Important to know before planning to study in France
Every year French universities accept a staggering number of international students to study in France. Why is France so popular? Apart from cultural experience and high quality of education, students are attracted to
- low tuition fees
- affordable living costs
- opportunity to find a job in a host country.
Here is some information students need to consider:
Tuition fees are extremely low in France
Higher education is funded by the state. Therefore, the fees are very low; the tuition varies from €150 to €700 per year depending on the university and the different levels of education for EU and non-EU students.
- €184 for licenceprograms
- €256 for master’s programs
- €391 for doctoral programs
- €610 for programs leading to the diplôme d’ingénieur.
Moreover, students in financial need and low-income families are welcome to apply for scholarships and receive a monthly stipend of up to €450 per month. If you plan to study at a private institution, be prepared to pay higher fees that can reach up to € 15,000 per year. Health insurance for students is free until the age of 20. After the age of 20, the health insurance for students costs €200 a year and cover most of the medical expenses. Living costs vary from € 250 to 700 per month and depend on the region.
As an international student, you can work – 964 hours in a single year while you are doing a course, as long as you have a valid residency permit. You can also work in the university or other educational institutions as long as it doesn’t affect your studies.
English-speaking and bilingual programs are becoming more widespread, but the course choice can be limited. If you decide to undertake a degree program taught in French, you will need to have at least an intermediate level of French. Many universities require the B2 (intermediate) certificate in the Diplôme d’Études en Langue Française (DELF) or sometimes the C1 (advanced) certificate, (the Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française or DALF), depending on the course.
Staying in France after graduation
After graduation, you may stay in France for one year to look for work in an area related to your course. Once you have found a job, you have to apply for a work permit and attach a letter from the prospective employer confirming the position, and then apply for a resident permit. International students, holding at least a Master’s degree can apply for a further one year, non-renewable temporary residence permit, which allows working in any job up to 60 percent of a normal working week. If you find work offering a salary of at least 1.5 times the minimum wage, then you can contact your local préfecture to change your status from student to employee and work full-time.