study in france

You might be wondering why France is such an ideal place for international students. Aside from being one of the most beautiful countries in the world, it is also known for its quality education, especially higher education. American students are constantly looking for opportunities to travel in Europe, and studying in the heart of Europe is a big plus. All international students, including American citizens, feel at home when pursuing their studies in France because of the diversity of the student population. 

Here are some of the top universities in France for American students: 

The Université Grenoble Alpes 

Why this university? Numerous exchange programs available. 

At Grenoble, students can join one of the largest international communities in France, with more than 20 different nationalities enrolling every year. This university offers degrees at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, mainly in engineering. One of the most popular programs for students at the Grenoble Institute of Technology is the Industrial Engineering & Management course. 

The Engineering degree at the master’s level is a three-year program. It includes a core program taught entirely throughout the first year, with different areas of specialization available in the second and third academic year. Students can choose between two specialization disciplines: Supply Chain Management and Product Design. 

Studying in English is possible in almost all degree programs at Grenoble. The Bachelor’s degree program in Nuclear Engineering takes one year to complete. The applications are open to students who have finished a three-year bachelor’s degree or are currently enrolled in one. 

Paris Sciences et Lettres University 

Why this university? A variety of scholarships. 

Paris Sciences et Lettres is a public university that focuses on welcoming students from all different backgrounds and continuously emphasizes the importance of diversity in the current and future classroom. With over 17,000 enrolled students, the PSL University offers courses in the following departments: 

  • Arts
  • Engineering
  • Sciences
  • Humanities 
  • Social Science

An interesting fact about PSL University is the large number of undergraduate students who continue their advanced studies in the same university. 100% of the graduates have chosen their master’s programs at the PSL, most of them in the same field. The English language dominates on almost 20 courses, with French as a Foreign Language option for those interested in learning the language. 

École Polytechnique 

Why this university? A large number of international students.

Known for offering both non-degree and degree programs, the Ecole Polytechnique welcomes around 8,000 international students annually. Consequently, international students make up the majority of the student body at the university. Students getting a bachelor’s degree attend classes with English as the only language of instruction. Upon completion of the undergraduate degree, students receive the title Bachelor of Science.

To get admitted at the undergraduate level, students must submit proof of English proficiency. The university accepts both TOEFL and IELTS scores as authorized language exams. For TOEFL, a minimum score of  90 is required, whereas a minimum score of 6,5 is needed for IELTS (at least 6 for each section). If neither of these tests is available, the university can accept the Cambridge exam with a minimum score of 176.

Universite de Lorraine 

Why this university? Ranked at the top 5% of best universities for international students in France. 

University de Lorraine offers several opportunities for student exchange programs. Both international students and French students who want to study abroad can benefit from the university’s mission: to promote global collaboration. Out of approximately 60,000 enrolled students in total, about 9,000 of them are international students. 

DéFLE- Lorraine’s language school is designed for international students interested in learning French and using that knowledge to maneuver around France during their studies. The academic staff at DéFLE teaches students through group activities such as visiting cultural attractions, taking a walk around the city, or even playing role-playing games in class.  

Aix-Marseille University (AMU)

Why this university? A large number of global partnerships. 

AMU welcomes around 10,000 international students yearly and focuses on building close relationships through exchange programs. AMU is home to many study areas, each having its research methodology leading the university to excellence. These disciplines include Arts, Letters, Languages, and Humanities; Law and Political Science; Economics and Management; Health; and Science and Technology. 

For specific departments such as Law and Political Science, a B2 level of French proficiency is required in the admission process. A C1 in English is needed for the department of Arts, Letters, Languages, and Humanities. A tuition fee waiver applies to exchange students who are considered non-degree seeking applicants and pay tuition to their home universities. 

École Normale Supérieure de Lyon 

Why this university? Joint programs with foreign institutions. 

The ENS de Lyon welcomes professionals of age 28 and above to attend classes at the graduate level. Employers of public or private institutions in management and scientific fields can get a graduate degree to further advance their careers. Depending on the course, some courses may require a B2 level of English language proficiency, whereas others require a C1 level. 

Although some programs in both bachelor and master levels are taught in French, there are numerous programs available in English, such as: 

  • Computer Science Master’s program.
  • Master in Advanced Economics.
  • Physics & Chemistry Master’s program.
  • Biology Master’s program.
  • Earth Sciences Master’s program.
  • Mathematics Master’s program.

Master candidates are eligible to apply for one or two of the scholarships available: Ampère Scholarships of Excellence and MILYON Scholarship. 

Sorbonne Universite 

Why this university? An advantageous location.

Sorbonne University tends to involve students in implementing the research skills in the real world received during their studies, thus promoting innovative and scientific technologies. As a public university, Sorbonne promotes a multidisciplinary program, with the following three faculties as the leading departments: 

  1. Arts and Humanities.
  2. Science and Engineering.
  3. Medicine. 

In the classes provided by Sorbonne University, students can join discussions where sharing ideas on a specific topic is the main focus point. Conferences, seminars, and other networking events are more than encouraged at Sorbonne. These activities are designed to promote diversity and freedom of speech open to everyone globally. 

International students can choose from a large variety of program options to study in. They can get a bachelor’s degree, participate in an exchange program for one year or one semester, or even advance their professional career by enrolling in a short graduate program. 

The American University of Paris (AUP)

Why this university? A meeting point for international students. 

AUP is a world-renowned university bringing together students from Europe, America, and all other parts of the world to tackle the main global issues in one space. After graduating from AUP, students can meet students from the same community in any career or professional journey they decide to pursue.

To get admitted at AUP, SAT or ACT scores are recommended to increase the chances of enrollment. Considering it is a private school, the tuition fees at AUP can be costly. At the undergraduate level, students must pay a total of €33.300 per year. There are two entries available: fall and spring, with a slight difference in the tuition fee. 

University of Montpellier 

Why this university? Affordable tuition.

The University of Montpellier gained its recognition by being one of France’s oldest and most prestigious universities. The main disciplines that have been established since 1220 (the year it was founded) are humanities, law, science, and technology. The University of Montpellier is perfect for students with excellent qualifications who lack the monetary means because of its affordability.  

The University of Montpellier comprises about 15 faculties and departments, which are listed below:

  • Faculty of Athletics and Physical Education (STAPS).
  • Faculty of Dentistry.
  • Faculty of Education.
  • Faculty of Economics.
  • Faculty of Law and Political Science.
  • Faculty of Medicine.
  • Faculty of Pharmacy.
  • Faculty of Sciences.
  • Montpellier Management Institute (MOMA).
  • Polytech Montpellier Engineering School.
  • School for General Administration (IPAG).
  • School of Business Administration (IAE).
  • National University Institute for Teaching, Education & Training Professions (INSPE).
  • University School of Technology – Béziers.
  • University School of Technology – Montpellier – Sète.
  • University School of Technology – Nîmes.
  • Mediterranean Research Observatory for the Environment (OREME).

University of Paris 

Why this university? Innovative learning environment. 

The University of Paris is home to more than 60,000 students and approximately 2,000 academic staff, including researchers. Students participating in exchange programs at the University of Paris benefit from the university’s partnership with over one hundred universities worldwide. Eighty-five countries contribute to the exchange programs, meaning that they both send and welcome students from Paris to attend study abroad programs. 

The University of Paris offers numerous programs with English as the language of instruction; however, there are programs where French is considered the second language. The courses are divided into three main departments: sciences, humanities, social sciences, and health. The department of sciences offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in comparison to the other two disciplines.

A few of the most popular programs include: 

  • Bachelor in Frontiers of Life Sciences. 
  • Master in Biomedical Engineering – Bioengineering and Innovation in Neuroscience (BIN).
  • Master in Biomedical Engineering – Biomaterials and Biodevices (BIOMAT).
  • Master in Biomedical Engineering – Biomechanics (BIOMECH).
  • Master in Biomedical Engineering – Molecular and Cellular Biotherapies (MCB).
  • Master in Biomedical Engineering – Bioimaging (BIM). 
  • Master in English Studies – Linguistics 
  • Master in Public Health – Comparative Effectiveness in Research. 

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