Has studying abroad in France always been on your bucket list? You’re in the correct place, I suppose. Here is a guide to help you with the information you need to get started with your university application to study in France as soon as possible.
A Quick Intro to France
Elegance and romanticism are synonymous with France. Paris, its most well-known city and the location of the Eiffel Tower, is referred to as the “city of love” around the globe. During the bustling months of Paris Fashion Week, fashion designers and fans congregate. However, in addition to the well-known tourist destination and the upscale neighborhoods around it, France also draws countless numbers of tourists to its smaller cities, each of which is equally stunning in its own way.
But in addition to the country’s appeal, another factor that draws tourists to France is its standing as one of the world’s epicenters of philosophy, science, art, and architecture. It’s understandable why some individuals fall head over heels for France and keep visiting.
Why Study in France?
France is one of the most popular places for international students for a variety of reasons. The main factor is the reasonable cost of education while maintaining high standards of instruction. Despite being among the greatest in the world, French colleges are nonetheless less expensive than those outside. You will not only pay less than students from other countries, but you will also graduate with a degree that is respected all around the world and be in high demand by employers there.
If you decide to study in France, there are also a ton of grants and loans available. Many students actually prefer to attend universities in France because the French government partially subsidises the expense of doing so. Because of this, France’s cost of living is also considerably lower than those of other popular nations. Living in France is more economical in terms of everything from accommodation to food to leisure.
Finally, France is a highly diversified country. The welcoming nature of the French is well known, and even when you are far from home, they manage to put you at ease and make you feel at home.
Higher Education in France
Due to the reasonable tuition costs and living expenses, particularly if one chooses to live in smaller locations, France is gradually rising to the top of the list for international students. École Normale Supérieure de Lyon is located in Lyon, which is in the south of France. Paris is home to some of the best institutions in France, including École Normale Supérieure de Paris, École Polytechnique, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, and CentraleSupélec. Université Grenoble-Alpes (Grenoble) and Université de Strasbourg are two other notable universities outside of Paris (Strasbourg).
A. Higher Education Institutions in France
If you choose to study in France, you will have a wide selection of universities to pick from because it has long been a center for the arts and sciences. France now has 83 public universities that are supported by the federal government. There are a ton of private universities to pick from all throughout the nation. There are currently about 250 Grandes Écoles. They are regarded as “the most elite schools in France” and train students for careers in commerce, science, and administration.
|Public Institutions||Private Institutions||Grandes Écoles|
|State institutes of higher education and research|
Funded by the French Government, which regulates the national diplomas granted by the universities. They do this ensure that universities offer an excellent education at a reasonable price.
|These institutions are accredited by the state to offer diplomas.|
Mainly denominational (Catholic, Protestant, among others), engineering, or business and management schools.
Some of the private institutions are publicly funded.
|Highly-competitive, Grandes Écoles specialise in a single area, often business or engineering.|
The training in these schools equip students with the right skills they need to go to specific sectors in public and private offices.
Degree programmes usually include international internships and a chance to study overseas.
B. Pathway to Studying in France
The length of your study depends on the path you wish to take. Here’s a basic duration of study in France
C. Top Institutions in France
The higher education institutions in France is considered one of the best educational systems in the world. The top 10 universities of France as per QS World Ranking 2021 are listed below.
D. After Study Opportunities in France
Fortunately, students from EU member states are free to work in France. The situation is different for people who are not members, though. There are options for staying and working in France after studying there, which is good news. You can request a temporary residence authorization (APS, autorisation provisoire de séjour), which is non-renewable and good for 12 months after the student’s residency permit expires. As long as you possess one of the following degrees, you are able to work in France:
- Degree equivalent to Master’s
- Degree categorised as level I by the CGE (Conference of Grandes écoles), which is an equivalent to a 5-years studies course
- Professional Licence
Other options can be found here.
Applying to Study in France
A. Language Requirements
Be aware that you must provide IELTS or TOEFL results as evidence of your English language skills if you are an overseas student. A student must also be proficient in the French language or be able to speak it.
A word of Caution: According to campusfrance.org, “the inability to speak French, or insufficient knowledge of the language, are the primary causes of failure among international students, especially in the humanities and law.”
FYI… To apply to the more competitive Grandes Écoles, students must have a baccalaureate or equivalent diploma. You must appear for Concours, a competitive exam held in France. To take this test, you have to apply and obtain a special three-month competitive exam visa (Étudiant Concours visa). If you successfully pass the exam, you can get a residence permit valid for a year and can be renewed after.
B. Visa Requirements
- Be aware that there are differences between citizens of the EU and those from outside the EU who wish to study in France.EU nationals are eligible to pursue higher education in France as long as they are enrolled at an accredited institution for a minimum of three (3) months, have proof of funding for the duration of their stay, and have health insurance.Students from outside the EU must apply for an extended-stay student visa and a resident permit (VLS-TS). You must fill out an application and give the following information to the French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII) in order to receive this visa:
- Passport photos
- Proof of your qualifications
- A copy of your birth certificate, as well as a certified translation showing the birthplace of both of your parents.
- A police certificate attesting that you do not have a serious criminal record
- Proof you can speak French (if your course is in French)
- Proof you have sufficient financial means.
The official paperwork obtained from the consulate that issued the visa and a copy of the passport pages proving the visa holder’s identification and the entrance stamp into France must be sent to the OFII by the VLS-TS holder upon arrival (or into the Schengen area). You should get in touch with OFII since they might want you to go for a physical.
The VLS-TS is valid for one year and can be renewed if necessary.
Students frequently worry about the cost of their education while considering studying abroad. Public universities in France follow the government-set tuition rates. In comparison to other nations that are popular with international students, the fees are comparatively lower here. While private institutions and Grandes Écoles might charge a little more. No matter where you decide to attend school, be aware that tuition costs are the same for local and international students.
Here’s a breakdown of fees in various degrees available in France:
|Study Level||Tuition Fee, Per Year, in EUR||Tuition Fee, Per Year, in USD|
|Bachelor’s Degree||184 – 8,600||196 – 9,143|
|Master’s Degree||256 – 10,170||272 – 10,812|
|Doctorate Degree||396 – 10,000||421 – 10,631|
|Grandes Écoles||500 – 14,000/td>||532 – 14,899|
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