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Facts of Studying

Tuition fees in France

The major benefits enjoyed by those who study in France include relatively low tuition fees at public universities. There are also certain scholarships and mobility schemes available for those who wish to study abroad in France. Some of the most popular ones include grants from the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research, funding made by National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), awards from regional councils, Erasmus and Erasmus Mundus programs.

Living costs in France

The overall living costs in France depend on your lifestyle but most of all; they depend on your chosen location, mainly the French city you live in. As expected, Paris is the most expensive French city; check the average budget you would need for each of the large cities in France:

  • Paris: between 1,050 and 1,200 EUR/month (sometimes even including the accommodation, if you choose to live in a student hall of residence)
  • Nice: between 700 and 920 EUR/month
  • Lyon, Nantes, Bordeaux or Toulouse: between 650 and 850 – 900 EUR
  • For the rest of France, you can survive with smaller amounts (at least 600 EUR).

Accommodation

Prices for accommodation are usually above the international average of 200 – 300 EUR/month. The main housing options for students in France are:

  • Student halls of residence –between 150 and 600 EUR/month, depending on the university, included facilities if the room is private or shared. Around 13% of international students live in student residences.
  • Rent/share an apartment –between 400 and 700 EUR/month, while in smaller French cities you can rent a small apartment for about 300 EUR/month.
  • If you will live with your partner and/or child(ren), the price for rent would range from 700 to 1,000 EUR/month, and you could pay higher if you choose an apartment in the city centre. The utility bills (electricity, water, the internet) would be another 200 EUR/month.

Food costs

French food is delicious, sophisticated and the common conception is that it is expensive as well. That may be because the French truly value every meal and they make it seem like they are always celebrating something when they eat. However, food is not pricey all over France. One person can expect to spend on average about 200 – 250 EUR/month on groceries in Paris, less in the provinces. A more affordable option where you can have a meal anywhere in France are the bistros, brasseries and crepe stands. Some bistros serve substantial meals and a crepe can take the place of lunch and prices are from 2 to 5 EUR.

Transportation

The price of a bus or metro ticket may vary from 1 – 1.70 EUR, but many cities offer discounts if you buy a weekly, monthly, or annual pass. A monthly pass on bus, metro or tram is usually somewhere between 17 and 33 EUR. In Paris, the metro is the easiest way to travel and taxis are also relatively inexpensive, around 1.25 EUR/km and you would spend 7 – 10 EUR for a short journey.

Scholarships

Scholarships for international students are offered by some universities, by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the French embassy from your country. Some universities offer 10,000 EUR scholarships per year to students that are maximum 30 years old the year of acceptance and who satisfying criteria of academic excellence. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs offers scholarships through The Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Program, mainly for students who enroll in Master’s (1,181 EUR/month) and Ph.D. courses (1,400 EUR/month).

French Embassy grants

Grants offered by the French embassy are variable according to each country, so it is better to always get in contact with the embassy in your area to see which program might apply to you.

Most grants are awarded on the basis of financial need to students that are less than 28 years of age. The amount awarded for the need-based grant depends on the assessment of social criteria and varies between 1,606 and 4,600 EUR per year. The merit-based grant ranges from 1,800 to 6,102 EUR. At the same time, those eligible for a grant receive exemption or reduction in health cover.

Loans are also available with a maximum amount of 15,000 EUR, but less than 0.1 % of university students take out such a loan. Parents are eligible for tax relief if students are financially dependent on them and are less than 25 years old. The amount of tax relief is proportional to the amount of taxable income of the household.