Go to top

Study in France

Would you like to study in a country that combines high educational standards with affordable tuition fees? France fits that description perfectly. One of the most popular destinations in Europe opens its doors to start your professional training, continue your studies or learn its elegant language. Live and learn in the famous wine nation and home of the unmistakable Eiffel Tower. With several of the world's top universities and schools, studying in France is a decision you will never regret. You want to know why? Here we tell you!

How to study in France as a foreigner? What do you need?

France is not only one of the most visited destinations for tourists in Europe, but also for international students. With a versatile environment that ranges from metropolitan centers to laid-back dream Alps, studying in France is a unique experience that attracts thousands of foreigners each year. One of the main advantages of choosing this country as an academic destination is the competitive quality/price ratio of education.

If you are a citizen of one of the EEA (European Economic Area) nations or have already obtained permanent residence in one of them, you will have access to very low tuition fees. On the other hand, for Latin American students or students from another part of the world, the cost of studying in France remains very affordable. For bachelor’s programs, prices are around $3,300 a year, a tempting number considering the reputation of French higher education.

How good is the education in France? Well, to give you an idea, in this country you will find several of the best universities on the planet . According to the QS Top Universities ranking, the top 3 universities in France are Université PSL, École Polytechnique and the 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 as a foreigner , you will need to apply for a visa according to the duration of your program and your nationality. The visas available for this purpose are:

  • Long-Term Study Visa ( VLS-TS étudiant ). Visa addressed to 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. There are more than 3,500 public and private schools waiting for you in the land of Napoleon, most with programs for foreigners taught in English. Likewise, if what you are looking for is to study French in France, there are many academies with courses that will adapt to 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? So don’t waste time and read this complete guide on how to study in France from Latin America.

How much does it cost to live in France?

Shared room
in the capital


Shared room
in another city


2 bedroom apartment
in the capital


2 bedroom apartment
in another city


Bus or Metro ticket


Movie Ticket


A beer in a bar


A beer in the supermarket


Typical Street Food


Meal in a Restaurant


Medical consultation


Phone plans


Average Cost of Living per Month

USD $2,604

Although they say that money does not buy happiness, it is an essential resource to study in France or in any other country. For this reason, it is extremely important to know your cost of living and the price of tuition according to the level of study. If you are considering studying in this European nation, it is best to have at least $2,604 dollars a month for basic expenses . By this we mean food, rent, hygiene products, transportation, among others. The cost of living can vary considerably depending on the city where you are going to live. Iconic Paris is the most expensive city to live in, 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 a very interesting quality/price ratio at an educational level. The cost of studies for international students outside the EEA is as follows :

  • $3,331 per year for Bachelor’s programs.
  • $4,534 dollars a year for Master’s programs.
  • $457 per year for PhD programs.

These figures represent the costs of the different levels of study in public universities. Keep in mind that in private universities (such as the Catholic University of Lyon) the cost of tuition can be higher, ranging from $3,600 to $24,000 per year.

Can you study in France for free?

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 now the numbers have changed. If you are a citizen or permanent resident of an EEA country or of Switzerland, tuition prices are incredibly low ($200 to $723 per year).

On the other hand, for people with nationality and residence outside the EEA, registration fees are more expensive. In short, studying in France is not free, but it is much more accessible than in other popular academic destinations such as Australia and the United Kingdom.

The good news is that, together with the renewal of registrations for foreigners, the French Government will sponsor 3 times more scholarships for foreign students than in the past. Thus, there is the possibility of studying for free in France or significantly reducing student expenses. 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 highest splendor and prestige of higher education in the country . Many of them, such as the Sorbonne University, are considered the most important in Europe and the world. This institution alone brings together more than 30 Nobel Prize winners, of the 69 that the country has won between 1901 and 2018. More than 70% of the international students that France receives each year enroll in one of its universities . This means that the competition is tough, but fortunately there are many institutions and programs to choose from. The French university sector is divided into public and private institutions. Public universities financed by the State extend throughout the territory, from the New Aquitaine region to the Grand Est region. University programs in France cover all kinds of fields and areas of study, such as art, medicine, languages, science, and sports. If you are interested in studying 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 . Equivalent 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.

You can also obtain a diploma at the master’s or doctoral level, whichever you prefer. To find out more about the training programs that you can study at a University in France, click here .

Requirements to Study at a French University for a foreign student

To study in France as a foreigner, you should know that each university has its own admission process and specific requirements. That is why, if you want to know exactly what the university you are interested in is going to ask of you, it is best to contact it directly. However, so that you can enter a bit in context, we will talk about some aspects that you should know. The first, and perhaps most important, is the Campus France Procedure ” Études en France ” (EEF). Campus France is a national agency that is in charge of guiding and helping foreigners who want to study in France at a Higher Education Institution (HEI).

As we already mentioned, 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 of the associated 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 degrees to show that you are ready to study abroad for a university program. It is aimed at non-university students between the ages of 16 and 19 and lasts 2 years. To learn more, visit this link .
  • Demonstrate your command of French or English (depending on the language of the program). 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 need to prove your command of English by submitting the results of valid exams such as IELTS or TOEFL. The minimum qualification depends on each university, so you should inform yourself about it. On the other hand, if you are going to study a program in French and you 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.

Requirements to Study at the Grandes Écoles ( Les Grandes Écoles )

In France there are many other higher education institutions that are not considered universities, but still admit 20% of the international students that come to the country. The Grandes Écoles, or as they are called in French ” Les Grandes Écoles”, encompass several French institutions, such as:

  • Superior Normal Schools (ENS).
  • Business and Management Schools
  • Institutes of Political Studies (IEP).
  • Engineering Schools.
  • Veterinary Schools.

Most of the programs at these institutions are taught in English and award degrees that are equivalent to 5 years of undergraduate study. There are public and private Grandes Écoles , and some award Master’s degrees. Tuition at the private Grandes Écoles can be even more expensive than the university ones. If you are interested in signing up for a program taught by one of these institutions, you should know that the admission process is quite selective and consists of entrance exams, preparatory classes of up to 2 years, among other requirements. To find out exactly what conditions you must meet, we recommend you contact the institute of your interest.

How to Apply for University in France as a foreigner

Below we give you some details of the process to be accepted in a Higher Education Institution (HEI) in France depending on your situation. If you are from a country affected by the ” Études en France ” procedure:

  1. Register on the Études en France website. This platform manages all the registration procedures to study in France until the moment you apply for your visa. The first thing you have to do is 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 clear up any doubts. To start 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:

  1. Follow the procedure “Demande d’Admission Préalable – DAP” (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 for international students already living in France. To learn more, click here .

Important. Complete the process in advance, preferably in the month of November prior to the academic year in which 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 suitable one.

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 to be. Some of the institutions you can choose are:

  • University of Aix-Marseille
  • University of Montpellier
  • Sobornne University
  • Paris Institute of Political Studies
  • University of Strasbourg
  • Paul Sabatier University
  • Ecole Normale Supérieure of Paris
  • University of Nantes
  • Ecole Polytechnique
  • Catholic School of Arts and Metiers
  • North School of Higher Commercial Studies (EDHEC)
  • Paris-Saclay University

The most Popular Public Universities in France

Private Universities with the best international agreements

Visas to Study in France

Do you want to go study in this first world country? Below we will tell you everything about the types of visas, their requirements and the process that you must carry out in order to carry out your dream and study abroad.

Long-Term Study Visa ( 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 are going to study in this European country for more than 1 year or for a period longer than the expiration of the visa, you will have to apply for a residence permit. The VLS-TS student 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, purpose of visit and duration, we suggest you visit this link .

Requirements to Apply for a Student visa

Next, we are going to 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, keep in mind 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 must not expire in the next 3 months from 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 into a Higher Education Institution (HEI) in France. If you live in a country that follows the ” Études en France ” procedure, you must present the Pre-registration Certificate issued by the EEF-Pastel application and its respective EEF identification number. If you do not live in a country that follows the ” Études en France ” procedure, you must present an acceptance letter 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. A hotel reservation or declaration of a host, such as an establishment, institution or individual, are valid. If you don’t have any of them they might accept a letter explaining where you are going to stay for your first 3 months in France.
  • Proof of sufficient financial funds (at least $739 per month). To verify that you can support yourself during your stay in France, you will need to present a bank statement or scholarship certificate. Documents must show that you have a reliable and frequent source of income.
  • $119 dollars or $60 dollars to pay the process (depending on whether you are from an EEF country or not). Keep in mind that these prices are approximate and must be paid in local currency.

Process to Apply for a Student Visa

  1. 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 Study Visa is automatically managed by the platform. However, if you do not belong to an EEF country, you must contact the Consular Office of France. To find the Embassy or Consulate that corresponds to you, click here .
  2. Register on the official website for visas for France. If you are going to apply for your visa to study in France on your own, you must create an account on the official French visa website, 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 .
  3. Wait for the answer. After the EEF agency has submitted your visa application or you have managed it on your own, all that remains is to wait for the French authorities to approve your study visa. The period of time to receive a response depends on each application, the country where you live and the documents presented.
  4. Study in France! Now that your Long-Term Study Visa ( VLS-TS étudiant) has been approved, you are ready to travel to romantic France and start your professional training in one of the best academic destinations in Europe.

Can you study and work with a Student visa?

Yes! 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 )

In Europe, there is a common visa policy between several countries, called the “Schengen Area”. This agreement stipulates that, by having 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 . As not all nationalities require this visa for short stays, 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 carry out this procedure to study in France for less than 3 months.

Requirements to Apply for a Schengen Visa

  • A valid passport that has been issued less than 10 years ago. The document must contain at least 2 blank pages and be valid for at least 3 months from the moment you intend to leave France.
  • A recent, good-quality passport-type photograph .
  • 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 present a copy of your round-trip plane ticket to your country of residence, or a travel itinerary.
  • Enrollment certificate or letter of acceptance in a training course. This is a document proving that you are going to 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 financial funds , such as bank statements.
  • Pay the processing fee ($96 dollars). The application for this visa can be free in some cases.

Process to Apply for a Schengen Visa

  1. 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 .
  2. Fill out the form, request 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 .
  3. Wait for the answer. Each visa application is processed in different periods of time, depending on the profile, 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.
  4. Travel to France. Did they approve your Schengen Visa 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 with a Schengen visa?

No, unfortunately a Schengen Visa ( court séjour ) does not allow you to work in France while you study.

Where can I study French in France?

It would be a mistake to think that learning French will only serve you well during your stay in France. This Romance language is spoken in various countries around the world, such as Canada, Monaco, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Belgium, Switzerland, and Haiti. Also, if after studying it you meet the language requirements, you would expand your repertoire of academic programs to study in France. If learning this Germanic-influenced language calls your attention, take a look at these academies:

  • France Langue Paris Notre-Dame . School with a university environment established in a historic building in front of the beautiful Notre-Dame Cathedral. It offers different types of courses to master general French, prepare for an exam or speak French in your professional environment.
  • Institut Européen de Français . Learn French faster than you think at this school located in Montpellier, near the French Mediterranean coast. Every year, more than 1,300 international students from 40 different countries enroll in this academy.
  • 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 places like restaurants and cafes.

Requirements language academies will ask you

The best way to start preparing to study French in France is to find out the requirements of the institute or academy on its 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 the full course fee or part of it at the time of registration. Finally, remember that the duration of the course determines the type of visa you must apply for to study in France.

How to Apply for a language school

Each academy or language center manages its own admission process. Currently, it is normal for you to complete the entire application online and be notified by email if you have been accepted. Keep in mind that many of the French courses accept less than 20 participants per class, so try to enroll at least 1 month before the course start date.

There is no specific 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 apply for this purpose.

Basically, to study French in your native country, you only have to look at the duration of the program. If it is a short course of less than 12 weeks and your country is exempt from the Schengen Visa, you do not need to apply for a visa. On the other hand, for intensive programs of more than 3 months, a Long Term Study Visa could be indicated.

Scholarships and grants to study in France

Now that tuition fees for foreign students outside the EEA and Switzerland have increased, you might think that your dream of studying in France is far from being 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 Latin America are:

  • Erasmus+ . The main program of the EU (European Union) to support education, advancement and professional training. Thousands of foreign students receive financial support through this initiative to study in France and Europe.
  • IDEX Master Scholarship Grenoble Alpes University. Scholarships for students outside of France who want to obtain a Master’s degree at one of the “IDEX institutions”, among which are the Université Grenoble Alpes and the National School of Architecture of Grenoble.

To find the ideal scholarship for your level of study, area and nationality, we recommend using 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 quite high. To compensate for this situation, the French Government authorizes all foreign students to work while completing their training. 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, which is about $9 an hour after deducting the mandatory social contributions. Getting a job should not be a complicated task, since you do not need to have the Provisional Work Authorization (APT) if you have a student visa.

In addition, 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 qualified foreigner from a country outside the EEA, you must have a promise of employment or employment contract . The salary for such employment 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 that you can take advantage of.

If you are the holder of a professional degree, a master’s degree or are managing a business project, you are a candidate to request a Provisional Stay Authorization (APS) , valid for 12 months while you find employment.

Go-Study-In is a platform where you can find all the information you need to start your studies abroad. We have a team of experienced advisors who will help you throughout the process and the management of procedures to study in France or another country. If you want one of our advisors to contact you, please fill out the form that you will see below.

Request more information

Applicant Profile

Contact information