Study Abroad In France

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Admission Requirements for Study in France
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Why study in France?

Broadening Higher Education Prospects By Studying In France

France has been well known for the quality of life and is one of the founding members of the European Union and a signatory of the Schengen treaty. Most of the universities of higher education provide the programs in French and still it has become one of the favourite destinations for the international students to pursue higher education. Students can go for the license courses or the doctoral programs and can enjoy a research and practical based theoretical course in the universities and also can pursue technical education in the Grandes Ecoles or University Institutes of Technology.

Why study in France

Subjects like mathematics, Astrophysics, biology, medicine, genetics, physics and such technical subjects have been the mainstay of education in France. Country has been well known for its long term fastidious relation with the technical advancements, mostly through the Grande Ecole, which admits some of the best students in the world. The reasons why there has been a major inclination of the students towards the French education system are:

  • Affordable life in France is a major spur for the students. Most of the areas in France have reasonable living costs in comparison to the other capital cities of European countries. With financial support and scholarships, an outing in this country is quite easy, thereby motivating many students to get into Europe, and mainly into France. The jet set and haute couture lifestyle can be costly, but still with a bit of restraint, students will find it easy to make it work in the country.
  • In most of the universities in France, the language medium is increasingly being shifted to English, thereby allowing many foreign students to easily take up the courses.
  • The countries in Europe and in major areas of the world, are probably no match for the rich heritage and culturally famous country of France. It is not without reason that France has been able to secure a number 1 position as a tourist destination for many sightseeing places, rich culture, art and painting, unparalleled architecture, and some of the masterpieces of architecture and monuments.
  • Ranked 2nd in Europe and 4th in the world in terms of information technology, the country of France is the most suitable place for the subjects of science and technology. Many advancement in technical fields have encouraged the students to come into Europe and pursue courses that have direct employment in high place IT and technical companies.
  • In recent years, various political, economical and social changes have been brought about in the country and rules have become relaxed to allow more number of students. It would be an understatement to say that France has become a preferred place for the international students if the figure of 230,000 is quoted for the number of students coming to France every year.


The higher education system in France is made up of different establishments, both in the private and public sectors.

  • There are about 83 public sector Universities in France, which are funded by the state and have a strict policy for granting of diplomas and degrees. Due to this, these universities have been able to provide quality education in a modest cost.
  • Another group of institutions are the Grandes Ecoles and post graduate schools which offer the 5 year courses of which the first two years are preparatory classes and on the completion of this ‘Prepa’, the students can take admissions through entrance exam for the next part of the Ecoles. There are about 300 Grandes Ecoles presently in France, for the international students to take up courses of their interest. Although fee structures can be a bit on the higher side in these institutions, the small class sizes, better support system, and excellent network of international companies and alumni have proved to be more beneficial.
  • Technical institutions are the third type of educational institutions in the country and offer shorter courses of about 2- 3years. These courses are having multidisciplinary in nature and include internships with various companies and provide real time employment prospects.
  • A very big advantage of the degrees provided by the French education system is the provision of the LMD or the License Master Doctorat or Bachelor/master/doctorate system. By such a system, the degrees in France are validated with those of the other European countries.
  • Each level of education is nowadays validated by the ECTS credits rather than the completion of a certain number of years of studies. Different credit points in total for the bachelor’s degree are 180 ECTS for 6 semesters, 300 ECTS for 10 semesters in Master’s courses, and 16 semesters for the doctoral courses.

Various accreditation organisations have, from time to time, assessed the standard of education in France and most of the times the Grandes Ecoles have come on top. This also keeps the institutions on their toes to keep up their standard of education and quality of life for foreign students.

Admission requirements

  • Admissions into the Grandes Ecoles system was done in the form of an entrance examination after finishing two years of preparatory courses, and then in these institutes, 3 years of study was done. In recent years, there have been changes to accommodate the foreign students which are done in terms of grades and exam, and depend on the qualifications of the candidate.
  • For admissions into the higher education institutes, the students are required to show their secondary level education or graduate level certifications. Sometimes there might be variations in the entry level requirements according to the universities and due to which one should check in the particular university.
  • There are about 600 courses in France which are being presently taught in English and French knowledge is not required for these courses.
  • An IELTS score of 6 or above is required to take admissions in the English courses in France.
  • The applicants need to submit the certified true copies of the required documents along with the application form of the universities.
  • The university then decides whether the student should be given admission or not based on the academic background.
  • On acceptance of the application form, the confirmation letter or conditional letter is sent to the candidate, which is then utilised to issue the long stay student resident visa.
  • Next step is to complete the process of registration and pay the first instalment fees and sent to the respective university, after which the application for the accommodation facilities is to be done.
  • Later, the students will have to take an appointment with the French embassy for visa and also submit the relevant documents along with those required for the visa.
  • It is only after the visa has been approved that the students should book their air tickets for France.
  • The intake into the universities is done in two semesters which start in September and in February.

Visa requirements

  • Students intending to study for more than 6 months in France need to apply for the long stay visa, which is initially issued for one year. After the first year of study, the visa is again renewed.
  • Apart from the long stay visa, all nationals from countries other than European Union need to have student residency permit within 2 months of their arrival in France.
  • Immediately after landing in France, students need to comply with two important things. Firstly, they need to report in their new university and register for the classes and secondly, they should apply for the student residency permit.
  • For non-EU students the visa requirements are:

–       A valid passport with validity of 3 months beyond the applicants last day of stay in France

–       Medical insurance coverage valid for France with its proof

–       Photocopy of round trip ticket (if your study duration is less than 6 months and) one way ticket (if your study duration is greater than 6 months)

–       OFII (Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration) form filled in and signed at appropriate spaces

–       Proof of accommodation during first three months of stay in France

–       Printout of CampusFrance ID Number

–       Letter of university or institute stating your acceptance to that educational institution

–       Visa application form duly filled an signed

–       Passport sized photograph

–       Student visa fee (usually around 60 Euros)

Cost of study and living in France

The cost of studying in France for the second and third cycle for one year in 2011 was about 250 euros while undergraduate study cost was about 180 euros. Although these are costs for studying in government universities, the cost in private universities can go higher.

There are other charges that the students will have to bear such as accommodations, food, health care, and transportation and miscellaneous, all of which can sum up to about 800 to 1000 euros per month.

Graduate scholarship and funding

It is rightly said that the foreign nationals are aided by the government of France to some degree of financial aid. Due to the help provided by the government of France to the universities, the cost of education is lower. This reduction might be to the level of about 10,000 euros per year per candidate. And such an invisible aid is there irrespective of the nationality of the students.

There are many kinds of scholarships that are found for the students. And irrespective of the country of residence, kind of scholarship sought, people should get in touch of the Cultural, Scientific and Technical Cooperative Service at the French consulate or embassy.

  • French embassy scholarships are provided to students who have registered for a higher degree in the French institutions and some of these are the Eiffel Merit Scholarships, Eiffel Doctorate Merit Scholarships, and other joint doctoral programs. Some of the French embassies also provide the scholarships. All of such programs are funded by a 100 million euro budget of French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.
  • Erasmus Mundus programs are facilities of grants for the students coming in from non European countries and helps in the masters and doctoral programs.
  • There are also various programs for publicly funded research and education for the students in various French institutions and research organisations.

Expected Outcomes

French university courses are considered to be of high standard in almost all the European countries, thereby making it highly probable for the students to get into jobs in the different countries. Even, they have a good prospect of getting into jobs in their home countries, once they have acquired the relevant degrees from universities in France.

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