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Cost of Living in France – Study in a French University, Living Costs

by Aatif Nafees
Cost of living in France - French University Living cost, accommodation

Cost of Living in France – France is one of the top study abroad destinations in the world. It is also known for its excellent food, wonderful people, revolutionary fashion industry, art galleries, museums etc. Is it really an expensive country for students coming from all over the world? Though it is not the cheapest place to live, it is definitely cheaper than many European countries, the UK and even the USA. If planned properly, students can easily manage their stay there and explore one of the best cultures in the world. 

Home to several universities and institutions that feature in the QS World University Rankings and Times Higher Education World University Rankings, France hosted 343,000 international higher education students during the 2017/18 academic year. According to Campus France, a government agency that operates under the French Ministry of External Affairs, France has shown 4.5% year over year increase in the previous academic year and aims to host 500,000 international students by the year 2027. Some of the top universities of France are Universit PSL, Ecole Polytechnique, Sorbonne University, INSEAD, ESSEC Business School and HEC Paris. Most popular courses among international students are Business, Data Analytics, Luxury Management, etc. The tuition fees in French universities is affordable compared to the US, UK or Australia.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the basic cost of living in France.

Cost of living in France List of Expenses

As an international student studying abroad, one should be aware of all the possible expenses likely to occur during their stay. Being aware of the expenses and planning them beforehand, helps in reducing the cost significantly. Though it is not possible to identify each variable, here are some of the basic factors of cost which any international student is likely to bear during his/her stay in France.

Some of the expenses students have to bear if they are living in Paris and in other provinces in France-

Item Paris Province
Housing EUR 990 EUR 630 (avg)
Food EUR 150 EUR 150
Transportation EUR 30 EUR 20
Cellphone, internet, TV EUR 25 EUR 25
Insurance EUR 5.3 EUR 5.3
Electricity EUR 50 EUR 50
Outings and leisure EUR 80 EUR 80
Taxes (10% of the lease) EUR 73 EUR42
SUBTOTAL EUR 1,404 EUR 1,003

*The costs mentioned here are tentative and the actual value might vary slightly based on a number of factors.

Cost of living in France – Housing 

Apart from the tuition fee, accommodation will turn out to be a major expense for students. Though the cost of accommodation is high in major cities like Paris, other cities provide options which are much cheaper than their counterparts. Here are the tentative values to observe the city-wise difference in the cost of accommodation in France: 

Know all information on living and studying in France in our Study in France article.

City-wise housing expenses involved in the cost of living in France

City Rent EUR/month
Paris 990
Montpellier 635
Lyon 520
Lille 535
Toulouse 530

*The costs mentioned here are tentative and the actual value might vary slightly based on a number of factors.

Within a city too, there are a few different options for accommodation for students. Students can choose accommodation according to their budget and factors like comfort, sociability, amenities and location. Some of the options and their tentative cost are mentioned in the table below. 

Accommodation Description Expense (monthly)
CROUS The cheapest accommodation available is owned and managed by the Regional Centers (CROUS) EUR 150 per month and up to EUR 600 
University-owned accommodation Specialized schools own housing which they rent out to their students Costs are variable and depend on the establishments
Student lodging in a residence Non-CROUS owned student residences by private owners Higher than CROUS but lower than a private residence
Lodging with private owners A room or property rented through an individual/agent EUR 400 and EUR 700 per month on average

*The costs mentioned here are tentative and the actual value might vary slightly based on a number of factors.

Cost of living in France – Food

Food cost also highly depends on the choices made by the student. You can significantly cut the food cost by cooking the food yourself. Buying supplies from a supermarket also helps in keeping the cost in check. A monthly estimate for all supplies for a student can be close to EUR 150. But, if you decide to eat out, here is a table to showcase the tentative cost:

Items Cost
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant EUR 15.00   
McMeal at McDonald’s (or Equivalent Combo Meal) EUR 8.50
Cappuccino (regular)  EUR 3.37
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 litre bottle) EUR 3.12
Water (0.33-litre bottle) EUR 2.24

Cost of living in France – Transportation

France is a great touristic attraction. It gets one of the largest numbers of visitors every year, hence there are many options for transport available to choose from. The table below shows the different modes of transportation and the cost they are likely to incur. 

Modes of transportation Cost
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) EUR 1.90
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) EUR 75.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) EUR 5.00
Gasoline (1 litre) EUR1.57

Cost of living in France – Insurance

It is mandatory to ensure the place of residence in France, which provides cover in case of damage or theft. The Minimum Earned Premium (MEP), specialised in insurance for students, offers this insurance for an amount of EUR 64 per year. (EUR 5.3 per month).

Burdened with tuition fees? Check our French Scholarships for Indian Students to know funding your course study in France.

Cost of living in France – Scholarships

The French government, universities and other organisations provide a number of scholarships, bursaries and other grants to deserving candidates. These scholarships can significantly cut down the tuition fees and other living expenses of the students living in France.

Here are some of the famous scholarships available for study in France:

S.No Name of Scholarship Award Details
1 Charpak Masters Program, France Tuition fee waiver up to EUR 5,000 and other benefits
2 French Academic Cooperation and Excellence (FACE) Scholarship Up to EUR 5000
3 HFSP Postdoctoral Fellowship, France Living allowance, relocation, research & travel allowances and other benefits
4 INSEAD Diversity Scholarships EUR 13,000
5 INSEAD PhD Fellowships Up to 100% tuition fee waiver
6 Eiffel Scholarship Program of Excellence A monthly allowance of EUR 1,031 and other benefits
7 Erasmus Mundus Scholarships Fully funded scholarships cover living costs, tuition, travel and insurance for masters and PhD students
8 Ile-de-France Masters Scholarships Students from emerging countries in Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Latin America receive a lump sum of EUR 10,500.
9 Centrale Nantes Support covers a 50 per cent reduction in tuition fees
10 The Ecole Centrale Paris Graduate Fellowship Four merit-based scholarships of EUR 4,000 each year to international students
11 SciencesPo Emile-Boutmy Scholarship Full or partial tuition and cost of living funding
12 HEC Paris MBA Need-Based Scholarship
13 The ISM Global Leadership Scholarship The scholarship recipients will receive US$ 17,167 in funding

If you are an international student, you definitely need a visa to study in France. To know more detail read Student Visa France article

Cost of living in France – FAQs

Q. Why study in France?

Some reasons one should consider France as their international study destination: 

  • Availability of scholarships 
  • Be part of one of the most renowned education systems in the world
  • Take classes in English, even in the heart of Paris
  • Learn French easily
  • Live and study in one of the most culturally rich countries in the world

Q. France vs Germany, which country is more popular among international students?

France comes ahead of the UK, USA and Germany in terms of international students. According to a report by Campus France, it is the 4th most opted country and 1st non-english speaking by international students.

Q. Are there any scholarships for students who want to study in France?

Yes, there are a number of scholarships available for students who wish to study in France. Some of these scholarships are The Eiffel Scholarships, Erasmus Mundus Scholarships, Ile-de-France Masters Scholarships, HEC Paris Need-Based Scholarship, INSEAD etc.

Some of the popular business schools like HEC Paris, ESSEC, ESCP Europe, EM Lyon, Skema Business School are also among the main attractions for international students.

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