Study abroad for a semester in


France, located in Western Europe, is known for its cultural influence, historical significance, and academic prowess. It is one of the most popular destinations for international students, offering a blend of high-quality education, vibrant culture, and beautiful landscapes. From the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris to the picturesque vineyards of Bordeaux and the sunny beaches of the French Riviera, France provides a rich and diverse environment for students. The country’s educational institutions are renowned for their research and innovation, making it an ideal place for academic pursuits.

France is best known for

Rich History and Heritage 🏛️: France is steeped in history, from the medieval towns and Renaissance castles to the grandeur of Paris. This rich heritage offers students an immersive cultural experience.

Culinary Delight 🍲: France is a paradise for food lovers, famous for its exquisite cuisine, from fine dining in Michelin-starred restaurants to charming local bistros.

Vibrant Culture and Arts 🎨: The country is a cultural hub with world-famous museums, art galleries, music festivals, and theaters. Cities like Paris and Lyon are epicenters of artistic expression.

Table of contents

1. Visa and Health Insurance 🛂

Planning to study in France? Securing the right visa and health insurance is your first step towards an unforgettable experience. The visa process ensures that you meet all entry requirements and can legally stay in France for your studies. Equally important is health insurance, mandatory for all students, which guarantees access to essential medical care and significantly impacts your visa approval.

Visa Types

  • Student Visa (Visa de Long Séjour pour Études): For students enrolled in a full-time study program lasting more than three months.
  • Temporary Long-Stay Visa (Visa de Long Séjour Temporaire): For students enrolled in courses or programs lasting between three and six months.
  • Short-Stay Visa (Visa de Court Séjour): For students attending courses or programs lasting less than 90 days.
  • EU/EEA Students: Do not require a visa to study in France but must register with local authorities if their stay exceeds 90 days.

Application Process

  1. Research Visa Requirements: Understand the specific requirements for the type of visa you need.
  2. Gather Necessary Documents:
    • Completed visa application form.
    • Valid passport.
    • Proof of acceptance from a French university.
    • Proof of financial resources (approximately €7,380 per year).
    • Health insurance coverage.
    • Academic transcripts and certificates.
    • Proof of French or English language proficiency (if applicable).
    • Visa application fee payment receipt.
  3. Submit Application: Submit your application to the French embassy or consulate in your home country.
  4. Attend Visa Interview: If required, attend an interview at the embassy or consulate.
  5. Wait for Processing: Visa processing times can vary, so apply well in advance.

Required Documents

  • Proof of Enrollment: Acceptance letter from your French university.
  • Financial Proof: Bank statements or other proof of sufficient funds.
  • Health Insurance: Proof of valid health insurance coverage.
  • Language Proficiency: Test scores or certificates, if required.
  • Passport Photos: Recent passport-sized photos.
  • Visa Application Form: Completed and signed form.
  • Academic Documents: Transcripts, diplomas, and certificates from previous education.

Application Timeline

Start Early: Begin the process 3-6 months before your planned departure.
Processing Time: Visa processing can take several weeks to months.
Important Deadlines: Keep an eye on university deadlines and ensure your visa application is timely.

Tips for Success

Complete Documentation: Ensure all your documents are thoroughly filled out and complete.
Financial Proof: Clearly show your financial stability.
Interview Preparation: Be ready for potential visa interviews by practicing common questions and answers.
Health Insurance: Secure a visa-compliant health insurance plan early in the process.

Importance of Health Insurance

Health insurance is a non-negotiable requirement for all students in France. It ensures that you have access to a range of medical services, from regular doctor visits to emergency care. Here’s what you need to know.

Types of Health Insurance

  • European Health Insurance Card (EHIC): For EU students, the EHIC grants access to necessary medical treatment in France under the same conditions as French residents.
    • Advantages: Provides basic coverage for necessary medical care.
    • Limitations: Does not cover private healthcare, non-urgent medical care, or repatriation costs.
  • Public Health Insurance (Sécurité Sociale): Available to all students, including EU students who may choose to enroll for more comprehensive coverage.
    • Cost: Typically around €215 per year.
    • Advantages: Comprehensive coverage including doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescriptions.
    • Limitations: Requires registration with the French health insurance system and is typically limited to public healthcare providers.
  • Private Health Insurance: Often chosen by non-EU students and those who prefer additional coverage options.
    • Cost: Can vary significantly based on the provider and plan. Mondassur offers competitive and comprehensive plans that are visa-compliant.
    • Advantages: More extensive coverage, faster access to services, flexibility to choose from a broader range of doctors and specialists, and some plans include travel insurance benefits.
    • Limitations: Generally more expensive than public health insurance and requires careful comparison of plans to ensure comprehensive coverage.

Country-Specific Requirements

Public Health Insurance: Generally more comprehensive but may require eligibility criteria. Students must register with the French health insurance system to access public health insurance. This insurance covers a wide range of medical services, including doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescriptions, but may involve longer waiting times for non-urgent appointments.
Private Health Insurance: Must meet the minimum coverage requirements set by French authorities. Private health insurance plans often provide faster access to healthcare services and more flexibility in choosing healthcare providers. Ensure that the chosen plan is visa-compliant, offering sufficient coverage for the duration of your stay in France.

Finding the Best Health Insurance

wearefreemovers has developed a partnership with Mondassur with the intent of offering you reliable and visa-compliant health insurance for your stay in France.

Choose Mondassur

Mondassur is our suggested visa-compliant health insurance for France

Or discover other insurance options

Thanks to our Insurance Finder


What happens if my visa application is denied?
If your visa application is denied, you will receive a notice explaining the reasons for the denial. Address the issues mentioned and reapply, or appeal the decision if you believe it was incorrect. Review the reasons for denial carefully and seek guidance from the embassy or consulate if needed.

Can I change my health insurance plan after arriving in France?
Yes, you can change your health insurance plan after arriving in France. Ensure the new plan meets the mandatory health insurance requirements for students. Compare different plans to choose one that offers comprehensive coverage and suits your needs.

What should I do if I need medical care and don’t have insurance?
If you require medical care and don’t have insurance, you will need to pay out-of-pocket for all medical services, which can be very expensive. It’s highly recommended to have valid health insurance to avoid these costs. If you find yourself without insurance, contact a health insurance provider immediately to enroll in a plan.

Additional Resources

French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs: Provides detailed information for foreigners looking to study in France, including visa requirements, application procedures, and living in France.
Campus France: Offers comprehensive information on studying in France, including available programs, scholarships, and practical advice for international students.

2. Cost of Living 💰

Understanding the cost of living in France is essential for budgeting and financial planning. While France, especially cities like Paris, can be expensive, there are ways to manage costs and enjoy your stay without breaking the bank.

Detailed Breakdown of Living Expenses

Accommodation: Average monthly rent.
€400 – €1350/month
Food: Average monthly cost for groceries and dining out.
€300 – €500/month
Transportation: Average monthly cost for public transportation and other modes of travel.
€50 – €125/month
Utilities: Average monthly cost for basic utilities (electricity, water, internet).
€100 – €150/month
Entertainment and Leisure: Average monthly cost for leisure activities.
€50 – €100/month
Miscellaneous Expenses: Average monthly cost for personal items and services.
€50 – €100/month

3. Accommodation Options 🏠

Finding the right accommodation is a crucial part of your study abroad experience. France offers various housing options to suit different needs and budgets.

Types of Accommodation

Student Dorms: Typically provided by universities, these offer a social environment and convenience.
Price: €250 – €600/month
Shared Apartments: Sharing an apartment with other students is a popular and cost-effective option.
Price: €400 – €800/month
Private Apartments: Renting your own place provides the most privacy and independence.
Price: €700 – €1,200/month
Homestays: Living with a local family offers cultural immersion and a home-like environment.
Price: €300 – €700/month
Specialized Student Housing: Managed by private companies, these accommodations offer various amenities.
Price: €500 – €900/month

Find accommodation in France

Find the best student housing options with our Accommodation Finder

Tips and Resources

Start Early: Begin your search well in advance to secure the best options.
Budget Wisely: Include utilities and internet in your budget when planning for accommodation costs.
Consider Location: Proximity to your university, public transportation, and local amenities is important.
Use Reliable Platforms: Ensure you book through reputable platforms to avoid scams and ensure quality accommodations. The ones you see on wearefreemovers have been preselected by us, so you can be more at ease choosing them.

4. University Information 🎓

Selecting the right university is a key step in planning your study abroad journey. France is home to some of the world’s most prestigious institutions, offering diverse programs and a rich academic environment.

Discover our partner universities 🎉

Enjoy the best free mover experience on our platform by choosing our partner universities. Those institutions have close ties with us, so for any eventuality you can rely on our help.

Partner universities in France

Our best selection of destinations is awaiting you

Otherwise, surf through the whole selection of universities

Apart from partner institutions, we also list other destinations. They might be a riskier choice since information can be uncertain and response times higher, but still they are worth a try in our opinion.

Find universities in France

Try our University Finder and discover the best universities for your needs

5. Further Practical Information 🛠️


France has an extensive and efficient transportation network that makes getting around the country easy.

Public Transportation 🚆: Most cities have reliable public transport systems, including buses, trams, and metros. Monthly passes typically cost between €50 and €75 with student discounts available. Paris, Lyon, and Marseille have particularly extensive metro systems.

Bicycles 🚴: Many French cities are bike-friendly, with dedicated lanes and bike-sharing programs. Cities like Paris, Bordeaux, and Strasbourg are known for their excellent cycling infrastructure.

Long-Distance Travel 🚄: The SNCF train network connects major cities across France. Discount cards like the Carte Jeune offer reduced fares for young travelers. Budget airlines and long-distance buses are also popular options for traveling within France and to neighboring countries.

Tips 💡: Always check for student discounts on transportation passes and consider buying a multi-trip pass or semester ticket if available. For intercity travel, book train or bus tickets in advance to secure the best rates.

Banking and Finances

Managing your finances effectively is crucial for a smooth study abroad experience.

Opening a Bank Account 🏦: Most banks in France offer special accounts for students with low or no fees. Popular banks include BNP Paribas, Société Générale, and Crédit Agricole.

Documents Required 📑: To open a bank account, you will typically need your passport, proof of enrollment, residence registration, and visa.

Currency 💶: The currency in France is the Euro (€). Having a local bank account helps avoid foreign transaction fees and simplifies everyday transactions.

Tips 💡: Look for student-friendly bank accounts and make use of online banking apps to manage your finances efficiently. Consider using services like for seamless international transactions.

Local Culture and Etiquette

Understanding local customs and social norms will help you integrate smoothly into French society.

Punctuality ⏰: While there is some flexibility, punctuality is generally expected, especially for academic and formal appointments.

Greetings 🤝: A common greeting in France is a kiss on each cheek (la bise), though this varies by region and context. Handshakes are also common in formal settings.

Mealtimes 🍽️: French mealtimes are typically longer and more social than in many other countries. Lunch is usually around 12-2 PM, and dinner around 7-9 PM.

Public Behavior 🤫: The French value discretion and politeness in public spaces. Loud or disruptive behavior is generally frowned upon, especially in quieter residential areas.

Do you still have doubts?

Book a 1:1 consultancy with us

We would be glad to help you guiding step by step in every application you have to complete or to simply solve your doubts.