How much does it cost to study in France? If you are interested in studying in France, one of the most important things to consider is how much everything is going to cost. This essential guide breaks down the cost of every aspect of university life to ensure that you have everything covered.
Note that prices and exchange rates are 1 Euro=BDT 102.628 (all figures noted are in Euro).
Tuition fees in France are relatively low compared with the rest of Europe. Most higher education institutions in France are funded by the state, therefore there is usually a nominal fee depending on the level of study.
The average public university in France in 2017 charged €189 (BDT 19,396) per year for a bachelor’s degree, €259 (BDT 26,580) for a master’s degree, €393 (BDT 40,333) for a Ph.D. and €611 (BDT 62,706) to attend an engineering school.
Universities in France are known to levy administration charges, which causes some elevation in the price – however, the figure is far lower than in other countries such as the UK.
To study at one of France’s highly selective private grandes écoles or grants établissments, you could pay between €500-€600 (BDT 51,314-BDT 61,577) per year, however some charge up to €10,000 (BDT 10,26,291) per year. Some only offer postgraduate degrees, such as Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, which expects students to attend two years of preparatory school or to transfer across after two or more years of undergraduate study. It costs €750 (BDT 76,971) per year and charges international students the same as domestic students – like most French universities.
A private institution that teaches engineering, management or business can cost up to €30,000 (BDT 30,78,875) per year.
The average bachelor’s degree takes three to four years, so students should expect to spend €567 (BDT 58,190) or for an average two-year master’s degree, €518 (BDT 53,161).
Accommodation in France is cheaper than in the UK, and the general average is €200-€300 (BDT 20,525-BDT 30,788) per month. Students have several options when it comes to the living; student halls of residence, a shared apartment or a homestay.
The average rental price of a studio apartment (for one or two people) is €457 (BDT 46,901) per month and €542 (BDT 55,625) for a one-bedroom apartment. Apartments are typically measured in meters squared and the average rent per square meter in Paris is €15 (BDT 1,539), or €7 (BDT 718) per square meter elsewhere in France.
A homestay is €200-€800 (BDT 20,525-BDT 82,103), depending on the location – which includes at least one meal a day.
French universities offer accommodation called Cités-U cheaply (some as little as €120 or BDT 12,315 per month outside of Paris) and they are managed by CROUS, the regional branch of CNOUS the national student service agency. The demand is very high and is given out based on social criteria or for students on an exchange or with a scholarship. There are also several other private organizations that offer good value student residences, such as Résidences Estudines, CLEF, and ADELE.
Students can (and are advised to) apply for a grant from the local Caisse d’Allocation Familiale (CAF) to receive a student rebate for part of their rent. You may not always be eligible for it but it costs nothing to apply and students can receive up to 35 percent of their rent back monthly.
The average monthly electricity, gas and internet budget is €60 (BDT 6,157) and an average internet connection costs €25 (BDT 2,565) per month, split between tenants. Books and other study materials are €50 (BDT 5,131) a month and paying into a health insurance mutual fund is highly recommended and costs €20-€50 (BDT 2,052-BDT 5,131) per month, depending on the cover. Students from European Economic Area countries should be covered with a European health insurance card (EHIC).
Monthly phone bills are an average of €25 (BDT 2,565), however, some online deals are as little as €10 (BDT 1,026) per month.
A liter of petrol is €1.33 (BDT 136.50) and a monthly travel card or transport pass is about €70 (BDT 7,184), although, for single forms of transport, they range from €17-€33 (BDT 1745-3387).
Single-journey bike rental is popular in many French cities. A full year of access to the Vélib system (including unlimited 30-minute journeys all over the city) is €19 (BDT 1,950). The average cost of a return journey on the TGV to another city is €25 (BDT 2,565) when booked in advance. There is a youth discount railcard that costs €50 (BDT 5,131) and can be worth it if regular cross-country travel is likely.
It is always worth researching student travelcard options, as for example in Paris, an unlimited Carte Imagine R is €38 (BDT 3,899) per month, compared with a typical €70 (BDT 7,184) per month for non-students.
Grocery shopping in France is slightly more expensive than in the UK. The average cost of a weekly shop is €62 (BDT 6,363), or €250 (BDT 25,657) per month. A meal out in France is on average €12 (BDT 1,231) and a cinema ticket is typically €9 (BDT 923), although there is always a cheaper student ticket price, averaging at €6 (BDT 615). A Big Mac is €4.47 (BDT 458). The average monthly gym membership costs €37.70 (BDT 3,869).
Most students should budget €600-€800 (BDT 61,577-BDT 82,103) per month to cover the cost of food, transportation, and housing, although this will probably be slightly higher in a larger city such as Paris.
In accordance with French law, any foreign student who wishes to study in France must be able to prove that they have sufficient resources: €615 (BDT 63,117) per month or €7,318 (BDT 7,51,040) per year, to support themselves without working. This is more of estimation, as outside of Paris, €700-€850 (BDT 71,840-BDT 87,234) is recommended and it is closer to €1,100 (BDT 1,12,892) in Paris.
But with careful budgeting, a student could live on €600 (BDT 61,577) a month. An excellent provision for students is the CROUS system – student university cafeterias serve three-course menus for as little as €3 (BDT 308).
What is financial support available?
The low cost of education in France means that non-Europeans from countries such as Canada, the Americas, and Australia don’t need help to pay for tuition.
Scholarships that include a stipend for living expenses are usually reserved for students participating in Erasmus exchanges and a select few engineering, business and medical students from former French-speaking colonies.
There are few scholarships available for international students with the help of the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs or your country’s French Embassy.
France is one of the best countries for student discounts and it is always worth asking if there is a price reduction, whether you are in a restaurant, clothes shops, gallery or museum.
Many galleries and museums are completely free to under-26s. SNCF also offer a Carte Jeune for discounts on train travel and car-sharing websites such as blablacar.fr are a great value and very popular.