Study Abroad in France

Study Abroad in France

France is a very popular tourist destination. Over 30 million people visit the country’s beautiful beaches, snow covered mountains, rolling countryside and great cities like Paris, Marseilles, and Lyon every year. Therefore, it is not surprising that it also happens to be one of the most popular study abroad destinations of students. While the country is mostly known for it’s vibrancy of culture, museums and cuisine; France also has one of the best higher education systems in the world.

A student can expect to have a very enriching and multicultural experience while studying in the country as it draws students from many countries.

International Students Studying in France Will Benefit from Very Low Tuition Rates

One of the biggest benefits of International students is that the French government bears the cost of education. As a result, international students can expect to pay up under $1,000 USD or less annually in tuition at most public universities and institutions in France. While students are expected to cover their own living expenses, depending on where you study, France can be a very affordable study destination.

Annual Tuition Rates Public Universities

The rates for the 2017-18 academic year are listed by degree program:

  • $220 USD for Bachelor’s programs
  • $356 USD for Master’s programs
  • $464 USD for Doctoral/PHD programs

Additional fees may be assessed depending on the type of service.

Tuition Rates at Private Institutions in France

Tuition rates at private institutions and schools of Business and Management tend to range from $3593 to $12,000 annually or higher annually.

Application Requirements and Deadlines in France

Applying to a university in France students need to ensure they are applying in the correct location.

EU/EEA students can apply directly through the university of their choice.
Non-EU/EEA students need to apply through the French national agency promoting higher education and international students and mobility.

Semester System in France

Winter semester in France generally begins in October and ends in January.

Summer semester begins in February and ends in September.

Students Can Apply to a University Two Times a Year

The application period begins in February and generally ends sometime in May for International Students and June for EU/EEA students. (Verify official deadlines for each university on

Application Period

The application period generally begins in September and ends in January. (Verify official deadlines for each university on All applications for undergraduate programs should be submitted through Postgraduate applications can be submitted directly through the university website.

Financing Your Studies in France

Student’s have the following options for financing their study abroad experience in France:

Financial Aid

The U.S. Department of Education makes Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Graduate Plus Loans available to eligible student borrowers at participating institutions in France. Students may apply for a Direct Unsubsidized Loan up to $20,500 per academic year or a Graduate Plus loan (amounts vary).

The following institutions participate in the U.S. Government Federal William D. Ford Direct Loan Program:

Scholarships for International Students

The Campus Bourses website operated through offers a comprehensive list of scholarships available to international students from around the world.  You will find the tool to be very intuitive and easy to use. Select your country and start searching for scholarships today.


EU/EEA students: Some schools have partnered with the Banque Populaire Rives de Paris to offer loans to students of all nationalities up to a maximum amount of 21,500 Euros.

Student Jobs

Non-EU/EEA students and EU students are able to work up to 964 hours a year to help support themselves during their studies in France.  The students university must be enrolled in the national student health plan. Non-EU/EEA students must also have a valid residency permit.

There are many jobs to be found for international students in the tourist industry, such as at hotels, cafes, clubs and restaurants.

France Offers International Students Health Insurance

International students are required to have health insurance when attending a university in another country.  Some countries require students to enroll in an international health insurance plan to get visa approval.  France is different in that it offers students health insurance through its national student health care plan.

France has one of the most recognized health systems in the world.  Students benefit by not having to purchase expensive international health insurance.  Through France’s health plan, students receive preventative and wellness services for a nominal fee of around $242 a year. Thereby, students save a considerable amount of money in health insurance costs when studying in France.

Non-EU/EEA students are required to enroll in the plan.

EU/EEA students are exempted from participating in the plan if they have a European health insurance card (valid for one year) or can prove that they have private health insurance.

Visa Requirements

Students applying for Visa will have the following options depending on the duration of their program:

Short Stay Visa ((visa de court séjour)): Students studying in the country for 90 days or less, from the following countries, will not need to apply for a visa before entering the country:

Albania Andorra Antigua & Barbuda Argentina Australia Austria Bahamas Belgium Bosnia Brazil Bulgaria Canada Chile Costa Rica Croatia Denmark El Salvador Honduras Iceland Ireland Israel Italy Japan Lithuania Mexico Moldova  New Zealand Norway Poland Singapore Slovenia South Korea Spain Sweden Switzerland Taiwan United Kingdom United States Vatican City Venezuela

Temporary Long-Stay Visa (Visa long séjour temporaire de six mois):  This visa is valid for stays up to 6 months.

Long Stay Visa (visa de long séjour): If you are planning on staying for longer than 3 months, you will need a Long Stay Visa.  This visa is valid for stays from 3 to 12 months.  You need to apply for this visa in your home country before landing in France. Once you arrive in France, you will need to apply for a temporary stay permit.

How Students Can Find Accommodation in France

Student Housing

French universities offer student accommodation known as “Cités-U” and are run by CROUS the national student service agency.  There is a large demand for student housing, especially in Paris.  Therefore, housing is usually reserved for financial aid and scholarship recipients and exchange students.   You can find information regarding these housing agencies at the following websites:

Private Rentals

Private apartment rentals are also available for students at the following websites:

ADELE the Association for Economic Development provides a website with student housing around France.

Estudines  offers apartments in thirty different cities around France from $481 to $963.

CLEF the Center for Student Accommodation in France offers student housing located in several cities (Grenoble, Rouen, and Evreux)  in France with rents ranging from $240 to $361.

You May Also Like:

10 Reasons to Study in France

Step-by-Step Guide to Financing Your Studies in France

Top 20 Study Abroad Destinations of American Students

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