Each year more than 278,000 international students choose France for their higher education, making it the world's fourth most popular country to study in after the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
The quality of French higher education is widely recognized throughout the world and French institutions figure prominently in the Shanghai Classification of Universities, in the rankings of the Financial Times and Times Higher, and in the European Report on Science and Technologies published by the European Commission.
Why choose France?
1. For the quality of its higher education and research
France's higher education system is not only one of the best in the world—it's also open to all! Each year, France makes massive investments in education and research. In fact, education is the largest category of government spending, accounting for more than 20% of the budget. The country’s successes in manufacturing, technology, and science and the number of Nobel prizes and Field medals that French citizens bring home, demonstrate that it is one of the world's most dynamic centers of innovation and research. French higher education programmes are grounded in accredited research laboratories or the knowledge of seasoned professionals: whatever your field of study, you will always be in contact with renowned experts.
2. For the international flavour of the country's higher education system
Each year more than 278,000 international students choose France for their higher education. The country remains committed to its long-standing policy of equal treatment for domestic and international students. Some examples of that policy are:
• Tuition rates at French institutions are identical for all students
• For programmes leading to national diplomas, tuition rates are set by law
• All students, regardless of origin, enjoy the same benefits (e.g. health coverage and housing assistance).
France's institutions award degrees that adhere to the common European architecture known as LMD (for Licence, Master, and Doctorate), meaning they are recognized and accepted throughout the world.
For many students, studying in France also means an opportunity to learn French or to extend one's command of the language. Doing so allows them to join a global community of 250 million speakers of language of Voltaire, Hugo, and Camus, an official language of the Olympics, the United Nations, and the European Union.
3. For the vibrancy of contemporary French culture
Contemporary French culture does not take a back seat to its rich past. France's artists and performers excel in every facet of culture.
Outstanding examples include Marion Cotillard, who won the Oscar for best actress in 2008; Jean-Marie Le Clezio, who claimed the Nobel prize in literature the same year; and Michel Houellebecq, the best-known living French author, whose works are available in 30 languages.
Who hasn't heard of Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Gabriel Fauré, or Olivier Messiaen? But since the 1980s, with the work of Jean-Michel Jarre, the "French Touch" in electronic music has reached audiences around the world. Artists such as Air, Daft Punk, Justice, Martin Solveig, David Guetta, and Bob Sinclar fill conference halls on every continent.
4. For the distinctive French art of living
For the past five years, International Living magazine has ranked France among the world's top countries for quality of life. It was number one in 2010!
Living in France means enjoying one of the world's best health-care systems (according to the World Health Organization), which is available at an affordable cost to international students.
France has a pleasant climate and a clean environment and it is one of the safest countries in the world.
France is also home to 35 UNESCO World Heritage sites, with Paris the world's top destination for business tourism and international trade fairs, and the Eiffel Tower one of the world's most-visited paid-admission sites. Sharing borders with nine countries, France is truly the crossroads of the continent. Paris's Charles-de-Gaulle airport is the second-busiest in Europe and the sixth-busiest in the world. High-speed trains connect major cities in France and elsewhere in Europe (including London, Amsterdam, and Geneva).
5. For the country's advanced economy
France's economy is the world's fifth largest. It accounts for 5% of world GDP and 6% of global trade.
The country is the top recipient of foreign investment in Europe and the second-largest recipient in the world and in the past 5 years, more than a million businesses have been established in France.
39 French companies figure among the 500 largest in the world.
France's famous TGV is still the world's fastest train, and, since its merger with KLM, Air France is the world's largest airline.
For further information on studying in France: www.campusfrance.org/en
For further information on scholarships: www.campusfrance.org/fria/bourse/index.html#app=faac&193-si=0
For further information on study programmes: www.campusfrance.org/en/node/6489