France tuition fees normally would cost as they do in other countries (about €10,000 a year) but luckily, the French government subsidizes higher education so the tuition fees are actually really affordable. Especially tuition fees for international students because they have many opportunities for scholarships.

Now, there are a few factors that weigh in on how much you’re gonna have to pay for tuition. First, it depends on the University and city. If the University is world-known you might have to pay a smidge more than you would in a less popular University. Then comes the factor of whether or not you’re an EU student or not, there are a few differences on tuition matters for EU and Non-EU students.

For European Students

The fees for students from the European Union, the European Economic Area, Andorra, or Switzerland are approximately:

  • Bachelor: €170 per year
  • Master: €243 per year
  • Doctorate: €380 per year
  • Engineering School : €601 per year

For Non-European Students:

As a non-EU/EEA student, you will be required to pay different fees from European students if:

  • You are enrolling for the 1st time for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, or for an engineering programme, for the start of the 2020/2021 academic year.
  • Within a higher education establishment that falls within the scope of the MESRI
  • Provided that you are not permanently settled in France.

The state will then cover two thirds of your tuition cost. In total you will be required to pay:

  • Bachelor: €2,770 per year
  • Master: €3,770 per year
  • Doctorate: €380 per year

Autonomous Universities

Autonomous universities are not subsidized by the French government therefore they have the ability to determine certain tuition fees. While undergraduate fees are at the level set by the Ministry of Education, post-graduate and doctorate studies can be set freely by the universities.

Higher Education Institutions

Higher education institutions (Grande écoles) are different from universities as admissions are based on entry exams. The tuition fees in these institutions are higher than in universities but overall low in international comparison. There are 60 grandes écoles . The fees range from €450 to €1100 euros per year.

Tuition Cost in Private Institutions

Tuition fees in private institutions, specifically in private business schools, is higher than in public institutions, ranging from €3,000 to €10,000 per year. For more information you can check the website of the university of your choice to see the tuition fees of the programs you’re interested in.

In France, 18% of students attend private institutions. Private status defines that the institution is not subsidized by the state. The level of public funding each receives is variable. In some cases, the state may officially recognize an institution and authorize it to grant national diplomas. In such cases, the government has a say over the instruction offered in those degree programmes, ensuring students of a certain level of service and quality.

            Who is Not Required to Pay a Tuition Fee?

Fortunately, some students, regardless of where they’re from, can study in France for free. But of course they would have to fall under one of these three factors:

  • Students who come to study in France as part of a partnership agreement between universities that provides for total exemption from enrolment fees (like the Erasmus+ exchange programme in particular);
  • Students who have been awarded a French government grant (BGF); 
  • Students who have been awarded a grant from their host institution, providing for total exemption from enrolment fees. 

Scholarships for International Students in France

Here are some scholarships from some of the most prestigious Universities in France. If you cannot find your chosen university here, make sure to check their website for any scholarship update, most universities offer them.

  1. Master’s degree scholarship at Paris Dauphine University
  2. PhD program scholarship at Paris-Saclay
  3. Master of Science in Fashion Management Scholarship at IESEG
  4. Sciences Po Undergraduate scholarship
  5. École Normale Supérieure Master’s degree scholarship
  6. ENS de Lyon Master’s degree scholarship
  7. Sciences Po Bachelor’s and Master’s degree scholarships
  8. Université Paris-Saclay Master’s degree scholarship
  9. Grenoble INP Master’s degree scholarship
  10. INSEAD MBA scholarships
  11. HEC Paris MBA scholarships

Costs of Living in France for International Students

Surely if you’re studying in France you’re most definitely going to live there too. And you will find yourself wondering even a bit worried as to how much it will cost you to live while studying there. Well, fortunately, there are plenty of cheap and accommodating options for international students to live while studying and/or working in France.

First thing you should know is that France, like any other place in the world, has its cheapest and most expensive areas to live in. Cities like Paris or Lyon will considerably be more expensive to live in than cities in the countryside such as: Creuse, in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region and cities like Metz, Versailles, and Montpellier. If picking the city is not really an option, we of course have gathered a lot of ways how you can spend less money and find a homey place to live in.

Here are some of the most common ways to live in France, and what international students usually opt for:

  1. University residence halls managed by CROUS (Centre régional des œuvres universitaires et scolaires) 

The residences managed by France’s regional centers for student services, known as CROUS are publicly owned and subsidized by the French government. The CROUS buildings are the first choices students make for cheaper accommodation.

  1. Student residences owned and managed by private companies

If you’re not able to get a room in CROUS, private residences are the best alternative. There are plenty of websites you can look for private housing such as: Fac-Habitat, Studea, Les Estudines, Suitetudes, Accueil, Lokaviz (as mentioned before), Student Factory, Kley, Neoresid, Cardinal Campus etc.

  1. Living with a family or an elderly resident

This isone of the most practical ways to live in France if you’re looking to save money. Some families will even offer free stay or reduce the cost of rent for childcare such as helping with homework, language lessons etc.To learn more about intergenerational housing and how you can apply, visit the nonprofit website Ensemble2generations and the network Cohabilis.

  1. Private apartments and shared rentals

Some students choose to rent out an apartment, usually a studio which costs ranging from €400 to €800 depending on the city.

Required documents to rent out an apartment in France

The documents you have to submit when renting an apartment in France include:

  1. ID or Passport.
  2. Guarantor information – Photocopy ID, photocopy of employment contract, last three payslips and last tax declaration.
  3. A letter from your guarantor in French (parents etc.)
  4. Bank reference from (you must have a French bank account).

To find out the required documents to open a bank account in France, detailed instructions on living options in France, cost of utilities and a lot more, read our article on cost of living in France.

Tips on spending less in France for international students

Here are some cheap dining, transportation, and utilities options given to you by a student living in France that you will hopefully find use for:

  • A lot of French students do not go through agencies to find a place to live because of the high cost of the apartments
  • Leboncoin is a website for selling new and secondhand clothes throughout the whole country and there is a section dedicated to accommodation
  • Blablacar is the world’s largest long-distance ride-sharing community that connects drivers with empty seats with people going to the same destination
  • CROUS – once again, it is not only for accommodating students in housing but also they provide restaurants where you can eat for less than 5 Euros
  • Velib – bike sharing company, you can rent a bicycle for 10 Euros a week, not only does it save you a lot of money and is a great form of transportation as well as exercising, it is also eco friendly 🙂
  • Phone applications for Paris: RATP, Le Parisien Sortie, L’internaute Restos, Free Wifi Paris.

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