Study in France: Top Universities, Programs, Admissions, Scholarships and ROI

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    Aastha Anand

    | Updated On - Jan 6, 2022

    France is home to some of the most popular universities in the world and as per QS Rankings 2022, 5 French universities are ranked among the top 200 in the world. Every year, over 2 million international students enroll in popular courses such as management, MBA, engineering, pure science, and linguistic studies. Students can apply for top universities in France like HEC Paris, Insead and ESCP Europe through January and September intake.

    Public universities in France are well-funded by the French government, due to which tuition fees for public universities are free. However, a student planning to study in a private university will be required to spend 20,000 EUR to 30,000 EUR for tuition and additional 12,000 EUR per year for living. After graduation, top recruiters like McDonalds, Louis Vuitton and Hennessy, Credit Agricole offer graduates jobs in France with an average salary package of 49,500 EUR.

    Study in France: Top Universities/Colleges

    QS Ranking 2022 University Name Tuition Fees (EUR)
    44 Université PSL NA
    49 Institut Polytechnique de Paris 16,800
    72 Sorbonne University NA
    86 Université Paris-Saclay 170-243
    130 École Normale Supérieure de Lyon 184-243
    245 Ecole des Ponts ParisTech 1,327
    261 Sciences Po Varies
    261 Université de Paris 170-243
    290 Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne 2,972
    314 Université Grenoble Alpes NA
    421 Université de Strasbourg 184-256
    501-550 Aix-Marseille University 170

    Why Pursue Studies in France?

    • France is a popularly known EU country offering top programs in fields like biology and pharmaceuticals, nuclear energy and research, automobile and aviation, food and cuisine, high fashion, art etc.
    • MBA program is one of the most popular courses in France and students all over the world enroll in management courses. The cost to pursue an MBA in France is 70,000-85,000 EUR. However, students can easily grab a salary package upto 117,000 EUR.
    • Studying in France is quite affordable because public universities like Université PSL, Sorbonne University, and Université Grenoble Alpes charge no tuition fees.
    • France has tie-ups with leading international corporations like Airbus, Total, Orange, LVMH, L’Oréal, Danone.
    • 15% of French population shows interest in working in startups like Agricool, Indy, Pixpay, iziwork, Luko.

    Top Courses in France

    More than 25,000 students from diverse countries come to study in France, most commonly for courses in the field of Science, Management and Language. Some of the top courses in France are mentioned below.

    MBA in France

    Management courses are highly popular among international students. Factors like course curriculum, enrollment, and MBA jobs in France are the reason why most students enroll in management programs. Paris has various top universities like HEC, Sorbonne and Science Po. Apart from Paris, Southern France is also very popular for the same and students can pursue various specializations like Entrepreneurship, project management, strategic management, and general management. Some of the universities offering MBA in France are:

    • ESSEC Business School
    • Grenoble Graduate School of Business
    • HEC Paris
    • EDHEC Business School
    • ESSEC Business School
    • Grenoble Graduate School of Business
    • EDHEC Business School
    • INSEAD

    Engineering in France

    Engineering universities in France are highly competitive and follow a stringent admission process. Students planning to study with high-quality standards and practical training can take admission to universities in France. Apart from this, some top recruiters like Airbus, Alcatel, and Alstom in the field of Aviation, telecommunications, and Gas Turbines attract the students for future employment. Engineering universities in France are mentioned below.

    • Ecole Polytechnique
    • Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon (INSA)
    • Ecole Centrale de Paris
    • Grenoble INP, Grenoble Institute of Technology
    • Ecole Centrale de Lyon

    Pure Science in France

    France is home to some top universities offering courses in Chemistry and Physics. The study involves core aspects of natural phenomena with theories and applications in laboratories. The course curriculum involves subjects like Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy. University offering courses in Philosophy are mentioned below.

    • University of Paris-Sud
    • University of Grenoble Alpes
    • Université de Strasbourg
    • Ecole Polytechnique

    Linguistics in France

    France is popular for the French language and language involves linguistic studies. Studying linguistics in France is highly popular as it involves syntax, grammar, pronunciation, and phonetics. Overseas students planning a career in fields like journalism, translation, language research can opt for a degree in Linguistic studies.

    • ISIT France
    • University of Kent – Paris Campus
    • University of Reims

    Where to Study in France?

    France has almost 38 cities and more than 3,500 universities and colleges. Students planning to study in France, must note the below mentioned table before finalizing their study destination.

    Type Paris Lyon Toulouse Grenoble
    Top Universities Université PSL, Institut Polytechnique de Paris , Sorbonne University Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 National School for Civil Aviation, ENAC, Université Grenoble Alpes
    Cost of Living 1,079/month 855/month 957/month 903
    Average Salary Offered (EUR/PA) 55,000 52,400 52,400 17,600


    Apart from being a lover’s place, Paris is also known for top universities like Université PSL, Institut Polytechnique de Paris, Sorbonne University. As per QS World Rankings, 12 out of 32 French universities are located in Paris. Students from diverse countries come to Paris and begin their journey of higher education in fields like Business, Science, Fashion and more.


    Toulouse in France is another destination after Paris with a reasonable cost of living, great geographical location close to the ocean and mountains. The city is the fourth largest and called Pink City due to pink bricks. The city has the world's universities. as well as Polytechnique, INP Toulouse are some universities located in Toulouse.


    It is one of the top destinations for overseas students after Paris in France. The city is extremely beautiful and has access to premier destinations including Paris, Switzerland, and Italy. Hence, a huge number of international students study in Grenoble making it one of the most culturally diverse cities in France.

    Intakes in France?

    Universities in France offer two intakes for two students, September intake and January intake. The upcoming timeline for both intakes is mentioned below.

    Intake Month Type
    January to July (For January Intake)or February to March (for September Intake) Choose university and program
    July to August (For January Intake) or March to May (for September Intake) Appear for Entrance exams- GMAT, GRE, and more
    August-September (for January Intake) or May to June (for September Intake) Collect SOP and LOR
    September-October (for January Intake) or June to July (for September Intake) Appear for Personal Interview
    September to November (for January Intake) or June to August (for September Intake) Apply for France Student Visa

    Study in France Requirements

    Documents required to apply to universities in France are mentioned below. International students must make a note of the same while preparing.

    • Valid passport
    • Complete application form with passport size photos
    • Financial documents
    • Statement of Purpose
    • Loan documents
    • Letters of Recommendation
    • Resume
    • Original and authentic transcripts of schools and/or college
    • Scholarship Essay, if applicable
    • Other supporting documents as asked by the university

    Study in France: Language Requirements

    International students planning to study in France are required to submit scores of standardised tests in France. Certain universities accept English language scores whereas some require French language scores.

    University IELTS Score
    HEC Paris 7
    Sorbonne University 6.5
    EDHEC Business 7
    NEOMA Business School 6
    Emlyon Business School 6
    Science Po 7

    France Student Visa

    All international students seeking their dream education in France must have the correct France student visa to guarantee entry during admission to France. France offers a short-term visa that can continue in 3 months and a long-term visa that allows applicants to stay in the country for 11 months. Those who want to participate in shorter academic sessions are more likely to opt for the short-term visa, and those who have applied for a bachelor's or master's degree receive a long-term visa. The documents required for France Student Visa are mentioned below:

    • A valid passport
    • Two passport size photographs
    • Visa application form
    • Official acceptance letter
    • Financial Stability
    • Proof of medical insurance
    • English language proficiency exams

    Study in France: Cost

    The tuition fees for French higher education universities are subsidized by the government. However, B-schools require fees by students to study. The average cost to study in France is mentioned below,

    Tuition Fees for B-Schools in France

    The average tuition fees charged by B-Schools to pursue Business programs is tabulated below.

    University Tuition Fees (EUR)
    HEC Paris 78,000
    INSEAD 91,225
    ESSEC Business School 43,200
    EDHEC Business School 46,700
    EMLYON Business School 17,500
    SKEMA Business School 38,000

    Cost of Living in France

    Cost of living in France highly depends on the city and university location. Some cities like Paris have a high standard of living whereas some are quite affordable.

    Type Cost (EUR)
    Books & Material 600/yr
    Food & Beverage 250-300/month
    Accommodations 200-700/month
    Other Related Expenses 78-163/month
    Utilities 200/month
    Entertainment 80-160/month

    Scholarships to Study in France

    International students planning to study in France can avail benefits of scholarships in France. Students can apply for non-government, government and university scholarships as per their need to cut down the high cost of study and living.

    • Eiffel Scholarship Program of Excellence- This particular scholarship is established by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs. International students within the age of 30 years can apply. Also, students applying to a masters or PhD program in law, economics and management, engineering or political science are eligible for this scholarship.
    • AIFS Study Abroad Scholarships, Grants and Financial Support- Students can apply for a variety of scholarships under this category with certain academic study in France requirements.
    • The Fulbright Scholarship- Students pursuing master's and Phd programs can enroll for Full Bright Scholarship. Benefits can be availed off upto 20 grants.
    • The Charpak Scholarship Program- Applicants below the age of 30 years can secure allowance upto 700/month and tuition waivers upto 5,000.
    • The Charpak Scholarship Program- Indian Students from low income families can avail fee waivers upto 10,000 EUR with required GPA.

    Job Opportunities after Studying in France

    France is home to some of the top recruiters like French luxury brand LVMH, McDonalds, Louis Vuitton and Hennessy, Credit Agricole. Students after education can expect an average salary package of 49,500 EUR and highest upto 221,000. Some of the popular job titles with average salary packages are tabulated below.

    Job Title Average Salary (EUR)
    Accountant 33,200
    Administrative Assistant 25,500
    Creative Director 46,400
    Aerospace Engineer 63,500
    Architect 58,400
    Bank Branch Manager 88,800
    Business Analyst 62,400
    Engineer 43,400
    Chief Executive Officer 110,000
    Information Technology Manager 82,500
    Journalist 52,700

    Location and place of company’s origin also influences the salary offered to students. Some of the top cities in France with average salary packages are tabulated below.

    City Average Salary Package (EUR)
    Bordeaux 46,000
    Lille 45,400
    Lyon 52,400
    Marseille 53,500
    Montpellier 47,600
    Paris 55,000

    Study in France: Return on Investment

    A student before enrolling into any program and choosing any university, looks after the return on investment offered. Hence, to sum up the same you can check below mentioned table with top universities and salary package offered.

    University Average Salary Package (EUR)
    Sciences Po Bordeaux 40,000
    INSEAD 117,000
    Emlyon Business School 50,000
    EDHEC Business School 60,000
    EDC Paris Business School 47,000
    Ecole Spéciale des Travaux Publics 41,000
    Ecole des Ponts ParisTech 90,000

    No matter which part of the country you travel to, you will be surprised to find that almost all French universities offer top-notch education to students from all over the world. In addition, you have the option of taking courses both full-time and part-time.


    Ques. How much money will it take to study in France?

    Ans. France is one of the few countries with low tuition fees. For international students, the tuition fees range from 2,770 to 3,770 EUR in public institutions. However, for private institutions or Grandes Ecoles the tuition cost can go upto 30,000 EUR per year. In terms of living expenses, international students need to incur an annual expense of around 1000 to 1600 EUR.

    Ques. Which course is best for study in France?

    Ans. MBA, Computer Science & IT, Engineering, etc are some of the popular courses to study in France at the PG-level. However, at the UG-level, around 88% of international students enroll for courses in the business, arts, and architecture.

    Ques. Which job has the highest salary in France?

    Ans. MBA is the highest paying degree in France with an average annual salary of 98,00 EUR. It is followed by Executive MBA and Doctorate with average pay of 92,000 EUR and 74,000 EUR per year respectively.

    Ques. What are some of the top B-schools for studying in France?

    Ans. INSEAD, Rennes Business School, HEC Paris, EMLYON Business School, EDHEC Business School are some of the top B-Schools in France.

    Ques. What kind of student visa is required to pursue a degree program in France?

    Ans. International students planning to a UG or PG-level degree course in France need to obtain a long-stay visa. For this, applicants need to submit the following documents:

    • Two recent passport-size photographs
    • Valid passport with at least 2 blank pages
    • Official enrollment/ acceptance letter from french institution
    • Proof of available finances ( approx 615 EUR per month)
    • Airline ticket showing departure date
    • Medical insurance certificate
    • Proof of French and English language proficiency

    Ques. What are the requirements to study in France?

    Ans. Admission requirements vary with level of study and course stream. However, all international students must have a valid study permit, passport, IELTS/TOEFL score, recommendation letters, personal statements.

    Ques. Can international students work part-time while pursuing studies in France?

    Ans. Yes, international students can work part-time while pursuing a degree program in France. Furthermore, working part-time will help them secure a temporary residence Permit post the completion of their program.

    Ques. What kind of financial aid is available for International Students to study in France?

    Ans. The French government as well as institutions are offering a plethora of scholarships to international students. Some of these include Eiffel Excellence Scholarship, Erasmus Mundus Program, IAF Scholarship for Women, etc.


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