France is one of the most popular countries in the world, it is seen as one of the best destinations for international students. France is home to some of the best universities in the world. Most students, come to France to practice or improve their French, some also come to France to visit some of the famous museums that are abundant in France and to experience the exquisite “a’ la Francaise” lifestyle.
France has a good reputation for their excellent postgraduate study programs. Those who want to study in Europe for a postgraduate program often look to France to do this. International students really enjoy the country and the post-graduate programs offered in France really are the best of the best. All of the institutions in France rank highly for their education and anyone who attends such a program in the country will learn so very much, often meaning that they excel in their future endeavors.
In France, higher education is quite different from other countries in the world. In France, students interested in higher education have to choose from two different types of educational institutes these includes Universities and Competitive Institutes (Grandes Ecoles).
For French University
• If you want to study as an undergraduate in France, you need to have a French baccalaureate or an equivalent degree, and you must have passed the University entrance exam in your respective country. If students are interested in studying in institutes of technology, they need to give a personal interview.
• If you are applying for a master’s program, you should have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
• If you are applying for a doctorate program in France, you need to have a master’s degree.
For Grandes Ecoles
• If you wish to apply for French grandes ecoles, you are required to have baccalaureat or equivalent diploma.
• Ranking of students in the Grandes ecoles is based on the results obtained by the student at the CGPE entrance exam.
Required application documents
- Pre-registration certificate provided by the university
- Campus France authorization
- Passport or ID card (valid for the duration of your stay)
- Passport photographs
- Evidence of graduation diplomas and their French translation
- Registration fee (185 EUR/a year for the three-year licence (Bachelor degree equivalent) course, 260 EUR for a Master’s and 390 EUR for a doctorate)
- Social security fees (around 200 EUR)
- A civil liability certificate
- Students from the EU: a copy of your European health insurance card
- Resume (only in some cases, and only for postgraduate degrees)
- Cover letter
- French and/or English Language certificate (depending on tuition language of chosen degree)
- Copies of diplomas (if not available, a Proof that you can fund your stay in France (with a minimum of 800 Euros per month)
You have to provide a cover letter/personal statement (in not more than 500 words) detailing your reasons for applying for a certain program and how it is related to your future goal.
NOTE: Transcripts for masters’ students should be at least a minimum of 3.0 cumulative GPA (grade point average) or equivalent.
Applying for Grandes Écoles, and other specialized schools
For students, applying for the Grandes Écoles, you will have to use the following website to apply, http://www.admission-postbac.fr .
If you applying for this program, the application period is usually between 20th January to 20th of March. An additional application starts around 26th June to 15th of September, during this period, application is not available for all study programs.
For the Grandes Écoles, applicants will have to take a personal interview unlike the normal University application. The grandes écoles, in particular, has a very high standard in its admission process. Applicants must hold a baccalauréat or equivalent diploma and they are selected according to the results obtained at very competitive entrance examinations that take place at the end of a two-year preparation programme called “Classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles” (CPGE – Preparatory classes for Grandes Écoles).
Steps during the application process
Application actually differs, depending on the applicant’s country.
. If you are from an EU or EEA country, you can apply directly just like French students. If not, you would need a student visa. you can check if you would need a visa.
. If you are a Non EU/EEA student, you should apply through an online application system called CEF. Through the CEF system, you can apply for your visa online and monitor the progress of your application.
. IF you are registering or applying through the CEF system, you would have to visit the website of the Campus France office in your country.
. It is important that you pass the compulsory preliminary Admission.(“demande d’admission préalable” – DAP).
You can apply for DAP through the Culture and Cooperation Service of the French embassy in your country. Evidence of your knowledge of the French language is needed through the DAP process, or you can register to take the TCF (French language exam); applications for TCF are usually open from October until February 22).
. If you live in a country that is not represented by Campus France, then you would need to submit a White File (Dossier blank) to the Department of Cooperation and Cultural Action of the French Embassy in your country of origin.
If you already reside in Europe and you don’t have European citizenship, you will need to apply through the French embassy or consulate in the European country where you are residing.
Cost of studying in France
Tuition fees at higher education institutions in France differs, depending on the level of education, i.e., the different stages. stage one (Bachelor’s degree), stage two (Master’s Degree ) or stage three (P.H.D-Doctorate ) and the responsible body, i.e., whether a private or public institution, as explained below. In some cases, public institution may charge an extra fee for specific study programs, especially second cycle programs.
Tuition fees at public universities in France
• Stage one programs (Bachelor’s Degree) costs about 189.10 EUR per year.
Note: Engineering degrees have a tuition fee of 615.10 EUR per academic year, while Medicine related studies have different tuition fees depending on the program. For example, the average tuition fees for doctor of medicine amount to 452 EUR per year.
• Stage two programs (Master’s Degree): costs about 261.10 EUR per year
• Stage three programs (P.H.D Doctorate): 396.10 EUR per year
Tuition fees at private universities in France
Tuition fees of private universities in France vary depending on the program and the institution one is applying for, the average tuition fee for private universities in France is about 1500 – 6000 EUR per year.
• Stage two programs (Master’s Degree): costs about 261.10 EUR per year
• Stage three programs (P.H.D Doctorate): 396.10 EUR per year.
Language needed for French Schools
Check the French language requirement with your chosen French university, as it usually varies depending on the study program. It is expected that prospective students for French Universities, should have a good knowledge of the French Language, at a level of B1/B2. Language test for French schools consist of DELF/DALF.
Cost of living in France.
Living in France largely depends on one’s lifestyle and also more importantly your choice of location. i.e. to say, the French City you live in goes a long way to determine your cost of living.
If you live in France, you would need an average budget of the following for the major French citizens.
• Paris (French capital): An average of 1,050 to about 1200 EUR a month. (in some cases, it consists of accommodation like in student hall of residence)
• Nice City: an average of 700 to 920 EUR a month
• Lyon, Nantes, Bordeaux or Toulouse: An average of 650– 900 EUR a month.
• For the rest French of France, you can survive with smaller amounts (at least 600 EUR).
Accommodation prices are normally higher than the international average of 200 – 300 EUR/month.
The main housing options for students in France includes:
• Student halls of residence –this costs about 150 and 600 EUR/month, facilities in the rooms can either be private or shared. This amounts to about 13% of international students.
• Rent/share an apartment –between 400 and 700 EUR/month, while in smaller French cities you can rent a small apartment for about 300 EUR/month.
• If you will live with your partner and/or child, the price for rent would range from 700 to 1,000 EUR/month, and you could pay higher if you choose an apartment in the city centre. Utility bills consist (electricity, water, the internet) costs around 200 EUR a month.
• If you happen to live with a host family, you can get prices as low as 200 Euros to about 800 euros on a monthly base, and it includes on the minimum a meal a day.
French food is very delicious, sophisticated and one common conception about French food is that it is expensive also. That may be because the French actually value every meal. However, food is not so expensive all over France.
On an average, an individual spends about 200 – 250 EUR/month on groceries in Paris, this is lesser in other provinces.
On the average, a meal in the not so expensive restaurants in France costs about 15 to 20 Euros. In the classic restaurants, menus can be even quite expensive.
If you want to cut costs, it is advisable that you make use of bistros, brasseries and crepe stands which is more affordable. some Bristol’s serve substantial meals and a crepe can take place of lunch and prices range from2-5 EUR.
If you should buy from the supermarket, you should get the best value. some of the cheapest supermarkets in France includes Leclerc, also you can try out Geant Casino. You can also check out courtpaille restaurants. If you find yourself in Paris, check out Michi.