10 Best Universities in France for International Students

Hi scholar, are you an international student seeking admission to universities in France? This article contains details about the ten best universities in France for international students.

France is one of the best countries in Western Europe and is home to beautiful historical, amusing sites, artistic and scientific achievements. Additionally, the world has extensively been influenced by France’s cuisine, fashion, and literature.

Is France a good country for international students to study in?

Presently, France boosts about 250,000 international students in its other research and academic citadels of learning.

Below are the facts that prove that France is an excellent country to study as an international student.

  1. Global recognition: From the 13th century till now, France has produced the top world’s greatest thinkers and artists.
  2. Cheaper tuition fee: Studying in France is more affordable than studying in the UK, US, or Canada. Tuition fee for international undergraduates in public universities ranges from €200 or US$250. Also, you can bag a scholarship as an international student to study in either public or private universities.
  3. Subsidized Cost of Living: No doubt, living in France is high on a typical day. But as international students, you are entitled to or offered a provision for subsided rates from accommodation to transportation to museums and more.

Can international students work while studying in France?

Yes, you can. As International students from an EU/EEA country, you can work in the country as long as you wish without bothering about any form of disturbance. For non-European Union international students, you can only be permitted to start working after you have secured a long-term student visa (VLS-TS).

All intentional students can only work for 964 hours of work per year. This is equivalent to about 20 hours per week that serves as 60% full-time employment.

You can also undergo paid Internships, but this usually differs in terms of operation, duration, and policies.

Additionally, you can get involved in the on-campus student employment that allows you to work for 670 hours (September 1ts to June 30th) and 300 hours (July 1st to August 31st). The on-campus job usually involves carrying out tutorials, administrative assistants, helping out PWDs, assistance with sports activities, and other minor school-related work.

Can international students be retained to work in France after graduation?

Upon graduation, international students from EU/EEA countries, including Switzerland, can immediately pick up work in France and start, and they can easily stay back to continue living in France.

While as, non-European international students graduates can only stay back to work after first securing an employment contract with a salary of one and a half times the legal minimum wage.

There is another method to go around this as an international graduate from non-EU/EEA countries. You can request a temporary resident permit or 1/ Autorisation Provisoire de SĂ©jour (APS) while waiting for employment. This permit is only valid for twelve months, after which you need to change it to a residency permit before it expires.

10 BestUniversities in France for International Students

  1. University of Paris

The University of Paris is one of the oldest universities in France recognized internationally for its excellence in philosophy and theology.

Also, the University of Paris, together with the University of Bologna, was awarded the first doctorate in the world.   Thus, making it one of the top universities for international students around the globe.

In addition to theology and philosophy, the university offers programs in; Social Sciences and Arts, Science & Technology, Medicine, Humanities & Languages. These courses are carried out in the 14 campuses it has scattered in Paris. It is affiliated with several international institutions to achieve a multidisciplinary approach to teaching and research.

  1. École Normale Supérieure de Lyon (ENS de Lyon / ENSL)

École Normale Supérieure de Lyon is a French public university dedicated to teacher education. As such, it is mainly devoted to the of training professors, teachers, scientists, and public officials.

Currently, the university offers eleven major course programs that are carried out in two campuses that separate its arts and science course programs. The Monod Campus contains the natural and experimental sciences departments. While the Descartes Campus includes the Arts, Humanities, and Social Science departments.

ENS de Lyon also offers financial help to students in return that they work as public servants after graduation to redeem the support they received during their studies. Also, the university supports startup business innovations, majorly in medical technology and computer sciences, thus making it one of the best universities in France for international students.

  1. Aix-Marseille University (AMU )

Aix-Marseille University was established in 2012 by an amalgam of three universities in Provence, Southern France. As a result, the university students population has grown over the years to several 80, 000 making it the largest university in the French-speaking world, in which 10,000 of the people are of international descent.

The university offers several course programs, including; Law & Political Science, Arts, Literature & Human Science, Health, Economics & Management, and Science & Technology.

AMU is recognized and honored to produce many government leaders, Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize laureates, and ambassadors.

  1. Sorbonne University

Sorbonne University is an official public research university founded in 2018 from a merger of several French institutions. It is known to be dated back to the college of Sorbonne in 1201 that serves as a particular school that caters to disadvantaged schoolchildren.

Being one of the top universities in France for international students, the university boost three faculties: Humanities, Science & Engineering, and Medicine. It offers both undergraduate and graduate courses that are globally recognized.

Additionally, it collaborates equally with prestigious universities like King’s College London and McGill University in Canada.

Furthermore, the university is respected for its extensive scientific collections that include the display of minerals, neurology collections, wax anatomical items, and many more.

  1. Paris-Saclay University

The Paris Saclay University is part of the Paris-Saclay academic and business cluster dedicated to training and research.

As a key player in science and technology, the Paris-Saclay University boosts over 300 research units its doctoral schools oversee. The research units are majorly on; electrical engineering, planetary science, and communication sciences. In addition, it houses five faculties that include; Medicine, Sciences, Pharmacy, Sports Sciences, and Law, Economics & Management.

Additionally, this grande école is globally ranked first in Mathematics, 9th in physics. Also, It is ranked among the top 25  universities in Agriculture and Medicine.

  1. Paris Sciences et Lettres University (PSL Research University / PSL)

Paris Sciences et Lettres University is credited among the best universities in France for international students. It came from a merger of five institutions involving a regular school, an engineering institute, and an observatory college.

PSL has grown in having 11 schools cuts across major academic disciplines on life sciences, economics, humanities, physical sciences, creative arts, and more.

PSL ranks as among the highest in Physics, Mathematics, and Ecology. Inclusively, the university produces great global minds like Louis Pasteur, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jacques Derrida, and Michel Foucault.

Additionally, PSL is affiliated with several international universities, including Cambridge, Berkeley, and NYU, to name a few.

  1. École Polytechnique

École Polytechnique was founded in 1794 as a military academy under Napoleon I.  it played a significant role in driving the Age of Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution in France.

It is currently one of the best universities in France for international students and one of the most selective universities in France.

Apart from its military aspect has grown in having a high reputation in science, engineering, technology, teaching, and research.

In addition, École Polytechnique implores the multidisciplinary approach towards its Sci-Tech fields, humanities, and social sciences.

Furthermore, its entrepreneurial spirit and global outlook offer a broad set of opportunities for both domestic and international students worldwide.

  • Tuition Fee
  1. Télécom Paris (ENST / Télécom)

Télécom Paris is a public research university globally recognized for its engineering research—as such, it is nicknamed the MIT of France.

Télécom Paris offers specialized and multidisciplinary training for engineers at both the bachelor’s and master’s levels. Its course programs are broken down into four departments, including Electronics and Communication, Signal and Image Processing, Computer Science and Networking, and Economic and Social Sciences.

While the research unit deals in user experience design, artificial intelligence, and data processing improvements.

Like other French grandes écoles, Télécom has a very selective admission process, and over one-third of its student population is international students.

  • Tuition Fee
  1. École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC / Ponts)

École des Ponts ParisTech is one of the best universities in France for international students founded in 1747 dedicated to the training of engineering officials.

Presently, this prestigious institution has graduated from training engineers and training professionals in several fields of study, namely; applied mathematics, economics, computer science, mechanics, urban studies, and more.

Recently, it launched a design school that focuses on innovation and startups. This is coupled with the world-class research laborites and teaching facilities it houses.

Also, the university is affiliated coupled with a double degree agreement with several French and international universities, including Georgia Tech and Berkeley.

  • Tuition Fee
  1. University of Montpellier (UM)

Lastly, on our list of the best universities in France for international students is The University of Montpellier.

The University of Montpellier was founded in 1220 as a faculty of arts is one of the oldest universities in France and the world. The school of medicine was later established by scholars solely for training medical schools in Spanish. Since then, the university has accommodated several disciplines: humanities, law, science, and technology.

Additionally, Montpellier University contains about 50,000 students, including over 7000 international students cut across over 140 countries of the world. Furthermore, In terms of subject rankings, Montpellier University is globally recognized in law and ecology.

  • Tuition Fee

Types of scholarships available for international students that study in France

below are the types of scholarships available to you as an international student intending or already studying in France.












I hope you find this article on the top 10 best universities for international students very helpful. For more scholarships options as an international student, you can visit the top 15 fully funded scholarships for international students.




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