Student visa to France: preparatory courses and documents for admission
Studying in France offers the affordable quality European education that many students dream of. The excitement is mainly due to the lack of entrance exams and the high level of enrolment. Here, diploma grades and certificates play a major role.
Studying in France is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the life of a European country, to learn the French language and to acquire a globally sought-after profession. France's education system goes back nearly 10 centuries, nominally dating back to 1179 with the founding of the Sorbonne. Since then many changes have been made, the most recent being the introduction of the Bologna System, which is still in force today. However, thanks to centuries of experience, French education is still highly regarded around the world today.
France is one of the most advanced European countries receiving immigrant students. According to Campus France, some 2.5 million students study each year, 12% of them foreigners.
Studying in France is one of the priority reasons for obtaining a long-term visa or residence permit. Students can then apply for a French passport if certain conditions are met.
Benefits of studying in France
- Provision of benefits (including health care).
- Partial subsidy for living expenses
- French diplomas are recognised all over the world.
- Opportunity to combine study and work (activity at work should not exceed 19.5 hours per week).
- Studying in France is not limited to the national language. There are more than 1,600 courses available in English. Find out more on the Campus France platform.
What do I need to do to enter a French university
Most French universities do not have entrance exams. The grades on your school leaving certificate or diploma play an important role. Additional training and examinations are required for admission to higher education institutions.
You may apply through Campus France or directly to your university.
In addition to a translated and notarized diploma or certificate, foreign applicants are required to submit:
- TCF-DAP or TCF-TP and DELF or DALF exam results for French studies; TOEFL/IELTS results for English studies
- Letter of motivation
- Proof of financial means from €615 per month.
University application documents
The list of documents required for admission to a French university depends on the requirements of your particular institution, but a CV, perseverance and ambition are always required. Most national and public universities request an application through the Études en France portal.
In addition, it may be required:
- Test results for TCF-DAP or TCF-TP and DELF or DALF (if your language is French).
- TOELF/IFLTS results https://www.ielts.org/ (for studies in English).
- Letter of motivation (1 to 2 pages for the Admissions Committee to assess the seriousness of the applicant's intentions).
- Portfolio (for creative speciality).
- Copy of personal documents
- A special recommendation letter (reference letter) from the place of work or study abroad.
- Research projects (related to the Master's programme).
The application deadline must be taken into account when submitting the application. Documents for the undergraduate programme will be processed until mid-January. If you are studying for a master's degree, you need to apply for admission by the end of February.
Student visa for France
To study in France a prospective student must obtain a visa allowing him/her to stay in the state for more than 90 days. There are temporary visas and long-stay visas. Temporary visa (VLS-T) allows a student to remain in France for one year to study.
Long-term (VLS-TS) visas are:
- Student long-term visa (Student VLS-TS), which is equivalent to a residence permit, for undergraduate and postgraduate studies;
- The Talent passport (The Talent passport VLS-TS) for doctoral and post-doctoral studies;
- The Internship visa (Internship VLS-TS), which is obtained through a prior agreement with a company or university.
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