Study on Low Tuition in France: Application Process and Cost of Living

The fact that France is one of the world’s most popular study abroad destinations should not surprise anyone.Do well to read on to find out why so many international students choose to study on low tuition in France – and what steps you should take if you want to join them.

When you think of France, you’ll imagine a distinct set of associations in your mind eyes. From the urbane sophistication and history of its cities, to its tasty meals and wine, to the amazing scenery – you can think of rugged mountains and verdant forests, golden beaches and azure seas, moist pastures and mighty rivers – we all have our fantasized ideas of what France is. This can be seen in its status as the world’s coveted tourist destination, according to reports from the United Nations World Tourist Organization.

Perhaps your personal image of France revolves around its popular intellectual and artistic heritage. Afterall, this is the country, which produced innovative thinkers such as René Descartes and Jean-Paul Sartre, authors like Marcel Proust and Albert Camus, coveted filmmakers such as Jean-Luc Godard and Jean Renoir, and award winning artists like Claude Monet and Paul Cézanne to mention a few. On top of these popular names, there are a whole host of scientists, mathematicians and other researchers, whose names may not be so popular, but whose achievements are amazing.

Tuition fees in France 

Tuition was the same for all students regardless of nationality, however the French government recently announced that it will begin charging tuition fees to non-EU/EEA students starting a new program in September 2019. The good news is that current students and PhD students are not affected by this new regulation, with these students allowed to pay the same fees as EU/EEA students. That said, annual tuition fees to study in France therefore stand as follows:

EU/EEA and Swiss students:

  • €170 per year for bachelor’s degrees
  • €243 per year for master’s degrees
  • €380 per year for PhDs

Non-EU/EEA students:

Thankfully, the French government will be increasing the total number of scholarships available to international students, with many of these available through the Campus Bourses search tool.

Please note that universities in France love to levy additional administrative charges, which are known to increase the cost considerably. However, the final charge is still likely to be cheaper than you would pay in a similar study abroad destination.

If you plan to study in France’s highly selective grandes écoles and grands établissements (great schools and establishments),you’ll pay more since they set their own fees. Some of these operate only at postgraduate level, and some – like Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris – ask students to either complete two years of preparatory school (which is nearly as selective as the grande école itself) or to move across after two or more years of an undergraduate program.Note that top management schools may charge up to €30,000 a year (~US$33,700).

Universities in France

France’s strong academic and artistic tradition has continued in modern times, helped by the fact that there are very few countries which invest as much in research and education. Global university rankings show this. Infact, about 35 French universities are in the QS World University Rankings® 2019, of which 11 are ranked in the global top 300. The nation’s top two universities, Université PSL and Ecole Polytechnique, occupy the world’s top 70 at 50th and 65th respectively, thus solidifying their reputations as two of Europe’s and the world’s leading institutions.

In addition to the 35 French universities ranked in the QS World University Rankings, France is also renowed for having a good number of specialized business schools. These are not placed in the overall rankings due to their subject-specific focus, but regardless enjoy wide-reaching international reputations. Notable examples include ESCP Europe, ESSEC Business School, HEC Paris and INSEAD.

What’s more, tuition fees at the leading universities in France are among the lowest in the world, with annual fees averaging under US$1,000 per year for domestic and international students alike.

So, if studying on low tuition in France is for you, then you’ll attend a high-quality institution at an affordable cost, become fluent in the beautiful and internationally used French language, and generally come to understand the nation’s famed art de vivre, then the answer could well be yes.

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