The basics
France: Destination Guides - Must read

5 reasons why you should study in France

Why should you study abroad in France? Discover why the nation is such a popular study abroad destination among international students

1046

Famed for its rich history, beautiful sights and sophisticated way of life, France is one of the most popular study destinations in the world. Thousands of international students flock there each year in search of 'la belle vie' (the beautiful way of life). If the food, wine, museums and cafe culture haven’t enticed you already, read on to find out even more reasons why France could be the perfect study destination for you. 

 

1. Academic reputation
The French are passionate about higher education and invest heavily in research, meaning its universities consistently perform well in global university rankings. The QS World University Rankings feature 41 French universities and the nation's top two institutions, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris and Ecole Polytechnique ParisTech are world famous, ranking 23rd and 40th respectively. French business schools in particular have gained a reputation worldwide for quality education and a competitive outlook. French institutions are also highly regarded in humanities and arts subjects.

 

2. The rich culture
Living in France means soaking up all the culture, whether it's munching on macarons in a side street in Lille, delving into some classic French literature in an old bookshop in Paris, or wine tasting in the French Riviera. The beauty of France is that traditional and contemporary culture live side by side. You could spend your Saturday afternoon ambling through an art gallery and end up at an exciting live concert in the evening. Whether listening to Daft Punk and David Guetta is your style, or you're a fan of the old greats like Chopin, France is home to all kinds of epic music, so you're bound to find something you love. You'll also get the opportunity to try the famous French cuisine. Paris alone currently boasts over 70 Michelin starred restaurants!

 

3. Becoming fluent in French
Let’s be honest. Who wouldn’t want to be fluent in French, the language of love, diplomacy and sophistication? Even if your degree is in English, living and studying in France is the perfect opportunity to sharpen up your French language skills. Many people argue that you can only truly perfect a language when you live in a coutnry where it is spoken. You'll be immersed in the language in day-to-day life by having to order food in French, listen to French radio, watch French television and films and communicate with your friends and peers in French. However you might also want to invest in some French language classes. Once you've nailed the grammar, becoming fluent should be a breeze. Being able to speak French is not only a great personal achievement but it is also an impressive skill to have on your return home where you can impress your family and friends, not to mention employers!


4. Affordable education    
It may surprise you to know that the cost of higher education in France is quite reasonable compared to other popular study destinations such as the UK and the USA. If you’re from the EU, you won’t be required to pay higher tuition fees than French students. Funding and grants are also available and the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs allocates a large number of grants to international students. Having said that, it's important to note that the cost of living can be considerably higher, particularly in cities like Paris where food and accommodation can be pricey. 

 

5. Paris 
We know we just admitted that living in Paris can be costly, but we also happen to think it's one of the greatest cities in the world! As we mentioned above, Paris has a whopping 70 Michelin restaurants. But it's not just the fancy places you need to visit. Start your day on a high by ordering a typical delicious Parisienne breakfast with mouth-watering pastries. If you're feeling peckish in the afternoon, drop by a creperie (selling French pancakes) which you can find on most streets. Don't want to eat out in the evening? Find your nearest fromagerie or epicerie where you can stock up on food. Paris is also famous for its marchés (markets) where you can find food, art, antiques and great gifts for your friends and family back home. Why not visit by bicycle? It's a great way to get around the city.


Museums and art galleries are the other gems of Paris. Be sure to check out the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay or if you're after something more tranquil, visit the serene Museé Rodin. 


Paris has many nicknames but perhaps the most famous is 'The City of Light' or 'La Ville Lumière.' While the sparking Eiffel Tower by night embodies this name, Paris is actually famous historically as a centre of education and innovation and these days it's home to many multinational and major businesses. Jobs in Paris are competitive, but there are many firms are on the hunt for international students just like you!


If after reading this article you're tempted to up sticks and move to study in France (we're tempted too!), be sure to check out all the courses available using our handy search tool below.

Search for a course

France
Study level*
About Author

Katie Duncan is Editor of Hotcourses Abroad and is an NCTJ-qualified journalist and University of Exeter graduate. Having worked at an English language school in the UK, as an educational consultant in Spain and as a reporter in the international education sector, she is well placed to guide you through your study abroad journey. Katie grew up in Australia, which perhaps explains her unusual reptile collection, comprising of a bearded dragon (Bill) and tortoise (Matilda).