Application process for admissions & cost of education to study abroad in France

Do you wish to apply for higher studies in a French University? This articles provides in depth information about the costs of higher studies in French universities, how to apply for admission to educational courses in France, how to get a student visa to France, etc.


An increasing number of students from India are considering France for the purpose of higher studies. The primary reason for this trend is that the fees for various educational courses are much more reasonable than those in countries like USA and UK, these earlier being the most sought after destinations for studying abroad. Also, contrary to what most students think, there are plenty of courses which are taught in English and not in French. In fact, though for some courses it is a requisite to have French language skills, it is not at all necessary to learn French in order to study in France. Of course, if you really want to blend in and understand the local culture, it is definitely recommended that you know basic French at least. Then there are universities in France which offer European degrees along with French degrees. There are even masters programs which are fully funded, not to mention plenty of institutes which are linked to research labs having a good global reputation.

How to study abroad in France: basic FAQs

When is the ideal time to apply for educational courses in France?

Admissions to a majority of educational programs in France begin in the months of September and October, whereas for a few programs the admission sessions begin at the beginning of the year in January. Hence it is advisable that you begin at least a year in advance as there are a whole of pre-admission procedures too in addition to the actual admission process. For example, you will need to apply for a visa, scope out scholarships and apply for them, find out the correct admission application procedures, etc.

The main deadlines are: If you are going to apply for September/October 2015 admissions to undergraduate programs, then the deadline is in the first half of January 2014. In the case of post graduate programs, the deadline would be the first half of April.

Do universities in France accept Indian degrees?

Yes, French universities do recognize degrees of recognized Indian educational institutes. It is advisable, though, to find out whether the degree you earn from a French university is valid to pursue, say, a Ph.D. program in the subject in India.

Which courses are generally taught in English?

  • Business and Management

  • Tourism, Hotel and Food Service Management

  • Sciences, Environment, Health Science

  • Agriculture and Agroindustry

  • Mathematics

  • Engineering and Technology

  • Law, Economics

  • Humanities, Language, Literature

  • Architecture, Arts, Fashion/Design

What is the application procedure?

Irrespective of the course for which you are applying, a student from India should ideally contact Campus France (their website: This organization is the avenue for getting complete guidance to study abroad in France. The organization itself functions under the guidance of the Embassy of France in India and has offices in all major cities. It provides free counselling sessions, explains the admission process, assists in finding accommodation and gives guidance to get a student visa. You can make an online application through the Campus France website. Alternatively, you could submit an application directly to the institute you wish to join.

What are the documents required to apply?

Other than the main application form, you need to provide the following documents:
  • A Statement of Purpose

  • Your Curriculum Vitae (C.V.)

  • All your academic certificates: These should be certificates starting from Standard X

  • Recommendation letters: You need to submit two, which are academic recommendation letters and/or professional ones

  • Language competence certificate: You may be required to submit this if required

  • Work experience certificate: You can submit this if you have it, to support your C.V.

What are the scholarships available for Indian students?

There are a number of scholarships available exclusively for Indian students wishing to pursue higher studies in France. You should check the website of the Embassy of France and your local Campus France office. Corporate scholarships, in addition to grants offered by varied regions of France, are also available. Look out, too, for announcements of scholarships in reputed national newspapers. Such announcements are generally made in late October/month of November.

Are there any student exchange programs?

There are lots of student exchange programs between Indian institutes and French institutes of higher education (for example between IIM Ahmadabad and ESSEC Business School). At the post graduate and Ph.D. levels, too, there are joint projects between universities in Indian and those in France (for example between UJF Grenoble and Delhi University). You should find out from your institute in India about whether it has a student exchange program with a French institute and how to enrol for it.

What is the cost of study in France?

The tuition fee of a course would naturally depend on the course you are pursuing and whether it is being taught in English or French. The fees also are less for studying in a public university (approximately 175 to 570 Euros) than in a private university (upwards of 3,000 Euros) and in a Grandes École (professional institute). Overall, the cost is far less that for studies in Australia, USA and UK because the Government subsidises a good amount of education costs.

See the table below for the annual tuition rates for the 2013-2014 academic year (reference: Campus France)

Table showing cost of education in France

Additional expenses: In addition to annual tuition fees, you will need to have sufficient funds for living expenses, public transport and food. This could be approximately 500 Euros to 800 Euros per month, with the expenses being higher in Paris than elsewhere in France.

Is it possible to study and work?

Yes, you can take up a job for 20 hours a week during the time you are studying in France. This work could be on campus or off campus. A graduate can even continue to reside in France for 6 months to look for a job and a work contract could allow you to stay on in the country for 2 years.

Do universities in France offer paid internships?

Yes, a few universities in France do offer paid internships for specific courses. In fact, like for some programs in India, you must complete the internship in order to get the degree for the program.

Where to find accommodation?

The university to which you are applying for higher studies can provide a student resident accommodation in the form of a room or a studio apartment. A good avenue recommended by most students is CROUS, which provides inexpensive accommodation to international students wherever they seek to stay in France. The accommodation thus provided would include some shared services, such as for laundry. You need to find out about the offset percentage of the rent allotted for an international student. So ask about Allocation de lodgement (ALS) and Aide personalisée au lodgement (APL) for accommodation benefits. In order to apply for student housing assistance, you will need to complete your application at the CAF website (Caisse d'allocation familiale) within 3 months of getting possession of your accommodation.

Another option is to stay with a local family.

Useful websites:
  • CROUS:

  • For finding a host family to stay:

How to get a visa to France?

Like any visa to another country, it takes time to apply for and get a visa to study abroad in France. First and foremost you need to fix the date and time for your visa interview. You can do this by contacting the Campus France office in any of the cities where it is located in India. They will schedule the interview for you, which is generally conducted by the university attaché or by the Alliance Francaise. Then a no-objection certificate is issued & transmitted to the consulate (located in Delhi, Mumbai and Puducherry). Finally, you will need to visit the consulate personally at the date and time scheduled for you. During this visit, you have to give your Passport in order to get the visa and pay the requisite visa processing fee.

To know more about visas to study in France refer:
  • For short-stay visas (less than 90 days):

  • For extended-stay student visa, with residency permit (VLS-TS):

  • For extended-stay research scholar visa (VLS-TS):

  • For any Visa problems:

Finally, here are some important points to note:
  1. Student health insurance plan is mandatory

  2. If you are applying for student housing assistance, you will need to have a Bank account because the assistance provided for housing is deposited directly into your bank account. As an international student, you can have a non-resident bank account (it can either be in euros or in another currency).

  3. If you are enrolling for a course to learn French before your academic year begins at a center which teaches French as a foreign language, the center itself can provide you with a housing option for the duration of the course.

  4. You will save a lot of money by eating at a university restaurant (about 3 to 4 Euros for a full meal) than at other restaurants (about 10 Euros for a full meal). Your student ID card is the all-important access to the university restaurants.

  5. The cheapest form of public transport to get around is by bicyles. Make maximum use of the self-service bicyle rental system!

  6. Once you arrive in France, you must register in person at the university at the beginning of the academic year. Please ensure that you check the university's website for the dates of the registration.

  7. If you are holding a visa with residency permit (VLS-TS), you will need to validate it, for which there will be a fee. Get more information about this validation process from the Campus France office

List of reputed Universities & Grande Écoles in France

  1. For Humanities and Research
    • École Normale Superieure de Paris (known as ENS Paris)

  2. For Management Studies
    • ESSEC Business School

    • Paris Graduate School of Management

    • INSEAD

    • Hautes études commerciales de Paris (HEC Paris)

    • ESCP-EAP (this is a Grande École business school)

    • EM Lyon Business School (earlier it was École de management de Lyon)

  3. For engineering and technology:
    • École Polytechnique

    • TELECOM Paristech and TELECOM SudParis (for telecommunications programs)

    • The Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon (INSA Lyon)

    • Grenoble Institute of Technology

    • Ecole Centrale de Nantes

    • Universite Pierre et Marie Curie

    • Groupment Des Ecoles Des Mines

    • Ecoles Centrales

    • Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace (ISAE): This school is reputed for its aeronautical engineering courses

  4. For Hospitality Management programs
    • Vatel International Business School Hotel & Tourism Managment

    • École Supérieure des Sciences Économiques et Commerciales (ESSEC): This is one of the most reputed Grande École business schools

    • Cordon Bleu

    • For Perfume and Cosmetics programs
    • University of Versailles

    • Saint-Quentin-En-Yveline with Groupe ISIPCA

  5. Paris Sorbonne University: Courses include Arts, Languages, Education, Human Sciences, Communication, French and Classics

You can check out the rankings of French universities at

Important Contact Information for Indian Students

French Embassy in India

2/50-E Shantipath Chanakyapuri
New Delhi 110 021
Ph: 91 (11) 4319 6100 / Fax: 91 (11) 4319 6119

French Consulates in India

  1. Bangalore: 21 Palace Road, Vasanthnagar, Bangalore 560 052. Ph: +91 80 2214 1200. Emai:
  2. Mumbai: Wockhardt Towers, East Wing, 5th floor Bandra - Kurla Complex 400051, Mumbai. Ph: [0091] (22) 66 69 40 00. Contact online:,9903
  3. Kolkata: 21C, Raja Santosh Road, Alipore, Kolkata - 700 027. Ph: + 91 (0) 33 40 16 32 00 / Fax: + 91 (0) 33 40 16 3201/2. Contact online:,9891
  4. Puducherry: 2, Marine Street - 605001 Pondichéry. Ph: [0091] (413) 223 10 00. Contact online:,10565

Campus France Offices in India

  1. Delhi: SCAC 2, Aurangzeb road, New Delhi-110011. Ph: + 91-11 30 41 00 50 / Fax: 91-11 30 41 00 59.

  2. Chandigarh: Alliance Française de Chandigarh, Sector 36-A, near Hibiscus Garden – 160036, Chandigarh. Ph: +91 (0172) 2668627 / Fax: +91 (0172) 2608760

  3. Hyderabad: Alliance Française d'Hyderabad, Plot N° 9, Road N° 16
    West Marredpally, Hyderabad. Ph: + 91 40 27 70 07 34 / Fax: + 91 40 27 71 43 88

  4. Kolkata: Alliance Française de Kolkata, 217, A.J.C Bose Road, Calcutta-700017. Ph: + 91 22 81 51 98 / Fax: +91 33 2281 5600.

  5. Bangalore: Alliance française, P.B.108, Thimmaiah Road, Bangalore-560052. Ph: +91 80 41 23 1346 / Fax: +91 80 41 23 1347.

  6. Mumbai: Alliance Française, 40, New Marine Lines, Theosophy Hall, Mumbai-400020. Ph: +91 (022) 22091556 / Fax: 91-22-22 06 61 57.

  7. Chennai: Alliance Française de Chennai, No.24, College Road, Nungambakkam,
    Chennai - 600 006. Ph: +91 (044) 28279803 / Fax: +91 (044) 28251165.

  8. Ahmedabad: Alliance Française, Opp. Gujarat College, Ellisbridge, Ahmedabad-380006. Ph: + 91 079 26 56 17 34 / Fax: +91 (079) 2656 0211.

  9. Pune: Alliance française, 30 Gulmohar Path, New Law College Road, Pune-411004. Ph: +91(020) 640 179 67 / Fax: +91 (020) 640 179 69.


As you can see from the information in this article, students in India need not consider France as an inaccessible destination for higher studies. So don't go by the unrealistic myths surrounding the educational programs offered for students in France. Instead, take a reality check by contacting the Embassy in France and the Campus France office located near you – you will get a far clearer and true picture!

Whether you want to take up economics, architecture, journalism, computer science or humanities, or offbeat courses like wine studies, luxury brand management, nuclear energy or robotics, consider studying abroad in France as a viable economical option.

Readers are welcome to give additional information and correct details provided in this article, as also their own personal experience of studying abroad in France.

Article by Vandana
Vandana is based in India with over 15 years experience as a freelance writer. Writing, no doubt, is her primary passion! Having learned the art of blogging from ISC, Vandana is enjoying the thrills of blogging, taking pleasure in sharing information & getting good pageviews at her various blogs.

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