Discover Studying Abroad

7 reasons to study in France

How many places offer you a top-notch education for a tuition fee of €600 a year?
BY Braingain Staff Writer |   17-05-2016
Many people are daunted by the cost of studying abroad. But tuition fees in France are among the world's lowest, even at the most prestigious institutions of higher education. The French language is not a hurdle, either - many French institutions offer courses in English (and well, if you learned French, that would put you in the company of 274 million people scattered across several dozen countries). If you're thinking about studying abroad, here are some reasons to consider France.
  1. Unique academic strengths.  France has some of the world’s top research institutions. It ranks fourth in the world in terms of the number of Nobel Prizes won, and second for Fields Medals (the “Nobel prize” for mathematics).  It has 73 universities, more than 200 engineering schools, 20 architecture schools, and 150 business schools. France also offers specializations backed by traditional strengths - for example, the ESSEC Business School offers an MBA in luxury brand management, and several schools offer courses in specializations such as landscape architecture, and the science and management of wine.

    Above: L'Orangerie, Château de Versailles, built in the late 1600s (photo by Panoramas, used under CC BY-ND 2.0 licence)
  2. Low cost of studies. Tuition fees are among the lowest in the world at around €600 a year or less (yes, even for international students). Some schools also offer fee waivers to early-bird applicants. Others may waive up to 60% based on other criteria, such as an outstanding GMAT score.

  3. Good rankings. Degrees granted by French higher education institutions are certified by the government of France. The École Normale Supérieure, Paris, is 54th out of 800 universities in the Times Higher Education (THE) rankings for 2015-16. In terms of teaching, THE’s top 100 includes 5 French institutions. The top 20 MBA programs in the Financial Times’ 2015business schoolrankings include 5 French schools: HEC Paris, Insead, ESCP Europe, ESSEC, and Grenoble Ecole de Management.

  4. Importance of international students. More than 15% of university students in France are foreign nationals, and among doctoral candidates that figure is 42%. France is the third most sought after study destination after the US and UK. More and more French higher education courses are being offered in English. The Campus France website for India even lets you search for programs offered in English. Some schools such as ESSEC accept CAT scores in addition to GMAT and GRE.

    Above: École Supérieure des Sciences Économiques et Commerciales, or ESSEC Business School, in Cergy
    (photo by Malambo2008, used under CC BY 2.0 licence)
  5. Cultural diversity and global exposure. Literature, cinema, museums, and the passion for food are part of daily life in France, and students enjoy special discounted prices at all cultural events. French is the official language in 32 countries, and is spoken by 274 million people worldwide. It is the world’s third most used language for business.

    Above: Jazz in Paris (photo by RzL, used under CC BY 2.0 licence)
  6. Employment possibilities. On a long-stay student visa (as opposed to a short-stay one), you can work up to 19½ hours a week (roughly the same as in the US). If you complete a master’s degree or higher, you can seek authorization to stay on for 6 months to a year and work part-time. If the employment is related to your degree and pays at least 150% of the minimum wage (€9.61/hour before deductions), you may be able to work full-time. Students from some European countries can work in France without any restrictions.

  7. Alumni visa. If you are an Indian with master’s degree or PhD from France, living in India, you are eligible for what is commonly known as the “alumni visa”. This is a 5-year visa to France and the Schengen Area, when you next travel to France for pleasure or business.  The visa allows you a stay of up to 90 days.


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