France is one of the most sought after study-abroad destinations, inviting abundant number of students every year from all over the world. In addition to a good educational experience, studying in France leads to good career opportunities internationally after graduation. France is better known for its high level of technological development, culture and reputation in the education system, which attracts number of young aspirants here every academic year. For many years, France has held its prominent place in subjects like Mathematics, Astrophysics, Biology, Medicine (Medicine in France), Genetics, Physics and other science subjects. The past record of the country in relation to its contribution to science and research field, its achievement is tremendous. It is also well known for its Elite ” Grande Ecole ” with selective entry levels for the best students in areas such as Business, Engineering. Thus, many foreign students choose to pursue their higher studies in France due to its technological progress
Method to get admission in French Universities
The President or Director of the university to which the student is applying, will decide on the recognition of diplomas/degrees on the basis of the recommendation of an education committee.
Higher Education in France offers the following two options : At Competitive Institutes (Grandes Ecoles) entry is selective. Specialization in engineering, commerce, civil services and teaching are offered. The duration of studies vary from 3 to 5 years. In State Universities, any student who has completed the secondary school diploma may qualify. Two categories of courses are offered : General courses – These are divided into 3 cycles. Each cycle leads to a national diploma. The 1st cycle is of 2 years for undergraduate studies. 2nd cycle is of 2 to 3 years of graduate studies and the 3rd cycle is of l to 3 years of post graduate studies. Professional courses – These are offered at “Instituts Universitaires Professionnalisés” (IUP). The curriculum consists of 3 years of technical courses with a 6 month vocation training and practice in an international firm. Medical studies which include medicine, dental studies and pharmacology are also offered at the universities at the Faculty of Medical Studies. The duration of these courses are 7 years. Art, Architecture, Agriculture, Law, Public Administration etc. are offered in specialized schools. The duration of these courses varies from 3 to 7 years.
Process to obtain French Student Visa for international students
International students who are not from Europe (that is, students who are not nationals of the countries of the European Economic Region plus Andorra, Monaco, Switzerland, San Marino, and Vatican City) must obtain a long-term visa marked “student” in order to study in France for longer than 3 months.
International students of all nationalities enjoy the right of multiple entries into France. Once granted, their visa is automatically renewed for the duration of their studies in France.
A special visa exists for prospective students. The so-called étudiant-concours visa is granted for stays of no more than 90 days for the purpose of taking an entrance examination or visiting institutions of higher education. Prospective students who pass their examination receive a full student visa without returning to their country of origin. The prospective student visa also may be granted to students whose admission to a higher education institution is contingent upon their completion of a short course of remedial or refresher work.
To obtain a visa, visit the French consulate in your place of residence or the visa office of the French embassy.
Two points to remember
Under no circumstances may a tourist visa be converted into a student visa. This is true throughout the European Union.
International students of all nationalities intending to stay in France for more than 3 months must obtain a student identification card.
What documentation do I need to get a visa?
The passport must be valid for the entire period of validity of the visa.
Proof of enrollment
The following documents will be accepted as proof:
An offer of preliminary admission
A statement of pre-registration in a public or private institution of higher education. The document must specify the level of study and the student’s subject. If the institution is private, the statement must indicate the number of course hours and state that registration fees have been been paid in full.
Proof of financial resources
Each French embassy sets the level of financial resources to be demonstrated by prospective students from that country. The amount is on the order of 3,000 francs for each month to be spent in France.
Students receiving scholarship grants must produce a statement indicating the amount and duration of their grant on the letterhead of the granting organization.
If the required resources are guaranteed by an individual residing in France the student must produce a signed statement of financial responsibility, a photocopy of the national identity card of the guarantor, and proof of the guarantor’s own financial resources (such as the guarantor’s three most recent pay stubs and most recent tax return).
If the resources come from abroad, the student must demonstrate that a bank account has been opened into which the necessary funds will be deposited and produce a promise of payment, translated into French and bearing the authenticated signature of the individual responsible for making the payments, or a statement of payment of funds from the authorities of the student’s country of origin.
Proof of insurance coverage
Proof of insurance must be provided by students over 28 who are nationals of a country that does not have a reciprocity agreement with France or who are enrolled in an institution that is not recognized by the French government to participate in the student health insurance plan.
Minors (individuals under 18 years of age) must furnish proof of consent by the person or persons having parental authority.
Living Cost for International Students in France
In France, tuition fees vary from one institution to another and also between courses. At the universities, tuition fees vary from € 110 to € 750 per annum for a course leading to a national diploma. The tuition fee at “Competitive Universities” are approximately € 490 for public engineering schools. They vary from € 3600 to € 14,300 for private schools (engineering and business schools).
Accommodation expenses in towns, specially private lodgings, vary from € 300 to € 600 per month. In the university residence halls, the expenses vary from € 100 to € 150 per month.
Food, transportation and pocket money would amount to between € 350 to € 500 per month.
The cost of compulsory medical insurance is approximately € 130 to € 715 per year depending on the student’s age.
The cost of language training in France is approximately € 350 per month. It is therefore advisable to learn French from recognized learning centers before leaving for France. These are only average rates . For the very latest, current costs, contact the Cultural, Scientific and Technical Section of the French Embassy.
Earning While Studying in France
French law regulates work by international students of all nationalities in France. Students must not work more than 884 hours in a given year. During the academic year, they may work no more than 19.5 hours per week. During vacations, students may work full time (39 hours per week). International students wishing to work in France must obtain prior authorization from the French ministry of labour.
Get help from Student Visa Expert
If you’ve already decided on an institution contact Student Visa Expert to find out about the application process and visa requirements. If you haven’t decided yet, let our Student Councilors help you in selecting a course, enrolling to study in France, visa application guidance and much more till your arrival in France. France is the perfect place to live, learn and grow.