Study in France: the ultimate guide for a Bachelor in 2024
France is considered a very international student-friendly destination due to the quality of its education system, as well as its friendly student life, affordable healthcare, and protected housing laws. Find out why France is a great place to study abroad, how the French higher education system works, the procedure for applying to a French university, and other important details
Studying abroad has many advantages, and a French higher education will add additional value to your resume. For students from all over the world, France is an attractive destination for undergraduate or graduate studies, as it is considered very student-friendly, thanks to its quality education system, hospitable student life, affordable medical care and a strong legal framework. France has maintained its status as a European and world center of philosophy, art, culture and science for centuries, and is currently a global center of business, technology and tourism.
Studying in France is a great choice for international students. We have collected all useful information about obtaining higher education in France in our guide.
Why is France a great place to study abroad?
1. Affordable tuition fees
The tuition fee for students who are citizens of member states of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) is about 800 euros per year.
In certain cases, third-country nationals can also take advantage of this benefit, but they usually pay a higher tuition fee. However, studying in France remains cheaper than other countries such as USA, UK, Canada, Australia etc.
2. The number of degrees taught in English is increasing
To attract more international students, both public and private French universities are increasing the number of study programs taught in English. Currently, more than 1,500 courses taught in English have been created in the country, and their number is growing every year.
3. Great opportunities to learn or improve the French language
Although English remains the primary language for international communication, French is the third most common language of business and the official language of more than 30 countries around the world.
4. France is a center of research and innovation
Many French higher education institutions invest in research facilities and staff. More than 64 Nobel Prize laureates worked in France.
5. Tourist attractions
In addition to studying, students will be able to explore the tourist potential of France - Lascaux, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the French Riviera - these and many other attractions have turned France into one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
How does the French higher education system work?
The system of higher education in France has three levels:
- The first level of study, known as a license and equivalent to a bachelor's degree;
- Second-level education equivalent to a master's degree;
- Third-level studies or doctoral studies.
In France, applicants can choose between three types of French higher education institutions: universities, Grandes écoles (high schools) and specialized schools.
French universities are public institutions that offer academic, technical and professional degrees to high school graduates. Available programs are science, literature, languages, arts, humanities, medicine and sports.
The most popular among foreign applicants are the Grandes écoles, which admit students based on the results of exams and interviews. They offer single degree programs in fields such as engineering, business, architecture, and more.
Specialized schools in France can be public or private and prepare students for professional careers in fields such as art, social work or tourism.
The procedure for admission to a French university for foreigners
The procedure for submitting an application to a French university depends on the applicant's nationality and the type of institution to which you aspire.
- Applicants who are citizens of EU member states apply for studies in France directly to the chosen university, just like French citizens. You simply choose your program and upload your documents to the Parcoursup national registration platform.
- Applicants who are citizens of non-EU countries apply to study in France through a special procedure called Études en France на Campus France, which includes submitting documents to the university and requesting a visa.
Applicants must obtain a DAP (Demande d'Admission Préalable) admission certificate before registering on the Campus France website and pass a French language test (level B2).
You do not need a DAP if you are applying for the 2nd or 3rd year of a Bachelor's or Master's program or if you have a European or International Baccalaureate or a scholarship from the French government.
The Études en France application process consists of four stages: registration on the platform, submission of a package of documents, payment of the fee and participation in the interview.
Importantly! Students applying to undergraduate programs can apply to a maximum of three universities, and students pursuing a master's degree can apply to a maximum of seven universities.
Schedule of admission to French universities
Stage 1 - Applications Open: The Etudes en France application process starts in October or January. Parcoursup applications are accepted from January to April.
Stage 2 – DAP pre-registration application: you can apply from October to mid-December.
Stage 3 – evaluation of the application: from January to March.
Step 4 - Admission: You will receive a response in April and you will need to make a final decision by the end of May.
List of documents for admission to a French university
Approximate list of documents for admission to a French university:
- Passport or ID card.
- Passport size photo.
- DAP certificate (for 1st year students who are citizens of non-EU countries).
- Generalized test scores, such as GRE, GMAT or LSAT (upon request).
- Letter of motivation.
- Proof of language proficiency: English (TOEFL or IELTS) or French (DELF/DALF or TCF).
- Diploma of secondary education.
- Recommendation letter.
- Confirmation of financial capabilities (minimum 800 euros per month).
- A copy of the birth certificate.
- Other documents required by the university.
The cost of studying in France
The cost of studying in France depends on whether the program is private or public, as well as on the status of the student, that is, whether he is an EU citizen or has a special status. The French government subsidizes higher education, so even for international students studying in France, tuition fees at public higher education institutions are relatively low.
The cost of education in the 2023/24 academic year is:
1. For European students:
- €170 per year for a bachelor's degree;
- 243€ per year – master's degree;
- €601 per year in doctoral studies.
For students who are not EU citizens:
- 2770€ per year at the bachelor's level.
- €3,770 per year for a master's degree.
Tuition fees at private educational institutions, especially private business schools, are usually much higher than at public institutions and range from €3,000 to €10,000 per year.
You can find out about the current tuition rates on the website of the educational institution.
Cost of living in France
Depending on which city you choose to live in France, the cost of living will vary. In general, you should prepare about 700-1200€ per month to cover the student's living expenses. In more expensive cities like Paris, you'll need around €1,200-€1,800 per month.
Studying in France is a great idea for international students, because in general, the cost of education and living is moderate, and the quality of education is quite high, making the country an affordable and attractive destination.
Daria Rogova, Head of Insurance at Visit World
To move, travel or work safely in a new country, you will need health insurance. You can apply for an extended policy on our website here.
Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:
Checklist for obtaining a visa and necessary documents in France;
Legal advice from a local specialist on visa and migration issues;
Travel insurance for foreigners in France;
Medical insurance all over the world.
We monitor the accuracy and relevance of our information. Therefore, if you see any error or discrepancy, please write to our hotline.
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