France is a favorite holiday destination due to its rich culture, world-renowned infrastructures, and influence in shaping the world’s history. However, aside from its tourist-focused features, France is also a favorite study destination for international students. In fact, thousands of students flock to France every year to study, making it the fourth most popular destination worldwide after the US, the UK, and Australia, which are all English-speaking countries.
If you are planning to study in France, read on to learn more about this student-friendly country.
You Can Study for Free or at a Low Cost
France’s higher education institutions (HEIs) are some of the best in the world. In fact, many of its institutions, including Universite PSL, Sorbonne University, and the University of Paris, have ranked in various global rankings, such as the recent QS University Rankings, and the Shanghai Ranking.
Despite its world-ranking institutions and education system, France’s tuition costs are still relatively lower than other European countries. This is because a huge part of the budget of French public HEIs is subsidized by the government. However, there’s some difference between students from EU/EEA countries and Switzerland, and non-EU/EEA students—tuition fee costs are usually higher for non-EU/EEA/Swiss students.
In some cases, international students can also study for free if they get a grant from the French government (BGF), their host institutions, or other organizations. In 2019, the French government has granted more than 10,000 scholarships and internships and 14,000 tuition fee exemptions through its embassies.
You Can Take a Course in English
France’s official language and medium of instruction is French. However, fluency in French is not the main requirement to study in France (unless a program specifies it). In fact, some universities in France, as part of their requirements, may ask foreign students to pass English proficiency tests such as TOEFL, IELTS, and Cambridge Exams.
As part of an effort to attract more international students to study in the country, there has been an increasing number of HEIs—both public and private—offering courses taught in English. These programs include all levels and fields of studies available from various HEIs.
You Can Apply for Government Assistance for Housing
In most cases, students studying in another country are usually left to their own devices when it comes to accommodation, unless the student’s school fees or financial assistance include housing. In France, however, international students may qualify for financial assistance from the government through rent subsidies. Students from the EU or are holders of a long-stay visa and residency permit are usually the ones eligible for this assistance.
CAF, France’s family assistance fund, will pay international students a subsidy through its two programs, APL or ALS. The amount also differs depending on the student’s rental cost and resources.
Strong Value on Equality
The French people strongly value equality and secularism, which stems from their win against the monarchy during the French revolution. Meaning anyone, no matter their religion or citizenship, is treated equally in society.
Want to begin your international journey and education in France? Browse through MSM Unify’s list of universities in France.