Why Study in France

France is emerging as a popular international students’ destination abroad. Besides the breathtaking scenic beauty, dense historic past and cultural richness, France also houses some of the oldest universities in the world. The University of Paris founded in 1179, University of Toulouse founded in 1229 and University of Montpellier founded in 1289, are till date are rated worldwide as centers of academic excellence. During the last four years four French scientists have received the prestigious Nobel Prize, a signal honor for the country. This achievement reflects the high level and efficiency of engineering studies in France. Education in France is subsidized by the state and thus provides good value for money by offering internationally recognized degrees at affordable costs. In order to attract more international students, French Universities are now increasingly using English as the medium of instruction especially in areas like management, engineering, political sciences etc. For students lacking proficiency in French, language centers and special courses are available during vacation time.

Earning While Study in FRANCE

French law regulates work by international students of all nationalities in France. Students must not work more than 884 hours in a given year. During the academic year, they may work no more than 19.5 hours per week. During vacations, students may work full time (39 hours per week). International students wishing to work in France must obtain prior authorization from the French ministry of labour.

The President or Director of the university to which the student is applying, will decide on the recognition of diplomas/degrees on the basis of the recommendation of an education committee.
Higher Education in France offers the following two options: At Competitive Institutes (Grandes Ecoles) entry is selective. Specialization in engineering, commerce, civil services and teaching are offered. The duration of studies vary from 3 to 5 years. In State Universities, any student who has completed the secondary school diploma may qualify. Two categories of courses are offered: General courses – These are divided into 3 cycles. Each cycle leads to a national diploma. The 1st cycle is of 2 years for undergraduate studies. 2nd cycle is of 2 to 3 years of graduate studies and the 3rd cycle is of l to 3 years of post graduate studies. Professional courses – These are offered at “Instituts Universitaires Professionnalisés” (IUP). The curriculum consists of 3 years of technical courses with a 6 month vocation training and practice in an international firm. Medical studies which include medicine, dental studies and pharmacology are also offered at the universities at the Faculty of Medical Studies. The duration of these courses are 7 years. Art, Architecture, Agriculture, Law, Public Administration etc. are offered in specialized schools. The duration of these courses varies from 3 to 7 years.

Deadline

November 15 and January 15

It is the best time to seek provisional admission. The form is available from the Cultural, Scientific and Technical Section of the French Embassy or directly from the university, as the case may be.

February 1

The form should be duly completed and accompanied by required documents to the office from which it was obtained. You may apply simultaneously to several universities. The universities will give you an answer within two months. For Post Graduate Studies, the individual should contact directly the selected academic institutions to get provisional admission and other useful information about selection, fees, programs, etc.. The academic year usually runs from September to June.

International students who are not from Europe (that is, students who are not nationals of the countries of the European Economic Region plus Andorra, Monaco, Switzerland, San Marino, and Vatican City) must obtain a long-term visa marked “student” in order to study in France for longer than 3 months.
International students of all nationalities enjoy the right of multiple entries into France. Once granted, their visa is automatically renewed for the duration of their studies in France.
A special visa exists for prospective students. The so-called étudiant-concours visa is granted for stays of no more than 90 days for the purpose of taking an entrance examination or visiting institutions of higher education. Prospective students who pass their examination receive a full student visa without returning to their country of origin. The prospective student visa also may be granted to students whose admission to a higher education institution is contingent upon their completion of a short course of remedial or refresher work.
To obtain a visa, visit the French consulate in your place of residence or the visa office of the French embassy.

Two points to remember


1.Under no circumstances may a tourist visa be converted into a student visa. This is true throughout the European Union.
2.International students of all nationalities intending to stay in France for more than 3 months must obtain a student identification card.

What documentation do I need to get a visa?

A Passport

The following documents will be accepted as proof:
1.  An offer of preliminary admission
2. A statement of pre-registration in a public or private institution of higher education. The document must specify the level of study and the student’s subject. If the institution is private, the statement must indicate the number of course hours and state that registration fees have been paid in full.

Proof of financial resources

Each French embassy sets the level of financial resources to be demonstrated by prospective students from that country. The amount is on the order of 3,000 francs for each month to be spent in France.


1.Students receiving scholarship grants must produce a statement indicating the amount and duration of their grant on the letterhead of the granting organization.
2.If the required resources are guaranteed by an individual residing in France the student must produce a signed statement of financial responsibility, a photocopy of the national identity card of the guarantor, and proof of the guarantor’s own financial resources (such as the guarantor’s three most recent pay stubs and most recent tax return).
3.If the resources come from abroad, the student must demonstrate that a bank account has been opened into which the necessary funds will be deposited and produce a promise of payment, translated into French and bearing the authenticated signature of the individual responsible for making the payments, or a statement of payment of funds from the authorities of the student’s country of origin.

Proof of insurance coverage

Proof of insurance must be provided by students over 28 who are nationals of a country that does not have a reciprocity agreement with France or who are enrolled in an institution that is not recognized by the French government to participate in the student health insurance plan.

Parental authorization

Minors (individuals under 18 years of age) must furnish proof of consent by the person or persons having parental authority.

Required vaccinations

In some cases, the consulate may require proof of vaccination (e.g., against yellow fever, cholera…) before a visa will be issued.

Problems that may arise due to lack of finance may be overcame by various trusts and grants available. Many organizations are ready to finance you if you have some extra talent or you are good on your studies. These grants will be very helpful for continuing your higher studies in France.

Some of the grants available are:

French government grants

Grant applications are handled by the cultural service of French embassies abroad. For more information, contact the cultural service of the French embassy in your country, as well as the web site of the French ministry of foreign affairs.

Grants by your own country’s government

for study abroad or for study in France in particular. In some countries, private foundations and educational institutions offer financial aid for study abroad.

Grants from international and non-governmental organizations

For more information: UNESCO publishes a directory of grants in its publication, Study abroad.


1. American University of Paris
2. College de France
3. Ecole Centrale Paris
4. Ecole Centrale de Lyon
5. École Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées
6. École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris
7. Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de St-Etienne
8. Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Electronique d’Electrotechnique, d’Informatique et d’Hydraulique de Toulouse
9. Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Ingenieurs en Construction Aeronautique (ENSICA)
10. Ecole Nationale Superieure des telecomunnications de Paris (ENST)
11. Ecole Nationale de l’Aviation Civile (ENAC)
12. École Nationale des Telecommunications de Bretagne
13. École Normale Supérieure
14. Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon
15. École Polytechnique
16. École Supérieure D’Électricité
17. École Supérieure D’Ingénieur en Électronique et Électrotechnique
18. Ecole Supérieure en Sciences Informatiques
19. Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Paris
20. European Institute of Business Administration
21. Institut National de Physique Nucleaire et de Physique des Particules
22. Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon
23. Institut National des Sciences Appliquees de Toulouse
24. Institut National des Télécommunications
25. Institut Supérieure D’Electronique du Nord
26. Institut d’Informatique d’Entreprise
27. Institut des Mathematiques Appliquees de Grenoble
28. Strasbourg University
29. Université Paris IX Dauphine
30. Université d’Aix-Marseille III
31. Université d’Angers
32. Université de Caen
33. Université de Franche-Comté
34. Université de Marne la Vallée
35. Université de Provence
36. Université de Savoie
37. Université de la Méditerranée
38. Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille
39. Universite Lumiere Lyon
40. Universite d’Orleans
41. Universite de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour
42. Universite de Technologie Compiegne
43. University of Picardie
44. University of Rennes 1
45. Nantes University

In France, tuition fees vary from one institution to another and also between courses. At the universities, tuition fees vary from € 110 to € 750 per annum for a course leading to a national diploma. The tuition fees at “Competitive Universities” are approximately € 490 for public engineering schools. They vary from € 3600 to € 14,300 for private schools (engineering and business schools).
Accommodation expenses in towns, especially private lodgings, vary from € 300 to € 600 per month. In the university residence halls, the expenses vary from € 100 to € 150 per month.
Food, transportation and pocket money would amount to between € 350 to € 500 per month.
The cost of compulsory medical insurance is approximately € 130 to € 715 per year depending on the student’s age.
The cost of language training in France is approximately € 350 per month. It is therefore advisable to learn French from recognized learning centers before leaving for France. These are only average rates. For the very latest, current costs, contact the Cultural, Scientific and Technical Section of the French Embassy.


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