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Study Master in France 2024

Study in France

France, officially the French Republic, is a unitary semi-residential republic located mostly in Western Europe, with several overseas regions and territories. Metropolitan France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. From its shape, it is often referred to in French as l’Hexagone ("The Hexagon"").

France is one of the key players in the European political and economic game. Serving as the border between the Iberian Peninsula and the mainland of Europe, France has long been a cultural focal point in Europe. Paris, in particular, is the height of the fashion industry, and many of the world's leading fashion influences come from Parisian fashion houses. The country has also produced some of the world's most celebrated writers, including names like Rousseau and Voltaire. With its connections to Germany, France served as one of the leaders in uniting Europe and starting the European Union.

In addition to fashion and writing, France is known for its culinary tradition. Over 250 different varieties of cheese come from within its borders, and wine lovers know they can turn to France for delicate, delicious wines.

Whether you are considering France for its culinary heritage, artistic flair, or simply because you want to experience the culture of a new location, you will find a variety of factors to draw you towards studying in this leading European country. Because France appeals to so many foreign students, life at the university is rich in cultural diversity. Culturally enlightening experiences are easy to find in France. Museums, particularly those in Paris, allow EU residents who are students under the age of 26 free entrance. Student cardholders will also find discounts on transportation, food, and entertainment.

Climate in France
France has a mild climate highly influenced by the Mediterranean. The comfortable year-round temperatures and plentiful sunshine mean ample opportunities for time spent outdoors. In the mountains, you will find plenty of snow for weekend ski trips and sledding, while Nice and Cannes offer the potential to swim starting in the early spring. In the summer, you can find hot, beach weather in many parts of the country, while the mountains offer cooler, comfortable temperatures for a hike.

Cost of Living and Housing
The cost of living in France is on par with that of most European countries. However, Paris, where many top universities are located, has a much higher cost of living. Also, finding housing in Paris can be difficult, because of the high population density. If you know you will be studying in Paris, find your housing early, before the early fall scramble for available places.

Many students opt to live in the Cite Universitaire Internationale de Paris, a large residence location in southern Paris. Spaces are limited, so if you wish to stay here, apply a year before you plan to stay.

If you will be studying outside Paris, you will likely find subsidized accommodations on the campus or near the university designed specifically for foreign students. The national student welfare office (CNOUS) also subsidizes dormitories for foreign students, which may be an option for affordable housing.

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Basic monthly living cost

  • Rent in a shared flat

  • Share of utilities

  • Internet subscription

  • Local transportation


Sample lifestyle cost

  • Fast food combo

  • Cinema ticket

  • Pint of local beer


About France

Higher Education in France

France is currently the fourth most popular study destination in the world, and it's no wonder with its excellent culture, highly rated university system, and the draw of relatively low tuition. Each year, close to 300, 000 students travel to France for the sole purpose of studying in its schools.

The higher education system in France can be a little confusing. The system is being standardized into a three-level system, which makes it a little easier to understand. Today, undergraduate students will begin by pursuing a License, which is similar to a bachelor's degree. This is followed by master-level training. The final level of training is the doctorate. The license takes three years to complete, with two years necessary for a master's program. A doctorate program usually requires three additional years.

France's universities are state-funded, so tuition is not high. Plan to spend about €200-€400 per year, depending on the studies you are pursuing and the university you attend. The exception to this is French business schools. Most business schools are privately owned, and tuition can be over €15,000 a year.

France has fairly open enrollment for first-year undergraduate programs. However, after the first year, students will need to pass a series of exams, which can be highly competitive, to find a place as second-year students. The country also has a system of selective schools called"Grandes Écoles", which only select students are chosen for, and these have selective entrance exams, higher tuition, and more prestige.

The academic year in France begins in late September, with a spring semester starting in early February. Holidays are held during Christmas and New Year, as well as All Saints ' Day and Easter. Most schools also have a spring break and three months of summer holiday.

Upon graduation, many students go on to pursue scientific study programs. These one- to three-month programs can be subsidized through a high-level scientific study program grant, which covers travel costs, tuition, and living expenses.

Visa Requirements

If you are coming to study in France from a country in the European Union, you will not need to apply for a student visa. If your home country is outside the EU, then you will need to visit a French consulate to get a student visa prior to traveling to the country. Your visa will serve as proof of your residency status during your first year of study. After a year, you will need to apply for a Carte de Sejour. Also, you will need to register with the local immigration office within 30 days of your arrival in the country.


Because of the lost cost of tuition and high interest by international students, you will want to make your plans for studying in France early. While entrance to the universities will not be much of a difficulty if you are a first-year student, finding housing and getting your paperwork in order takes some time. If you need financial aid, you will want to apply for a study or course grant as well.

As you prepare to study in France, you will be among some of the world's top thinkers. You'll have the opportunity to study in halls that were once graced by names like Sartre, Durkheim, or Marie Curie. While the process of applying to universities and working through the red tape can be daunting, in the end, you will receive a quality education at a surprisingly affordable price, making the effort well worth taking.

Visa Requirements

There are different types of student visas, depending on how long you plan to study in France:

  1. Visa de court séjour pour etudes (‘Schengen’ short-stay student visa) - If your studies will last less than three months, then you should apply for the so-called Schengen student visa. It is issued free of charge and cannot be renewed. 41 countries may not need a visa for a stay of less than three months.
  2. Etudient concours (visa for sitting entrance exams) - On this visa, you can come to France to take an entrance exam at an institute of higher education. If you pass, then you can apply directly to your local prefecture (French local authority/administrative office) in France for a one-year, renewable, residence permit.
  3. Visa de long séjour temporaire pour etudes (temporary long-stay visa) - This visa allows you to study in France for between three and six months without the need for a residence permit. It is non-renewable.
  4. Visa de long séjour etudes (long-stay visa) - If you want to study for longer than six months, then you need to apply for the long term student visa in France. From 2013, this type of study visa now lasts for the duration of your course in France. Long-stay visas act as residence permits and are called VLT-TS.
  5. Extended stay research scholar visa - If you have a Master’s degree or higher and want to come to France to take part in research or teach at the university level, then the institution can bring you over on an extended stay research scholar visa VLS-TS.

What type of Visa do you need?

Visa name

Student Visa

Price and currency

EUR 50

Student visa fees range greatly, depending on the type of visa and the country where you come from. For students from the Schengen area, costs vary from 50 to 99 EUR. The short-term Shengen student visa is free of charge.

Who can apply for the visa?

If you are an EU national, or national from the EEA, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you do not require a French student visa.

If you are a national from anywhere else in the world, you will need to obtain a student visa for France. You need to have secured a place on a course at a French educational institution before applying for a visa.

Where can you make the application?

French embassy / consulate

Some countries require you to register first with CampusFrance, the French national agency for higher education, and international students, in order to apply for admission and get a student visa through the CEF procedure. Otherwise, you should get your visa at the French embassy/consulate in your home country.


How to make the application?

In order to apply for your visa, you will need the following:

  1. An official acceptance letter onto an accredited program at a French institution. This should be on officially headed paper, stating your full details, details of the French institution, and specifying the start and end dates of the academic program.
  2. Proof that you have sufficient funds (currently EUR 615 per month), for example, bank statement, guarantor’s letter, or notice of a grant or funding from an official source.
  3. Proof of return ticket home. Often this is in the form of the actual ticket or reservation showing the date of departure, but can be a handwritten statement of intent, including intended departure dates.
  4. Proof of medical insurance (minimum cover EUR 30,000).
  5. Proof of accommodation. Can be shown in the form of student housing confirmation or a certificate of board and lodging or ‘attestation d’accueil’ (if you’re living with friends or relatives).
  6. Proof of proficiency in French, if you are studying a French-language course.

There is a charge for the Visa application and you must also have a passport that is valid for a period of three months past your expiration date of the requested party. You must complete an application that you sign and must submit three photographs with the application.

When should you apply?

It can take up to two months for a Visa application to be approved, so you should submit all of the necessary information as quickly as possible before you plan to leave. ‘Schengen’ short-stay student visa lasts for 90 days, a temporary long-stay visa for three to six months, and a long-stay visa for the duration of your course: three years for bachelors, two years for a Master's, and four years for a Ph.D.

Processing time

2 Months

Work opportunities

As an international student with a study visa in France, you can work up to 964 hours in a single year (about 60 percent of full-time employment for a year) – while you are on the course, and as long as you have a valid residence permit.

Hours per week


Why do you need this type of visa?

When completing your application for a France Visa it is essential that you complete the application in its entirety. You shouldn’t leave anything blank as this can greatly delay the application process. You also need to make sure that you have all of the documents that are needed and submit them with the application.