS visa is issued, students will be given an official form that they must present to the French office of immigration and integration (OFII).
  •          A VLS-TS holder must, upon arriving in France, send to the OFII by registered mail:
  •          The official form received from the consulate that issued the visa
  •          A copy of passport pages showing the visa holders identity and the stamp indicating entry into France (or into the Schengen area)
  •          You can find out more about visas at Campus France.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation in France varies depending on where you are studying, but in general it France is considered quite costly.

 There are two main types of accommodation while studying:

  •          University accommodation – such as halls of residence
  •          Private accommodation – house and flat rentals

 University accommodation is in very short supply, so most students end up living in private accommodation. The number of private student residences is on the increase, making it easier to find student accommodation in France.

 Campus France can help you with problems you might have with student housing in France, such as locating and reserving accommodation (except for in Paris.)

Living costs/rent: France is a fairly expensive country, and living in the city (where most of the universities are) will mean rent costs as well as leisure activities will be high. Average rent per month is as follows:

1 bed city centre apartment –€ 633

1 bed outside city centre apartment – €500

3 bed city centre apartment – €1,200

3 bed outside city centre apartment –€ 900

For Parents

  •          How safe is France?
  •          France is a safe country in which to live, with a stable government and political system.
  •          In terms of living, on campus accommodation in dorms means a high level of security and peace of mind, and all universities that accept international students have dedicated support services for them.
  •          Students should always take care to protect their own personal safety in order to avoid becoming victims of crime. They can do this by:
  •          Avoiding carrying around large amounts of money
  •          Staying in groups, especially at night, and never walking alone
  •          Not making valuables obvious
  •          Always having a route home planned and never getting into unlicensed taxis
  •          Being wary of strangers
  •          Being careful of traffic

Staying in touch

Staying in touch when your child is studying on the other side of the world might seem daunting – but there are ways you can talk regularly that don’t have to involve long distance phone calls and a nasty bill at the end of the month. Here are a few tips:


Skype – the free video calling service can be downloaded within seconds, and will allow you to talk face to face anywhere you have an internet connection

Blogging – maybe encourage your child to keep a blog of their adventures overseas, so that other family’s members (such as grandparents) can keep up to date

Local sim cards – it is also a good idea for your child to buy a phone with a local pay as you go sim card when they arrive so that they can text and call home without running up a bill

What to do next

If you wish to study abroad but are not sure about where, check our country guide. If you would like more information on studying in France instead, sign up for our Free Consultation Service and we'll get back in touch with you as soon as we can.