That Home to what everyone knows as “The City of Love,” France is a country known for its panoramic and striking monuments that come along with the unique layout of roads and strategic urban planning.
It also houses the headquarters of many huge luxury fashion lines on top of being at the forefront of the culinary and research scenes. In fact, people from all over the world go to France every year with the hopes of advancing their careers in these industries. According to a census by Project Atlas in 2019, France is amongst the top 10 countries and ranking 6th most popular with international students. A place many wish to see and make their dreams come true in, indeed.
Although tuition fees in France are said to be amongst Europe’s most affordable, studying in France is by no means cheap. In this article, we will be listing some of the best scholarships in France that international students can apply to for a chance to study in this romantic country.
Living Costs in France for International students
Living in France can be pricey, as much as one might expect for a country of its fashion. And though costs ultimately vary by one’s lifestyle standards, it would be good to prepare to spend at least €600 to €1,000 per month on living expenses, or even upwards €1200 if you plan to live in Paris.
Monthly rent can roughly be as low as €200 to €400 in student halls and €400 to €700 for private residency while utilities usually go between €150–€200. Travel passes and groceries can also cost up to €70 and €250 respectively. On the brighter side, there are many discounts available for students on a budget in résidences universitaires and restos universitaires.
French organizations that primarily aid students like Crous International also exist and eating in their restaurants can help with cutting down food expenses with their cut-rate menu prices.
Can international students work in France?
All International students can work in France for up to 964 hours per year but non-EU students must secure a student resident permit first before starting.
Students are also permitted to work in their universities and other such educational institutions but not for more than 670 hours between September 1 and June 30 or 300 hours from July 1st to August 31.
The 964-hour limit does not count internships done as part of a degree course and students are entitled to a compensation of €600.60 for every month an internship goes over the 2-month mark.
Top Universities in France:
As with most (if not all) European countries, France is known for its high-quality education and liberal arts expertise. An international business and management hub, France possesses some of the highest-ranked business schools with 13 within the top 550 in the QS World University Business & Management Studies Rankings for 2024. Aside from this, France has especially built its reputation in the academe, producing 13 Fields Medals and 62 Nobel Prize laureates—one of which is Marie Curie.
Renowned schools include the Paris Sciences et Lettres University (PSL), the École Polytechnique, and Sorbonne University; all of which have at least three Nobel Prize winners in their alumni and are considered some of the most prestigious universities in the world. The PSL, in particular, is known for its many laboratories and emphasis on scientific research.
Best Scholarships in France
As part of the European Union, France is one of the countries international students may apply for in their Erasmus+ scholarship applications. This program, which is managed by the European Union, is a popular choice for those who wish to further their academic pursuits in Europe. This comes with good reason.
The Erasmus+ is one of the few France scholarship programs that finance most, if not all, expected fees students will encounter in their receiving institutions. This isn’t to say nothing of the monthly grants offered to Erasmus+ students as well. Though grant amounts generally vary by availability and individual living costs, students are awarded around at least €300 per month to help offset travel and daily expenses.
2. Eiffel Excellence Scholarship
The Eiffel Excellence Scholarship is a government-sponsored scholarship established to encourage stellar foreign students to pursue their master’s and doctoral degrees in France. Spearheaded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this program aims to prime future international leaders in engineering and the liberal arts.
This scholarship in France is divided into two: a master’s component that lasts 12 to 36 months and a doctoral component supports up to 12 months of research.
For those under the master’s program, expected benefits include a monthly allowance of €1,181; doctoral students will receive €1,700 at the same rate.
Both variants cover round-trip airfare, health insurance, a two-time local travel reimbursement, and entitle awardees to tuition charge exemptions to French universities.
3. Excellence-Major Scholarship
The Excellence-Major Scholarship (or Devenir boursier Excellence-Major) is another France scholarship set by the government to encourage academic mobility towards France that supports at least 200 new scholars each year. This scholarship is awarded based on a selection of the best baccalaureate students who graduated from French high schools abroad that are accredited by the French Government.
This scholarship comes in three types, distributed according to financial background: the Rate 1 scholarship, the rate 2 scholarship, and the re-entry scholarship. Rate 1 and 2 scholars receive a monthly allowance of €222 and €685 per month, respectively, while re-entry scholars are given a flat-rate annual contribution of €500 and “social cover.”
Furthermore, Excellence-Major recipients are given additional privileges to help with administrative procedures and accommodation processes as government scholarship holders.
4. French Embassy Scholarships
As part of the French government’s academic mobility scheme, the French Embassy usually offers scholarships that vary by country. These scholarships in France are often generous and always worth looking into. Notable examples include the PhilFrance program for the Philippines and the Grants from the French Embassy for Indonesia.
For reference, both scholarships include tuition subsidies, an allowance (with the PhilFrance offering a stipend amounting up to €700 monthly), healthcare insurance, and travel grants.
5. Université Paris-Saclay International Master’s Scholarship
The Université Paris-Saclay opens up scholarships every year to promote its master’s programs to outstanding international students by making access to the university easier. This scholarship at France is mainly targeted at those who would like to develop their research up to the doctoral level and last for one to two years.
The Université Paris-Saclay International Master’s Scholarship pays out a total of €10,000 per year over 10 months during the school year. This scholarship also grants a maximum of €1000 for travel and visa expenses to be received upon arrival and matriculation in France.
6. École Normale Supérieure International Selection Scholarship
Every year, the École Normale Supérieure holds an international scholarship selection amongst some of the world’s best students in science and the arts. This France scholarship program was created to allow these exceptional students to take their master studies in this university and support these hopeful academics in their path towards excellence. 20 students are selected every year, with 10 in humanities & arts and another 10 for the sciences.
This scholarship includes training opportunities with renowned researchers and guarantees a monthly grant of €1,000 for 3 years, as well as a room in one of the ENS campuses.
7. Emile Boutmy Scholarship (for Non-EU Students)
Named after its school founder, the Emile Boutmy Scholarship may as well be considered one of the most prestigious scholars’ programs of Sciences Po. This scholarship is open to non-European Union nationals and was designed to encourage some of the best students from outside Europe to take a chance at this elite university.
This scholarship in France takes various forms. Eligible students under the bachelor’s program may be awarded tuition grants that could range from €3,600 to €13,000 while those in the master’s program will be given a tuition grant of €12,200 per year. Admission to both programs is based on academic performance and merit conditions set in place by individual courses.