France is not only a good place to visit, but it’s also a great location for studying. After all, it has a long tradition of academic excellence – reflected by historical and top-ranking universities.

While France is more than open to foreign applicants, some are held back by the reality of expensive tuition. Many believe that studying and living in a European destination can be very costly.

This concern, however, is untrue. As long as you apply to any of these cheap universities in France, you can finish your schooling without accruing unpayable student debt.

What Are the General Requirements to Study in France?

Apart from completing the application form, aspiring students should submit their high school/college diploma and transcript of records. Depending on the program or university, requirements such as essays or interviews may be required as well.

If you’re planning to take an English-taught program, you will need to submit a proficiency exam (IELTS or TOEFL) too.

Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students

Do Universities in France Offer English-taught Programs?

Yes, there are several English Taught Universities in France. At the American University of Paris, the majority of programs are taught in English. Meanwhile, at the University of Bordeaux, foreign students may take English-taught courses – or enroll in English-taught Master’s programs.

Affordable Universities in France for International Students

1. Université Paris-Saclay

Paris-Saclay University is a public research institution located in the heart of Paris. It can trace its heritage back to the University of Paris, which was established in the year 1150.

As one of the most prestigious universities in France, it is quite known for its Mathematics program. Apart from that, it also offers degrees in the areas of Science, Law, Economics, Management, Pharmacy, Medicine, and Sports Science. Université Paris-Saclay is also the cheapest university in France with a tuition fee of €170 per year.

To date, Paris-Saclay has an enrollment rate of 48,000+ students, with about 16% of which are of foreign nationalities.

2. Université de Paris

Next on our list of affordable universities in France is the University of Paris, one of the institutions that traces its roots back to the 1150-founded University of Paris. After several divisions and mergers, it was eventually re-established in the year 2017.

To date, the University is divided into 3 faculties, which are Health, Science, and Humanities & Social Science.

Given its illustrious history, the University of Paris is one of the most populated – having a total enrollment of 63,000+ students. It also has good international representation, with 18% of its enrollees coming from various parts of the globe.

3. Université d’Orléans

The University of Orleans is a public university with a campus in Orleans-la-Source, France. Established in the year 1305, it was re-founded in the year 1960.

With campuses in Orleans, Tours, Chartres, Bourges, Blois, Issoudun, and Châteauroux, the university offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the Arts, Languages, Economics, Humanities, Social Science, and Technology.

4. Université de Montpellier

The University of Montpellier is a research institution nestled in the heart of Southeastern France. Founded in 1220, it comes down in history as one of the oldest universities in the world.

At this affordable university in France, students can enroll in any of the faculties specializing in Physical Education, Dentistry, Economics, Education, Law, Medicine, Pharmacy, Science, Management, Engineering, General Administration, Business Administration, and Technology.

As one of the top-rated universities in France, the University of Montpellier enjoys a large population of more than 39,000+ students. Expectedly so, it has attracted many international enrollees who represent 15% of the total demographic.

5. University of Strasbourg

The University of Strasbourg or Unistra is a public educational institution in Alsace, France. Founded in 1538 as a German-speaking institution, it is the result of the merger between the Universities of Louis Pasteur, Marc Bloch, and Robert Schuman.

The university is currently stratified into the departments of Arts & Language, Law & Economics, Social Science & Humanities, Science & Technology, and Health. Under these bodies are several faculties and schools.

Unistra is one of the more diverse French universities, with 20% of its 56,000+ students coming from international backgrounds.

6. Aix-Marseille Université

Founded in 1409 as the University of Provence, the Aix-Marseille Université (AMU) is seated in the beautiful region of Southern France. The public university, as with many other institutions, is the result of the merger between various schools.

Primarily based in Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, AMU also has branches in Lambesc, Gap, Avignon, and Arles.

Currently, this cheap university in France offers studies in the fields of Law & Political Science, Economics & Management, Arts & Literature, Health, and Science & Technology.

AMU has 80,000+ students, with 10,000 of these classified as international students.

7. Université Toulouse 1 Capitole

The next university on our list of cheapest universities in France for international students is Toulouse 1 University Capitole, which is located in a historic town center in Southwestern France. Founded in 1968, it is considered one of the successors of the University of Toulouse.

The university, which has a three-location campus, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Law, Economics, Communications, Management, Political Science, and Information Technology.

To date, there are more than local and foreign 21,000 students enrolled in the UT1 main campus – as well as its satellite branches in Rodez and Montauban.


We hope that this article on the cheap universities in France was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Programs in Europe for International Students to know more information!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

Share this article via

Leave A Comment