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Study in France: A Guide For International Students

Are you looking for your next European study destination? If yes, you should definitely decide to study abroad in France! The benefits of studying abroad are countless and France offers a unique academic experience to any student seeking for a sophisticated and dynamic environment to thrive in.

Nov 28, 2013
  • Study Abroad in France

Are you looking for your next European study destination? If yes, you should definitely decide to study abroad in France! The benefits of studying abroad are countless and France offers a unique academic experience to any student seeking for a sophisticated and dynamic environment to thrive in.

Known as the French Republic or République française, France is a country located in Western Europe, expanding as well in overseas regions such as South America, French Guiana and different islands in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans. It shares borders with Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Andorra, Spain and the Netherlands. In fact, did you know that France is the country with the most time zones (twelve in number), due to its various territories around the world?

But why is study abroad in France the best choice you can make for your academic career and cultural development? Imagine living in a country full of picturesque landscapes, starting from the impressive capital, Paris, to the stunningly beautiful villages of the French South, the endless vineyards of Bordeaux, the fairytale-like city of Strasbourg or the covered in snow dreamy French Alps. 

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Choosing to study abroad in France will put extra value on your resume, as France maintains the status of a European and global center of philosophy, arts, culture and science for centuries and is currently a global business and technology and tourism center. France is a leading tourism destination welcoming more than 85 million tourists every year. In fact, the country has the fifth position of Unesco World Heritage Sites and ranks as the world's seventh largest economy. 

Why France is a great study abroad destination

More to that, France is actively involved in global fairs, as a leading member of the European Union and Eurozone, is a member of the United Nations Security Council, the Group of Seven (G7), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). 

More than 250,000 international students choose France as their study abroad destination and this is no surprise, as France ranks 8th globally and 5th in Europe among the world’s top study destinations! Due to its rich cultural heritage, cuisine, sightseeing and internationally acclaimed universities, France also ranks 3rd in student preferences when it comes to experiencing a new culture or lifestyle. 

Read through our Study in France Guide to find out more about why you should say ‘’oui’’ to studies in the France now!

France - Quick facts & figures

Population67 million
Area Size640,679 km²
International students358,000
Academic YearSeptember - June
CurrencyEuro (€)
Calling Code+33
Time zoneCET (UTC+1)

More about studying abroad in France

France is internationally known for being the center of arts, philosophy and culture as it is the homeland to some of the greatest thinkers of all time like Descartes, Foucault, Voltaire, Jean-Paul Satre or Simone de Beauvoir. The French education system is divided in three stages: The primary, secondary and higher education, all under the administration of the French Ministry of Education

Studies in France consist of public universities such as the famous Sorbonne University, specialized schools and the prestigious Grandes écoles, such as Sciences Po Paris for Political studies, HEC Paris for Economics, Polytechnique, the École des hautes études en sciences sociales for Social Studies to name a few. 

The universities are public institutions that offer academic, technical and professional degrees to students who have graduated from high school, obtaining their baccalauréat and degrees are awarded at three different levels of achievement, called cycles. Each high school is responsible for providing the relevant preparation regarding entrance into universities, Grandes écoles or specialized schools. The most popular studies in France include majors such as economics and business, fashion, hospitality, technology and tourism. 

The Grandes écoles are selective public and private institutions similar to universities, but typically offer more intensive and specialized three-year studies in majors such as business, public administration, or engineering. Admission to the Grandes écoles is pretty competitive based on the student’s scores on exams. However, students that aim to get admitted to Grandes écoles need to have received their baccalauréat and attend a two-year preparatory course called cours préparatoires or prépas. Students graduate from a Grande école with a Master's degree. 

Finally, studies in France also offer specialized schools which are public or private and train students for professional careers in various fields, such as art, architecture, social work, or tourism. They also offer Master’s degrees.

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Student Ambassador in France

Godslove is an Student Ambassador from Ghana. Follow her on Instagram to find out what it's like to study in France! 

Education System

Want to learn about how the higher education system works in France? France is a popular destination for a variety of students, given its diverse programs, affordable education and its culture and history. Take a minute to find out more about the structure of the education system in France!

Student Visas

Do you need a visa to enter France to study? Learn more about the student visa process, and what you need to enter the country, depending on your citizen status. You will also be required to bring certain documents with you to passport control at the airport, which we cover as well.

Housing & Living Costs

No matter where you study abroad, it’s important to create a budget in advance so that you’re prepared. Therefore, we’ve detailed average living and housing costs so that you can get a better idea of what you would be paying as a student in France.

Tuition Fees & Scholarships

Tuition fees for degree programs in France may vary. Both European and international students are expected to pay tuition fees in France. To cover the rest of the costs, there’s plenty of scholarship opportunities available.

Language & Culture

France is a country rich in history and culture. Find out more about what the country offers in terms of language, culture, and more!

Meet the English Requirements

French schools will normally want to see evidence of your English-language abilities. The TOEFL iBT® test is the preferred test of many French schools, helping your application to stand out. Find out more about the TOEFL iBT test.

Application Process

All countries have specific admissions requirements for students to gain acceptance into a university. Learn more about the ins and outs of admission to programs in France, and what you need to apply, depending on your citizenship.


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