Studying in France

France is not only a great destination for foodies. The country is also a popular destination for students. After all, France is internationally renowned for the high quality of its universities. This article will inform you about everything you need to know about studying in France.

Universities in France

France has three different types of universities where you can study:

  • Universités,
  • Instituts Universitaires de Technologie and
  • Grandes Écoles.

The state Universités (universities) are essentially comparable to the universities in Germany and offer a very wide range of courses.

In addition to the Universités, there are the Instituts Universitaires de Technologie (University Institutes of Technology). These are independent divisions of the state universities, which often offer courses leading to professional qualifications.

The third group consists of the Grandes Écoles (Elite Schools). They usually specialize in a few disciplines, at which executives are trained.

In addition to the three types of universities mentioned above, there are also a number of specialized universities for art, music, and architecture. Similarly to the situation in Germany, you can also study at a large number of private universities in France.

The Higher Education System in France

The higher education system in France is comparable to that in Germany. There are degree programs called "Licence", which usually last three years. They are comparable to the German bachelor's degree.

Based on this, you can take a master's program, which lasts two years. There are two different types of master's degrees in France: the Master Recherche and the Master Professionel. While the Master Recherche is a theoretical course, the Master Professionel is more practice-oriented.

After completing a master's degree, you can take a doctoral program, which lasts another three years. You complete it with the Doctorat, which is equivalent to the German Doktortitel.

The academic year in France begins in early October and ends in mid-May.

Admission to Study in France

The prerequisite for studying in France is the general qualification for university entrance in your home country, for example, the Abitur in Germany. If you want to enroll as a first-year student for a bachelor's degree program in France, you must register on an online platform (Parcoursup). If you want to start your studies in the winter semester (autumn), you have to apply between January and March.

If you are already advanced in your Bachelor's program or if you want to do a Master's program in France, you have to apply directly to the university of your choice. The application deadlines differ from university to university. You should, therefore, always enquire with the universities in advance.

Tuition Fees in France

You have to pay tuition fees to study at a French university. Unlike in many other countries, however, the fees in France are not set by the universities themselves, but by the government. They are, therefore, the same at all state universities.

In addition, tuition fees in France are very low by international standards. For a Bachelor's program, you pay 175 EUR per year. A master's program costs 240 EUR and a doctoral program 360 euros per year. For medical and engineering studies, you can expect to pay fees of up to 500 euros.

Studying at a private university in France can be considerably more expensive. There, tuition fees can be up to 15,000 EUR. The fees at the Grandes Écoles are also considerably higher than at the state universities.

Pros & cons of Studying in France

Studying in France offers you three main advantages: Firstly, the country has numerous very good and internationally respected universities. Secondly, tuition fees are very low by international standards. And thirdly, many of the French university cities such as Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, and Montpellier are among the most beautiful cities in Europe.

The biggest disadvantage of studying in France is the relatively high cost of living. Especially in the large and popular cities, first and foremost Paris, housing is very expensive.