Why Study in France?
France is the most popular non-English speaking destination for international students in the world, and the fourth most popular overall (behind the USA, UK and Australia). A thousand-year academic history of excellence, an on-going national commitment to higher education and an unparalleled linguistic and cultural tradition are some of the reasons international students study in France and for its enduring popularity as a study destination.
Higher Education System
France shares the European LMD degree system – License (6 Semesters, 180 ECTS, similar to a US Bachelors), Master (10 Semesters, 300 ECTS) and Doctorate (16 Semesters) – with credits accumulating and transferring under the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS).
France also has over 3,500 institutions of higher education, including the following:
- 77 publicly-funded universities, offering LMD degrees in all disciplines and serving as the primary academic research centers;
- A parallel system of Grandes Ecoles set up to offer scientific, business, art and other specific programs, which offer 5-year diplomas equivalent to a Master degree;
- Schools of architecture;
- Over 3,000 specialized schools offering degrees in a wide variety of subjects, including hotel management, culinary arts, tourism and social work.
Student Life in France / Expected Costs
Those students who choose to study in France have always enjoyed a special place in French society, with a network of discounts, financial assistance and designated student facilities that help enhance the standard of living you can eke out of a student budget. Theaters, museums, sporting and cultural events all offer student discounts, plus students live in subsidized university residence halls, privately operated student housing and private sector housing. As an international student, you will often have priority on the cheaper university housing that can be hard to get.
CampusFrance is the national agency charged with promoting education in France, and their website is an excellent resource for choosing the university or specialized school that best meets your educational goal.