With tuition fees significantly lower than the UK and Paris chosen as winner of the QS Best Student Cities in the World 2012 survey, studying in France could be an appealing prospect. Don your beret and find out about funding options, student visas and French exchanges...
There are three types of higher education institutions in France:
When applying to a higher education institution, you must present your A-levels (baccalauréat) or undergraduate degree (licence). Entry requirements vary for each university, so make sure you contact institutions directly to ensure your application is correct.
For French-speaking courses, you are required to take a Test de Connaissance de Francais (TCF) . This can be organised by the French Ministries for National Education and Higher Education and Research and is designed to test your French language capabilities.
There are around 600 postgraduate programmes in France that are taught in English. Generally speaking, candidates for these courses are not required to speak French.
European Union (EU) citizens are entitled to attend university in France or any EU country (this means the 27 member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). The same conditions apply to all EU citizens whether a national of the country or not. This means that you are not required to pay higher course fees and that you are entitled to apply for any grants available to help with tuition fees.
Funding and study grants in France are assigned depending on individual circumstances. There is a variety of financial help and support available to students, from research allowances to assistance with accommodation and transport. The French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs allocates a large number of grants to international students.
Students attending UK universities can take part in the EU's flagship educational exchange programme Erasmus . The scheme offers work placements, study opportunities and language assistantships, which last from three months to one academic year in EU countries.
Financial support is also available to selected Masters and Doctoral students through the Erasmus Mundus initiative.
Your university must have a formal agreement with a partner university in another EU country. Check that your university is involved in the programme and offers the Erasmus scheme in your subject.
You can arrange intensive language courses before you go, although it isn't always necessary to speak the language of your host country. Speak to the Erasmus coordinator at your university about available opportunities.
As an EU citizen, you are permitted to live in any EU country while studying as long as you:
Some countries require you to register with the local authority after three months. Find out how to register at Europa - Rights, Conditions and Formalities and Campus France - Obtaining and Renewing a Residency Permit .
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