You might have found the perfect university with the perfect degree in one of the best countries in the world. However, you may have forgotten one important thing; if you are not a native speaker of French you may be required to submit an IELTS certificate. 

You can study in France without having an IELTS certificate, but the requirement will depend on the university that you are interested in. The exam is not state-required and so institutions make up their own policies and regulation when it comes to the exam.

Before exploring how you can study without IELTS in France, let’s take a look at what exactly is IELTS. 

What Is IELTS?

IELTS (The International English Language Testing System) is a way of testing an individual’s proficiency level in English. IELTS is organized by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia, and Cambridge Assessment English. It’s an important certificate that the majority of international students, whose native language is not English, have to possess if they want to study in a foreign country. 

How Does IELTS Work?

IELTS is typically required in higher education and it’s globally recognized, which means an IELTS certificate will be accepted in almost every country in the world. Applicants who sit for the exam are usually tested in four levels: 

  • Listening (30 minutes)
  • Reading (60 minutes)
  • Writing (60 minutes)
  • Speaking (11-14 minutes)

The whole test will last for 2 hours and 45 minutes. For the speaking portion of the exam, you will most likely be asked to sit for an interview with the examiner so they can assess the way you use English in a conversation. 

IELTS Scores

This is the range of the IELTS scores: 

0Did Not Take the Test
1Non-UserNot capable of using the language besides some simple words.
2Intermittent UserNot capable of using the language to communicate beyond conveying basic information. The applicant has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.
3Extremely Limited UserThe applicant is capable of understanding general meaning in already familiar situations. Communication in English is very strained.
4Limited UserThe language proficiency is limited to only basic and general understanding. The applicant has difficulty in understanding expressions and complex language.
5Modest UserUnderstands the overall language, including complex expressions. Regardless of making mistakes often, they should be able to convey basic meaning in their field. 
6Competent UserThe applicant has effective command of English, makes some mistakes during communication, and can misunderstand some meanings. Can use complex language, particularly in familiar situations.
7Good UserGenerally has a very good grasp of English, can make some mistakes during communication but not major mistakes.
8Very Good UserHas a great command of English, minor mistakes may happen in unfamiliar situations. Can deal with complex arguments very well. 
9Expert UserThe applicant has full command of English with non-existent mistakes and has a complete understanding of expressions in unfamiliar situations.

You will receive your results within 13 days; if you took the test online then it takes less, about 4-5 days. There is only one copy available of the test report for you and the test report is valid for two years.

French Universities You Can Study Without IELTS

Here is a list of some universities in France where you can study without IELTS: 

  1. Paris School of Business
  2. SKEMA Business Schools 
  3. NEOMA Business Schools 
  4. ISC Paris
  5. Toulouse Business School 
  6. EBS Paris
  7. EPITA Graduate School of Computer Science 
  8. ESAIP School of Engineers 
  9. ESGCI Paris
  10. ESLSCA Business School 
  11. IESA International 
  12. INSEEC Business School 
  13. ESC Rennes School of Business
  14. American Business School

Keep in mind that in cases where you won’t need IELTS, you will most likely be asked to do an online interview with an admissions officer so they can test your language proficiency. Some universities will ask for TOEFL instead of IELTS. 

Admission Requirements 

The general requirements for admission are these: 

  • Passport.
  • University application form.
  • Identity photographs.
  • Campus France authorization.
  • Proof that you are a legal resident in your current country.
  • Paid application fee (depending on the university).
  • Grade transcripts.
  • University diploma.
  • Copy of high school diploma (depending on the university).
  • Detailed CV.
  • Motivational Letter.
  • Certificate of the current semester (if attending a university).
  • Letters of recommendation (depending on the university).

The requirements will vary depending on which university you applied to. Copies of diplomas and transcripts must be notarized and translated if they are not in English. Recommendation letters should also be translated if necessary. 

Application Process 

Follow these steps when you want to apply at a university in France:

  1. Choose the university.
  2. Check requirements. 
  3. Apply at Campus France.
  4. Take the entrance exam (if required).
  5. Prepare for an interview.
  6. Apply for a visa (if required).

Choose the University 

Do extensive research before you apply for university in France. Make sure you know which schools don’t require IELTS as a part of their admission requirements. If you can’t find the information online, you can email the admission office at the specific university and they will let you know. 

Once you know where you want to go then you can get ready to apply for the study program. 

Check the Requirements 

Each university has its own specific requirements. While the general qualifications are the same, there are differences in terms of letters of recommendation and in terms of other certificates. For example, some universities may not ask for reference letters while some may ask for more. It’s always best to double-check before you apply so you won’t miss anything important. 

Apply at Campus France

Campus France is an online platform that helps international students navigate the application process. You must register at the platform and follow the instructions as they appear after you register.

Initially, you select the university you want to apply to. If you already have an institution in mind then simply select it. If not, there will be options for you to choose from. The platform will assist you every step until the visa application. Even then, there will be instructions to help you apply for a visa. 

You can register first thing at Campus France if you want, if not then you can do your own research and apply on your own. However, it’s obligatory for you to register even after you get accepted into a program; your file will be submitted to the platform.

Take the Entrance Exam 

After you apply, some universities will ask you to sit for an entrance exam. Often the entrance exam will depend on the study program as well. So, make sure you check to see if it’s required and prepare for the test. 

Prepare for an Interview

Most universities that don’t require IELTS will ask the applicant to sit for an online interview. The interview will be in English so the interviewer can get a feel of your command of the language. You will probably be asked why you decided to pursue this particular study program and why you want to study in France.

Apply for a Visa

Some international students will need a student visa in order to study in France. This depends on your nationality, so check with an embassy/consulate in your country and ask them whether a visa is required or not. 

You have to apply for a student visa after you are admitted to the program. You can’t apply beforehand as the visa requirements include a letter of acceptance from the university. 

Do I Need IELTS For a Student Visa to France?

You won’t need IELTS for a student visa if the university doesn’t require IELTS. However, some universities that don’t ask for IELTS may ask for another globally accepted exam, in this case, you need to attach the certificate to your visa application. 

Contact the admissions office and the embassy so you can be sure of what you need.

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