France has become one of the most sought-after countries for study abroad.
And why not?
France is a splendid choice for higher studies because of its rich history, culture, quality education, and promising future prospects. There are reasons French universities are among the best in the world.
France offers state-of-the-art facilities and world-class academic resources. It is also one of the safest countries in Europe.
The French government has made significant investments to protect and support international students. The education system strongly focuses on research, innovation, and critical thinking.
Students who study there get to experience a one-of-a-kind cultural immersion. It inspires them to seek personal and professional growth.
It’s no wonder that the top-notch standards of the French education system are recognized worldwide. Employers place great importance on degrees earned from these universities.
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Top Reasons to Choose France for Higher Studies
There are many fabulous motivations to choose France for your study overseas education. Here are some notable ones!
(i) High-Quality Education
France is renowned for its high-quality education system and its long-standing reputation for excellence.
French universities often rank among the top universities in the world, offering students an exceptional education.
In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, four universities from France have secured a place in the top 100. In total, there are 42 included in the rankings.
Students worldwide are attracted to the university because of its wide range of academic programs, research opportunities, renowned faculty members, and international recognition.
(ii) Diverse Culture
France is known for its diverse and rich culture. The arts, fashion, cuisine, monuments, and customs are widely recognized. People admire it for its prosperity and variety.
Studying in France engages students in the language, lifestyle, customs, and culture while exploring its varied regions and heritage. It can enhance their global perspective and language skills.
(iii) International and multicultural community
France is home to a large and diverse international community. This makes it an incredible place for students to build a global network and experience an international community.
French universities welcome students from all over the world. It offers them a supportive environment in which to pursue their academic goals.
(iv) Affordable Tuition Fees
The tuition fees vary, especially for international students. It depends on the course and university.
Yet, France offers affordable tuition fees compared to other study-abroad destinations. It is relatively less than the United States and the United Kingdom.
Plus, there are tons of scholarships available for international students. This makes it an appealing place for international students studying in Europe.
(v) Job Opportunities during and after studies
France is home to the world’s largest and most successful companies. As an effect, it is a hub for job options.
Studying in France enables students to network and find career choices with hundreds of companies. You can connect with experts, professionals, and researchers in various fields. It contributes to your future career path.
As a student, you can avail of a work permit or post-study visa during your stay in France. You can also do part-time jobs to support your expenses.
French law enables foreign students to work up to 964 hours annually. This is 60% of the maximum allowable working hours. The minimum wage is €9.22/hour after in hand. So, working 10 hours weekly at minimum pay is around €92 net.
Tips for students who want to study in France
France is a country of mixed cultures, languages, and possibilities. It gives a fantastic chance, but staying and working can be challenging.
Here are some tips for students to stay in France and increase their job prospects.
(i) Start Early
Begin your scholarship search well in advance. Specific scholarships require applications to be submitted earlier than others. Get ready ahead of time.
If you start early, it can help you research better. You can also collect the required documents, enroll, pay fees, get a visa, and book tickets. Plus, arrange a stay, find employment, etc.
(ii) Research about everything
Before you move to France, study and research everything related to your stay in the country. This includes institutes and courses, part-time work, stay, expenses, and prospects post-study.
Check universities and programs that align with your educational and career goals. Many universities offer scholarships to attract talented international students.
(iii) Explore diverse types of scholarships
You can use scholarship databases and search engines meant for international students.
Many websites can help you discover relevant prospects. For example, ScholarshipPortal, Chevening, Mastersportals, Studyportals, etc.
You can check the French government’s various scholarship programs, depending on the course, location, qualification, and college. France has many initiatives to draw candidates from far and wide.
There are also tons of university scholarships. Check individual college websites for such information. Many have merit-based scholarships, and some have reserved funds for international students.
Once you decide on a college and program, check your eligibility criteria. The conditions vary, depending on the institution. Some scholarships may be specific to certain nations, fields of study, or academic levels.
Pay close attention to the application’s last date. Your application must meet a time limit for consideration.
(iv) Learn French and get official certification
French is the sole language recognized as official in France.
French is beneficial with daily tasks. For instance, you are ordering food, asking for directions, or talking with locals. It makes interaction with professors, classmates, and colleagues easier if you live in France.
It can also help you form deeper connections with the locals and better understand their customs. It helps when you attend cultural events and festivals and visit museums and historical sites. You can also take part in activities unique to French culture.
Students need to learn it to increase their job chances. French proficiency is a prerequisite for many jobs requiring public interaction.
Enroll in a French language course near you and practice speaking with French speakers. The more you practice, the better you will get.
You also ensure you meet any language ability requirements.
Scholarships often demand proof of English language ability through tests like IELTS or TOEFL. For some, you may need a certain level of French proficiency exams like Diplôme d’études en langue française (DELF).
They teach most courses in English to international students. So, you can pursue it without French certification. Yet, it adds excellent value to your profile and helps you get a study visa and work.
(v) Prepare a Strong Application
Craft a convincing application that highlights your achievements and goals. Justify why you are a deserving candidate. Tailor your application to each scholarship’s conditions.
You can also aim to get recommendation letters.
Try to secure strong letters from teachers, professors, or employers. These letters must be about your academic and personal qualities.
You can get involved in community and extracurricular activities. You can showcase your engagement in such services or leadership roles. Some scholarships value a well-rounded profile.
(vi) Financial Need
Some scholarships are need-based. Be prepared to explain your financial situation and why you need financial help.
Look for scholarships from international organizations, foundations, or specific industries related to your field.
You can receive support from both government and development agencies. Many organizations support deserving international students who want to study in France.
(vii) Explore work options
Making a professional network is crucial in any country, and France is no exception. Attend job fairs, professional events, and networking events to meet people in your industry.
Ensure your resume and business cards are on hand, and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself.
Internships are an excellent way to gain work experience, learn new skills, and make professional contacts. Look for internships in your field and apply early. It can also lead to full-time job options.
If you have a student visa, you may work part-time. Look for positions in your industries related to your domain. This will give you work experience and income while you study.
You can also stay up to date on new job openings. Monitor job boards, newspapers, and company websites for jobs in your field. Apply early and follow up with the employer after you apply.
Also, be open to various job options involving French.
Don’t limit yourself to one sector or profession. Try to be open to diverse work and learn new skills. This increases your career chances and makes you a more well-rounded candidate.
You will need a residence and work permit to stay in France after your course. Apply early and follow the necessities for the license.
(viii) Stay Informed
There are various ways to keep tabs on the latest updates.
Stay updated on scholarships by subscribing to newsletters and following social media accounts. Remember to visit such websites regularly to stay updated.
Remember that getting scholarships is competitive. The key is to present yourself as the best possible version of your applications by exploring multiple options.
Top Scholarships for Studying in France
There are many scholarships in France for meritorious foreign students.
The list of 14 noteworthy ones is listed below.
1. Eiffel Scholarship Program
The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development offers the Eiffel Scholarship program. This is for international students pursuing a Master’s or PhD degree in France.
The program is open to all disciplines. Applicants can choose any field of study at the postgraduate level and any field except medical sciences at the Ph.D. level.
This covers tuition fees, travel expenses, health insurance, and a monthly stipend.
The Eiffel Scholarship program is highly competitive. So, a French institution must nominate the student for the scholarship. It attracts top global talent to contribute to French institutions’ academic and research.
How to apply?
Students can apply for the Eiffel scholarship through their French organization. The application process differs depending on the institution. Students should check with them for more information.
2. Charpak Scholarship
The Charpak Scholarship is a program offered by the French Embassy in India. The scholarship is aimed at Indian students who wish to pursue a Master’s or PhD degree in France.
The scholarship covers tuition fees, travel expenses, and a monthly stipend. The Charpak scholarship program is demanding, and students must have an impressive academic record to be considered.
How to apply?
Students can apply for the Charpak scholarship online through the official website. The application deadline is usually in January.
3. Ampère Excellence Scholarship
The ENS de Lyon offers the Ampère Excellence Scholarship to foreign students. It is for candidates pursuing Master’s or PhD degrees in France.
The scholarship covers tuition fees, travel expenses, and a monthly stipend. Students must have a superior academic record to be considered for the scholarship.
How to apply?
Students can apply for the Ampère Excellence scholarship through the ENS de Lyon website. The application deadline is usually in January.
4. Erasmus+ Scholarship
The European Union offers the Erasmus+ Scholarship. This is meant for students who wish to study in a European country, including France.
The scholarship covers tuition fees, travel expenses, and a monthly stipend. The Erasmus+ scholarship program is open to students from all over the world and is highly competitive.
How to apply?
Students can apply for this scholarship through their home institution. The application process varies depending on the college. To get more information, students should check with their respective institutions.
5. Victor Hugo Scholarship
Victor Hugo Scholarship is available through the French Embassy in Vietnam. The scholarship targets Vietnamese students pursuing a Master’s or PhD in France.
The scholarship covers college fees, travel expenses, and a monthly allowance. Since the number of seats is limited, students must have an exceptional academic record to be considered.
How to apply?
Students can apply for the Victor Hugo scholarship through the French Embassy in Vietnam. The application deadline is usually in March.
6. Emile Boutmy Scholarships at Sciences Po
The Emile Boutmy Scholarship at Sciences Po is a merit-based program that attracts top international students. It covers undergraduate or Master’s studies at Sciences Po in France.
This is open to international students outside the European Union. The scholarship has partial to complete coverage of tuition fees, depending on the study level and financial need.
How to apply?
Candidates must apply for admission to Sciences Po and submit their scholarship application through their platform.
While this is merit-based, monetary need may also be assessed. The college notifies successful candidates at the same time as their admission results.
7. ENS International Selection Scholarship
The ENS International Selection Scholarship is a prestigious program offered by the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) in France.
The scholarship draws outstanding international students who wish to pursue Master’s or Ph.D. studies at ENS. It gives financial support. This covers college fees up to a certain amount.
How to apply?
Candidates must apply online via the ENS admissions platform during the designated application period. They select based on academic merit and research potential.
As part of the selection process, they invite shortlisted candidates for interviews. You will receive an official award letter.
8. HEC Foundation Scholarship
The HEC Foundation Scholarship aims to attract talented individuals. It focuses on exceptional academic and professional backgrounds in the MBA and Executive MBA courses at HEC Paris.
Candidates must thoroughly review the eligibility criteria and application requirements. The college outline for the specific MBA or Executive MBA program they are interested in.
How to apply?
Candidates must first apply for admission to the MBA or Executive MBA program at HEC Paris. They invite eligible candidates to apply. One needs academic achievements, work experience, and economic support.
9. INSEAD MBA Scholarships
INSEAD, one of the leading business schools in the world, offers various MBA scholarships to support outstanding candidates. This is for Master of Business Administration (MBA) studies.
These scholarships aim to draw a mixed and talented pool of students. There are various types of scholarships, like Diversity, Forté Foundation, Greendale Foundation MBA, and Groupe Galeries Lafayette Endowed.
How to apply?
Candidates applying for admission to the INSEAD MBA program are automatically evaluated for most scholarships. There is no separate form for these. Eligibility is based on the admission application.
Applicants can submit a financial aid application with their MBA form to apply for need-based financial aid.
10. University of Paris-Saclay International Master’s Scholarships
The University of Paris-Saclay offers International Master’s Scholarships to attract outstanding international students pursuing PG studies. These aim to support talented individuals in their academic endeavors.
The International Master’s Scholarships are open to international students worldwide.
How to apply?
Applicants must apply for admission to a master’s at the University of Paris-Saclay. The admission process includes the scholarship form. Apply this separately or show interest during the Master’s program application.
The selection process considers academic excellence and other factors.
11. ERASMUS+ Mobility Scholarships for Foreign Students
Erasmus+ is a course that supports education, training, youth, and sports in Europe. Students can benefit from a mobility bursary for studying in different countries.
The Erasmus Mundus joint postgraduate program offers scholarships to top students for one or two years. Several French institutions offer joint PG programs.
It also provides mobility scholarships for enrolled students with bilateral agreements with France. It comprises transportation and housing costs.
How to apply?
Apply to your home institution’s international office by the deadline. If selected, your home institution will nominate you for the ERASMUS+ opportunity.
12. Rennes School of Business Scholarships
The Rennes School of Business offers scholarships to international students pursuing postgraduate degrees.
These scholarships include “Talent,” which aims to high-achievers. The “Unframed” is to exhibit a unique life experience.
Last, the “Bienvenue en France” is for those who want to enhance their French language skills before they begin their studies.
How to apply?
You can review the official website and apply for it. There are two options for the scholarship form. A separate or common one where you select the type of scholarship and give other details. Do check the eligibility benchmarks.
13. SMARTS-UP Scholarship Programme
Université Paris Cité offers the SMARTS-UP Scholarship Programme. This is for students who wish to pursue a Master’s. This is available to all nationalities and is granted for one academic year.
Upon successfully enrolling in the university, scholarship recipients will receive €8,000 for the year.
How to apply?
You can visit the application portal and complete the application form with accurate details. You can then upload all required documents as per the guidelines. Finally, submit your completed application before the deadline.
For accurate and current information, refer to the official website of the SMARTS-UP or contact the program organizers directly.
14. Labex MILYON scholarship
The Université de Lyon offers this scholarship. It is available to international and French students seeking an undergraduate or postgraduate degree.
The scholarship is renewable and subject to evaluation. Students who get the scholarship will receive a monthly allowance of €1,000.
How to apply?
You can check the official portal and fill out the form. Check the programs, requirements, and last dates.
Final Words on Scholarships in France
Scholarships in France for international students are vital for promoting diversity, academic excellence, and supporting educational goals.
If you’re interested in studying overseas, France is an ideal study-abroad country for international students. It offers high-quality education, vivid culture, and career opportunities.
France is a famous destination for international students because of its affordable tuition fees, international communities, and world-acclaimed universities.
There are many scholarships available to help finance your education. Whether you’re interested in pursuing a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Ph.D. degree, many programs are available to help you achieve your academic goals.
I hope this article has provided valuable information on why France is an incredible choice for international students. I have covered a list of top scholarships to help you pursue your academic dreams. There are a few more that you can check out.
To boost your chances of studying in France, look at our in-person and French online courses with certificates at LanguageNext. We have a range of French language programs for various goals and levels.
Good luck with your study abroad journey!