France is a fascinating country—culturally, geographically and artistically. A cultural, geographical and economic bridge between the countries of Europe, it’s a global power in terms of agricultural production and industrial output.
France features highly on the radar of international students looking for a good university to pursue their higher education. With more than 3500 public and private institutions offering higher education in a variety of fields from pure physics to philosophy, and with more than 2.5 million students enrolled, of which 12.5% are international students, France, no doubt, is an alluring option. It offers education, culture and lifestyle in one package for truly international career prospects.
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You can look forward to having a great student life in France, especially as the country is a pioneer when to comes to industries such as technology, science, art or fashion.
Great access to scholarships
Top employers such as Airbus, LVMH and L’Oréal
Easy visa process
Universities in France are flexible in their course hours, and they try to give their best to you in terms of material or classroom teaching. That means you can more easily work alongside your study.
As part of student life, universities and colleges organize social and educational events, conferences, seminars, parties and sporting events making every moment of your stay eventful and interesting. You’ll also have fantastic opportunities to mix with other students from all around the world.
Students will typically require a minimum of around €9900 per year to cover accommodation and living expenses, although there are grants available to help you with this cost.
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France is one the most accessible countries when it comes to student employment. You can work part-time as a student if you have a residency permit. However, you can work only for a maximum of 19.5 hours a week or 964 hours a year. You can work full time during holidays.
If you are a non-EU or non-EEA student you may need an authorization to work, called APT or Authorisation Provisoire de Travail. You can get this by applying to Direction Departmentale du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Formation Professionnelle office or DDTEFP. We recommend that you check whether this is required with your Student Council before taking on any form of employment.
Successful completion of the secondary school program is the normal requirement for admission to undergraduate study. Bachelor's degrees in France normally require three or four years of full-time study.
A master's degree in France typically requires 2 years of study after successful completion of an honours baccalaureate.
The normal qualification for a doctoral program is a master's degree, A minimum of three years and up to four or five years of study and research, as well as a dissertation, are the normal requirements for a doctorate
Language proficiency is certainly mandatory for admission to various levels of higher education in France. Courses are offered in French and in some colleges and universities they are offered in English. If you are applying to a college or university where the medium of instruction is French, you need to prove that your level of proficiency in the language is up to B1 or B2 for undergraduate and master’s level programme. Some institutions require C1 or C2 for specific programmes.
One advantage of studying in France is you can avail yourself of scholarships awarded by universities and other bodies. There are several private scholarships available, and you can also visit the website of the university you are applying to find out more about scholarships and other bursaries that might be available to you.
If you are a student from an EU or EEA country, you will not need a visa to enter or study in France. A valid passport or valid Travel ID will suffice.
If you are a non-EU or Non-EAA student, you will need a student visa. The type of visa you will require depends on how long you intend to study in France.
If you are going to France to sit a university exam or exams, you will need to apply for a visa for entrance exams. If you pass the exam or exams, you will become eligible to apply for a Residence Permit.
Entrance Exam Visa
With a temporary long-stay visa or de long séjour temporaire pour études you need not apply for a residence permit but you can stay in France only for a period of six months.
Temporary long-stay visa
If you intend to stay longer than six months or your course of study runs for more than six months, you need to apply for visa de long séjour pour études or the extended-stay VLT-TS. This also acts as a residence permit.
Eiffel Excellence Scholarships Ecole Normale Superieure International Selection Ampere Scholarships of Excellence at ENS de Lyon Emily Boutmy Scholarships at Sciences Po University Universite Paris-Saclay International Master’s Scholarships
Famous for the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum, Paris, the capital of France is the fashion headquarters of the world and a global centre for art, culture and gastronomy. Home of most top-ranking universities, Paris affords every visitor a truly international experience in living. Even taking into account the high cost of accommodation, Paris is a great city for students..
Three of it’s universities are ranked in the top 115 in the world
‘Franglish’ meet-ups. A great community where you meet in a cafe and practice your French language skills (and make some new friends too)
Museums are free on the first Sunday of every month
Home of top universities such as Aix-Marseille Universite and Ecole Centrale de Marseille, Marseille is a port-city in Southern France. Marseille is a student friendly city, where quality of life is good, and there is good healthcare and a cosmopolitan attitude.
The climate is hot-summer Mediterranean with temperatures ranging from 28 to 30 degrees Celsius and in winter, averaging 12 degrees Celsius.
Aix-Marseille University is ranked as one of the top 10 universities in France
Student rental prices are cheaper here than in Paris, Lyon or Strasbourg
It’s sunny! Marseille is said to have around 320 gloriously sunny days each year!
Known for its aviation industry with the headquarters of Airbus, the SPOT satellite system, ATR (an aircraft manufacturer), Toulouse is also the European hub of aerospace industry. Toulouse is a balanced city in terms of cost, safety, climate and social life.
The climate is humid sub-tropical with summer high at 28 and average low at 2.4 degree Celsius.
With over 40,000 students studying in the city, it’s very student-friendly
The city centre is small and easy to get around
It has a great location if you want to explore. You’re under an hour from the Mediterranean beaches and 1.5 hours from the ski resorts in the Pyrenees
It is in Lyon that you have Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon and Emlyon Business School. Known as a banking hub, Lyon is famous for its chemical, pharmaceutical and biotech industries. A safe place and a good place for fun, Lyon is also a student friendly city. A top place in France for several UNESCO heritage spots. If you are gourmet, you will enjoy Lyon.
The climate is humid sub-tropical with summer high at 27.2 and winter low at 0.3 degree Celsius.
The culture - there are also student culture passes which offer excellent value for money
The Students Welcome Desk provides outstanding support on all aspects of student life and administrative procedures in Lyon
It’s easy to get around and most of the campuses in Lyon are accessible via public transport
Universite Nice Sophia Antipolis and EDHEC Business schools are some of the higher education institutes in Nice. Founded by the Greeks, Nice has attracted great artists such as Henri Matisse. A great city for students in terms of friendliness, social life, broadband connection with only problem being few people speak English.
The climate is hot-summer Mediterranean with summer high at 27 and winter low at 7 degree Celsius.
Perfect for tech students, Nice is known as the ‘Silicon Valley of Europe’ and is home to over 1,300 IT and bio-tech companies
It’s great location makes not only the South of France easily accessible but also Spain and Italy
The sunshine and the beach - need we say more!
Universities in Nantes include University of Nantes, Audencia Nantes School of Management and Ecole Centrale de Nantes. A city with a long history, Nantes is known for its medieval Château des Ducs de Bretagne, where the Dukes of Brittany once lived. It is another friendly city for students and ranks well in terms of safety, walkability, weather and freedom of speech.
The climate is western European Oceanic with summer high at 25 and winter low at 3.1 degree Celsius.
Nantes is second only to Paris when it comes to employment growth - great new for after your studies
International students count for 10% of the annual intake
The student population is rapidly growing, with an increase of 70% over the last 15 years
Teetering between the third and fourth place in European Union’s economy, France has been struggling to contain its unemployment levels. The main reason for its employment crisis is the 2008 economic crisis. However, the employment rate is expected to grow, particularly in three sectors—construction, retail and wholesale trading, healthcare and professional services. Employment growth for 2018-2030 is predicted for the following sectors: