9 Cheapest Universities in France for International Students - Study Abroad Aide (2023)

France is a country that is considered to be an international hub for its artistic, cultural, and scientific significance. It is reputed for its iconic French way of life, aesthetically pleasing cities, iconic architecture, and especially tantalizing cuisine.

To this end, France caters to any kind of international – in terms of the environment, the country offers a range from busy urban cities to quiet and calmer villages and towns to sunny beaches and charming mountainous regions. Its location in the center of Europe further provides excellent transport links to other major cities and countries surrounding it.

The education system of France is considered to be among the finest and best in Europe after the United Kingdom. Multiple universities in the country have been consistently ranked among the top universities in the world league tables and have further produced world-class graduates and alumni.

Added to this, French universities offer very modest tuition fees which are an added advantage to prospective students. (Just a note: there are many universities that are completely free in Europe. If interested, check Free Universities in Europe for International Students,).

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that up to 90% of international students choose to opt for France as a study abroad destination due to these very tempting reasons.

In addition to the high standards of academic education offered by the universities, students have access to a life-changing educational experience, be it in terms of world-famous museums and stunning sites to globally recognized cuisine and cultural aesthetics at anyone’s doorstep. In this article, we present a series of cheap universities in France. This will hopefully give you an idea of the finances and funding that go into studying in this iconic country.

What are some of the most popular degrees in France for International Students?

France is home to many excellent degree programs. For international students, these are the most popular courses:

  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Computer Science
  • Law
  • Business

How do I study in France as an International Student?

The application process in French universities can be very daunting. To help you with the process, we wrote a detailed guide on How to Study in France for International Students. If you are interested, check it out.


How much does it cost to study at a university in France?

In terms of tuition fees, the costs can range from around EUR 180 to 15,000 in total, which largely depends on the university. When considering the costs of living, this will depend on the student’s lifestyle and the location of the university. Large cities like Paris range from EUR 1200 to 1800 per month while areas in Lyons/Bordeaux or Toulouse can be as low as EUR 600 per month.

Do I have to learn French to study?

French is considered to be the primary language of instruction with teaching activities. However, with the constant increase in international students who arrive in the country, there are now hundreds of different courses that are taught and administered in English across a majority of French universities. If you are wanting to learn in English, you will need to have English proficiency exam results such as the IELTS or TOEFL.

To this end, learning French is not a major prerequisite. However, if you are enrolling in a French-taught course, proficiency in the language is compulsory.

Are there any opportunities to have a free education in France?

Unfortunately, French universities have tuition fees for international students. However, there are actually ways that you can finance your education, and we cover all the different ways in How to Study in France for Free (Complete Guide). Check out this great resource!

Affordable Universities

Here are some of the countries that are affordable to international students.

  • 7 Free Universities in Europe
  • 20 Free Tuition Universities in the USA
  • 60 Cheap Universities in Canada
  • 7 Cheap Universities in the Netherlands
  • 10 Cheap Universities in Italy

Cheap Universities in France

1. University of Paris

The University of Paris is a public university that was founded through a merger between the Paris Descartes and the Paris Diderot Universities. Founded in 2019, this cheap university in France is an institution that is committed to scientific, cultural, and professional applications through education.

The university currently offers degrees to a student population of over 50,000. It also maintains a strong research profile, overseeing over 10 different institutes and 87 laboratories while also maintaining collaborations with multiple foreign and national universities.

The university aims to conduct and provide education and research related to science at a high standard. The top programs at the University of Paris are Business and Nursing.

2. University of Orleans

The Université d’Orleans is a public research university that is based in the city of Orleans in Northwestern France. Its history dates back to the early 14th century although the current university gained its status only in 1960. So theoretically, this makes the University of Orleans one of the oldest universities in the country.


The university manages and provides a range of academic programs including Law, Management, Economics, Linguistics, Social Sciences, Classical Languages, Natural Sciences, Life Sciences, and Mathematics.

Collectively, the university has grown to become a national hub and an influential center for learning throughout the century. It is ranked among the top 100 universities in France. It is an original member of the Leonardo da Vinci Association of Institutions in the country too.

3. University de Montpelier

Founded in 1289, the University of Montpellier is classified as the oldest university in the country. Located in the southeastern city of Montpellier, the university underwent a split into 3 different universities before it was merged back into its original status in 2015. Currently, the university has a student enrolment of over 41,000 in total.

Academically, this one of the cheapest universities in France is comprised of 7 major departments including Law, Economics, Pharmacy, Medicine, Odontology, Exercise Science and Business Administration. These departments enable the university to provide over 100 different courses and degrees of study for the students. Fields such as Law and Ecological Studies are among the most highly ranked in the country.

Research institutes are cutting-edge and an essential core of the university’s presence in the country and regularly contribute to the economy of the region. The university has further been ranked among the top 50 most innovative universities in the world.

4. University of Strasbourg

The University of Strasbourg is a public research university located in the city of Strasbourg in France. With a student population of over 55,000 and around 3300 researchers working at the university, it is among the largest institutions of higher education in the country.

This was after the university underwent a merger with 3 other minor universities. As of 2019, the university has been associated with approximately 20 Nobel Laureates and 2 Field medallists. It is also a member of the League of European Research Universities for its high contributions to research.

It is also one of the most international universities in the region; approximately 20% of the student population consists of foreign students who come from over 150 different countries in the world for their studies. As a result, the city is one of the most popular destinations for study abroad students.

5. University of Burgundy

The University of Burgundy is another public university located in the eastern region of Dijon in France. Founded in 1722, the university currently provides student education for over 30,000, of which approximately 10% are international students coming from around 100 different countries.

(Video) France Student Visa Process | France Study Visa | How to get Student visa for France #study #visa

The main campus of this cheap university in France is located just outside the city of Dijon with the majority of the academic faculties located in the region.

The university is academically comprised of around 10 major faculties along with 3 institutes of technology, 4 engineering schools, and institutes of education. The university’s primary Institute of Technology also offers higher-level diplomas and short-term courses across a wide array of disciplines.

International students also have access to the CIEF, a center for learning the French language which helps them to develop their proficiency in the language during the course of their studies.

Additionally, it is classified to be one of the top universities in France to offer plenty of support as well as a diverse student life for international and disabled students.

6. École Normale Supérieure (Paris)

The Ecole Normale Superieure of Paris (or ENS Paris) is a graduate university based in the capital of Paris. It is known to be the most influential and selective institution of higher education in the region and possibly the country.

The university was founded in the early 18th century and currently has over 2500 students studying its degrees. It has received particular recognition in the fields of physics and mathematics with an exceedingly high proportion of Nobel Laureates and Field Medallists.

Academically, the university is divided into the ‘Letters’ section which oversees the arts, social and human sciences and subsequently includes 8 sub-departments. Its second division is the ‘Sciences’ section that manages the natural and mathematical sciences section and includes 7 sub-departments. Student classes are small, seeing as the university has one of the lowest student enrolments in the country due to its increasing selectivity in admissions.

7. École Centrale de Lyon

Based in the iconic region of Lyon, the Ecole Centrale de Lyon is a research institution that was founded in 1857. It is one of the oldest graduate schools in the country and is a member of the Grandes Ecoles of France, a group committed to providing high-quality education in science, engineering, business education, and research.

The most reputed and highly ranked fields in the university are those of biosciences, acoustic technology, and nanotechnology. The student population numbers around 1300+ in total and students have access to an educational experience that is focused on training highly skilled graduates with a strong focus on applied science.

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This cheap university in France for international students further maintains very strong links with other world-class institutions across the world, including the likes of the Darmstadt Institute of Technology in Germany and the Imperial College of London.

8. Sciences Po

The Sciences Po (or the Paris Institute of Political Studies) is a prestigious institution of higher education located primarily in Paris, with additional campuses in other regions of the country. The institution has a student population of over 14,000 students. These areas include Reims, Dijon, Poitiers and Le Havre.

Academically, the university is comprised of the Undergraduate College and 7 Graduate Schools (which are similar to faculties and oversee fields such as Law, Public Affairs, International Affairs, and Journalism. The undergraduate college offers a range of degrees with a multidisciplinary basis as well as dual degrees in collaboration with partner institutions across the world.

In terms of research, Sciences Po has a thriving community and is connected to cutting-edge research in the fields of economics, political science, sociology, and history.

9. École Polytechnique

Ecole Polytechnique is another public institution of higher education. Founded in 1794, it is a member of the Grandes Ecole network and is committed to providing quality education in the field of engineering.

With a student population of over 3500, the university is most reputed for its iconic ‘polytechnic engineer’ program; it includes significantly broader training as opposed to the majority of public universities in the country and focuses on providing a more widespread learning experience.

Additionally, numerous Masters and doctoral programs are offered to the students as well. These programs at this cheap university in France tend to be linked and administered in collaboration with other universities in the Grandes Ecole Network.

With its high standards of academics, it comes as no surprise that, internationally, the university has gained a strong academic reputation and it is ranked among the top 100 universities in the world.

I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit theEurope Scholarships Page!

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What is the cheapest university in France? ›

Most affordable universities in France
  • University of Orleans - tuition fees: 170 - 601 EUR/year.
  • University of Strasbourg - tuition fees: 184 - 610 EUR/year.
  • Grenoble INP Institute of Engineering Univ. Grenoble Alpes - tuition fees: 122 - 470 EUR/year.
  • University of Burgundy – tuition fees: 170 - 601 EUR/year.
13 Jan 2022

Which European country is cheapest to study for international students? ›

So, what are the most affordable European destinations for students?
  • Italy. Average living costs: 700 – 1,000 EUR / month. ...
  • Germany. Average living costs: 700 – 1,100 EUR / month. ...
  • France. Average living costs: 700 – 950 EUR / month. ...
  • Spain. ...
  • Lithuania. ...
  • Business. ...
  • Education. ...
  • Computer Science.

How much money do you need to study abroad in France? ›

Estimated Cost of Living in France
Estimated Monthly BudgetParisRest of France
Cultural and social activities$150$100
TOTAL per month$1,350$940
TOTAL per academic year (10 months)$13,500$9,400
2 more rows

Which country is best for study with low fees? ›

10 of the Most Affordable Places to Study Abroad
  • Norway. ...
  • Taiwan. ...
  • Germany. ...
  • France. ...
  • Mexico. ...
  • India. ...
  • Argentina. ...
  • Poland.

Which university is free in France for international students? ›

International studies have historically paid much higher amounts for their education in France. There are no free universities in France for international students but one can still make their education affordable in France.

Can international students get part time jobs in France? ›

While studying in France, international students are allowed to work part time even if they are in the 1st year of the program or are pursuing a language course. Students in France can look for part-time jobs and can work part-time for 964 hours annually, which is 20 hours per week on a student visa in France.

Can a poor student study abroad? ›

If you don't have enough money, apply for some good international scholarships* – an easy way to escape taking loans for your higher studies abroad. If you don't have enough money, you should apply to some cost-effective or economic countries such as Germany and Canada.

How much is a student visa for France? ›

How Much Does a French Visa Cost?
Visa typeFees in EuroFees in Dollars
Short stay visa for French Overseas Department or Region8088.43
Short stay visa for French Overseas Territories1516.70
Student Visa5055.60
Other Long Stay Visas99110.10
5 more rows

How do I prepare for study abroad in France? ›

Studying Abroad in France: 6 Social Tips
  1. Enjoy activities outside of your host university. ...
  2. Date in French. ...
  3. Seek out people who don't speak English. ...
  4. Befriend French students who have also come from far away. ...
  5. Join the Erasmus community. ...
  6. Don't be afraid to be chatty. ...
  7. Consider the type of French you want to study.
24 Aug 2022

Which is the cheapest English speaking country to study? ›

10 Places Where You Can Study in English for Under $5,000 a Year
  • Malaysia. If you want to study in English somewhere a little warmer, Malaysia could be a good option for you. ...
  • Saudi Arabia. ...
  • Germany. ...
  • Taiwan. ...
  • France. ...
  • India. ...
  • Norway. ...
  • Greece.

Which country provides most scholarship to international students? ›

Germany. A particularly popular country for admission among students from all over the world. No wonder: In Germany almost all universities are free of charge and the country's largest scholarship fund — DAAD — provides a scholarship to cover living expenses.

Which country is cheapest in Europe? ›


Bulgaria often tops the list of inexpensive countries to visit in Europe – and with good reason.

Which country in Europe is best for international students? ›

Deutschland is at the top of the list of best countries for international students who want to study abroad in Europe for the third year in a row. Sharing its borders with eleven other countries, Germany is truly the center of it all.

Which country in Europe has the cheapest university fees? ›

Cheapest countries to study in Europe: find below more about the options and tuition fees to study in Europe with low costs and high quality
  1. 1 – France. France is one of the best places to study in the world. ...
  2. 2 – Czech Republic. ...
  3. 3 – Germany. ...
  4. 4 – Spain. ...
  5. 5 – Romania. ...
  6. 6 – Belarus. ...
  7. 7 – Italy. ...
  8. 8 – Belgium.
21 Mar 2022

Can I work and study in France? ›

You can supplement your income by working while studying in France, regardless of the level of education you are undertaking and regardless of your nationality. All students have the right to work on or off campus.

Do I need Ielts to study in France? ›

Ans: No, France student visa without IELTS is accepted. ELP test scores such as TOEFL, etc are accepted.

How much money can earn a student in France? ›

How much minimum wage in France an international student can earn per hour? A. The minimum hourly wage for an international student doing a part-time job can be up to 7.61 EUR. In other words, international students can earn up to 7,900 EUR per year while doing part-time jobs.

How many hours can a student work in France a week? ›

French law allows students to work a maximum of 964 hours a year. This represents about twenty hours a week. In France, there is a minimum wage, SMIC (minimum growth wage), which is €10.03, gross per hour of work.

What are the jobs for international students in France? ›

5 job opportunities in Paris for English-speaking students
  • Educational student jobs in Paris – bilingual babysitter or professor. ...
  • Student jobs in Paris in the hotel industry. ...
  • Student librarian in an international library. ...
  • English-speaking student museum jobs. ...
  • International student jobs in sales in Paris.

Which country can I study for free? ›

Nordic nations Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden all offer opportunities to study free or at low cost: In Norway, university study is available free of charge to all students, regardless of study level or nationality.

How can I win a scholarship to study abroad? ›

These are some of the most common application requirements for scholarships:
  1. registration or application form.
  2. letter of motivation or personal essay.
  3. letter of recommendation.
  4. letter of acceptance from an academic institution.
  5. proof of low income, official financial statements.
20 Jan 2022

How can I get sponsored to study abroad? ›

Table of Content
  1. Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees.
  2. Fulbright-Nehru Master's Fellowships.
  3. Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship.
  4. Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships.
  5. Great Wall Program.
  6. Inlaks Scholarship.
  7. National Overseas Scholarship Scheme by the Indian Government.
  8. Orange Tulip Scholarship.
11 Feb 2019

What are the 4 types of visa? ›

Probably one of the four main types: tourist, immigration, student, or work.

Do French student visas get rejected? ›

Yes, French student visas can get rejected if you are not eligible according to the visa officers. There may be many reasons for the refusal such as Insufficient funds, Inadequate or fake documents, Falling short on academic achievements, Providing Inaccurate Information, Lack of interview skills, etc.

Can I stay in France after my student visa expires? ›

The VLS-TS student visa allows you to pursue studies in France for a period of four months to one year. It must be validated upon your arrival in France. If you would like to continue your studies after it expires, you may apply for a multi-annual residence permit (carte de séjour pluriannuelle).

What is best to study in France? ›

Each high school is responsible for providing the relevant preparation regarding entrance into universities, Grandes écoles or specialized schools. The most popular studies in France include majors such as economics and business, fashion, hospitality, technology and tourism.

What do international students need to study in France? ›

General Entry Requirements
  • A Campus France authorization.
  • A passport copy.
  • A passport sized photo of yourself.
  • Copies of transcripts and graduation diplomas.
  • A copy of your European health card (for EU students)
  • Application fee (if required)
  • A civil liability certificate.
  • A cover letter.

What are the requirements to study in France? ›

Required university application documents
  • Prior admission or pre-registration certificate provided by the university.
  • Campus France authorization.
  • Passport or ID card (valid for the duration of your stay)
  • ID/passport-type photos.
  • Copies of graduation diplomas and their French translation.
  • Registration fee.
24 Jan 2022

Which country give student visa easily? ›

A: Undoubtedly, you need to put some effort to acquire a student visa for any country, however, the most prominent options to accomplish easy attainment of student visa as an Indian student are Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

Which country is No 1 in study? ›

USA. For decades, the US has reigned supreme as the world's most popular study abroad destination. The country's prestigious institutions dominate global university rankings, attracting students from across the world with an appetite for academic excellence.

Which European country gives work visa easily? ›

Estonia. Estonia is one of the easiest European countries to get a work visa for digital nomads. It offers an excellent visa program allowing you to stay in Estonia for a year as a tourist while working remotely.

Which European country does not require ielts? ›

Apart from European countries like Germany, you can study in Europe without IELTS at universities in several other nations like Norway, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.

Which country has the cheapest university? ›

9 Countries Where American Students Can Study Free or Affordable Degrees
  • Germany. In case you didn't know, most public universities in Germany charge no tuition fees, especially for Bachelor's. ...
  • France. ...
  • Luxembourg. ...
  • Austria. ...
  • The Czech Republic. ...
  • Norway. ...
  • Iceland. ...
  • Sweden.
20 Jan 2022

Which country is expensive to study? ›

Top 10 most expensive countries to study
RankCountryAverage total
3New Zealand£29,627
6 more rows
12 Jan 2017

Which country can I easily get a scholarship? ›

TOP Countries That Are The Easiest To Get A SCHOLARSHIP In - Education - Nairaland
  • Germany. A particularly popular country for admission among students from all over the world. ...
  • France. ...
  • Italy. ...
  • Czech Republic. ...
  • Hungary. ...
  • China.
15 Sept 2020

How can I get 100% study abroad scholarship? ›

  1. Fulbright-Nehru Master's Fellowships.
  2. Great Wall Program.
  3. The JN Tata Endowment – Higher Education of Indians.
  4. Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Programme.
  5. Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship.
  6. The Lady Meherbai D Tata Education Trust.
  7. National Overseas Scholarship Scheme.
  8. Key takeaways.
9 Aug 2022

Which country gives fully funded scholarship? ›

The Government of the Czech Republic Scholarships program is fully funded and provided by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This program is available for citizens of developing countries to study at the Czech Republic higher education institutions.

Is studying in France cheap for international students? ›

Ans: France is on the list of cheapest countries to study. They offer affordable tuition fees for international students such as 170 euros to pursue a bachelor's degree in France.

Are universities in France free? ›

Tuition fees are low in public Higher education institutions because the French government subsidizes higher education. The true cost of education is the same as it is elsewhere in the world—around €10,000 a year. The difference is that in France the government assumes a large share of that cost.

How much is university in France for international students? ›

The new tuition fees for international students, starting September 2019, are: 2,770 euros per year for Bachelor's (Licence) programmes, 3,770 euros per year for Master's programmes, 380 euros per year for Doctorate (PhD) programmes - the same amount as for Europeans.

Is Paris affordable for international students? ›

As anywhere else, the cost of living is higher in the capital than in other parts of the country. A general estimation for a year of study in France would be 10 000€ to 13 000€ for international students.
ExpenseEstimated cost
Phone and internet access and electricity/monthTotal 130€
4 more rows

How much bank balance is required for France student visa? ›

Proof of sufficient funds for living in the country. The current amount required is €615 (US$820) per month, which can be shown with a bank statement, a guarantor's letter or a notice of funding from a loan, scholarship or grant.

Do I need Ielts to study in France? ›

Ans: No, France student visa without IELTS is accepted. ELP test scores such as TOEFL, etc are accepted.

How much is a student visa for France? ›

How Much Does a French Visa Cost?
Visa typeFees in EuroFees in Dollars
Short stay visa for French Overseas Department or Region8088.43
Short stay visa for French Overseas Territories1516.70
Student Visa5055.60
Other Long Stay Visas99110.10
5 more rows

Can a poor student study abroad? ›

If you don't have enough money, apply for some good international scholarships* – an easy way to escape taking loans for your higher studies abroad. If you don't have enough money, you should apply to some cost-effective or economic countries such as Germany and Canada.

Can I work and study in France? ›

You can supplement your income by working while studying in France, regardless of the level of education you are undertaking and regardless of your nationality. All students have the right to work on or off campus.

Which country study is free? ›

Germany is the 1st Country that offers Free Education to all international students. Germany is called Tuition-Free Country & all the Universities in Germany are Tuition Free Countries. It means you do not have to Pay for your tuition Fee.

What are the requirements to study in France? ›

Required university application documents
  • Prior admission or pre-registration certificate provided by the university.
  • Campus France authorization.
  • Passport or ID card (valid for the duration of your stay)
  • ID/passport-type photos.
  • Copies of graduation diplomas and their French translation.
  • Registration fee.
24 Jan 2022

How can I get scholarship to study abroad? ›

You can use various resources to find study abroad scholarships: university websites, online scholarship databases, official study abroad pages for individual countries, and so on. The most common types of scholarships are academic or merit-based, need-based, athletic-based, region or minority-based, etc.

How much money do I need to study in Paris? ›

On average, students in Paris need 1318€ per month to cover their living expenses, according to a 2020 study made by the National Union of Students of France (UNEF). Paris is the most expensive student city in France, especially regarding accommodation & transport.

Is 700 euros enough in Paris? ›

Most students need 600 to 800 Euros each month to cover the costs of food, transportation, and housing. The amount you will need generally depends on where you reside in France, what programme you take, and on what type of housing you select.

What salary do you need to live in Paris? ›

According to Statista, monthly income between 3,000€, and 5,000€, is considered a good salary in Paris. This income can afford you a decent lifestyle in the city center, including a two-bedroom apartment, regular weekend gateways, and eat-outs.


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