A direct enrollment (Inscription Directe) at a French university is easily possible for EU citizens. According to allpubliclibraries, France is a major country in European continent.
A general higher education entrance qualification is required for a bachelor’s degree in France. To be able to enroll in a master’s degree in France, students need a bachelor’s degree. Old diploma and master’s degrees are also generally accepted.
University or French embassy – the right address for your application
The first enrollment for all state universities is centralized via the Internet portal Admission Post Bac. However, it is up to the individual university to decide whether to admit students to an ongoing license and master’s course. It determines the recognition of previous academic achievements and upcoming aptitude tests.
When applying to one of the Paris universities or for a degree in medicine, pharmacy or dentistry, the documents are sent to the French embassy or the cultural institute.
Knowledge of French as a prerequisite for studying in France
Before students apply to a French university, they should find out how knowledge of French is required for the course.
In the license course, one of the following criteria is usually sufficient:
- High school advanced course in French, with at least a grade of satisfactory
- the European Abitur
- the language tests DELF B2, DALF C1 or TCF.
For the master’s degree, applicants usually need the DALF diploma. Alternatively, there is the possibility of taking a language test on site in France.
Admission to study at an institute Universitaire
Access to an Institut Universitaire is more difficult. For admission to an IUD, one or two years of study at a university are required. A commission decides on admission. There are also strict selection procedures at the IUT due to the limited number of places available.
The Concours at the Grandes Écoles
At the Grandes Écoles, an aptitude test (concours) decides on the admission of the candidates. In advance, a two-year preparatory course, the Classe Préparatoire (short: Prépa) is common. The course takes place either after the Abitur (Baccalauréat) at the Lycée, in rare cases also at the Grande École in the so-called 1er cycle.
The Prépas are not an independent academic degree. Students who fail the Grandes Écoles selection process usually have the option of moving to the third year of study at a Université.
Study in France – costs and financial aid
The French constitution guarantees free education from public institutions. Nevertheless, an enrollment fee is always due, which is between EUR 180-600 depending on the university and the degree program. There are also processing or examination fees.
The private universities and Grandes Écoles charge very different tuition fees. Depending on the institution and subject, these are between EUR 1,000 and EUR 10,000 per year.
What is the cost of living in France?
The cost of living in France is on average higher than in Germany. Of course, it makes a difference whether students live in Paris or in the country. Rents in particular have risen sharply in recent years. The food and travel expenses are roughly the same as in Germany.
Places in student residences are in great demand, which is why long lead times are to be expected. WGs (colocations) are rather uncommon in France and not easy to find.
Another accommodation option for studying in France is to stay with a host family. A distinction can be made between the so-called Chambres Chez L’Habitant and Chambres Contre Service. The latter means that residents take on certain household chores or babysitting to compensate for the accommodation.
There are various agencies, such as the CROUS, which sometimes help you to find accommodation for a fee.
One way of financing your stay abroad in France is the Federal Foreign BAföG. Students who are not entitled to the domestic BAföG also have the opportunity to receive funding. The Mainz-Bingen district administration is responsible for France.
Private, political, economic and cultural foundations also offer various (partial) scholarships for students. In addition, a cheap student loan can help to financially support the study stay in France.
Another possibility to top up your wallet is a part-time job. Students from EU member states are allowed to work up to 35 hours a week without a residence permit.
Visa and entry requirements for France
For EU citizens, a valid identity card is sufficient when entering the country. Students who intend to stay in France for more than three months need a residence permit. You can apply for this at the local town hall or the police station.