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January 15, 2024

Study in France: Complete Guide for International Students

If you’re considering your next European study destination, France should undoubtedly be your choice for studying abroad!


France is a popular choice for over 250,000 international students seeking to study abroad, and it’s not without reason. Globally, France holds the 8th position and stands 5th in Europe among the top destinations for academic pursuits. The country’s vibrant cultural heritage, delectable cuisine, picturesque sights, and renowned universities contribute to its ranking as the 3rd most preferred destination for students looking to immerse themselves in a new culture or lifestyle.Opting to pursue your studies in France adds significant value to your resume. 

Student Visas and permit

For non-European nationals intending to stay in France for more than three months for educational purposes, obtaining a long-stay visa is mandatory. There are two distinct types of French student visas available.

The long Term Visa used as Residence Permit (VLS-TS)

Upon arrival in France, the specific visa requires validation and grants a one-year stay without the necessity of applying for a residence permit. Depending on your academic level, there are three distinct long-stay student visas available:

  • For Bachelor’s and Master’s studies: The Student VLS-TS Visa
  • For Doctorate studies: The Talent Passport VLS-TS Visa
  • For internships: The Internship VLS-TS Visa

The temporary long term Visa (TLV-T)

The temporary long-term visa is non-renewable and does not require certification upon arrival. This kind of visa enables you to travel freely throughout the Schengen area, take use of French social security benefits, and remain in France for a year for educational purposes.

Education system in France

The French higher education system is distinguished by its diverse training programs, interactive learning environment, and a commitment to delivering high-quality education. Each year, it hosts around 2.5 million students, with approximately 12% of them coming from foreign countries. As an international student in France, you have the flexibility to select from a wide range of degrees like

  • Bachelor
  • Masters
  • Doctorate 
  • MBA 

Choosing to pursue an MBA in France is a highly regarded decision for higher education, given that France holds the position of the 7th largest economy globally and the 3rd largest in Europe. Consequently, it stands as an excellent destination for studying business.

Required Documents

Most applications to universities in France consist of: 

  • A completed application that has been signed by an official
  • Authorization of Campus France
  • ID pictures and a civil liability certificate
  • The passport
  • Transcripts from high school
  • An essay (should the university request one)
  • Evidence of proficiency in either French or English, depending on the programme
  • Evidence of application fee paid

Tuition Fee and Scholarships

For both European and non-European students, tuition fees are extremely reasonable in spite of high living expenses. The cost of a bachelor’s degree in Europe is merely 170 EUR, a master’s degree is 243 EUR, and a doctorate is 380 EUR. At engineering schools, the cost is 610 EUR. 

Should you be an international student from outside of Europe, the French government may pay for two thirds of your tuition. How is that possible to occur? You will be eligible for a charge reduction if you can demonstrate that you are not a permanent resident of France. The Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation must oversee the institution where you are enrolled.In that sense, the annual cost of a bachelor’s degree is 2,770 EUR, a master’s degree is 3,770 EUR, and a doctorate is 380 EUR.


The French Foreign Ministry, in collaboration with other organizations and European programmes, provides an extensive array of scholarships. Scholarships from the Ministry of Higher Education are also given out in accordance with certain requirements.

More than two million students have benefited from Erasmus+ scholarships, which are also an excellent way to pay for your education. It is highly recommended that you take into account the Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Programme for courses leading to a master’s or doctorate.

Housing and living Costs

The city you choose to study in and, of course, your lifestyle have a major influence on the cost of living in France. It would cost more to study in Paris than in a smaller city with fewer students. Generally, monthly expenses for groceries will not exceed 400 EUR, internet access will cost you 26 EUR, electricity will cost you less than 50 EUR, and health insurance will cost you 25 EUR. Regardless, remember to utilize your student discounts for dining, transportation, and touring. Furthermore, CROUS offers eateries with meals costing less than 5 EUR, aside from lodging. That’s really cool.


As you embark on this exciting educational journey, remember that studying in France is not just about acquiring knowledge but also about embracing a new way of life. The experiences you gain will shape your future, opening doors to a world of possibilities.There are public and private specialised schools in France that prepare students for vocations in a variety of sectors, including social work, architecture, tourism, and the arts. Moreover, master’s degrees are offered.

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