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France is considered to be an ideal educational destination for higher academic pursuits. This is because of the prestigious universities and faculties with internationally-recognized qualifications and expertise.
The latest research on international student numbers in France has revealed that 2.7 million foreign students enrolled in programs in 2021. This number is only expected to increase, given the prestige of France’s higher educational system.
This is because France has an affordable cost of schooling as compared to universities in other countries. The plethora of postgraduate and employment opportunities also makes this country an excellent choice to consider.
If you want to pursue a higher educational program here, understanding the cost of living in France can be beneficial. From tuition fees to accommodation, transportation, groceries, and healthcare, keep reading to discover the costs of living in France. Read till the end for some bonus tips on how to save in France!
Costs of living in France
France is home to some of the best universities in the world and is full of rich culture, beautiful architecture, and stunning history. This makes it among the top destinations for thousands of students across the world seeking international exposure.
Tuition fees in France
If you are a student from the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you gain a significant advantage! The French government will assume a large share of your tuition costs for a program at a public university.
European students will have to pay the following amounts for the respective programs from public universities in France-
- Bachelor’s programs
- Fees – Around EUR 170 per year.
- Master’s programs
- Fees – Around EUR 243 per year.
- Doctoral-level programs
- Fees – Around EUR 380 per year.
- Engineering programs
- Fees – Around EUR 601 per year.
For non-European students, however, the costs will be different. If you are a non-European student considering studying and living in France, your tuition fees will depend on-
- Whether you permanently want to settle in France.
- If you are part of a higher educational establishment under the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, and Innovation.
- Whether it’s your first time enrolling in a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or engineering program.
If you are a non-European doctoral student, you will not have to pay a different amount for tuition fees.
Accommodation costs in France
Accommodation and student living costs in France are typically dependent upon your lifestyle and the city you live in. For example, the average monthly accommodation costs in three popular cities in France are as follows-
- Average monthly accommodation cost – EUR 1200 to EUR 1800
- Average monthly accommodation cost – EUR 900 to EUR 1400
- Average monthly accommodation cost – EUR 800 to EUR 1000
As a student, you can opt for on-campus accommodation with the ‘Centre régional des Ŝuvres universitaires et scolaires‘ or ‘CROUS’.
This authority manages university residence halls and offers students cheap and affordable accommodation across France at an average cost of EUR 200 to EUR 400 per month. The CROUS buildings are often students’ first choice for affordable spaces for living in France.
Transportation costs in France
There are several ways of traveling across France using public transportation. As a student, you will also be eligible for reduced rates on tickets. Public transportation primarily includes buses, tramways, and trains.
Additionally, metro lines are available in 5 cities in France-
You can expect to spend an average of EUR 30 to EUR 50 every month on transportation fares across the country. Yearly passes are also available for EUR 333.90.
The cost of food & groceries in France
The food budget in France is an important component of your living expenses. On average, monthly food & grocery expenses can be covered for approximately EUR 250 to EUR 300.
The average cost of a meal in a restaurant can range between EUR 10 and EUR 15. A more economical option would be to eat at bistros and brasseries that are popular student haunts.
Opting to shop for groceries from supermarkets like ‘Géant Casino’ and ‘Leclerc’ can also help you save money when living in France as an international student.
The cost of healthcare in France
It is recommended that you apply for health insurance before making the shift to France. This can significantly curtail the healthcare expenses during your stay. Without health insurance, expenses can go 70% higher because doctors get free rein to charge as they feel appropriate.
Healthcare insurance typically costs around EUR 40.
Here are some common medical expenses and their associated charges
- General Consultation
- Fees – EUR 6.60
- Specialist Consultation
- Fees – EUR 7.50
- Psychiatric Consultation
- Fees – EUR 11.10
- Cardiologist Consultation
- Fees – EUR 14.17
- Dental Appointment
- Fees – EUR 28.20
Tips to save money in France
Managing your finances and saving regularly when living in France can become easier with the following tips-
- Opt for local contacts and social media to find apartments and student hostels. Professional agencies charge significantly higher.
- ‘Leboncoin’ is a portal for selling new and secondhand goods that can help save money on clothes, books, or other such requirements. This portal is a great tool for first-time international students adjusting to living in France.
- Opt for an affordable and healthier alternative to public transportation – cycling! Several French cities offer easy-to-hire cycle schemes that can help you get around at minimal cost.
- As a student, you will be eligible for discounts at certain stores. Carrying your student card with you when shopping can help you save money!
- France is a country that is full of culture, heritage, history, and a plethora of educational opportunities for aspirants across the world.
- There are several reputed universities across France that offer excellent programs across a wide range of disciplines.
- One of the many advantages of studying in France includes the affordable cost of tuition as compared to other countries in Europe.
- Understanding the costs of accommodation, transportation, groceries, and healthcare-related expenses can help you be better prepared to live in France.
We hope you found this blog informative. Don’t forget to comment below and share your thoughts! You can also get in touch with us if you have any doubts.
Liked this blog? Read: Wanna study in France? Here are 10 important things you should know.
Q1. On average, how much does the cost of phone bills come up to per month in France?
Answer – Mobile phone bills per month cost an average of EUR 20 to EUR 30 depending on the service provider.
Q2. Which is the most expensive city in France to live in?
Answer – Paris, the capital of France, can be considered the most expensive city to live in in the country.
Q3. Do international students need social security?
Answer – Yes, the affiliation to social security is usually made during the administrative registration process. International students will be required to pay an amount of EUR 200 to complete the registration.