Find your ideal university and best course for your dream career

It can be confusing which country to choose for your studies abroad. You will need to learn a lot about each of the possible countries and the educational systems before making a decision.That’s why PingmeStudyAbroad, the leading Europe study visa consultants has set up a useful guide about the top study abroad destinations


Study in France

France is the second-largest country by area in continental Europe, after Ukraine. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Andorra, and Spain.


Everything you need to know before planning your studies abroad in France

Two-thirds of the country is made up of mountains and hills with the Alps, Pyrenees, Vosges and Massif Central forming the largest ranges. Mont Blanc in the Alps is the highest mountain in Europe. 
Farms and forests cover 48 million hectares - 82% - of the total area of mainland France. 
France has a number of territories overseas - remnants of a past empire. Together with mainland France and Corsica, they make up 26 administrative regions. It is further divided into 100 "departments", four of which - French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion - are outside Europe.
Population: 67.2 million people live in the country (2018)
Capital: Paris, with 2.2 million inhabitants
Name: République Française (French Republic)
Motto: 'Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité' (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity)
Government: Democracy
Language: French
Religion: mainly Christians (Roman Catholics 64%)
Currency: 1 Euro=100cents, until 2002 French Franc
History: In 700-500BC the Celtic Gauls arrive in France. In 58-50BC Roman Emperor, Julius Caesar defeats the Gauls and France becomes part of the Roman Empire until 476AD. French was ruled by kings for many centuries until the storming of the Bastille during the French Revolution in 1789. Then Napoleon becomes Emperor of the French Republic until he is sent to exile.
Flag: blue, white and red. The French refer to the flag as 'Tricolore' (French for 'three colours')
Anthem: the French anthem is also called 'La Marseillaise' Listen to the text of the French national anthem here (link to YouTube)

Check out Devapriya's journey to securing admission for a Bachelor's program in France with PingMe


France is home to some of the best business schools

With a reputation for high-quality academia and a world-famous arts and culture scene, it’s no wonder in 2017 almost 344,000 students from around the world decided to move to France to study and experience all the country has to offer.

The quality of higher education in France is second to none, with many of its business schools occupying the top spots in global university rankings.

EDHEC Business School is one such institution where its Master in Management and MSc in Finance programs both place in the global top 30 according to the QS Business Masters Rankings 2019. Specializing in business, entrepreneurship, management and innovation, three of its five campuses are located in Paris, Nice and Lille, meaning links to professional opportunities, networking contacts and a global community are right on your doorstep.

So much so that the school’s corporate sponsors are some of the world’s leading global firms – such as PwC, Bloomberg, Unilever and Société Générale – which means students are given exceptional insights and analysis to help them progress in the professional world of business, management, and finance.

France is a world leader in business and finance

With Nice being the economic hub in southern France, Lille home to aspiring entrepreneurs, and Paris leading the way in international business and markets, every EDHEC campus has something to offer.

For those hoping to get a foot in the door of the business and finance world, France is the ideal destination where you can do just that.

It has thriving graduate job prospects

For those who aren’t ready to say au revoir to their French endeavors after graduating, career prospects in the country are promising, especially in the capital. As a prosperous international hub where you’re guaranteed to meet a global network of contacts, Paris is joint seventh in the QS Best Student Cities 2018 when it comes to employer activity.

In addition, a recent study has found Europe is one of the better places in the world for equal opportunities for women when it comes to studying, living and working, with France taking the third spot.

Not Just Paris—Although Paris is Great Too

If you’d prefer to trade in the fast-paced sophistication of Paris for a study abroad destination that allows you to slow down and appreciate the simpler enjoyments of France, there are several other cities that may be more to your liking.

Take, for example, Lille—once voted one of France’s most underrated cities. Within 90 minutes, trains from Lille can also take you to London, Paris, and Brussels. But, once you fall in love with the Flemish-inspired architecture and charming residents, you may never want to leave.

While you’re at it, check out Toulouse, Grenoble, or Lyon as well. All are smaller than Paris but without lacking any of the fun, city vibes.

Warm Welcomes No Matter Where You Go

In recent years, France has made a large effort to recruit international students.

To do so, the French government has simplified the Visa process, and in some cases, even offers grants to entice foreign students to study abroad in France.

This is great news for any prospective students outside of France and the EU who are unsure how the Visa process works to move to another country.

You get to learn French

One of the best reasons to study abroad in France is that you get an opportunity to study the language of love! Even though there are over 40 countries and territories with French as an official language, you can’t beat coming right to the source. French is the 19th most spoken language in the world coming in at over 75 million native speakers alone, so having some of this in your back pocket can only help you. It’s always a good thing to be able to say more than je ne sais quoi!

(Nearly) Unlimited Choices

France is home to an impressive 3,500 institutions of higher education!

That means your choice of schools, programs, and locations is almost unlimited. Take advantage and let your imagination run wild.

Study wine management in Dijon, or try a program in luxury and innovation based out of Nice! No matter what you choose, you’re sure to love every minute of your time studying abroad in France.

  1. France is the world’s most popular tourist destination

Some 83.7 million visitors arrived in France, according to the World Tourism Organization report published in 2014, making it the world’s most-visited country.

2. The average French citizen eats 500 snails each year.

3. There are over 400 kinds of cheese made in France.

4. With a land area of 547,000 square kilometres, France is the largest country in the EU.

  1.  The Louvre Museum in Paris is consistently the most visited museum in the world. Over 9 million visitors go through their doors annually.
  2. No country has won more Nobel Prizes for Literature than France.
  3. Champagne comes exclusively from the Champagne region of France. If it doesn’t come from there, it is simply referred to as a “sparkling wine”.
  4. The lucky citizens of France sleep an average of 8.8 hours each night. That’s the record for the entire developed world.

The French higher education system is characterised by the coexistence of a plurality of institutions which share the dispensing of higher education. They belong to different legal categories. Distinctions can be made between:

  • Universities
  • Schools and institutes outside of universities
  • Higher education institutions, French schools abroad and “grands établissements” (major institutions)
  • “Communautés d’universités et établissements” (COMUE – Communities of Universities and Schools)


Universities are scientific, cultural and professional public institutions (E.P.S.C.P.) as defined by the 1984 Savary Law and in the tradition of the Faure Law (1968) which already defined the concept of the “scientific and cultural public institution”.

Organised since 1984 into training and research units (U.F.R.), they also include internal institutions and schools that dispense technical and short-term training: these are instituts universitaires de technologie (IUT – technological university institutes) providing short higher education.

Since the beginning of the 2013-2014 academic year, the IUFMs have been replaced by the Écoles Supérieures du Professorat et de l’Éducation (ESPE – Higher Schools for Teaching and Education) to ensure the training of all teachers, pedagogical education advisers, as well as students who have decided to go into other education professions and those who wish to develop skills in the field of teaching, education and training. The ESPEs are parts of universities attached to one or several Public Institutions of a Scientific, Cultural and Professional Nature (EPSCP), to a Research and Higher Education Hub (PRES) or a future Community of Universities (COMUE).

Grands établissements publics (Major public institutions)

“Grands établissements” are higher education institutions mainly admitting on the basis of an entrance exam taken by students in “classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles” (CPGE -classes preparing for admission to Grandes Ecoles). They are governed by the provisions of chapter VII of the Education Code and their statutory decrees. The following fall under this category: Collège de France, Conservatoire national des arts et métiers (CNAM), Ecole centrale des arts et manufactures (ECAM), Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), Ecole nationale des Chartes (ENC), Ecole nationale supérieure d’arts et métiers (ENSAM), institut Polytechnique de Bordeaux (IPB), Ecole nationale supérieure des sciences de l’information et des bibliothèques (ENSSIB), Ecole pratique des hautes études (EPHE), Institut d’études politiques de Paris (IEP), Institut de physique du globe de Paris (IPG), Observatoire de Paris, Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales (INALCO), Muséum national d’histoire naturelle (MNHN), Palais de la découverte, Institut national d’histoire de l’art (INHA), Université de technologie en sciences des organisations et de la décision de Paris-Dauphine, Ecole des hautes études en santé publique (EHESP), Institut polytechnique de Grenoble.

Higher schools and institutions outside universities

These schools and institutes outside of universities have an administrative board, assisted by a Scientific Council and a Council for Studies and Student Life. Universities of Technology, National Institutes of Applied Science and “Écoles Centrales” (outside of Paris) fall within this category.

Écoles Normales Supérieures, Grands Établissements and French schools abroad

The Grandes Écoles, which are characterised by a very selective admissions policy and the high level of training and qualifications dispensed.

Watch this video to discover the top courses to study in France

  • Marketing
  • Fashion design
  • Luxury brand management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • International business
  • Tourism
  • Hospitality and event management
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering

Eligibility Requirements – For UG Courses in French Universities:

The student must remember that it is obligatory to meet all the Eligibility Requirements for the UG Courses before applying for these courses in the French Universities.

  • The student who would like to attend the undergraduate program in France must have a high school diploma or the equivalent.
  • It is required to have the French baccalaureate or degree equivalent to this.
  • UG Admissions in France required the student to pass the University admission examination from the home country.
  • If the student is interested in the technology institutes, then he should be ready to appear in the personal interview round.
  • The candidates are also required to submit the IELTS/ TOEFL scores.

Eligibility Requirements – For UG Courses in French Grandes Ecoles:

  • The student is required to have the baccalaureate or equivalent diploma.
  • The student will be ranked as according to the competitive examination which is organized at the end of two years preparation program i.e. CGPE.

Eligibility Requirements – For PG Courses:

France has a good reputation for their excellent postgraduate study programs. The postgraduate programs offered in French Universities are really the best of the best. In order to apply for the PG courses in French Universities, it is required to satisfy the Eligibility Requirement for PG Courses. Also, the postgraduate programs in French fall into three categories namely Taught masters, Research masters, and Doctorates and Ph.D

  • The prime requirement for the students who are applying for the master’s program is that they must have the relevant Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent degree diploma.
  • The students who are applying for the doctoral program must possess the master’s degree or relevant diploma
  • French Universities will often require the scores of the standardized tests like GRE, GMAT, SAT etc.
  • Grandes Ecoles will set their own examination which is required to qualify in order to take admission.
  • It may be possible that some universities will provide admission on the basis of the interview level.
  • It is also required to submit the academic transcripts for the UG degree. These transcripts must be certified by the institution that granted the student’s existing degree.

  • Passport copy front and last page
  • Resume
  • Passport size photo
  • SOP (Statement of Purpose)
  • Mark sheets and passing certificates for all these levels:
  • School
  • High School
  • Degree (All levels)*
  • IELTS (Minimum: Overall 5.5bands)**
  • Work Experience (If Any)
  • Any other certificates
  • Scanned copy of application form (Duly filled and signed)


The tuition fees at public universities are set by the French government and are the same across the students will now be charged higher amounts for Bachelors and Masters degrees. The new tuition fees for international students, starting September 2019, are:

  • 2,770 euros per year for Bachelor’s (Licence) programmes,
  • 3,770 euros per year for Master’s programmes,
  • 380 euros per year for Doctorate (PhD) programmes – the same amount as for Europeans.

Note that the values above refer only to public universities; the cost of tuition at private universities can be higher. They generally range from 3,000 to 20,000 euros per year. French government announced that they would increase the availability of scholarships alongside the new higher tuition fees.


Student life in France doesn’t have to be expensive. Even in cities like Bordeaux, Lyon or Toulouse you can get by with 850 to 1,000 euros per month, including accommodation. That is still moderate for European levels. In some smaller towns you might spend even less. But the exception is Paris, the capital: expect to spend 1,250 to 1,400 euros per month at the very least – and consider yourself extremely lucky if you can score a place in a students’ hall of residence.

If you want to study for longer than six months, then you need to apply for this visa. This type of study visa lasts for the duration of your course in France i.e. three years for bachelors, two years for a masters and four years for a Ph.D. Long-stay visas act as residence permits and are called VLT-TS.

Submission of Visa application and collection of passports can be done only by the applicant himself or through a travel agent authorized by the Embassy of France, New Delhi. Before submitting your application for a student visa at the French Consulate you must create an online Campus France Registration file.

You may contact the closest CampusFrance office for assistance or schedule an appointment through the online le or by calling the CampusFrance office.

You should provide two sets of application photocopies containing the following documents:

    • Long stay application form for duration of more than 90 days duly filled and signed (Download the application form on the )
    • Two passport size photographs of the past 3 months meeting set standards – one must be attached to the application form (Size 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm, with clear background)
    • Passport: a full national private passport or official travel document with a minimum of three months validity beyond the validity of the requested visa, with two blank visa pages with the mention “visa” to affix the visa sticker. The passport should be issued less than 10 years ago
    • One copy of the passport mentioning personal identity and validity extension informations, “note on remarks” page and all the pages which contain Schengen visas
    • Old passports: if you own one or more former passports, you must bring them
  • A print out of your Campus France ID number 
  • A letter of registration from a French Academic Institution or a certificate testifying that you will follow an European Union Training Programme or proof of scholarship.
  • Cover letter explaining the study project and your motivation, including a short curriculum vitae.
  • Proof of resources: tuition fees + a minimum of 615 Euros/month x by number of months of stay (living expenses). Only liquid assets will be considered. In the case of family member/friend funding your studies, an undertaking must be provided on plain paper duly signed along with supporting financial documents.
  • ITR (student/Parent/Sponsor).
  • Bank statements of the last 3 months (of the individual sponsoring the education and the student’s bank statements if he/she has an account in his/her name)
  • If you are being hosted by a family in France, an “Attestation d’accueil” will have to be provided by the family (A sample of this document may be downloaded from ( In such a case you will have to show resources for a minimum of 215 euros per month for your living expenses.

Note: holders of a scholarship are not concerned. A certificate mentioning the amount and the duration of the scholarship is only required.

    • Proof of medical insurance with coverage valid for France if you are attending a school or university for a stay which is less than 6 months, or if you are 28 or older regardless of the length of your studies (+ 1 photocopy). You will have to prove that the coverage is valid while you study in France with a letter from your medical insurance.
    • One copy of your round trip ticket if you are studying 6 months or less (+ 1 photocopy) or a one way ticket only if you are studying in France more than 6 months (+ 1 photocopy)
  • The “Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration” OFII form duly filled and signed 
  • Accommodation during the first three months of the stay: Proof of residency in France

Note: in any case, you must provide the address of your residence once you arrive in France

    1. You will have to appear in person for the academic interview with the Campus France advisor. You must also carry all the mandatory documents plus one set of photocopies along with the Campus France fee payment receipt.
    2. You will receive an interview completion certificate at  the end of the interview.

After the academic interview, schedule an appointment with VFS-France, to submit your documents, photocopies, receipts and passport.


    1. Within the first three months following your arrival, you must register and validate your visa at the following:
    2. This quick and simple process will ensure that you are registered as a legal resident in France.


If you want to stay in France at the end of the validity period of your VLS-TS, you must apply for a residence permit at the prefecture of your place of residence two months prior to the expiry date of their visa.

A student, upon completing the studies in France, must as per the immigration rules of the country, leave France. S/He can, however, apply for a residence permit for France if s/he has paid employment. This is applicable for both bachelor and master’s programs and students would have to apply for a work permit.

For master’s students, however, there is good news. While bachelor degree holders can stay on only if they have a work permit, the students pursuing Masters from France get an added advantage. On completing the master’s course, a student can apply for and get a temporary residence permit – APS, for a period of 24 months.

Want to get free counseling? Don’t hesitate to contact us with your doubts.

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