Home to the biggest names in philosophy, arts, and science, France is a country at the center of modern life as we know it. The country is a member of major political and economic groups such as the EU, G7, NATO, and the WTO. It also boasts of being a cultural hub through its plethora of UNESCO sites and museums. This puts those with a French education in an excellent position to be a part of global developments as it happens.
France has been known as a city with top-notch education, improved throughout the years. Students pursuing higher studies have the option to apply for public universities or select grandes écoles that only accept the cream of the crop. Well-known courses in the country include business, fashion, and hospitality.
The country aims to widen its reach through the “Bienvenue en France” strategy, focused on internationalization. This has been working to its benefit – the country takes the top spot among host regions in Europe, taking in 358,000 international students per year. Schools in the country rank among the top 10 globally for the world’s best study destinations. Affordable tuition fees and student subsidies by the government, along with bustling university towns across the country also garner favorable reviews among students.
With its enduring commitment to educational excellence, unique linguistic and cultural tradition, and central seats of influence, one can never go wrong with France as an international study destination. Check out how to apply for a bachelor’s degree in France below:
Application Requirements for Applying for Bachelors in France
The first requirement needed for anyone looking to study undergraduate studies in France is an authorization from Campus France. An official educational organization established with the French Ministry of External Affairs, Campus France centralizes the enlistment process of all students pursuing higher education in France. It is also responsible for handling scholarship programs for inbound and outbound students. Through Campus France, students can learn about the different courses and institutions available to them, and use one platform to apply to multiple universities.
Affiliated with Campus France are other platforms to better cater to international students based on their country of origin and the French university they wish to apply in.
For students residing in one of the following 65 countries, they may use the Etudes en France platform which is a one-stop-shop for international students.
Another option is the Parcoursup platform, designed for non-EU students with a French baccalauréat obtained abroad and international students applying in filière sélective courses. This is the platform to use for students applying for technical universities and preparatory classes to top universities classified under grande école. Otherwise, students may apply through CampusArt specific to arts, design, and architecture courses, or submit a Demande d’Admission Préalable to the French embassy in their country of origin, which is a preliminary request for admission.
Other school requirements include a high school diploma, French baccalaureate or equivalent, complete transcript of records, scores from standardized tests such as the GRE, GMAT, or LSAT, and a registration fee standard for all French universities.
Like many countries, international students must apply for a student visa to enter France. This requires an official acceptance letter from the university, proof of funding via bank statement or guarantor’s letter, an intent to return to home country, housing plan, and medical insurance. If the course medium of instruction is in French, students must also supply proof of French proficiency.
Lastly, student requirements as a temporary citizen of France include a passport, social security registration, and a civil liability certificate.
Bachelor’s Degree Language Requirements for France
Most degree programs in France use French as the official medium of instruction. However, more English courses have slowly become available. For students who wish to study for a bachelor’s degree in France but do not have French as their official language, they must show French proficiency scores when necessary. Students may take the DELF, DALF, or TCF exams. Exemptions apply to those with French, European, or Franco-German baccalaureates and scholars sponsored by the French government or an international organization approved by France.
For schools with English courses, standardized tests for English proficiency such as IELTS Academic, TOEFL iBT, or PTE Academic are valid.
Minimum ratings apply per university. For example, in the University of Paris-Saclay and PSL Research University, only a minimum level of French is asked of from international students. On the other hand, Sorbonne University does not offer English courses. As such, the university requires a French proficiency level ranging from B2 to C1, depending on the course.
Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students
How to Apply for Bachelor’s Programs in France
1. Enlistment under Campus France
As mentioned, enlistment can be done through various platforms affiliated with Campus France. For students under select countries, the Etudes en France online portal facilitates all parts of the enrollment process, from the enrollment request up to student visa application.
For all other International Students, they must apply through the Parcoursup, CampusArt, or DAP platforms as applicable. Parcoursup and CampusArt applicants may register on the corresponding websites, while applicants registering through DAP must send their forms through the French Embassy of the students’ country of origin. Make sure the right forms are filled up – white and yellow files are for general courses and architecture courses respectively. Meanwhile, green files are available for international students currently residing in France.
2. Confirmation of Enrollment
Results will be communicated with a small window for confirmation. Students who wish to study for a bachelor’s degree in France must confirm acceptance in the school of their choice on the platform used for the application, else it would be considered a refusal, and the slot will be forfeited.
3. Apply for Student Visa
Student visa applications are facilitated by France-Visas, the official application portal for visas in France. First, fill out the application form online, and set an appointment for the pre-consular interview as necessary. At this stage, you will need to have paid the first installment of your tuition fees. There are many ways you can pay for your tuition, but as an international student, you should be on the look out for the cheapest banks that offer the best currency exchange rates.
Wise is an excellent bank for international students. Most banks charge monthly or hidden fees and even additional costs for just opening an account. Wise offer free international accounts with no monthly charges and complete transparency, so make sure you make an account and use it to pay for all your visa, application, and tuition expenses.
As far as your visa is concerned, it is noteworthy that some countries have a separate booking to have biometric data taken by a third party before the pre-consular interview. After all these steps, simply wait a few weeks for the application result and passport collection.
4. Processing of Enrollment in France
The last step is an in-person confirmation and enrollment in the university in France. Some administrative tasks must be put out of the way such as filling in student files, then they may choose their courses and classes. Enrollment fees of 92 EUR will also be paid at this stage. The university then grants a certificate of school attendance and an official student card certifying a student’s temporary citizen status in France. After this, you’re all set to study for an undergraduate degree in France.
For specifics on how to apply to top French universities, check out the following universities:
University of Paris-Saclay
PSL Research University
I hope this article on how to apply for a bachelor’s degree in France was helpful. Make sure to check out the Available Programs for International Students to learn more about studying in Europe.