When one thinks of France, one remembers the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, French food, wine, and vineyards—no wonder it is a popular holiday destination in Europe.
However, what many people forget about France is that it also has a rich intellectual tradition. In fact, it is hailed as the birthplace of modern democracy and home to some of history’s notable philosophers like Rene Descartes, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Voltaire. Thus, it is no surprise that France is also one of the most popular study destinations in the world. In fact between 2018 to 2019, France welcomed around 358,000 international students.
With everything that France has to offer, some people might be surprised that France’s tuition costs are not as high as other higher education institutions (HEIs) in Europe. If you are a student planning to study in France, here’s a guide to help you prepare financially.
If you are planning to study or have been accepted into one of France’s public institutions, you might be in for a big surprise, because France’s tuition fees are one of the lowest in Europe. This is because public HEIs in France are set and subsidized by the government. Note that there might be some variations to the cost due to the institution, its location, or the student’s program of choice.
Generally, international students from the European Economic Area (EEA), EU, and Switzerland pay less than international students from other countries. However, France’s tuition is still relatively lower than other European countries.
Bachelor’s Degree as of 2020/2021, the tuition cost for EU, EEA, and Swiss students may cost around €170 per year. Engineering schools, however, may be more expensive and will cost around €601 to €2,500 per year. For students that don’t belong to any of the categories above, a bachelor’s degree may cost around €2,770 per year.
Postgraduate Degree tuition for a master’s degree level for EU, EEA, and Swiss students may cost around €243 per year, while a doctoral degree may cost around €380 degree per year. For international students that don’t belong to any of the categories above, a master’s degree may cost around €3,770 per year. A doctoral, as of 2020/2021, may cost around €380.
Aside from tuition fees, international students must know how much basic necessities, such as food and accommodation, may cost in France. Although tuition fees are relatively low, the cost of living is quite high, especially in big cities like Paris. When it comes to accommodation, it also varies. On-campus accommodations may cost less, but the competition to get one is quite high. Below is the breakdown of some necessities in France.
|Utilities (electricity, heating, water, cooling, garbage)||€149.53|
|Transportation (1-way ticket)||€1.70|
Financial Assistance, Part-Time Work, and Discounts
France’s high cost of living may be a dealbreaker to some. Luckily, France offers a lot of financial assistance that students can access, through the French government, non-government organizations, and the institutions themselves.
Moreover, students eligible to work in France can supplement their living costs through taking a part-time job. Generally, international students can work 964 hours in a year, and are guaranteed a minimum wage per hour. Aside from financial assistance and part-time work, students are also eligible for a lot of discounts—from transportations, entertainment, food, and school-related materials, as long as they can show their valid student ID, or an international student identity card (ISIC).
Want to start your journey as an international student in France? Check out MSM Unify’s list of courses to begin.