Affordable Universities In France For International Students: Costs, FAQs, and more

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Anand Patinge

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University tuition fees, monthly housing rent, food, transportation, and other unending costs in a city like France sounds too expensive.

Almost impractical to choose the city for higher education.

But wait a second.

What if we say you can study cheaply in an expensive city like France? What if we list the affordable universities in France for international students?

This article is an information package about affordable higher education in France for international students.

In the next 3 minutes, we will cover the following topics in detail:

  • Affordable universities in France for international students
  • Quality of education in the universities of France
  • The total expense of studying and living in France
  • Scholarships available for international students in France
  • Money-saving tips while studying in France
  • Frequently asked questions

Affordable universities in France for international students

More than 3,500 public and private institutions in France offer certifications, degrees, and doctoral programs in business and engineering to fashion and art courses.

Here goes the list of cheapest universities in France for international students:

University Location International Student Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs International Student Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs
Université Paris-Saclay Paris ₹13572 ₹19401
Le Mans University Le Mans ₹13572 ₹19401
Sorbonne University Paris ₹13572 ₹19401
University of Orléans Orléans ₹13572 ₹19401
Université de Paris Paris ₹20838 ₹26666
University of Strasbourg Strasbourg ₹14690 ₹20439
University of Angers Angers ₹13572 ₹19401
Université de Montpellier Montpellier ₹21200 ₹19080
University of Clermont Auvergne Clermont-Ferrand ₹21200 ₹19080
University of Franche-Comté Franche-Comté ₹21200 ₹19080

Finding the right university is the most crucial step of studying abroad, especially while you have no clue on their education system.

Affordable universities in France for international students

SelectRight Testimonials

Connect with SelectRight and give your requirements to get unbiased recommendations on the cheapest universities in France for international students. 

You can connect with alumni or current students of your matched programs/universities through SelectRight, who will help you through the procedures of finding the right university.

Quality of education in the universities of France

Do you have second thoughts that the cheapest universities in France for international students have compromised their quality of education? 

It is an undeniable fact that quality is always tied up with the price you pay. But French universities provide their students with the best education and top-notch facilities. 

Moreover, in public institutions, the French government partially funds the education of the students. That’s why there exist affordable universities in France for international students. 

Quality of education in the universities of FranceReport by Campus France on enrollment of international students. 

According to Campus France, the enrollment of international students has increased by 8% from 2021 to 2022. And over 9.5% increase in registration of Indian students. This clearly indicates the improved quality of the educational system in France. 

The total expense of studying and living in France

Before diving into the details, let’s break down the cost of studying in France into four different types of expenses:

  • University tuition fee
  • Visa fees
  • Airfare
  • Average living cost in the city

1. University tuition fee

You got glad news! The tuition fees at public universities are the same across the country for all students.

If you are a non-European student coming under the below categories, your tuition fees will differ from that of a European student. That is

  • If you’re enrolling for an engineering program, Bachelor’s or Master’s degree for the first time in the 2020/2021 academic year.
  • If you belong to a higher education establishment under the MESRI (The Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation)
  • If you are not settled in France permanently. 

Now take a look at the public university tuition fees for non-EU students:

  • 220595 per year at the Licence level
  • 300232 per year at the Master’s level

Are you a European citizen? Then you are on the brighter side with lesser tuition fees than a non-EU student because the French government partly supports your higher studies. Here it goes

  • 13538 per year (Bachelor).
  • 19351 per year (Master).
  • 30262 per year (Doctoral level).
  • 47862 per year in an engineering school.

Despite the nationality, EU and non-EU doctoral students have to pay the same fees of 30262 per year.

Do you want to pursue higher education at a private institution in France? Then keep in mind that the tuition fees range from 238912 to 796373 per year, which is substantially higher than in public institutions. 

2. Visa fees

An international student from outside the EU must take the VLS-TS visa (“étudiant”), which permits you to live, study and work in France. You will be asked to pay 7884 for the VLS-TS visa; having this visa, you can work up to 964 hours per year.

The validity of the VLS-TS is up to 3 months or more, depending on the type of course you choose. If you prefer to stay in France after your degree program, you must renew your visa or apply for a different visa through the immigration office.

3. Airfare

One way to travel to France from India will range from 30421 to 58692. It varies primarily based on the city you fly from to the city you fly to. Paris is the cheapest destination to fly to.

4. Average living cost in the city

It could be a dream for many to live in a country as beautiful as France, but it comes with an expense. 

The major lifestyle factors influencing the cost of living in France are accommodation, food, transportation, and other personal expenses. 

So let’s dive into it and break down the expenses to calculate the average living cost in France.

Lifestyle factors that decide the expense Estimated cost
Monthly rent 31854 to 95564
Food Groceries – 31854 monthly

Inexpensive restaurant meal – 1075.10

Transportation A monthly pass: about 4459
Internet and cell phone plan 3344 monthly
Other expenses 7963 monthly

An average living cost in France is 87601 to 143347 per month. 

The cost of living in France largely depends on the city you choose to live in. Below we have listed the best French cities to study in and have the most program options available:

  • Paris – 101776
  • Nice – 84734
  • Grenoble – 889
  • Aix-en-Provence – 79637
  • Lyon – 82504
  • Bordeaux – 80433
  • Montpellier – ₹75098

Scholarships available for international students in France

Do you have excellent academic records? Are you looking for scholarships? 

Then you have something to look forward to funding your education in France. French Embassy in India grants scholarships up to 12 crore Indian rupees for more than 500 academically acclaimed Indian students.

Scholarships available for international students in France 

Tips to secure scholarships

Here goes the list of scholarships available for Indian students in France:

  • The Charpak Scholarship Program
  • Raman – Charpak Fellowship
  • La Fémis
  • Eiffel Scholarship Program 
  • Make Our Planet Green Again (MOPGA)
  • The Erasmus Scholarship
  • Scholarship for French Language Teachers

Money-saving tips while studying in affordable universities in France for international students

  • Instead of the high cost of the apartments, choose CROUS for accommodation.
  • Choose Blablacar is the world’s largest long-distance ride-sharing community for transportation. It links drivers with empty seats with people who want to travel to the same destination
  • Not only for accommodation CROUS is a good option for food where you can eat for less than 5 Euros.
  • Velib – bike sharing enterprise renting bicycles for 10 Euros a week is one of the best ways to save money.
  • Phone applications for Paris: Le Parisien Sortie, RATP, Free Wifi Paris, L’internaute Restos. 

Frequently asked questions

Question 1: How to find cheaper accommodation while studying in France?

Answer: Along with studying in cheaper universities in France for international students, another way to reduce the living cost is by finding more affordable accommodation options. 

The residences overseen by France’s regional centers for student services, known as CROUS, are owned and funded by the French government. The CROUS residences are the first choice for students looking for more affordable accommodation. 

The monthly rent of the CROUS residences are

  • Paris – 31854
  • Other cities in France – 15927 on average

Question 2: Are French university study programs conducted in French or English?

Answer: To welcome more international students, French universities now offer over 1,500 degree programs in English for non-French-speaking candidates. It includes 125 undergraduate programs, 1200 Master programs, 90 short and professional courses, and 140 summer courses. 

Regardless of the language of the educational program, many institutions and universities across France provide FLE (French as a foreign language) courses for international students keen to study the French language.

Check the respective university’s course directory to learn more about the programs taught in English and French.

Question 3: What language eligibility exams are needed to study in France?

Answer: The eligibility exam you are supposed to write is based on the language you choose for your educational program.

You must take either an English or French language ability test. 

If you plan to study a program trained in English, you must take the IELTS or TOEFL. And if you are doing a French-instructed program, you need to take any of the TFI, DILF, DELF, or DALF.

Question 4: Is it possible to stay back and work In France after course completion?

Answer: Students completing graduation in France can only stay back if they have paid employment. Then, they are qualified to apply for a residence visa. For both undergraduate and postgraduate students, this is applicable. 

Upon completion of the studies, if you don’t have a job as a non-European graduate student, you may request an APS(Autorisation Provisoire de Séjour). It is a temporary non-renewable resident permit valid for 12 months as they look for a job in France.

Conclusion: Studying in the cheapest universities in France for international students.

Of course, it is expensive to study in France, especially if you are an international student outside the EU. 

Choosing affordable universities in France for international students is the best way to cut expenses.

The French study visa that provides the work opportunity helps to work around your living expenses in the city. 

France, without any doubt, is one of the best countries to choose for your higher education with its high quality of education, cheap universities, and part-time working opportunities.

Picture of Anand Patinge

Anand Patinge

A master storyteller, Anand has enriched multiple entities with captivating designs, compelling messaging, and impactful media campaigns. Beyond work, you can find him feeding stray dogs, exploring art, and watching insiprational documentaries.

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