4 scholarships to study in France for free or at lower cost

Study in France
France is renowned for its historical landmarks and architecture, cuisine, fashion and world-class universities. Source: Lucas Barioulet/AFP

There are many reasons why international students should study in France. According to data from Campus France, as of 2020, the country hosted an international student population of 358,000, and it’s no surprise why.

The modern European country boasts world-renowned landmarks and historical architecture such as the Palace of Versailles and the Eiffel Tower. It has some of the best cuisines in the world and is famous for its avant-garde fashion.

Four of its universities are listed among the top 100 in the QS World University Rankings in 2022; many offer a diverse range of programmes that attract international students to study in France.

International students may even study in France for free or at a much reduced tuition-rate with the multitudes of scholarships. With that being said, here are four scholarships that international students can apply to study in France for free — or at a lower-cost.

Study in France with these scholarships

Université Paris-Saclay International Master’s Scholarships

This merit-based scholarship helps high-achieving international students to pursue an education in France by enrolling in a master’s programme at Université Paris-Saclay.

Scholarship coverage: Valid for one to two years of study, and successful applicants will receive 10,000 euros a year, paid for by Université Paris-Saclay for a period of 10 consecutive months (from September to June).

In addition, the scholarship recipient could be entitled to a maximum of €1,000 for travel and visa expenses depending on their country of origin and laureates will only receive the scholarship and travel expenses only upon arrival in France. Additionally, they must also confirm their enrolment within the university.

To check the eligibility requirements for the scholarship, click here.

The deadline for this scholarship is April 28, 2022.

The Foreign Minister Scholarship

The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs allocates French government scholarships for international students to pursue their studies, training courses and language courses in France.

Majority of these scholarships are awarded by the Cooperation and Cultural Action Departments (SCAC) in French embassies and consulates. Therefore, international applicants are required to check with their local French embassy or consulate to obtain the necessary scholarship information regarding the eligibility and application requirements, as well as the selection timeline before filing in an application.

There are several categories for the scholarship, which include training grants, high-level science scholarships and study scholarships. Specific programmes may entitle applicants to a scholarship too, under the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ Paris services.

The Ministry of Higher Education scholarships

The Ministry of Higher Education scholarships awards scholarships to international students based on social criteria, and may vary according to their country of origin or social situation.

Examples of scholarships provided by this government body include providing funding to students from countries eligible for the HOPES (Higher and Further Education Opportunities and Perspectives for Syrians) project, to improve the conditions of Syrian refugees and people in vulnerable circumstances.

Another scholarship awarded based on social criteria is the CROUS scholarship.

Applications for this scholarship vary in terms of eligibility and application requirement, as well as selection timeline.

The Erasmus + Mobility Scholarship for Foreign Students 

Study in France: Erasmus students

The Erasmus+ and mobility programmes have benefitted many international students over the years as it supports education, training, youth and sport. Source: Ludovic Marin/AFP

Erasmus+  offers international students with a mobility scholarship to study in one of the European Union countries. It covers education, training, youth and sports.

The Erasmus Mundus scholarship, in particular, awards international students with funding for up to two years to study in France in one of the supported master’s programmes by selected higher education institutions. More information can be accessed here.

While the deadline for the 2022-2023 applications has passed, international students may prepare to submit their application for the Erasmus Mundus scholarship anywhere between October 2022 to January 2023.

Erasmus+ also offers mobility programmes for students to travel to and from France, which covers removal and accommodation costs. Enquiries can be made to institutions which accept this scholarship.