The cost of a Master’s degree in France: Tuition fees, financial aid, and cost of student living

France has long been a favored destination for international students, attracting talents from around the world to its universities and higher education institutions. With its rich cultural heritage, global reputation for academic excellence, and attractive career opportunities, France provides an environment conducive to both academic and personal growth.

If you are an international student interested in pursuing a Master’s degree in France, it is essential to understand the costs associated with this endeavor. In this article, we will explore in detail the cost of a Master’s degree in France, taking into account tuition fees, available financial aid, the cost of student living, and visa requirements. Whether you are considering studying in fields such as innovation, technology, development, or other disciplines, this guide will provide you with valuable information to make an informed decision.

We will begin by examining tuition fees and financing options for a Master’s degree in France, with a focus on comparing them to the cost of a traditional Master’s program. Next, we will discuss various scholarships and financial aid available to international students, as well as internship opportunities to reduce study-related expenses. We will then delve into visa requirements and financial proof documentation to help you plan your stay in France. Finally, we will explore the cost of student living, including housing, daily expenses, transportation, and other additional costs to consider.

Whether you are drawn to prestigious public universities in France or renowned private business schools, this article will provide you with the necessary information to estimate the overall cost of a Master’s degree in France and financially prepare for this educational adventure. Take the time to carefully read each section and use this information to make informed decisions about your future studies in France.

The cost of a Master’s degree in France in terms of tuition fees and financing

Pursuing a Master’s degree in France involves tuition fees that vary depending on several factors, such as the type of institution, the chosen program of study, and your status as a domestic or international student. It is important to understand these costs in order to plan your financial resources effectively.

Tuition fees for international students: Tuition fees for international students can vary significantly in France. French higher education institutions generally offer two types of pricing: national tuition fees and differentiated tuition fees for international students. National tuition fees are usually lower and apply to students from the European Union or the European Economic Area. On the other hand, international students are subject to differentiated tuition fees, which can be higher.

Comparison with the cost of a traditional Master’s degree: Compared to the cost of a traditional Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, tuition fees for a Master’s degree in France are often more affordable. MBAs can be considerably more expensive, especially in renowned business schools. However, it is important to note that tuition fees vary from institution to institution, so it is essential to consult the websites of universities and schools to obtain accurate information on specific costs.

Financing options: Fortunately, there are several financing options available for international students wishing to pursue a Master’s degree in France. Here are some possibilities:

  • Scholarships: France offers various scholarships to international students, such as scholarships from the French government, research scholarships, and scholarships offered by private institutions or foundations.
  • Student loans: You can also consider taking out a student loan from a bank or financial institution to cover part or all of the tuition fees. It is recommended to inquire about the conditions and repayment terms before making this decision.
  • Student jobs: Many international students in France work part-time to support themselves and finance their studies. Higher education institutions and local businesses may offer job opportunities suitable for students.

By understanding the tuition fees associated with a Master’s degree in France and exploring the various financing options available, you will be able to better plan your financial resources and achieve your study goals in the country. In the next section, we will take a closer look at scholarships and specific financial aid for international students.

Financial aid and scholarships for Master’s students in France

France offers various financial aid and scholarships to support international students wishing to pursue a Master’s degree in the country. These aid programs aim to facilitate access to higher education and promote cultural diversity in French educational institutions. Here are some of the main financial aid options available:

French government scholarships: The French government offers several types of scholarships for international students. These include: 

  • Eiffel Excellence Scholarships: These prestigious scholarships are awarded to talented students from around the world in various fields of study. They cover tuition fees, travel expenses, health insurance, and provide a monthly stipend. 
  • Erasmus+ program scholarships: This program by the European Union supports student mobility by providing scholarships to students who wish to study in France as part of an exchange program. International cooperation 
  • scholarships: These scholarships are awarded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and aim to strengthen ties between France and other countries.

Institutional scholarships: Many French universities and schools also offer their own scholarships for international students. These scholarships may be based on academic merit, cultural diversity, field of study, or other specific criteria. It is recommended to consult the websites of educational institutions to learn about the available scholarship opportunities.

Research scholarships: Some research institutions in France offer scholarships to international students wishing to pursue research-focused Master’s programs. These scholarships are typically linked to specific research projects and provide an opportunity to collaborate with renowned researchers.

Local financial aid: In addition to scholarships, there are local financial aid options that may be available to international students. For example, certain municipalities offer grants to help cover housing or transportation expenses. It is recommended to inquire with local authorities or student support services at educational institutions to learn about these opportunities.

Remember to check the specific eligibility criteria, application procedures, and deadlines for each scholarship or financial aid program. Planning ahead and exploring these options can help you fund your Master’s studies in France and make your educational journey more accessible and affordable.

It is essential to note that application procedures and selection criteria can vary from one scholarship to another. Therefore, it is recommended to consult the websites of the relevant institutions and contact student support services to obtain accurate information about requirements and application deadlines. By taking advantage of these financial aids and scholarships, you will be able to alleviate the financial burden associated with pursuing a Master’s degree in France and realize your study project in this country rich in academic opportunities.

Apprenticeship as a Solution to Finance a Master’s Degree in France

Apprenticeship is an attractive option for students wishing to finance their Master’s studies in France while gaining practical work experience. This system allows students to combine periods of theoretical study with work placements in companies, enabling them to support themselves financially while developing their professional skills.

Here are some key points to know about apprenticeship in France:

Apprenticeship contract: The apprenticeship contract is one of the main types of contracts used in the context of apprenticeship in France. It is open to students aged 16 to 29 and can be signed for a duration of one to three years, depending on the level of education. During the apprenticeship period, the student receives a fixed salary determined as a percentage of the SMIC (Minimum Interprofessional Salary).

Professionalization contract: The professionalization contract is another form of contract used in the context of apprenticeship in France. Unlike the apprenticeship contract, it is open to a broader audience, including individuals over 29 years of age. The professionalization contract also combines periods of study with work placements in companies, and the student receives a fixed remuneration during this period.

Apprenticeship in France provides an excellent opportunity for students to gain practical experience in their field of study while earning a salary to finance their Master’s degree. It is important to research and explore apprenticeship opportunities in specific industries or companies, as well as to consult with educational institutions and career services for guidance on finding apprenticeship placements that align with academic and career goals.

Advantages of Apprenticeship: Apprenticeship offers numerous benefits for Master’s students, including:

  • Education financing: Students in apprenticeship receive regular compensation that allows them to cover a portion, if not all, of their tuition fees.
  • Professional experience: Apprenticeship provides a real immersion in the world of work, enabling students to gain practical skills and valuable professional experience.
  • Employment opportunities: Apprenticeship can also lead to long-term employment opportunities within the host company, providing a smooth transition into professional life after graduation.

Search for an apprenticeship contract: To find an apprenticeship contract, it is essential to prepare your search carefully. Here are some useful tips:

  • Check apprenticeship offers: Many companies and organizations publish apprenticeship offers on their websites or specialized platforms. It is important to regularly check them and apply based on your interests and skills.
  • Attend apprenticeship fairs and forums: These events provide an opportunity to meet recruiters and gather information about apprenticeship opportunities. They also allow you to establish valuable contacts in the professional field.
  • Reach out to your professional network: It can be beneficial to reach out to your personal and professional network to gather information about companies that may offer apprenticeship contracts.

Visa requirements and financial evidence for studying a Master’s degree in France

If you are an international student wishing to study a Master’s degree in France, it is important to be aware of the visa requirements and financial evidence necessary to pursue your studies in the country. Here’s what you need to know:

Student visa: Non-European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), or Swiss nationals generally need to obtain a student visa to study in France. This visa is issued by the French consulate or embassy in your home country before your arrival in France. It is important to check the specific requirements of the French consulate in your country, as they may vary slightly.

Financial evidence: When applying for a student visa, you will be required to provide financial evidence demonstrating that you have the means to support yourself during your studies in France. The exact amounts may vary depending on your personal situation, the level of study, and the duration of the program. Generally, consular authorities request proof of sufficient financial resources to cover tuition fees, accommodation, healthcare, and living expenses.

Accepted types of financial evidence: Accepted forms of financial evidence may include: 

  • Bank statements: You will need to provide recent bank statements showing that you have the necessary funds to cover expenses related to your studies in France. 
  • Scholarship certificate: If you have been awarded a scholarship, you will need to provide an official certificate proving the amount and duration of the scholarship. 
  • Financial undertaking: In some cases, you may present a financial undertaking declaration from a family member or another person responsible for your living expenses in France. 
  • Student loan: If you have taken out a student loan, you will need to provide documents proving the loan amount and repayment terms. 

Health insurance: It is also mandatory to have health insurance throughout the duration of your studies in France. You can either obtain private insurance or join the French social security system, depending on your country of origin and personal situation.

It is essential to consider the necessary timeframes for obtaining your student visa and allow enough time to gather the required financial evidence. It is recommended to consult the website of the French consulate or embassy in your country and contact the relevant authorities for precise information on visa requirements and financial evidence.

The cost of student life in France for Master’s students 

When considering studying for a Master’s degree in France, it is important to take into account the cost of student life in the country. Here are some key factors to consider to help you plan your budget:

  • Housing: Housing is one of the major expenses for students in France. Housing options can vary depending on the city and region where you will be studying. Students have a choice between university residences, shared accommodation, student apartments, or individual rentals. Prices also vary depending on the size, location, and amenities offered. Generally, the monthly cost of housing in France can range from 300 to 800 euros, or even higher in major cities like Paris.
  • Food: The cost of food depends on your lifestyle and eating habits. Students have the option to cook at home to save money by purchasing groceries from supermarkets. Eating out, whether at the university restaurant (CROUS) or other establishments, can also be affordable for students with special student menus. On average, students spend around 200 to 300 euros per month on food.
  • Transportation: Transportation expenses can vary depending on the city where you study and the distance between your place of residence and your university. Major French cities generally have good public transportation networks such as buses, trams, and metros, making travel more affordable. Students often benefit from discounted rates on public transport subscriptions. The monthly cost of public transportation can range from 20 to 50 euros, depending on the city.
  • Health: In France, it is mandatory for foreign students to have health insurance. If you are a non-European student, you will need to take out private insurance before arriving in France. The cost of health insurance can vary depending on the coverage chosen. It is also recommended to budget for healthcare expenses not covered by insurance, such as prescription medication.
  • Other expenses: In addition to essential expenses, it is important to budget for other common expenses such as telecommunication fees (phone, internet), electricity, water, and heating bills, leisure activities, books and study materials, as well as social outings.

It should be noted that the costs of student life can vary depending on your lifestyle, the city where you study, and your individual choices. It is recommended to plan a realistic budget and manage your expenses responsibly.

Additional costs and savings for Master’s students in France 

In addition to the basic expenses related to student life in France, it is important to consider potential additional costs and look for ways to save money.

Additional costs

  • Tuition fees: Non-EU/EEA international students may be subject to higher tuition fees than domestic students. It is important to inquire about the specific fees of your Master’s program and budget for these expenses.
  • Additional insurance: In addition to mandatory health insurance, you may consider getting additional insurance for better medical coverage or for other specific needs.
  • Activities and outings: Participating in social, cultural, or sports activities may involve additional costs. It is important to budget for these activities based on your interests and lifestyle.

Possible savings

  • Housing: Searching for affordable housing options such as shared apartments or university residences can help reduce monthly costs.
  • Transportation: Opting for public transportation instead of using a car can be more cost-effective. Student subscriptions and discounted fares offered by public transport can also help lower expenses.
  • Food: Cooking meals at home instead of eating out can lead to significant savings. Shopping at supermarkets and looking for deals and discounts can also reduce food expenses.
  • Books and study materials: Looking for used options when purchasing books and study materials can be a great way to save money. University libraries may also provide free or low-cost resources.
  • Student offers: Taking advantage of special offers and discounts reserved for students can help save on transportation, leisure activities, cultural events, cinemas, etc. It is advisable to inquire about student benefits available in your city or through your educational institution.

It is also recommended to plan a realistic monthly budget and carefully track your expenses to avoid overspending. Responsible financial management and seeking opportunities for savings can help you cope with additional costs and maintain a financial balance during your Master’s studies in France.

Don’t forget to inquire about the resources and financial aid services offered by your university or school, as they can provide specific advice and information on student financial management.


Pursuing a Master’s degree in France as an international student requires careful financial planning. We have examined tuition fees, financing options including scholarships and financial aid. Apprenticeship can be a solution to finance your studies and gain professional experience. Visa requirements and financial proofs are crucial. The cost of student living in France includes housing, transportation, food, and social activities. Some additional costs can be reduced by saving money and seeking student offers. Responsible financial management and budget planning are essential to avoid financial difficulties. In summary, with careful planning, international students can fulfill their study goals in France while maintaining a satisfactory financial balance. Good luck with your project of studying a Master’s degree in France!