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22 August 2023

5 minutes read

Admission Requirements for Study in France: Your Ultimate Guide

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Ah, France! More than just the Eiffel Tower or delectable croissants, it’s a land of academic excellence. If you dream of studying here, then understanding the admission requirements to study in France is paramount. Buckle up, as we journey through everything you need to know.

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Navigating French Higher Education

Types of Institutions

  • Universities in France:
    Whether you’re looking at the University of Paris, the University of Lyon, or others, French universities are globally acclaimed. While public universities are more common, there are a handful of private ones, often catering to specialized studies.
  • Grandes Écoles:
    These are elite institutions, known for their rigorous curriculum. Schools like École Normale Supérieure and HEC Paris belong here. Admission usually requires competitive exams.
  • Specialized Institutions:
    For those eyeing niche areas like art, technical fields, or specific professions, France offers several specialized schools to cater to these interests.

Why Study in France?

  • Diverse Courses:
    From humanities to pure sciences, the spectrum of courses available is vast.
  • Cultural Immersion:
    Experience authentic French culture, history, and language.
  • Global Recognition:
    Degrees from France have worldwide acclaim, opening global career avenues.

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Mapping Your Admission Route

Undergraduate & Postgraduate Requirements

  • For Bachelors:
    A diploma equivalent to the French Baccalauréat is a must. Also, individual programs might have their prerequisites.
  • For Masters/PhD:
    A relevant undergraduate degree, plus specific requirements such as work experience, especially for MBA programs.

Application Nuances

  • Deadline Adherence:
    Ensure timely applications, with the major intakes in September and a few courses in January.
  • Documentation:
    This is pivotal. Apart from academic records, expect to provide language proficiency tests, CVs, motivation letters, and more.

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Language Proficiency – The Key to France

Courses in French

If your course is in French, proficiency tests like the TEF, DALF, or DELF might be required. However, there’s always scope to hone these skills with language courses.

English Courses

For those not keen on battling with French syntax, many programs, especially postgraduate ones, are taught in English. Usual suspects like IELTS or TOEFL would be the needed proof of proficiency.

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Costs and Scholarships – The Financial Angle

Tuition Fees

  • Public Universities:
    They tend to be more affordable, ranging between 200-600 EUR/year for undergraduate courses.
  • Private Institutions:
    The range can be wide, with some institutions charging up to 10,000 EUR/year or more.


Various scholarships cater to international students, such as the Eiffel Excellence Scholarship or Charpak Scholarships (for Indian students). Research well, for this can drastically cut costs.

Navigating the Visa Labyrinth

Securing a Student Visa

Primarily, you’d need a long-stay visa. Documentation like proof of funds, acceptance letters, and health insurance would be essential.

Work Opportunities Post-Study

France is generous here. After your study, there’s scope to apply for a temporary residence permit, which lets you seek employment in the country.

Embracing Life in France

Housing Options

From university dorms to private rentals, the options are many. Homestays can also offer an authentic experience.

Culture, Cuisine, and More

This is the fun part! Explore the nooks and crannies, festivals, foods, and the undying spirit of France.

Balancing Work and Studies

Many international students opt for part-time jobs, allowed up to 20 hours a week. This can be a great way to offset living costs and gain experience.

The Campus France Connection

Navigating through the intricate admission process might seem daunting, but Campus France is here to help. It’s a public institution aimed at promoting French higher education abroad.

Role of Campus France

  • Guidance:
    Providing counseling to prospective students on courses, institutions, and the entire application process.
  • Documentation:
    Assisting students in ensuring all documents are in order, increasing the chances of a successful application.
  • Workshops & Events:
    Hosting events to give students insights into the education landscape in France.

Living Expenses in France

The cost of living varies based on the city, but a general understanding can help plan better.


  • University Accommodation: €200 to €400 per month.
  • Private Rentals: €500 or more, especially in cities like Paris.

Food and Daily Expenses:

  • Groceries: Approximately €300 monthly for basic needs.
  • Eating Out: Meals in restaurants cost €10-€20.


  • Public Transport: Monthly passes range from €25-€75, city dependent.

Post-Study Prospects in France

Studying in France can open up a plethora of opportunities, both within the country and abroad.

Employment Opportunities

  • In-France: Graduates can stay back for a period to search for jobs. Sectors like technology, finance, and art offer ample opportunities.
  • Global Reach: French degrees hold good recognition globally, enabling you to venture out if you wish.


Being an international student in France allows you to be part of various alumni groups, seminars, and industry meets, helping build a robust professional network.

Health and Well-being for International Students

A crucial, often overlooked aspect of studying abroad is mental and physical well-being.

Health Insurance

Mandatory for all, but once registered with the French social security system, healthcare becomes affordable.

Mental Health Services

Universities offer counseling services, and there are many helplines available for international students to ensure their mental well-being.

How to Apply for a French Student Visa

The process is straightforward but demands attention to detail.

Collecting the Documents

Essential paperwork includes a passport, proof of funds, acceptance letter, and insurance details.

Applying through the French Embassy

Once your documents are ready, schedule an appointment with the French embassy in your home country. It’s always wise to keep a buffer for unforeseen delays.

Embracing French Culture and Integration

Studying in France isn’t merely about academics. Embracing the rich culture and history is vital for a holistic experience.

Learning the French Language

While many courses are taught in English, grasping the French language can be a massive advantage.

  • Interactions: Makes daily interactions smoother.
  • Cultural Integration: Enables better understanding and appreciation of French art, literature, and cinema.
  • Professional Edge: Adds another dimension to your CV, potentially making you a preferred choice for employers.

Participating in Local Festivals

France is known for its vibrant festivals. From Cannes Film Festival to local wine festivals, participating helps in understanding the local customs and traditions.

Exploring France Beyond Textbooks

There’s more to France than what’s covered in university syllabuses.

Historical Significance

Visiting places like Normandy (known for D-Day landings) or the Palaces of Versailles provides insights into pivotal historical events.

Art and Architecture

With the likes of the Louvre Museum and Eiffel Tower, the country offers a feast for art and architecture enthusiasts.

French Cuisine

One can’t possibly live in France and not indulge in its gastronomic delights. From croissants to escargots (snails), there’s a dish for every palate.

Scholarships and Financial Aid for International Students

Studying in France can be made more accessible with various financial aid.

French Government Scholarships

The French government offers scholarships based on merit and financial needs, especially for international students.

University-specific Scholarships

Many universities in France offer scholarships based on academic achievements, sports prowess, or other extracurricular merits.

External Funding Bodies

Organizations like the Erasmus Mundus provide funds for deserving candidates, making the dream to study in France more tangible.


Studying in France offers more than just a degree; it’s a holistic experience, a new way of looking at the world. With this guide, your dream of studying amidst the boulevards, vineyards, and historic alleys is one step closer to reality.


Is French mandatory for all courses?

Not for all. Many postgraduate programs are available in English.

How soon should the application process begin?

Ideally, a year in advance. This allows ample time for documentation, tests, and other requirements.

Is healthcare for students affordable in France?

Absolutely! Once registered with the French social security system, healthcare becomes quite affordable.

Are there opportunities for internships?

Yes, many courses incorporate internships, and universities often have tie-ups with local businesses.

How friendly is France towards international students?

Very. With its rich academic history and diverse student populace, international students find a welcoming environment in France.

Is it easy to travel across Europe while studying in France?

Absolutely! With the Schengen Agreement in place, students can easily travel across participating European countries.

Are internships common during the study period in France?

Yes, many courses incorporate internships, allowing students to gain practical experience.

What’s the average duration of a Master’s program in France?

Typically, Master’s programs span two years.

Can I switch universities or courses once I’m in France?

It’s possible, but involves specific procedures and can be contingent upon the acceptance by the university you’re shifting to.

Are there any student communities for specific nationalities?

Yes. Most universities have student associations based on nationalities or interests, ensuring you never feel alone.

Is France safe for international students?

Absolutely. While, like any country, it has its pockets of concern, most of France, especially academic hubs, is safe and welcoming.

How conducive is the French education system for research?

France is at the forefront of research in various fields. Many universities and grandes écoles have dedicated research wings with advanced facilities.

Is there a scope for entrepreneurial pursuits post-study?

Yes. France encourages entrepreneurship, with many incubators and accelerators to support fresh business ideas.

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