• Why Study in France
  • Education System in France
  • Types of Degrees in France
  • Application Procedure for France
  • Tests Required

Why Study in France

About France

France is known as the fashion and culinary capital of the world. France has a population of around 67 million and the 7th largest economy in the world. Home to the Eiffel tower, it is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. A world player in arts, design, science and technology, France is Europe’s most innovative country. Ranked at number 3 in the world for innovation, it is home to numerous Nobel Laureates and Fields Medal winners, artists and profound thinkers.

Apart from Tourism, France is also home to a number of top educational institutions in the world.

  • Why Study in France
  1. Quality of Education: French institutions are highly rated and recognized for their quality. They regularly feature among the top 100 in the rankings published by the Financial Times and the QS World University Rankings. It is home to INSEAD and HEC Paris which are ranked in the top 20 as per the FT Global MBA rankings. This quality can be attributed to the French government who spend more than 20% of their annual budget on education.
  2. Post Study Work Visa: Students studying in France will be eligible for a 2 years Post Study Work Visa upon completing a Master’s degree and for a 1 year Post Study Work Visa upon completing a Bachelor’s degree.
  3. Highly Subsidized Accommodation: In its efforts to bring in more international students and encourage education in France, the government offers eligible students a subsidy of up to 40% to 50% on the rent amount. Thus living costs will go down
  4. NO IELTS/TOEFL Required: Unlike most other study abroad destinations, most French institutions do not require a student to give the IELTS/TOEFL exam.
  5. Part Time Jobs: Students can work part time for up to 20 per week wherein they can expect to earn anywhere between Euros 8-10 per hour.
  6. Free French Leaning Courses: The government of France offers free French learning classes to International students. The duration of these classes is around 2-3 hours a day and is a part of the course curriculum wherein students have to take exams and are awarded certificates for their knowledge of the French language. It is advisable that the students learn French. This is also very helpful when looking for jobs.
  1. Free Education for French Speakers: If a student studies in French, then like any other French citizen in French state universities, Indian students can benefit from free tuition. They have to just pay for food, boarding and lodging.
  2. Great Internship Opportunities: Most of the courses come with an internship component of between 4 to 6 months. These internships can be either paid or unpaid. The paid internships have a stipend of around 500 euros per month. Students can get a chance to intern at top multinationals such as Renault, Nestle, L’Oreal, Lacoste, LVMH, Chanel, Cap Gemini, Saint-Gobain and many more.
  3. Worldwide recognition: France’s institutions award degrees that adhere to the common European architecture known as LMD (for License, Master, and Doctorate). Therefore, they are recognized and accepted throughout the world.


Education System in France

France is home to 83 Universities, 205 Engineering schools and 220 business, management and accounting schools, 120 art schools and around 20 schools of architecture.

France’s educational system is divided into the following three stages:

  1. Enseignement Primaire (primary education)

The purpose of primary school education is for kids to achieve a standard for acceptance into the first year of the Middle School or College.  The primary school lasts for five years.

  1. Enseignement Secondaire (secondary education)

Students study secondary school between the ages of 11 – 15. The third and fourth years of college culminate in the Brevet, a national examination which it is necessary to pass to continue into the Lycee and Seconde

  1. Enseignement Supérieur (higher education)

From ages 16 – 18, students attend the Lycee, which teaches a three-year course in higher education leading to a specialized baccalaureate or ‘bac’ examination.  Pupils are guided into three basic specific subject areas based first upon academic strength and then upon personal choice.  A bac ‘S’, specializes in maths and sciences, a bac ‘ES’ in economics and a bac ‘L’ in languages and literature.

  • First year at Lycee is known as ‘Seconde’
  • Second year at Lycee is known as ‘Permiere’
  • Final year at Lycee is known as ‘Terminale’

The Bac

Success in the baccalaureate exam gives an entry into university education. More than university education, students prefer to enter in to Grandes Ecoles, considered to be more prestigious. Entry to these ecoles is by concours (a competitive examination for a limited number of places)

Higher education in France is divided between grandes écoles and public universities.

Grandes Écoles : They are elite higher education institutions of France, that fall outside the main framework of the French public university system. The Grandes Écoles are highly selective and prestigious institutions. Their graduates often dominate the private and public sectors of French society. They generally focus on a single subject area such as engineering or business and have a very small batch size of students. Students have to complete arduous education curriculums, which include several hours of study and regular oral examinations with professors. They are extremely prestigious and most of France’s scientists and executives have graduated from a grande école.

The Top Grandes Écoles are as follows:

Science and engineering: Écoles Normales Supérieures, Ecole Polytechnique, Mines ParisTech, ISAE-Supaéro and CentraleSupélec;

Humanities: Écoles Normales Supérieures and Ecole des Chartes;

Business: HEC Paris, ESSEC Business School, ESCP Europe, INSEAD, EMLyon, Audencia and EDHEC

Types of Degrees in France

Bachelors: The duration of a bachelor’s degree in France is anywhere between 3-4 years. Higher education is divided into two categories in France, one is provided by universities, while the other is offered by specialist institutes known as grandes ecoles. Grandes ecoles focus on providing education in only one subject in which students can specialize. Studies at public universities can generally last for up to 4 years.

The popular courses for international students studying in France are:

1)         MBA

2)         Luxury Brand Management

3)         International Business

4)         Tourism and Hospitality Management

5)         Culinary Arts

6)         Information technology

7)         Finance and Accounting


  • The Masters’ program in France is ideally a 1 year program. Some course can be of 2 years as well.
  • The intakes are twice a year: September & January.
  • A work experience of a minimum of 2-3 years is recommended for getting admission into a good French university.
  • A GMAT or GRE is ideally not required for MS in France. An MBA from a prestigious university such as INSEAD will require you to have a very good GMAT score.
  • IELTS is not required for applying for MS in France but some universities might require it.

Few of the MS Programs available in France:

  • Management: A number of programs such as Masters in Management, Masters in Finance, Masters in Marketing, Masters in Luxury Brand Management, Masters in Fashion Management. Some of the world’s top schools offers these programs in France
  • Design: Paris is known as the fashion capital of the world and due to this it attracts a large number of international students from all over the world who are eager to study programs such as Fashion Design, Luxury Business, Fashion Merchandise, Fashion Styling and many more
  • Culinary Arts: France is known for being the culinary capital of the world and has a reputation for producing some of the best chefs in the world. It is home some of the world’s top culinary institutes such as Le Cordon Bleu which offer great courses in food as well as pastry making.

MBA in France:

France is home of INSEAD, HEC Paris, and EMLYON  and all three are in the Financial Times list of top-100 MBA programs globally. Ten business schools in France are triple-accredited, meaning they have been accredited by all three major international accreditation agencies: AACSB, AMBA, and EQUIS. Along with INSEAD, HEC Paris, and EMLYON, these other “triple crown” schools include Grenoble, EDHEC, Toulouse, Rouen, Audencia Nantes, Reims, and BEM Bordeaux.

An MBA from France is highly attractive to employers. France is home to some of the world’s largest companies in key industries, such as finance (BNP Paribas and AXA), aerospace (EADS), luxury (LVMH and PPR), tourism (Accor), automotive (Renault-Nissan, PSA, and Michelin), construction (Vinci and Lafarge), energy (GDF-Suez and Total), and retail (Carrefour).

The French economy ranks in the top 10 economies of the world and it is the 3rd largest economy in Europe. Therefore it provides ample jobs, a great lifestyle and a lot of opportunities to network with industry leaders. Paris is known as the fashion capital of the world, but it’s also a major business hub for all sorts of industries. Many internationally renowned brands such as Air France Total S.A., as well as Ubisoft and Chanel are based in Paris. Paris provides unlimited opportunities to gain tremendous business exposure.

Application Procedure for France

The application procedure for France contains the following steps:

Step 1 – Research: The students should do their research on the universities or their colleges that they wish to apply to along with the programs that they are interested in applying for. Each university is known for a certain specialization in which they rank high. So the university selection will depend on the course is the student interested in.

We at AM Consulting counsel you to understand your careers goals and aspirations and accordingly design a custom roadmap for you. We will then help you in shortlisting of the courses and the universities that you should apply to, based on a number of factors.

Step 2 – Taking the Required Tests: IELTS is not compulsory to apply for studying in France as long as you can prove that you have completed your education in the English language. However some universities might require you to appear for the IELTS test. Also the GRE is not needed in order to apply for MS in France but a GMAT is required in order to apply for an MBA to the top business schools in France.

Step 3 – Preparing the Documents:  Next the students need to put together the following documents for the application process:

Transcripts & Degree Certificate: Transcripts are mark sheets presented in a certain format. A student will need to apply at their respective schools or colleges for getting their transcripts issued. Each transcript will be stamped & signed, and then sealed in an envelope which also needs to be stamped and signed.

Statement of Purpose/Essays: Each university will need the student to submit a Statement of Purpose (SOP) as part of the application packet. The SOP is a life story of a student in around 800 words which allows the admission committee to separate the best applications from the average ones. An SOP will contain answers to questions such as what have you studied till now and why? Why are you interested in the particular course that you are applying for? What have you chosen that university? What are you short and long term goals? And so on.  All the students applying for a Bachelor’s degree as well as a Master’s degree will need to submit their Statement of Purpose specific to each university. MBA applicants will have to answer 3-4 university specific essay questions. An SOP can make or break a student’s application and is one of the most important parts of the application process, especially when a student is targeting the top 10-15 universities. A crisp and well-crafted SOP can make up for a low GRE or GMAT score or even low academics. French universities have specific questions for each of their Masters programs.

AM Consulting specializes in drafting solid SOP’s which have helped our students secure admits into some of the top universities in Canada.  You can contact us here to know about our SOP packages.

Letters of Recommendation: Universities require you to submit a minimum of two letters of recommendation (LOR) as a part of your application. One is a professional one and the other is an academic one. You need to nominate your manager at your workplace and a professor at your college for writing these letters for you. These LORs are also one of the most important parts of your application wherein your referees make a case for your selection to that particular university. You need to nominate referees who know your well and under whom you have grown professionally or academically.  The LOR’s have to be written on the company letterhead and signed by the referee.

We at AM Consulting provide assistance in writing LOR’s for our students. You can contact us here to know more about our LOR packages.

Resume: The students need to prepare a professional looking resume which is no more than 2 pages, as part of their application. The resume should contain the student’s academic as well as professional information.

Proof of Work Experience/Internships/Social Work: In order to strengthen the application, a student can submit additional documents such as an offer letter, internship experience letter or a certificate for completion of social work done at a local non-governmental organization (NGO).

Other Documents:  A student will also need to submit their passport copies, 2-3 photos and the university application form.

Step 4 – Application submission: The application needs to be submitted by filing in the application forms and submitting the documents along with paying the university application fees.

Step 5 – Test Score Reporting: After applying to the universities, the student will need to report his or her GRE/GMAT and the IELTS/TOEFL scores to the various universities that they have applied to. The universities ask for the scores to be directly sent to them via the testing authorities. Reporting to each university will require a certain fee to be paid to the testing authorities.

Step 6 – Finalizing the University:  After receiving admits from universities, finalize one university and the required deposit there thereby confirming your place.

Step 7 – Visa Application: Now you need to apply for the student visa for France after filing in all the required forms and submitting all the required documents.

Step 8 – Get ready to Fly: Now you need to book your flight ticket, apply for your travel insurance, buy foreign exchange, pack your bags and get ready to embark on your study abroad journey.

Intakes: Students can apply for the September or the January intake for studying in France.

Document Checklist:

  • Resume
  • Passport Copies (The first and last pages)
  • Degree Mark sheets & Transcripts
  • Degree certificate or provisional degree certificate (if you are currently studying in your final year, then you can submit this later)
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
  • Portfolio in case of application to a design or a fashion related course
  • IELTS Test Report Form (TRF) – you can submit this at a later date.
  • Extra-curricular activity certificates
  • Photo
  • Skype ID. Some French universities might require an online interview.


Tests Required

You are required to take the IELTS exam in order to study in France but we recommend you take the exam.

IELTS: (International English Language Testing System): The IELTS is an international standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. It is jointly managed by the British Council and IDP in India. There are two types of IELTS exams.

IELTS Academic: This is taken by students who wish to apply for higher education in countries all around the world.  IELTS is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian and New Zealand academic institutions, by over 3,000 academic institutions in the United States, and by various professional organizations across the world. No minimum score is required to pass the test. The IELTS Test Report Form is issued to all test takers with a score from “band 1” (“non-user”) to “band 9” (“expert user”) and each institution sets a different threshold. The test is administered by the British Council and IDP in India. The cost of taking the exam is Rs 12,650. It can be taken in either the computer delivered or the paper delivered format depending on your city.

The IELTS is available in two formats:

  • Paper Based – The results for this test arrive 13 days after the exam.
  • Computer Based – The results for this test arrive within 5 to 7 days after the exam.

The minimum IELTS score required:

Undergraduate: A minimum score of 6.0 with no band less than 5.5.

Graduate: A minimum score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0

You can register for the exam either through the British council website ( or the IDP website. (

  • Costs
  • Scholarships
  • Post Study Work Visa for France
  • Job Opportunities
  • List of Universities


One of the main advantages of studying in France is that it is extremely cheap. The accommodation is highly subsidized by almost 40% to 50% by the government for international students.

Tuition Fees: Between euros 7,500 to euros 15,000 per year

Accommodation: Between 150 to 600 euros/month depending on whether is room is private or shared

Food: Between 250 to 350 euros/month

Travel: Between 30 to 50 euros/month

Scholarships in France

There are a number of scholarships offered by the French Government through their Embassy in India.

  1. The Charpak Scholarships:

The Charpak scholarship program is run by the Embassy of France in India. The program is named after Georges Charpak (1924 – 2010). He was a French physicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1992. During World War II, Georges Charpak served in the French Resistance. He was deported to the Nazi concentration camp of Dachau when he was 20 years old. Georges Charpak survived and received his PhD in Nuclear Physics at the age of 30 . His later findings were of considerable significance for the advancement of civil nuclear engineering and biomedicine. After receiving his Nobel Prize, Georges Charpak became a tireless advocate of the “hands on” approach in science in elementary schools. His work lives on in tens of thousands of classrooms in France today.

The Charpak scholarship program offers three types of funding for Bachelor’s and Master’s level.

  • Research Internship Program

This program is designed for all students of economics, engineering and science background at the Bachelor’s or Master’s levels who plan to undertake an internship at a French laboratory during their academic break (May to July).

  • Exchange Program Spring (Jan-Jun) / Exchange Program Autumn (Sept-Dec)

This program is designed for exchange students for a period of one to four months (duration of an academic semester) at the Bachelor’s or Master’s degree level.

  • Master’s Program

This program is designed for one to two years of studies in France at the Master’s degree level

The Internship program is reserved for economics, engineering and sciences students.  The Exchange and Master’s programs are open to all Indian students, from all academic backgrounds.

Selection Procedure:

Your application will be selected on the basis of your academic excellence, as well as the consistency and quality of your statement of purpose. Knowledge of French will be an asset but is not mandatory. For master’s scholarship applicants, a tie-up between your current Indian institution and your future French institution will also be an asset.

Scholarship benefits for all three programs

  • Student visa fee waiver (16500 INR approx.)
  • Monthly stipend (duration and amount vary as per the program)
  • Medical insurance coverage (300/year approx.)
  • Affordable student housing guaranteed
  1. Eiffel Scholarship:

The Eiffel Scholarship Program is a means developed by the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs through which the French educational institutions can attract foreign students for the diploma programs at Master and PhD level.

It also allows to train future foreign decision makers from private and public sectors in the domain of studies and to stimulate the applications of candidates from emerging countries for the master level and from emerging and industrialized countries for the PhD level.

Post Study Work Visa for France

  • Students studying in France will be eligible for a 2 years Post Study Work Visa upon completing a Master’s degree and for a 1 year Post Study Work Visa upon completing a Bachelor’s degree.
  • Students who are planning to take up small and short term courses in France cannot stay on in France
  • Upon completing the studies in France you can apply for residence permit for France if you have paid employment
  • Bachelor degree holders can stay back, only if they have a work permit
  • Students pursuing Masters in France get an added advantage. On completing the master’s course in France, a student can apply for and get a temporary residence permit – APS, for a period of 24 months. Extended residence permit allows a student only to take up part time employment of up to 964 hours – as allowed to students already studying in French Universities
  • If a student, in the interim, is able to find employment that is more than 1.5 times of the minimum wage guarantee, s/he must then apply for a Work Permit

Job Opportunities in France

France is home to some of the world’s biggest companies such as BNP Paribas, AXA, Airbus, Cap Gemini, LVMH, L’Oreal, Michelin, Renault, Citroen, Lafarge, Total, Air France, Chanel, Carrefour and many more. The French economy ranks in the top 10 economies of the world. Therefore it provides ample jobs, a great lifestyle and a lot of opportunities to network with industry leaders. There are plenty of job opportunities available in France for international students.

List of Universities in France

  1. La Rochelle Business School (École supérieure de commerce de La Rochelle )
  2. Institut supérieur d`électronique de Paris (ISEP), Paris
  3. Esigelec Graduate School of Engineering, Rouen
  4. INSEEC Business School, Chambery
  5. NEOMA Business School, Rouen
  6. Skema Business School, Paris
  7. ESC Rennes School of Business, Rennes, France
  8. Burgundy School of Business, Dijon
  9. École supérieure de commerce de Pau, Pau
  10. EM Normandie, Paris
  11. Grenoble Ecole de Management, Grenoble
  12. ECE Graduate School of Engineering, Paris
  13. ESCE International Business School, Paris
  14. Institut supérieur du commerce de Paris – ISC, Paris
  15. Queen Mary University of London Institute in Paris
  16. European Business School – EBS, Paris
  17. Le Cordon Bleu, Paris
  18. France International Graduate School – FIGS, Paris & Lyon
  19. Catholic University of West, Angers
  20. Novancia Business School, Paris
  21. EM Strasbourg Business School, Strasbourg
  22. Telecom Business School, Evry
  23. Sustainable Design School, Nice, France
  24. College de Paris, Paris, France
  25. ESH Paris Hotel School, Paris

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