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Cost and Financial Aids for International Students in France

Public higher education in France is subsidized to ensure that domestic as well as international students are able to afford studies in this nation. The strong financial support provided by the government ensures that the tuition fees at French universities and higher educational institutions are extremely reasonable.

Budgeting and Source of

According to Campus France, students do not have to pay more than €300 per academic year for studies at a university in France for a semester, year or degree program.   The tuition is approximately €600 annually at public engineering schools. Annual tuition fees at public educational institutions are set by French law. The rates for the year 2013-2014 are listed below:
  • €183: Licence
  • €254: Master
  • €388: Doctorate
  • €606: Programs for Engineering Diploma
Additional fees may be charged for more services. For instance, the tuition fees for programs that are 100% English medium are usually higher as this is a special service of French public universities which requires more resources. Tuition rates at private institutions range from €3,000 to €10,000 per year. As per the estimate of Campus France, you need around €1,000 per month to meet your daily living costs in France along with the tuition fees.

Funding Programs

CampusBourses provides you information on financial aid as well as grants and scholarships offered by organisations, the French government as well as the educational institutions. Funding at the doctoral level includes short term grants, scholarships, and funding for the full program as well.   The public higher educational institutions in France are ideal for international students as the government bears the bulk of the cost of studies for them, equalling nearly €10,000 per student per year.

Grants and Financial Aid

Aid from Public Institutions in France and European Union


The Erasmus program of the EU allows students who are European to obtain grants for studying in France or any other EU nation. For Non-European students, the Erasmus Mundus program is present to provide grants for multilateral Master’s and Doctoral programs as well as special projects for partnership.

The French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs also provides numerous grants to international students. They had a budget of nearly €100 million in 2008. About 1/4th of the grants are provided by the offices of the Ministry in Paris. This includes the grants under the Eiffel program. The remaining grants are issues by the French embassies and consulates general.

Need Based Grants: The French Ministry of Higher Education and Research provides need based grants to French nationals as well as certain foreign students. International students who have lived for 2 years of more and whose residence for tax purposes is within France can avail this grant. The Ministry also provides funding for doctoral contracts to students.


Public research organisations
as well as institutions of higher education also provide funding for research. The CNRS(Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) also provides funding for research in various disciplines.  The IRD (Institute of Research and Development), ADEME (Agency for Environment and Energy Management) and the IFREMER (Institut Francais De Recherche Pour L'exploitation De La Mer)  are some of the other public research organisations which provide funding for doctoral and post doctoral studies, often in partnership with regional councils.

Regional councils also offer grants to students who are studying in institutions located in their region. Most of the regional councils offer support to doctoral and post doctoral students through the higher educational institutions they are enrolled in. Private firms also partner with these councils to provide grants. Often international students under exchange agreements are given regional grants.  Certain higher educational institutions also offer grants and other types of financial assistance.

Grants And Financial Aid For Doctorate Students

Doctoral contracts are employment agreements that specify the research objectives of the student and they ensure that candidates are given payment for their activities. Doctoral students who only pursue research earn a minimum of €1,685 per month. Others who take on teaching or assignments are paid €2,025 per month.  These are the minimum amounts of salary that must be paid to doctoral students as per French law.

Under a CIFRE (Conventions Industrielles de Formation par la Recherche) agreement, research scholars who perform their studies must work under corporate settings or within research and development programs that are linked to university affiliated research teams. Under this agreement, students are paid for the research they conduct. International joint supervision of dissertation research may be accompanied by financial assistance as well.

Scholarships

The Eiffel Scholarship is offered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in France. It supports higher educational institutions in France to attract international students in Master’s, Phd and engineering courses.

The Entrepreneurs in Africa program is jointly funded by France's Ministry of Immigration, Integration, National Identity, and Cooperative Development. It is managed by Campus France. It aims to encourage collaborations between African entrepreneurs and French engineering schools, (mostly from the "n i" network) in the beginning stages of business creation.

Mediterranean Office for Youth (MOY) provides support for mobility of students of 16 countries bordering the Mediterranean namely Egypt, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Albania, Morocco, Montenegro, Slovenia, Tunisia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus, Croatia, Malta, and Turkey.

Campus France also manages the  “Science without borders programs”, which aims to enable 10,000 Brazilian students to study in France within 4 years. The program is for students with a general or professional Licence, Master’s and Doctoral degrees in exact science, environment, engineering science, and cultural industries.

The Malaysia Program: is managed jointly by the French embassy in Malaysia, Malaysian authorities and Campus France.  Contracts are signed with French universities and institutions to assist students from fields such as mechanic, electric and chemical engineering to enter IUTs and Licence programs of engineering schools.


Conclusion

There are numerous grants, scholarships and financing opportunities for those who wish to pursue undergraduate, post graduate or doctoral studies in France.
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