Study In France

France offers an immersive academic experience to students and is known as the centre of philosophy, culture, and arts. The country is home to some 3500 study institutions offering courses in much-in-demand subjects like technology, economics and business, culinary studies, hospitality, fashion, and tourism. French universities extend immense support to international students and offers a warm and friendly environment for them to sustain and flourish.

Important Facts About the France

  • France is known to be one of the most student-friendly countries.
  • It stood 5th on the list of the countries with the best educational systems – 2021 Best Countries Report published by the World Population Review. The US, the UK, Germany, and Canada are four countries preceding France on this list!
  • Most French institutions provide a waiver on the English language proficiency test, GRE, GMAT and other tests.
  • Tuition fees in France is considered one of the lowest compared to other countries.
  • International students in France can avail benefits/discounts while travelling, shopping and using healthcare.
  • International students coming to France can take advantage of various scholarships awarded by the French Foreign Ministry. Almost 25% of these scholarships are directly sponsored by the Ministry in the Framework of Eiffel.
  • France serves as a headquarter for several financial organizations and fashion brands.
  • Learning French opens doors to 30 countries that have adopted French as their official language.

Education System In France

France has embraced the LMD system, which means Licence-Master-Doctorat (Bachelor’s-Master’s-Doctorate). This system is resultant of the Bologna Process, which equalizes the qualifications in Europe.

In the LMD framework, the students earn their degrees by completing a set of semesters. They receive 30 ECTS (European Credits Transfer System) in each semester. These credits can be transferred to other European countries.

  • Licence: This is a three-year or six-semester degree program, which is equivalent to bachelor’s degree in English speaking world. Students earn 180 ECTS credits during their Licence.
  • Masters: This is a two-year or four-semester degree program, which is equivalent to master’s degree in English speaking world. Students earn 120 ECTS credits during masters.
  • Doctorate: This is usually awarded after completing 16 semesters and students earn 480 ECTS credits on successful completion of the program. It usually takes a minimum of three years after the master’s program to complete a doctorate.

Grading System In France

In France, students’ academic performance is evaluated on a grading of 0-20. To pass, the student has to earn 10 points. French universities rarely award 20, 19, and 18 grades to students because they are stricter than secondary schools in the country.

International Scale French Scale
A (excellent) 18 & above
B (very good, with few errors) 16-18
C (good, with few errors) 14-16
D (satisfactory, with many errors) 12-14
E (sufficient) 10 - 12
F (Failed) Lower than 10

Types Of Educational Institutes In France

There are three types of educational institutions in France, and they are:

  • Universities: They are public institutions where students can enroll for technical, economic, and professional degrees. A student who has successfully completed the international baccalauréat or bac can enroll for LMD programs – licence, master, and doctorat at French universities.
  • Grandes ecoles: They are specialized private and public universities in France, which offer specialized degrees. These institutes are highly selective and offer training and research in the fields of business education, scientific research, and engineering. Students are admitted after an extremely competitive process.
  • Specialized schools: These are private and public institutes that offer licence and master’s degrees in special fields, such as social work, architecture, art, and tourism.

Best Courses to Study In France

Top Universities to Study in France

French Universities QS University Rankings 2022 QS University Rankings 2023
Universite PSL (Paris Sciences & Lettres) 44 26
Institut Polytechnique de Paris 49 48
Sorbonne University 72 60
Universit Paris-Saclay 86 69
Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon 130 111
Ecole des Ponts ParisTech 245 174
Sciences Po Paris 261 259
Universite Paris Cite 261 248
Universite Paris 1 Pantheon- Sorbonne 290 300
Universite Grenoble Alpes 314 317

Top Universities In France to Study Without IELTS

Listed below are the top-ranked universities in France that accept scores of tests to demonstrate English Language Proficiency other than the IELTS.

  • Paris School of Business 
  • SKEMA Business Schools  
  • NEOMA Business Schools  
  • ISC Paris 
  • Toulouse Business School 
  • EBS Paris 
  • EPITA Graduate School of Computer Science 
  • ESAIP School of Engineers
  • ESGCI Paris
  • SLSCA Business School 
  • IESA International  
  • INSEEC Business School 
  • ESC Rennes School of Business 
  • American Business School 

 

These universities accept the following test scores:

  • TOEFL iBT
  • TOEIC
  • PTE
  • CAE
  • Cambridge – B2
  • English MCQs
  • Duolingo
  • Cambridge

List Of Cost-Efficient French Universities

It is well-known that France is one of the most expensive countries to pursue your higher education. However, international students need not panic, because many public universities charge low tuition fees or no tuition fee from international students. Many public universities charge €170 per year to international and in-state students for bachelor’s degree. Below mentioned is the list of universities offering affordable and quality education in France to international students:

Universities Name QS Top University Rankings
University of Strasbourg Public Research University
Paris Cite University Public Research University
University of Burgundy Public University
Ecole Centrale de Lyon Public Research University
Sciences Po Public Research University
Ecole Polytechnique Public Research University
Nantes University Public Research University
Paris School of Business Private Business School
University of Orleans Public University
Montpellier University Public Research University
Paul Valery University Montpellier 3 Public University
University of Angers Public University
University of Caen Normandy Public University
Paris Nanterre University Public Research University
Universite Jean Moulin Lyon 3 Public Research University

There are many Grandes ecoles on this list, which have stringent acceptance requirements.

Admission Process to Study in France

Mentioned below are the standard steps to applying for admission:

1. Make a list of colleges and courses you wish to pursue.

2. Visit the Etudes en France Website and create an account.

3. You can create the account using your Campus France Registration Number.

4. Go to Campus France website to access the account.

5. Apply to institutes in France through the portal. Click on Applicant to apply.

6. Arrange for SOP (Statement of Purpose), LOR (Letter of Recommendation), photographs, academic records (marksheets + certificates), CV, passport, etc.

7. You can apply for three or more programs using the link.

8. Submit the motivation letter to the program.

9. You will receive an appointment for the academic interview from Campus France.

10. You can attend the video interview or interview in person.

11. Carry all required documents during the interview.

12. The documents will be verified by the Campus France advisor against the originals and returned to the student.

13. You will start receiving responses from your applied institutes once your file is validated by the Campus France advisor.

14. Next, apply for the visa after receiving your acceptance letter.

Eligibility Criteria To Study In France

For UG Courses in French Universities: 

It is essential to meet all the Eligibility Requirements for the UG Courses before applying for them at any French university. 

  • The student must have completed a high school diploma or the equivalent French baccalaureate or degree.
  • A student must clear the specific entrance exams in the institution of their choice.
  • If students wish to study technical courses, they may be required to appear for personal interviews.
  • Some universities also require students to submit IELTS/ TOEFL scores.

Note: If a student wishes to seek admission to Grandes Ecoles, the competitive exam score held by the organization will be considered. The competitive exams are usually conducted after two years preparation program. They are known as Classe préparatoire aux grandes écoles or CGPE. The CGPE is one of the most intensive preparatory programs where students have to undertake 29 to 45 hours of classes in a week, including 10 hours of oral sessions and guided tutorials.

For PG Courses in French Universities:

The French postgraduate programs fall into three categories: Taught masters, Research masters, and doctorate and PhD.

  • Students must possess a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent diploma before applying for Master’s in France.
  • The students applying for the doctoral program must possess a relevant diploma or master’s degree.
  • French Universities will often require the scores of standardized tests like the GRE, GMAT, SAT etc.
  • Some universities provide admission based on the interview level.
  • It is also essential to submit the academic transcripts for the UG degree, which must be certified by the institution.

The students need to submit the following documents along with the application form:

  • Mark sheets of Standard X, XII, and Bachelor’s degree
  • Pre-registration certificate offered by the University
  • An authorization of Campus France
  • A copy of your passport that is valid for a duration of your study period 
  • English or French language certificate (depending on the medium of instruction)
  • A Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • A well-written resume
  • Proof of funds
  • Health insurance
  • At least two Academic reference letters from the most recent professors who have taught you.
  • Work experience (if any), then two letters of recommendation (LOR) from the employer/manager who knows you well.

Intakes In France

There are two key intakes in France – September Intake and January Intake. Let’s look at the timeline of these intakes.

September Intake: This is the primary intake in France and is also known as Fall Intake. Most French Universities offer plenty of courses in this intake. Here is the timeline for the intake.

  • March – April: Shortlist 8-10 universities in France and check their websites for application requirements, due dates, course structure, and other information. If they meet your requirements, you can download brochures, enquire about scholarships and bank loan options, and so on.
  • April – June: Start appearing for required standardized tests like GMAT, GRE, IELTS, TOEFL, and so on.
  • May – June: Arrange all necessary documents required for application such as reference letters, essays, SOPs, and so on.
  • July – August: Appear for personal interviews and accept the offer letter. You may be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to affirm your admission to the university.
  • August – September: Apply for a student loan, scholarships, and student visas.
  • September: Book tickets and get ready to start your new semester in France!

January Intake: This is the secondary intake in France and is also known as Spring Intake. Here is the timeline for the intake.

  • May – June of Previous Year: Shortlist 8-10 universities in France and check their websites for application requirements, due dates, course structure, and other information. If they meet your requirements, you can download brochures, enquire about scholarships and bank loan options, and so on.
  • July – August: Start appearing for required standardized tests like GMAT, GRE, IELTS, TOEFL, and so on.
  • August – September: Arrange all necessary documents required for application such as reference letters, essays, SOPs, and so on.
  • September – October: Appear for personal interviews and accept the offer letter. You may be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to affirm your admission to the university.
  • October – November: Apply for student loan, scholarships, and student visa.
  • November – December: Book tickets and prepare for your new semester in France!

Cost Of Studying In France For Indian Students

The quality of education is outstanding, and the tuition fees vary depending on the study level and course that a student chooses. Below mentioned are the average tuition fees for courses in France:

Types of Expenses (Annual) Expenses in Euro (€)
Tuition Fees (Public Universities) €2,770 at the licence (bachelor) level
€3,770 at the master level
€380 at doctorate level
Tuition Fees (Grandes Ecoles) The fees may range from €450 to €1100 in publicly funded Grandes Ecoles. In privately funded Grandes Ecoles, such as engineering schools, the tuition fees can be about €25,000.
Tuition Fees (Private Institutions) The fees range from €3,000 to €10,000 per year.
Costs of Accommodation € 200/month for students’ hall of residence, €400-€700/month rent for shared apartment, €200-€800/month living with a host family

Types Of Student Visa to Study In France

The French Student Visas are broadly classified on the kind of stay expected. Depending on the duration of your visit (or duration of your course), you can apply either to a Short Stay visa, a temporary long-stay visa or a long-stay visa. Here’s a quick look at them.

  • Visa de court sejour pour etudes: This is a short-stay student visa, which is valid for 3 months and is ideal for students planning to take up short language programs in France.
  • Visa de long sejour temporaire pour etudes: This is temporary long stay student visa that is valid for four months up to a year. The students planning to take up courses that may last between 3 and 6 months.
  • Visa de long sejour etudes: This is a long stay visa also called the residence permit -VLT-TS, and it stands valid for the entire course duration.
  • Etudiant Concours: This visa is issued for 90 days and is valid for entrance exams.  A student can apply to their local prefecture for a 1-year renewable, residence permit after clearing the exam.

How to Apply for a French Student Visa?

A step-by-step process to make an online application for French Student Visa is as mentioned below:

1. Visit https://france-visas.gouv.fr/ to make a visa application.

2. Create an account on France Visas and use it at every step of the application process.

3. You will get a link for appointment scheduling with VFS-France. Carry photocopies of your documents and original passport.

4. Be present for the interview on the appointed date with all validated documents and register your biometric data.

Note: You have to validate your residence permit or long-stay visa (VLS-TS) within three months of arrival in the country by clicking on: https://administration-etrangers-en-france.interieur.gouv.fr/particuliers/

Important documents to be carried during French visa interview

Best Student Cities In France

The best student cities in France for international students are chosen every year based on factors like affordability, desirability, student friendliness, and so on. The following are top 4 French student cities as per the QS Best Student Cities 2022/23.

Paris

Lyon

Toulouse

Montpellier

Exams to Study in France

Language proficiency test requirements:

In France, many courses are taught in French and English. Depending on your chosen medium of instruction, you can submit the results of the following language tests.

French

  • TCF: This test is conducted by the French Ministry of National Education, Youth, and Sports to assess the language skills of non-French speakers. The TCF scores are indicative of your level of proficiency. For example, if you score 100-199 points then you are an elementary (A1) speaker, and if scores are 600-699 points, then you are a Superior (C2) speaker.
  • DELF or DALF: This refers to Diploma in French language studies (DELF) and an advanced diploma in the French language (DALF). A score of 50/100 is accepted by many French universities.

English

  • IELTS: Most universities in France, offering courses in English, accept the average IELTS score of 6.3 bands.
  • TOEFL iBT: When applying to universities in France, students must submit the TOEFL iBT scores.

Standardized Tests

  • Graduate Record Examinations (GRE): This test is taken by students seeking admission to various graduate programs in France.
  • Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT): This test is taken by students seeking admission to business schools in France.

Government and Non-government Scholarships To Study In France

Type of Scholarship Name of Scholarship Description
Government Funded Scholarships Eiffel Scholarship Program of Excellence This scholarship is awarded to students wishing to study for master’s and PhD in selected institutions in France by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.
Erasmus + This scholarship is provided by the European Commission to students wishing to pursue courses in EU. It offers grants towards living costs while participating in the exchange programs in the country.
The Charpak Scholarship Programme This scholarship is provided to Indian students by the Embassy of France in India. Named after a French Physicist - Georges Charpak, the scholarship is awarded at four levels - license programmes, master’s degree programmes, research internships, and exchange programmes.
Raman Charpak Fellowship (PhD) This fellowship is jointly awarded by the Embassy of France in India, the Ministry for Europe & Foreign Affairs, Government of France, and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) of the Government of India to support students who want to perform research in a research institute/university and development institute based in India/France. Any French or Indian citizen residing in France or India, and has registered for a PhD in a recognized university or institution in their country can apply.
La Femis This is a fully funded scholarship program designed by La Fémis and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development to support Indian students who want to improve their theoretical and practical experience of documentary film production or filmmaking. The duration of this program is 9 weeks, with classes being conducted 5 days a week. Every year 15 Indian students are chosen for this scholarship. The awardee receives a stipend, medical insurance, and a return ticket to France.
Make Our Planet Great Again (MOPGA) This scholarship is awarded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MAE) as well as the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MESRI) to Indian students wishing to pursue a master’s degree in a specific area of study.
Franco-Indian Trust Scholarships Shikhar Thales Scholarship Program This scholarship is awarded to students wishing to pursue a master’s degree in engineering disciplines like aerospace, communication and control systems, and AI at one of the higher education institutions in France.
UGAM Legrand Scholarship This scholarship is awarded by Legrand Group in association with the Franco-Indian Education Trust with the support of the French Embassy in India. It is awarded to students wishing to pursue their studies in management and engineering disciplines.
Co-Financed Scholarships Sciences PO This scholarship is jointly awarded by the Embassy of France in India and Sciences PO university to students wishing to pursue their higher studies at Sciences PO Paris, an international research university known for promoting research in social sciences and humanities.
The Neemrana Music Foundation This scholarship is jointly awarded by the Embassy of France in India and the Neemrana Music Foundation in Delhi to students who want to pursue higher education in western classical music at any of the prestigious music schools in France.

Post Study Work Visa in France

Indian students would require a work contract or the promise of employment to continue in France after their studies. They must possess a contract, which indicates their payment will be at least one and half times the minimum wage in France, which is € 2,200, as of 2017. If the student doesn’t possess the promise of employment or work contract, they may raise a request an Autorisation Provisoire de Sejour (APS – temporary resident permit) that is valid for the next 12 months. To make a request, the student must have completed a bachelor’s, master’s – level degree or must be planning to start their own business.

On-Campus And Off-Campus Jobs In France

A student can earn a minimum hourly wage of € 7.61 depending on the type of job and experience. The following are a few popular on-campus and off-campus jobs taken by a student.

On campus Jobs
1. Campus Monitor
2. University Assistantship

Off Campus Jobs
1. Private Tutor
2. Teaching Assistant
3. Uber Driver
4. Translator
5. Salesman
6. Waiter

Popular Career Prospects For International Students In France

The following are some highly paid jobs in France. The salaries would slightly differ based on experience, field of study, proficiency, and other factors.

Job Description Average Annual Salary (Euros)
Banking € 62,500 to € 179,000
Financial Services € 54,700 to € 157,000
Teaching € 54,700 to € 157,000
Computer Science and IT € 45,700 to €72,000
Electrical Services € 41,160 to €75,000

Frequently Asked Questions On Studying In France

The job market in France is extremely competitive for international students and the ones with the talent and skills to match the job requirements can get in. The working days in France in most organizations are Monday to Friday, 7 hours a day and 35 hours per week. France’s working culture is highly based on tradition and attention to detail.

A grande ecole is an elite higher education institution that follow a rigorous and highly competitive admission process. These institutions offer research, training, and teaching in architecture, engineering, business administration, academic research, as well as public policy and administration.

Most grande ecoles are publicly organized and do not charge high tuition fees. However, some are privately organized, too. They may include business schools, engineering schools, and so on. These institutes may charge high tuition fees.

Working knowledge of French is essential for international students in France if they wish to build a career in the country.

Indian students can find jobs in France through online websites such as Pole Emploi, or the European Employment Services, EURES or their networks.

It will depend on the course you are applying for. For instance, if you are selecting a course with an English medium of instruction, the university may require you to submit IELTS results. However, some may universities may accept scores of other English proficiency exams.

Education in France is not entirely free, and compared to other European and English Speaking countries, tuition fees in France is quite affordable. The government of the country subsidizes higher education. The French government bears the major share of the tuition fees.

Compared to neighbouring European countries and other English-speaking countries, France is one of the most affordable countries, especially considering the quality of education it provides.

No, the public universities in France are not free for international students.

Students are allowed to work part-time for 20 hours per week. In academic breaks, students can work full-time without any restrictions.

Have any questions?