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Study in France

Everything you need to know about studying in France as an international student.

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Why study in France?

French universities have a good global reputation, especially in the fields of science and humanities. France are at the forefront of innovative academic research and techniques, offering a dynamic and exciting place to study.

France is a country steeped in history and culture with exciting cities and stunning countryside that spans from mountains to golden beaches. The proximity to other European destinations makes it popular with students who are looking to travel during their studies.

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What are the best programs in France?

As with many other countries in Europe, standard undergraduate degrees in France last for three years. The French higher education system follows the bachelor’s / master’s route.

There are a variety of institutions in France specializing in particular fields. France is known for its business schools, but also offers medical universities and engineering universities. Whether you’re looking to study for a bachelor’s, master’s, MBA or PhD, Studee can help you find the perfect place to study abroad.

Popular subjects to study in France

What the experts say about France

  • Diane Wargnier

    Diane Wargnier

    Diane Wargnier says

    Three top tips for living in France

    1. Remember that your experience is going to be uniquely yours, so don't get caught up in what everyone else is doing and what you think life in France should be like. Drop all of your expectations and just experience France for all it is - the pros and cons.

    I feel like foreigners have very romantic, idealized notions of France and the French. That everyone is thin and beautiful and fashionable and they all just sit around at cafes drinking coffee and wine and eating baguettes. Or that real life is a 24/7 vacation. While France is beautiful and charming and has so many positives, it's also a real place with real people and their problems, like anywhere. I work, I have a mortgage, I run errands and have all the real-life stresses that people have anywhere. France truly is gorgeous and I find the people to be generous and kind. I think sometimes people move to France with rose-colored glasses on not realizing that life as a tourist and actually living here are two different things.

    1. Always remember your manners. One of the most important things you have to remember to do is greet people with a bonjour before asking for anything. We need to be aware of cultural norms and do our best to be respectful of French culture and the French when on their turf. We’re visitors, after all. In France, beginning any interaction with a “bonjour” is as close to mandatory as any rule is for foreigners and locals alike. Forgoing the compulsory bonjour (or “bonsoir” in the evening) is not only out of touch with French norms but it will communicate to French people that you’re lacking in basic education.

    2. Learn as much French as you can! Most French people -- especially outside of big cities -- do not speak conversational English, so do your best to get your French up to speed. It not only shows respect but it lets you become a part of your community and not just a bystander observing life around them.

    Why should people come to France?

    People should come to France for the wonderful food including cheese, pastries, wine and so much. They should come to experience a more civilized work/life balance and healthcare system. They should come to learn about French culture and see the beautiful landscapes that make France what it is. Life abroad isn't easy but it's worth it. You'll experience little wins that make you proud of how far you've come and learn things about yourself that you maybe never would have learned if you had stayed in your home country.

    The best things about France

    There are so many things, so let's see… On the surface, I could tell you about the wonderful food culture. Amazing wine, cheese, and bread count for a lot. Also, the fact that healthcare is a right for everyone and not something you lose if you're laid off from your job is a huge plus. Medical debt isn't a problem in France and the peace of mind just knowing you're covered is amazing. The system isn't perfect but it has a lot going for it in my opinion.

    If I go deeper, now after nearly 8 years here, I'd have to say that I love living in a place that challenges me every day. Nothing is comfortable. From the language to the culture to the bureaucracy to even more mundane day-to-day struggles like when the pharmacy closes 10 minutes early just because they feel like it (when you really need a prescription), France pushes me to be better. Living abroad has pushed to be more patient and understanding and to prove to myself that I can succeed.

    Maybe my favorite part of living in France is that I’m experiencing my husband’s culture firsthand and getting to know his home while having him by my side. Discovering new regions of France is something I really enjoy as well – especially Brittany which is a short drive from where we live.

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What is the cost of studying in France?

A university in France can have tuition fees ranging from €7,200 - €15,200 per year. Whether the university is public or private will have an effect on the cost of tuition.

Living costs in France are similar to other western European countries. Things like utility bills, running a car, takeaway food and electrical items tend to be more expensive in France, but rent, wine and cheese, healthcare and clothing are often cheaper.

Student reviews for France

  • Chaimaa El Anssari
    Overall experience 5 stars
    4 stars
    University social
    4 stars
    5 stars
    University facilities
    5 stars
    ITECH Lyon Aeronautical Engineering
    What's it like to study in France?
    As I was living in the campus university, i came across many nationalities. Being close with French students was more difficult than others. But in the end, I have a lot of kind friends and I regretted the false idea i had in mind before being in close relation with them. In addition, Lyon is a city which is close to many beautiful cities and countries (Suisse, Spain, Italy, Germany). This made the travel easier, meet a new relations and enlarge my friendship circle.
  • Eylul Eroglu
    Overall experience 4 stars
    4 stars
    University social
    3 stars
    2 stars
    University facilities
    3 stars
    ITECH Lyon Biochemistry
    What's it like to study in France?
    The locals are friendly and helpful only if you can speak French.
    There are several museums and places to visit and many events (fairs, parties etc) for university students.

Key facts

  • Euro € Currency
  • 2.8 million Student population
  • French Language
  • 100 Universities

Where can you study in France?

France has a high standard of living across the country and has a multicultural society. The country is used to welcoming international students, especially in the larger cities.

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.

The North of France, including Paris, has hot summers and cold winters, whilst the South enjoys a Mediterranean climate of mild winters and hot summers. The Alps and the Pyrenees have cold winters which are great for skiing and other winter sports.

Universities in France

What are the requirements to study in France?


The entry requirements for each program in France will vary between different universities and areas of study. As a minimum you will need to have completed secondary education in your home country to a satisfactory level to be accepted by a university in France.

English language tests

International students wanting to study in France, in English, will need to prove their English language proficiency to the university they are applying to. The specific university will be able to advise on whether they require a TOEFL or IELTS certification, and the required score.

France student visa

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 the following 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)

How to study in France

  1. Find a university and a program you want to study in France
  2. Create an account on the University’s website to apply
  3. Fill in your personal details
  4. Submit or upload your supporting documents as requested. This may include translated and notarized transcripts, test scores, your passport, reference letters, any entry exams
  5. Pay your application fee and submit the application. Organize a phone or video interview if required
  6. Submit credential assessment evaluations (if required)
  7. Receive an offer to study at a French university
  8. Accept your offer and pay any fees or deposits to secure your place
  9. Start the process for your French VLS-TS residence permit

Alternative countries to consider