How to Study in France for Indian Students? Would you like to study in a country with high educational standards and affordable tuition? France fits that description perfectly.
One of the most popular destinations in Europe opens its doors to you to start your professional training, continue your studies, or learn its elegant language.
Live and learn in the famous wine nation and the unmistakable Eiffel Tower home. With several of the world’s leading universities and schools, studying in France is a decision you will never regret. Do you want to know why? Here we tell you!
How to Study in France for Indian Students? What do you need?
France is not only one of the most visited destinations by tourists in Europe, but also by international students. With a versatile environment that offers everything from metropolitan centers to relaxed dreamy Alps, studying in France is a unique experience that attracts thousands of foreigners every year.
One of the main advantages of choosing this country as an academic destination is the competitive quality/price ratio of education. Suppose you are a citizen of one of the nations of the EEA (European Economic Area) or have already obtained permanent residence in one of them.
In that case, you will have access to very low tuition fees.
On the other hand, the cost of studying in France is still very affordable for Latin American students from different parts of the world. For bachelor’s programs, prices start at $3,300 per year, a tempting figure considering the reputation of French higher education.
And… How good is education in France? Well, to give you an idea, you will find several of the best universities in this country. According to the QS Top Universities ranking, the 3 most outstanding universities in France are Université PSL, École Polytechnique, and Sorbonne University.
We are talking about a country that was the birthplace of great inventors such as Joseph-Nicéphore Niépce and the Montgolfier brothers. In addition, it is also one of the most recognized in the field of Literature, with great writers such as Victor Hugo, Jean-Paul Sartre, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and Maurice Druon.
To Study in France for Indian Students, you must apply for a visa according to your program’s duration and nationality. The visas available for this purpose are:
- Long-Term Study Visa ( VLS-TS étudiant ). Visa for foreigners of any nationality who want to study in France for more than 3 months.
- Schengen visa ( court sejour ). Visa for foreigners of some nationalities who want to study in France for a maximum period of 3 months.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Higher Education, in 2018, France received more than 300,000 international students, thus becoming the 4th most visited country for this purpose.
More than 3,500 public and private education centers are waiting for you in the land of Napoleon, most with programs for foreigners taught in English.
Also, if you want to study French in France, many academies with courses will suit your needs. Options range from intensive programs in the heart of Paris to summer courses on the beautiful Mediterranean island of Corsica.
Ready to live the most unforgettable experience of your life? Then don’t waste time and read this complete guide on how to study in France from Latin America.
Cost of Study in France for Indian Students
Although they say that money does not buy happiness, it is an essential resource to study in France or any other country. For this reason, it is of the utmost importance to know your cost of living and the tuition price according to your study level.
Considering studying in this European nation, it is best to have at least $2,604 monthly for basic expenses. We mean food, rent, hygiene products, and transportation.
The cost of living can vary considerably depending on your city. Iconic Paris is the most expensive city, followed by Lyon and Montpellier. On the other hand, for tighter budgets, the cities of Nantes, Bordeaux, and Grenoble offer relatively cheap prices.
As we mentioned in the introduction, France has an exciting quality/price ratio at an educational level. The cost of studies for international students outside the EEA is as follows:
- $3,331 a year for Bachelor programs.
- $4,534 a year for Master’s programs.
- $457 a year for Doctorate (Ph.D.) programs.
These figures represent the costs of the different levels of study in public universities. Keep in mind that at private universities (such as the Catholic University of Lyon), tuition costs can range from $3,600 to $24,000 per year.
Free Study in France for Indian Students
In autumn 2019, a change was made to the registration system in France for foreigners. Until then, international students only had to pay about $240 a year for their education, but the figures have changed.
If you are a citizen or permanent resident of an EEA country or Switzerland, tuition prices are incredibly low ($200 to $723 per year). On the other hand, the fees are more expensive for people with nationality and residence outside the EEA.
In short, studying in France is not free, but it is much more accessible than other popular academic destinations such as Australia and the United Kingdom.
The good news is that, along with the renewal of enrollments for foreigners, the French Government will sponsor 3 times more scholarships for international students than in the past. Thus, there is the possibility of studying for free in France or significantly reducing student costs.
To learn more about this topic, we recommend you visit the following page on tuition and fees in France.
Study at the University in France
Universities in France represent the maximum splendor and prestige of higher education. Many of them, such as Sorbonne University, are considered the most important in Europe and the world. This institution alone brings together more than 30 Nobel prizes, of the 69 that the country has won between 1901 and 2018.
More than 70% of France’s international students each year enroll in one of its universities. The competition is stiff, but fortunately, many institutions and programs can choose from it.
The French university sector is divided into public and private institutions. State-funded public universities are spread throughout the territory, from the New Aquitaine region to the Grand Est region.
University programs in France cover all fields and areas of study, such as art, medicine, languages, science, and sports. If you are interested in studying for a bachelor’s degree at a French university, these are the degrees you can obtain:
- DU (University Diploma). Equivalent to 1 year of study.
- BTS, CPGE, and DMA. Equal to 2 years of study at the bachelor’s level.
- Professional Degrees, DNA and DEEA. Equivalent to 3 years of study at the bachelor’s level.
Depending on your preference, you can also obtain a diploma at the masters or doctoral level.
What will universities ask of you?
To study in France as a foreigner, you should know that each university has its admission process and specific requirements.
That is why, if you want to know precisely what the university that interests you is going to ask you, it is best to contact it directly.
However, so that you can go into context a little, we will discuss some aspects you should know. The first, perhaps most important, is Campus France’s “Études en France” (EEF) Procedure.
Campus France is a national agency responsible for guiding and helping foreigners who want to study in France at a Higher Education Institution (HEI). The requirements may vary according to the university, the program, and your nationality.
If you are interested in registering on the Campus France website and starting an application, you must verify that your country is connected to the agency. Some Latin American countries are Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru, and Mexico.
On the other hand, the general requirements that you must surely meet are:
- Have a French, European, or internationally valid baccalaureate. The “International Baccalaureate Diploma Program” is one of the most popular qualifications to show that you are ready to study abroad in a university program.
- It is aimed at non-university students between the ages of 16 and 19 and lasts for 2 years. To learn more, go to this link.
- Demonstrate your command of French or English (depending on the program’s language). In France, there are more than 1,300 programs taught in English designed for international students.
- If you are interested in one of these courses, you will have to prove your command of English by presenting the results of valid exams such as IELTS or TOEFL.
- The minimum qualification depends on each university, so you should inform yourself. On the other hand, if you are going to study a French program and do not come from a French-speaking country.
- You will also have to prove your command of the language. Some of the most used tests are the TCF, TEF, or DELF, with a level between B2 and C1, depending on the program.
What will they ask of you in the Grandes Écoles (Les Grandes Écoles )
In France, many other higher education institutions are not considered universities but still admit 20% of the international students who come to the country.
The Grandes Écoles, or as they are called in French, “Les Grandes Écoles”, encompasses several French institutions, such as:
- Superior Normal Schools (ENS).
- Business and Management Schools
- Institutes of Political Studies (IEP).
- Engineering Schools.
- Veterinary Schools.
Most programs at these institutions are taught in English and award degrees equivalent to 5 years of undergraduate study. There are public and private Grandes Écoles, and some award Master’s degrees.
Tuition at private Grandes Écoles can be even more expensive than university.
Suppose you are interested in enrolling in a program taught by one of these institutions. In that case, you should know that the admission process is quite selective and consists of entrance exams, and preparatory classes of up to 2 years, among other requirements.
We recommend contacting the institute of your interest to find out exactly what conditions you must meet.
What is the process to be accepted?
Below we give you some details of the process to be accepted into a Higher Education Institution (HEI) in France, depending on your situation.
If you are from a country affected by the “Études en France” procedure:
- Register on the Études en France website. This platform manages all the registration procedures to study in France until you apply for your visa. You first have to create an account and select your country of residence (which must match your nationality).
- Then, you can apply for admission to up to 3 different institutions. The organization will guide you throughout the process, and you can even contact the Campus France representative in your country to clarify any questions.
- To get started with registration, click here. If you want to know more about the Études en France procedure, open this link.
If you are not European or from a country affected by the “Études en France” procedure:
- Follow the “Demande d’Admission Préalable – DAP” procedure (to enroll in the first year of a bachelor’s degree). If you are not European and do not reside in a country associated with Études en France, you must follow the process described on this page.
- You will have to send your application to study in France to the Department of Cooperation and Cultural Action of the French Embassy in your country.
- Please note that the “white sheets” refer to the first year of study at a university, the yellow ones to the first year at an architecture school, and the green ones to international students already living in France. To learn more, click here.
Important. Carry out the procedure in advance, preferably in November, before the academic year you plan to study in France.
Registration closes in January, and you should receive a response by April. If you apply to more than 1 university and receive several acceptance letters, you will have to choose the most convenient one.
Visas to Study in France
Do you want to study in this first-world country? Below we tell you everything about the types of visas, their requirements, and the process you must carry out your dream and study abroad.
Long Stay Visa for Studies (VLS-TS étudiant )
To study in France for more than 3 months, there is a specific visa you can apply for, called the Long-Term Study Visa (VLS-TS étudiant ). This document attached to your passport allows you to stay in France as a student for a period of 4 months to 1 year.
So, if you study in this European country for more than 1 year or a period longer than the expiration of the Visa, you will have to apply for a residence permit. The VLS-TS étudiant must be validated as soon as you arrive in France.
To be sure that this is the Visa that corresponds to you according to your nationality, the purpose of visit, and duration, we suggest you visit this link.
What I need?
Next, we will present you with a list of general requirements to apply for your Long-Term Visa for Studies in France. We have used the “Assistant Visa” tool to know the necessary documents in case of having Argentine nationality and carrying out the procedure in Argentina.
Therefore, remember that the requirements may vary depending on your nationality and the country from which you apply.
- Valid passport or Travel Document, less than 10 years old. The passport must have at least 2 blank pages and not expire within 3 months of the expiration date of your Visa. For example, if your Visa is valid for 1 year, your passport must be valid for all that time + 3 additional months.
- Passport-type photograph.
- Residence permit if you do not have the nationality of the country where you apply for the Visa.
- Proof that you have been accepted to a Higher Education Institution (HEI) in France. Suppose you live in a country that follows the “Études en France” procedure. In that case, you must present the Pre-registration Certificate issued by the EEF-Pastel application and your respective EEF identification number. Suppose you do not live in a country that follows the “Études en France” procedure. In that case, you must present a letter of acceptance or pre-registration certificate issued by an IES or authorized training center.
- Last academic degree received if you are not in an EEF country.
- Proof of accommodation for the first 3 months in France. They are valid hotel reservations or declarations of a host, such as an establishment, institution, or individual. If you don’t have any of them, they may accept a letter explaining where you will stay during your first 3 months in France.
- Proof of sufficient financial funds (at least $739 per month). To prove that you can support yourself during your stay in France, you must present a bank statement or scholarship certificate. The documents must show that you have a reliable and frequent source of income.
- $119 or $60 to pay for the procedure (depending on whether you are from an EEF country or not). Please note that these approximate prices must be paid in local currency.
- Start your enrollment on the “Études en France” platform or contact the French Consular Office in your country. If you are from a country that follows the EEF procedure, the application for the Long-Term Visa for Studies is automatically managed by the platform. However, if you do not belong to an EEF country, you must contact the French Consular Office. To find the Embassy or Consulate that corresponds to you, click here.
- Register on the official visa website for France. Suppose you will apply for your Visa to study in France on your own. In that case, you must create an account on the official visa website for France, fill out the form and take it along with the necessary documents to the corresponding consular office. To start with the registration, go to this link.
- Wait for the reply. After the EEF agency has submitted your visa application or managed it on your own, you must wait for the French authorities to approve your study visa. The period to receive a response depends on each application, the country where you live, and the documents presented.
- Study in France! Now that your Long-Term Visa for Studies ( VLS-TS étudiant) has been approved, you are ready to travel to romantic France and start your professional training in one of the best European academic destinations.
Can you study and work?
That’s how it is! Your VLS-TS étudiant allows you to work up to 20 hours a week in France, which translates to 964 hours a year.
Schengen visa ( court sejour )
There is a standard visa policy in Europe between several countries called the “Schengen Area.” This agreement stipulates that, by possessing a Schengen Visa, travelers of some nationalities can move freely between the countries of the Schengen Area for short stays.
France was one of the first countries to sign this agreement in 1985. Since then, foreigners from some countries must apply for a Schengen Visa if they want to study in France for a maximum of 90 days.
Not all nationalities require this Visa for short stays, so we recommend you open the following page and check if your country needs a Schengen Visa. If you are from one of the countries exempt from the Schengen Visa (such as Chile, Peru, and Colombia), then you do not need to complete this procedure to study in France for less than 3 months.
What I need
- A valid passport was issued less than 10 years ago. The document must contain at least 2 blank pages and be valid for at least 3 months from when you intend to leave France.
- A passport-type photograph, recent and of good quality.
- Residence permit if you live in a country other than your nationality.
- Proof that you do not intend to stay in France for more than 3 months. For this requirement, you may need to submit a copy of your round-trip airline ticket to your country of residence or a travel itinerary.
- Certificate of enrollment or letter of acceptance in a training course. This document proves that you will study in France for a maximum of 90 days.
- Travel medical insurance.
- Proof of accommodation, such as a hotel reservation or rental agreement.
- Proof of economic funds, such as bank statements.
- Pay the processing fee ($96). The application for this Visa may be free in some cases.
- Contact the French Consulate or Embassy in your country. The first thing you should do is contact the authorized consular office that represents France in your country. You can find the one that corresponds to you here.
- Fill out the form, make an appointment and bring the documents. The next step is to fill out the visa form, request an appointment at the consulate, and bring the documents indicated. To download the Schengen Visa form, click here.
- Wait for the reply. Each visa application is processed in different periods, depending on the profile, the nationality, and the documents presented. It is recommended to start the process at least 2 weeks before the planned date of the trip, but not 6 months in advance.
- Travel to France. Was your Schengen Visa approved to study in France? Magnificent! Now you can start your travel preparations and stay in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days.
Can you study and work?
Unfortunately, a Schengen Visa ( court séjour ) does not allow you to work in France while you study.
In which Universities can I study in France?
In France, there are hundreds of public and private universities where you can study and become the professional you want. Some of the institutions you can choose from are:
- University of Aix-Marseille
- University of Montpelier
- Bribe University
- Institute of Political Studies of Paris
- University of Strasbourg
- Paul Sabatier University
- Higher Normal School of Paris
- University of Nantes
- École Polytechnique
- Catholic School of Arts and Metiers
- Northern School of Higher Commercial Studies (EDHEC)
- Paris-Saclay University
The most sought Public Universities in France
- University of Bourgogne
- University of Lille
- University of Nantes
- University Grenoble Alps
- Paris Saclay University
- Aix Marseille University
- University of Lyon
- University of Strasbourg
- University of Montpelier
- Sorbonne University
- University of Paris
- University of Toulouse
- University of Poitiers
- University of Bordeaux
- Ecole Polytechnique
Private Universities with the best international agreements
- Montpellier Business School
Visa to Study French
At the moment, there is no visa to study French in France. Although the catalog of courses and academies to learn this language is quite extensive, there is no specific visa that you must process for this purpose. To study French in your native country, you have to look at the duration of the program.
If it is a short course of fewer than 12 weeks and your country is exempt from Schengen Visa, you do not need to obtain any visa.
On the other hand, for intensive programs of more than 3 months, a Long Term Study Visa could be the one indicated.
Where can I Study French in France?
It would be a mistake to think that learning French will only help you during your stay in France. This Romance language is spoken in several countries worldwide, such as Canada, Monaco, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Belgium, Switzerland, and Haiti.
In addition, if you meet the language requirements after studying it, you would expand your repertoire of academic programs to study in France.
If you are interested in learning this Germanic-influenced language, take a look at these academies:
- France Langue Paris Notre-Dame . The college-like school is in a historic building across from the beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral. It offers different courses to master general French, prepare for an exam or speak French in your professional environment.
- Institute European de Français . Learn French faster than you think at this school located in Montpellier, near the French Mediterranean coast. More than 1,300 international students from 40 different countries enroll in this academy every year.
- Alpadia Lyon. Learn French in the most central area of Lyon, in modern classrooms, a free library, and a cafeteria. Enjoy interactive classes with the best teachers and practice your French in real situations, in spaces such as restaurants and cafes.
What are the language institutes or academies going to ask you for?
The best way to start preparing to study French in France is to find out the requirements of the institute or academy on their official website. In most cases, international students must take a test or exam to determine their level of French.
You may also have to pay all or part of the course fee at the time of registration. Finally, remember that the duration of the course determines the type of visa you must process to study in France.
What is the process to be accepted?
Each academy or language center manages its admission process. It is usual for you to complete the entire application online and be notified by email if you have been accepted.
Please note that many French courses accept less than 20 participants per class, so try to enroll at least 1 month before the course start date.
Scholarships and Grants to study in France
Now that tuition fees for international students outside the EEA and Switzerland have increased, you might think that your dream of studying in France is far from fulfilled.
However, thanks to the many scholarship programs available, you can receive financial support to reach your goal.
Some of the most popular scholarships to study in France from India are:
- Erasmus+. The main program of the EU (European Union) supports education, progress, and vocational training. Through this initiative, thousands of international students receive financial support to study in France and Europe.
- MEXPROTEC scholarships. Scholarships are aimed at Mexican students studying for a degree at a Technological University. The program includes French courses and financial support of up to $960 per month.
- IDEX Master University Grenoble Alpes Scholarship. Scholarships are aimed at students outside of France who want to obtain a Master’s degree at one of the “IDEX institutions,” the Université Grenoble Alpes and the Grenoble National School of Architecture.
To find the ideal scholarship for your level of study, area, and nationality, we recommend you use the following tool.
Study and Work in France
While it is true that education in France is much cheaper than in other countries, the cost of living in some cities can be pretty high.
The French Government authorizes all international students to work while completing their training to compensate for this situation.
With a Long-Term Study Visa, you can work up to 964 hours a year, equivalent to 60% of the permitted working day. You are also guaranteed a minimum wage of around $9 an hour after deducting mandatory social security contributions.
Getting a job should not be complicated since you do not need a Provisional Work Authorization (APT) if you have a student visa. Also, many universities offer jobs for their international students on contracts of 12 months maximum.
Have you finished your studies and want to stay and work in France?
Congratulations graduate! Now that you have completed your studies in France, you can stay and work in this proud nation. As a foreign graduate from a country outside the EEA, you must have a promise of employment or employment contract.
The salary of said job must be at least 1.5 times the legal minimum wage.
If you do not have this document, you should not be alarmed because there is still an option you can take advantage of. Suppose you hold a professional degree, a master’s degree, or managing a business project.
In that case, you are a candidate to request a Provisional Stay Authorization (APS), valid for 12 months, while you get a job.
You will find all the information you need to start your studies abroad.