Study abroad semester in France

France is more than a country. Its global prominence shaped the world’s history and continues to do so. French is a very important language in Europe, Africa and Canada. The country is a leading producer of electricity, agricultural products and wine. Its gastronomical excellences are known worldwide. Finance and chemical products are also of strategic importance.

Day to day life in France is really enjoyable: workweeks are shorter than in other European countries, while cultural and recreational activities are abundant. Paris, also known as “La Ville Lumière”, is considered to be the unofficial capital city of Europe and is one of the two most visited European cities along with London. However, France is not just Paris. Several wonders are present in its territory.

Immigration is quite an important factor alongside French history: various migrations occurred during the past. France was then an appealing destination and is now as well, due to its favorable economic conditions, its inclusive social system and the potential opportunities offered to newcomers. The state has a solid support system for needy people. Healthcare and education are free.

What are the best universities in France for semester students?

Are you still undecided whether or not France might be an appealing destination for you? On wearefreemovers you can find a selection of 25 academic institutions offering you the possibility of spending a semester or a full academic year in France. Let’s check some statistics about them.

Here you can see the positioning of the French institutions among the world’s best universities rankings.

NAME QS THE ARWU CWUR CWTS Eduniversal palmes U.S. News & World Report's Best Global Universities Rankings Webometrics
HEC Paris (Master level) - - - 205 - 5 - -
Sciences Po Bordeaux 242 501–600 - 589 - 4 - -
Sciences Po Grenoble (Undergraduate level) 242 501–600 - 589 - 4 - -
Sciences Po Lille 242 501–600 - 589 - 4 390 -
Sciences Po Toulouse - International and Comparative Studies 242 501–600 - 589 - 4 - -
Université Toulouse 1 Capitole 801-1000 - - 1142 - 3 - -
Catholic University of Lyon - - - - - - - -
Catholic University of Lyon - ESDES Business School - - - - - - - -
CESI Graduate School of Engineering - - - - - - - -
Claude Bernard University Lyon 1 - Faculty of Science and Technology 701-750 501–600 201-300 226 233 - 292 200
Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse de Lyon - - - - - - - -
École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Appliqués et des Métiers d'Art - - - - - - - -
École Supérieure d'Arts Appliqués La Martinière Diderot - - - - - - - -
EM Normandie Business School - - - - - 2 - -
EPITA Paris - - - - - - - -
ESC Amiens - - - - - - - -
IAE Montpellier (Undergraduate level) - - - - - - - -
IMT Atlantique - 351–400 - 1040 - - 763 -
Institut Catholique de Toulouse - - - - - - - -
IPAG Business School - - - - - 2 - -
Paris College of Art - - - - - - - -
Paris School of Business - - - - - 3 - -
Université Savoie Mont Blanc - - - - - - 538 -
University of Lille 751-800 601–800 401-500 304 356 2 - 507
University of Pau and Pays de l'Adour - - - 1223 - - 1271 -
University of Technology of Troyes - 801–1000 - - - - - -

I must be honest: given the reputation of French education, I expected more from its universities in terms of rankings. It’s not that bad though, France is an awesome place and certainly having studied in France makes up a good bullet point on your CV. HEC Paris is a top-notch business school with 5 Eduniversal palmes of excellence out of 5, while other institutions have successful and recognized departments.

Costs and fees of studying in France

France is an expensive country. Monthly costs of living for a single person are close to 800€. Here you can find a detail of the various costs that you can encounter in this country. Keep in mind that, as a student, you could have access to various discounts which can include food, travel, and accommodation expenses.

When it comes to university’s fees, France is fairly cheap, with a median 1250€/semester for EU free mover students and 1900€/semester for non-EU free mover students.

Which French cities are available for free movers?