Did you know the French government makes the cost of education cheaper for all students?
Have you thought about studying abroad? Make sure you consider France when checking out your choices! Studying abroad is a great way to earn valuable life experiences, develop your skills, and gain independence. So, why should you choose to study in France? Not only will you be in good company in France, as 14% of Canadians studying abroad choose France as their study destination (pdf), but there’s also these top five benefits you may not have known about:
1. Lower tuition fees
The largest issue that prevents students from studying abroad is the higher tuition fees as an international student. So why do so many Canadians choose to study in France? Because the French government subsidizes higher education, making education much more affordable for everyone! These lower tuition fees are applicable in public higher education institutions — private higher education isn’t subsidized by the government, so you’ll likely see those higher international student tuition fees here.
The true cost of education at a public higher education institute is similar to Canada — 10,000 EUR a year ($14,686 CAD). But since the government covers two thirds of this cost, what you’ll actually pay as a Canadian (not a Quebec resident) is much cheaper:
- 2,770 EUR ($4,068 CAD) per year at the bachelor level
- 3,770 EUR ($5,536 CAD) per year at the master level
But, if you’re a resident in Quebec, you get an extra sweet deal on your tuition costs if you study in France. You’ll pay the same tuition fees as citizens of France. Your costs as a Quebec student in France could be:
- 170 EUR ($249 CAD) per year at the bachelor level
- 243 EUR ($356 CAD) per year at the master level
2. Similar degree structure
When studying abroad, sometimes you’ll need to adapt to different degree pathways. Luckily, France’s higher education system is very similar to Canada’s! In Canada, an undergraduate degree is three to four years, depending on if you’re in a general or specialized program. In France, a bachelor’s degree is called a Licence and takes three years to complete. A master’s degree in France also takes two years to complete, and a PhD program can last anywhere from three to eight years.
So, if you find a program you’re passionate about, you could potentially complete your degree at the same time — or even earlier — than your Canadian cohorts!
3. Gain valuable language skills
You’ve probably heard this before, but what’s true is true: the best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in it. You’ll be surrounded by native French speakers all day, and before you realize it, your speaking and listening skills in French will have dramatically improved!
Living in a country where the primary language isn’t English can be intimidating. But don’t worry! There are plenty of programs available in France that are taught in English. You can study in the language you’re most comfortable in, and then go out into the city and practice your French language skills.
4. Working in France
Having a part-time job while you study is a great way to help put some money towards your living expenses. In France, international students are able to work 21 hours a week, 964 hours a year — this works out to be 60% of the legal work year! While this won’t cover all your expenses, it’ll definitely help!
A great option for part-time work is with your university. Your work schedule will be adapted to your class timetable, and you may be able to get work experience in the field you’re interested in!
After you complete your bachelor’s degree, you’ll be able to apply for a post-study work visa for up to one year after your graduation. Once you find a permanent job, you can then apply for a work permit.
5. Ideal location
France is at the heart of Europe, which makes it a great place to study! Thanks to the easily accessible transportation systems, you can explore a lot of Europe!
France has its own great locations you may want to explore, like the Eiffel Tower, the French Riviera, the Louvre Museum, and many more. Or, you could spend a weekend traveling to countries surrounding France, like Germany, Italy, and Spain! The possibilities are endless, and you can experience a variety of cultures while gaining a global perspective.
The cost of living in France isn’t bad either! Compared to Canada, rent is actually cheaper in France! But, consumer prices in France are more expensive. Your cost of living will depend on where in France you choose to study — make sure you do your research for that specific region so you’ll have a better idea of your finances.
Dust off your passport and brush up on your French skills — you could end up studying in France! Make sure you reach out to the schools you’re interested in to find out about their prerequisites, living accommodations, and potential funding. Get ready to start your adventure abroad!