How to Study Abroad in France in 2021 – Scholarships and Cost of Living in France

Do you want to become an international student? Is France your study abroad destination? If yes, keep reading this article, Academic Related have prepared it just for you.

Yes! We prepared this content for students whose study abroad destination is France.

In this article, you will come across free universities in France as well as scholarships in France for international students in 2021.

We still went further to give you the cheapest universities in France that teach in English. 

To help you realise your dream to study in France, we have also included answers to some of the questions you may have concerning studying in France.

So, keep reading as we walk you through how to study abroad in France.

Things You Need to Know Before Studying Abroad in France as an International Students

Study Abroad in France

France is undoubtedly a beautiful country, and studying there can be an unforgettable experience.

Sure, there will be hiccups along the way, but that is nothing a good piece of advice can’t fix.

The first step is simple: always do your homework.

In this case, we’ve done it for you.

Take a look at the list below and familiarize yourself with the types of challenges that studying in France can offer you.

#1. You need to plan ahead

You may have heard of the famous perils of French bureaucracy.

Before you board your plane, make sure you have EVERYTHING in order—from your administration forms to your French visa.

You do not want to deal with French administrative details when you could be enjoying a perfect afternoon at a Paris cafe. Trust me.

#2. Get all your finances in order

You may want to check with your bank about fees while you’re abroad.

You’ll be shocked by the international fees you can incur if you use your debit card at an ATM here.

There may be a French sister bank to your bank (for example, BNP Paribas and Bank of America), or a special travel credit/debit card for you to take advantage of.

#3. Pack light

You may feel like you need to bring two or three suitcases with you, but you’ll never wear most of those clothes. Living in Paris is all about having a few classic items, like your favorite pair of jeans, a blazer and a leather jacket. And save some room for your new purchases!

#4. Learn some French!

Seriously, learn at least a bit of French before arriving in Paris. A lot of people do speak English, but why waste this great opportunity to develop your language skills? Before you arrive, you’ll want to know some basic French so that you can get by. While in Paris, do language exchanges! There are many great services in Paris to practice French with francophones, such as Franglish, an informal meet-up in a bar.

#5. Make new friends

Making friends is the key to happiness.

Whilst it may seem daunting to try out your French with a group of natives, it’s undoubtedly the best approach to getting involved.

Throw yourself in and don’t be afraid of making mistakes, after all, you’ll only live this experience once!

Is France a good place to study abroad?

Absolutely, France is a good place to study abroad.

Aside from the quality education universities in France offer, the country also has a very rich culture.

Studying in France will give you the opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful places in the world, meet some of the most fashionable and creative people and also learn a new language.

So, if you want to study abroad, choosing a country as beautiful as France will certainly be a great option.

Is it safe to study in France?

Studying in France is quite safe, France is one of the safest countries in Europe.

In the country, the crime rate is relatively low but, on a few occasions, you may have to deal with petty thieves and pickpockets.

As an international student who is new in the country, always keep in mind that your luggage and bags should never leave your sight whenever you are in public environments.

Is there an age limit for studying abroad in France?

There is no age limit for studying abroad in France, so no matter how old you are, if you desire to study in France, go for it.

Although there is no age limit, France only accepts students who are 18 years or above.

This doesn’t come with any form of surprise, considering the fact that international students will have to leave their home and stay miles away from their parents.

It is only right for the country to ensure that these students are adults and can make decisions for themselves.

And, we all know Adulthood starts at 18. Therefore if you are less than that, you may have to wait or try other countries.

Study In France For Free

Although studying in France is then not entirely “free”, you will only be charged a very small amount when you study at a public university.

See How to Study Abroad for Free in 2021-2022

Find more below.

How can I Study in France for Free?

While university fees and other living expenses are increasing in all countries, students are looking for options so they can continue studying in a recognized course without too much feeling supported in their pocket. This brings us back to our question: can students study abroad for free?

You will be relaxed to listen theoretically … yes! Now comes the next step, how is this possible? It is possible to study abroad for free, but it has many elements.

France does not charge tuition at their public universities, no matter where you are coming from. Just expect to pay a small admin fee and know some French.

You can also study for free in France through scholarships. We are going to give a detailed guide to the scholarships in France for international students later in this article.

Is it Free to Study in France for International Students?

You can probably find some schools in France that do offer free study abroad program for international students. However, it has many elements.

Most public universities in France that offer free study abroad program requires you to know French. Most of the classes will be taught in French. This will be a great barrier for an international student who can not speak French.

Studying at public universities in France may not give you exactly what you want.

Are there Cheap Universities in France for International Students?

Yes, you can find affordable universities in France. We made a well-detailed article about the Cheapest Universities in France for International Student. Get to know much about the cheap universities in France reading that article

Cost of Living in France

France is reputed to be an expensive country in terms of living expenses, especially for students. While this has a ring of truth to it, this is not the complete picture. While some cities in France fare steep on accommodation costs, one must factor in student expenses when considering the cost of living in France. 

Compared to certain European countries such as the United Kingdom and even the United States, the cost of living in France is lower. However, France is expensive compared to some other European countries in terms of general living costs.

What is the Average Cost of Living in France?

How much you spend on living costs in France each month will depend on your own lifestyle and where you plan to take up residence. Opting for the high life in Paris is likely to make larger holes in any budget than modest tranquillity in a quiet corner of France, such as the Charentes or the Auvergne.

Your weekly food costs will depend on whether you shop at an out-of-town supermarket chain such as Carrefour or at a local grocer, which will be more expensive. Stores in most towns are small, quirky, and individual—not dedicated to one-stop shopping. If you want a baguette, you go to the boulangerie.

Cost of Living in France: Sample Monthly Budget

To give you an idea of how much you might spend in a month, here are the costs for running an apartment for two people:

Rent$800 to $1,200
Groceries (incl. wine)$600
Landline rental fee (excluding call costs)$21
Gas for heating/stove$59
Transportation (car maintenance plus diesel/petrol)$175
Cellphone plan (excl. phone handset itself)$20
Regular purchases of coffee/croissants/baguettes$80
Ticket for the movies$19
Health insurance top up (hospital-only plan)$29
Lunch for two with wine five times a month$200
Monthly Total$2,083 to $2,483

How much does it cost to study abroad in France?

Living in France is less expensive when compared to other European countries, of course, this is an exception to Paris.

When getting your finance ready to study in France, prepare to spend $3,500 – 4,500 per semester.

This does not include your transport fare and tuition fee.

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Paris?

So let’s say if you want to have a decent daily life in Paris you need to earn from 2000 to 2500€ (and more if you can!) to be able to pay a rent and also to go out, have fun with friends, etc.

What are the Cheapest Cities in France for International Students?

Student life in France is getting more costly.
Rises in transport passes and rent have pushed up the living cost by an average of two per cent in the past year – but some French cities still offer student life on a budget.

Here are the lists of cities to consider if you’re looking for the cheapest cities in France for international students;
Poitiers, Brest, Limoges, Saint-Étienne, Angers, Perpignan, Clermont-Ferrand, Orléans, Le Havre, Caen.

Is IELTS Required to Study in France?

Yes, however, there are some universities that do not require IELTS certificate in France.
It’s best you find out before applying for the school admission.

What Level of French is Needed to Study in France?

You can study abroad in France without knowing French. Although, it is of importance that you know french to some extent.
You will need french for effective communication while studying in France.

Can You Study and Work in France?

Every foreign student has the right to work while studying in France.
French law authorises foreign students to an auxiliary work of 964 hours during the year, the equivalent of 60% of the legal work year.

Scholarships in France for International Students

If you want to study abroad in France for free, the scholarship is one of the best options to turn to.

In this category, we divided it into two.

Government scholarships in France for International students and University-based scholarships in France for international students.

Each scholarship has its own requirements.

Government Scholarships in France for International students

Government scholarships are those scholarships provided by the government.

Scholarship applications accepted by the French government are filed at the cultural service of the French embassy of your country of residence.

Criteria to choose applicants depend on the cooperation programs concluded between the French government and the authorities of the country concerned.

Scholarships are generally granted to high level students (masters’ or PhD).

The duration of the project depends on the project.

Applications are processed in the month of March preceding the academic start of the year, so you should file your application as early as possible.

Example of French Government scholarship is Eiffel Scholarship Program of Excellence.

University-based Scholarships in France for International students

These scholarships include scholarships offered by the universities of the country. Note: In universities based scholarships in France, one will be required to enroll into university study program.

How to Find University Based Scholarships in France

The best ways to search for university based scholarships are;

  1. Select the school you want to study in
  2. Check if the school is offering scholarships for international students
  3. If yes, look out for their scholarship requirements for international students
  4. If no, look for another school that can offer you a scholarship to study abroad in France.

Study Abroad in France Requirements

The first step to consider when you want to study abroad in France is to identify the program you want to study. Once you have identified the program that you wish to pursue, you can begin the application process. You obtain an application from the website of your chosen institution, and you can apply to a maximum of three institutions.

On the application you will need to fill out your personal details and provide transcripts of prior diplomas and the results. This is to check whether your results comply with the course’s admission standards, which ensure that students have the academic capability to succeed in their chosen program.

Sometimes standardized tests such as the GRE, GMAT or LSAT are required for admission – these are internationally used tests which ensure that applicants are prepared for the challenges of advanced study.

Here is a list of all the things that you may need to think about when applying to a university:

  • A Campus France authorization
  • A copy of your passport
  • A passport sized photo of yourself
  • Copies of past exam transcripts and graduation diplomas
  • A copy of your European health card (for EU students)
  • Many colleges charge a fee to submit an application
  • A civil liability certificate
  • A cover letter
  • French and/or English proof of language proficiency
  • Proof that you have the financial resources to fund your stay in France

France Student Visa Requirements

There are different types of student visas for France:

  • Visa de court séjour pour etudes (‘Schengen’ short-stay student visa): You can come to France and study for up to three months on this visa, without the need for a separate residence visa. This is suitable for those enrolling on a language course or short-term programs.
  • Visa de long séjour temporaire pour etudes (temporary long-stay visa): This visa allows you to study in France for between three and six months without the need for a residence permit. It is non-renewable.
  • Visa de long séjour etudes (long-stay visa): If you want to study for longer than six months, then you need to apply for this visa. This type of study visa lasts for the duration of your course in France i.e. three years for bachelors, two years for masters and four years for a PhD Long-stay visas act as residence permits and are called VLT-TS.  

Submission of Visa application and collection of passports can be done only by the applicant himself or through a travel agent authorized by the Embassy of France, New Delhi. 

French Student Visa has two distinct stages of application. One at the Campus France and the other at the embassy. The set of documents can vary for both of them. You would be required to submit originals at Campus France and Photo-copies at the embassy/ consulate/ Visa Application Centres.

Cost of French Visa

The Visa Fee for Long Stay National Visa for Study purposes is €50 for students applying for bachelors/ masters courses. For dual course applicants as well as exchange students, the fee is the same.

France Visa Documents

You should provide two sets of application photocopies containing the following documents:

  • Long stay application form for the duration of more than 90 days
  • Two passport size photographs 
  • A copy of Passport 
  • A print out of your CampusFrance ID number
  • Letter of registration from the academic Institution
  • Cover letter explaining the study project and a CV/Resume
  • Proof of funds – tuition fees + a minimum of 615 Euros/month, for the complete academic term
  • Proof of medical insurance with coverage valid in France
  • Copy of your round-trip airline ticket (if you are studying for six months or less) or a one-way ticket if you are studying in France for more than six months)
  • OFII form (Office Francais de Immigration et de Integration)
  • Proof of residency in France such as a lease, electricity bill, title of property etc. for a minimum of three months or a hotel reservation
  • Copy of the CV
  • Copies of the degree and academic diplomas, certificates

When you go for your interview, you would be required to carry all your documents in original plus a copy of all the documents. 



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