France offers tuition fees that are significantly lower than in the UK. Before students shout au revoir and jump on the next plane, they need to research the key factors of living in this beautiful country.
As France is one of the closest European countries to the UK, it can be an obvious choice for studying abroad. It is also one of Europe’s largest countries and one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. Students who decide to cross the Channel will reap the benefits of one of the most prestigious academic and educational systems around the globe as well as enjoying a wonderful social life of bars, cafes, museums, galleries, cinemas and restaurants alongside infamous tourist hotspots.
When prospective students are applying to a higher education institution in France, the requirements for undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses are A-levels (baccalauréat) and a degree (licence) consecutively. The exact entry requirements for each university will vary, and students can contact their chosen institutions directly to ensure they have the right information.
For students who want to take French-speaking, degree courses are required to take a test (Test de Connaissance de Francais (TCF)) to determine their ability. This test can be organised by the French Ministries for National Education and Higher Education and Research. For English-taught degree courses, candidates are not required to speak French. More information on the language of particular degree courses can be found on each institutions website.
Nationals of the EU are entitled to attend university in France with the same conditions as French natives; they are not required to pay higher degree course fees and are eligible for any grants available.
The annual tuition fee rates at French public universities are set by law and are identical for home and international students. The tuition fee rates can range from £144 for an undergraduate degree course and £200 for a master’s. However, additional fees may be assessed and issued for specific services.
Tuition fee rates at private universities, in particular schools of business and management, are generally higher – averaging from £2,400 to £8,00 per annum. There are certain scholarships that exist for specific degree courses of study, for example, nursing or engineering. Details can be accessed via the French Embassy in the student’s home country.
Study grants and funding in the country are assigned on individual circumstances. There is a wide variety of financial help available to prospective students, from research allowances to assistance with transport and accommodation. The French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs usually allocate a large number of grants to international students too. Students are able to search whether they are eligible for funding here (Campus France – Grants Search Engine) here (CNOUS – Foreign Students
EU nationals, including UK students, can apply for a grant from the local Caisse d’Allocation Familiale (CAF) which will allow them to receive a student rebate for part of their rental costs. Claims and applications for financial support usually open in February and end in April for the following academic year; therefore, students need to prepare well in advance.
EU nationals are allowed to live and study in any other EU country if they are; enrolled at an approved university or other education institution, have sufficient income (from any source, work or savings) can live without income support and have health insurance coverage (EHIC cards and extra health insurance including).
After three months, some countries require students to register with the local authority for a residency permit, for more information read here (Campus France – Obtaining and Renewing a Residency Permit). International students who are non-EU nationals may need to apply for a student visa to study in France, for more information see here (France Diplomatie – Getting a Visa).
For more information on studying in France, prospective students can begin their research here (Campus France).
Students who are planning to study abroad need to conduct sufficient research to ensure they will be comfortable financially. Here are some everyday items and their average cost in France to help with the research process.
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