Study in France in English – Students who are planning to study in France for their higher education often feel intimidated by the prospect of moving to a country where English isn’t their first language. Even if you have studied French in school, or are someone who has elementary or limited fluency in the language, the idea of not being able to understand the coursework or having difficulty in interacting with the people around you is a genuine cause of worry for many. However, there are plenty of undergraduate and postgraduate degree options to help you continue your studies in English while working on improving your French language skills at the same time.
This article seeks to help ease some of these worries of international students by providing them with a guide on how to study in France in English.
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Study in France in English – Top 10 Universities to Study in France in English
The following is a list of 10 universities which offer courses in English to international students who aren’t fluent in French or aren’t comfortable with programs taught entirely in French. Many of these universities offer courses in English along with supplementary French language courses for international students. This is a great way to improve your French language skills, especially if you plan to work in the country after your studies.
The American University of Paris (AUP) – The American University of Paris is an offshoot of an American institute that is based in Paris. As the name suggests, the method of instruction, course work and all other aspects are based on the structure of an American university. Just like the American university model, one can expect small, discussion-based classes, a symbiotic relationship between students and faculty, special attention on critical thinking and clear communication. The multilingual campus makes it easier for international students to acclimatize easily to living and studying in a new country. Students have the option of choosing what to study from a variety of degree programs, all of which are based on the liberal arts curriculum. You may think of pursuing:
- M.A. in Global Communications
- M.A. in International Affairs
- M.A. in Diplomacy in International Law.
- B.A. in Art History
- B.A. in Global Communications
- B.A in International Business Administration
- B.SC in Quantitative Environmental Science
- M.Sc in International Management
The duration of all of the above-mentioned programs is 1 year.
The University of London Institute in Paris – The University of London follows the same principle as the American University offshoot we read about earlier. They maintain a campus in Paris and offer both undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs to students. It is an anglophone style institute which offers the freedom of English instruction to international students. The University of London Institute is a small and specialised institution that provides research-led classes from veterans in different fields. Some of the courses they offer are:
- B.A. in International Politics
- M.A. in Urban History and Culture
- M.A. in International Relations
- M.A. in Law
Sciences Po – Sciences Po is actually a French university with no affiliations to any other countries. Sciences Po hosts 14,000 students, with half of them being international students. To recruit some of the best minds from all over the world, Sciences Po offers courses taught in English at the undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD levels. They also offer language courses that you can attend simultaneously to improve your French language skills while you complete your degree. Some of the most popular courses taught in English are listed below:
- B.A. in Europe-Asia
- B.A. in Europe – North America
- M.A. in Journalism and International Affairs
- M.A. in Economic Law
- PhD in Economics
Panthéon – Sorbonne – Panthéon-Sorbonne is also known as ‘Paris 1’ and offers courses taught in French and English or exclusively in English. You should know that many of these courses are highly specialized and aren’t generally inclusive of broader disciplines; so make sure you do your research before deciding to apply. They also offer mixed language courses for students who are looking to improve their French language proficiency while they are doing their course. The following are some of the popular courses offered by the university taught either entirely or partially in English:
- M.A. in Mathematics for Economics and Finance
- International MBA
- Sorbonne LL.M. Business Law Certificate for Foreign Lawyers
- M.A. in Art History
- M.A. in Tax Law
Paris-Dauphine – The Parish-Dauphine University offers courses in business, math, social sciences and law. They offer many courses with the medium of instruction being English to attract more international students and maintain an international focus. The institute offers multidisciplinary education supported by the latest scientific knowledge in economics, law, computer science, math, management science, political science and sociology. Some examples of the courses offered to international students are:
- B.A. in Human Resources Management
- B.A. in Labour Law
- B.A. in Macroeconomics
- M.A. in International Finance
- M.A. in Marketing
Université Paris Sud – This university is a great option for international students who have already completed their undergraduate degrees and wish to move to a different country to finish their higher education. They offer a variety of courses taught in English at the post-graduate and PhD level, mainly in mathematics and sciences. Many of their courses are offered in partnership with the Erasmus+ scholarship programs, that make it one of the best options for students looking to study abroad on a limited budget. Some of the programs they offer include:
- Erasmus Mundus Master’s Degree in Chemistry
- Master’s in Nuclear Energy
- Master’s in General Physics
- Master’s in Computer Science
- Master’s in Advanced Materials Engineering
IMT Atlantique – IMT Atlantique is a part of the elite schools for higher education in France and is ranked in the top 10 ‘Grand Ecoles’ in France and offer cutting edge programs along with research activities. Master’s programs are taught exclusively in English or for interested candidates, can be opted for in a mix of French and English. They have a reputation internationally for excellence in research which has enabled them to develop a network of academic and industrial partners to help future alumni build a network that assists them with their chosen career paths. The following are some of the courses offered in English to international students:
- M.Sc in Information Technologies
- M.Sc in Sustainable Nuclear Engineering
- Master’s in Applied Mathematics
- Master’s in Information System Consulting and Management
École Polytechnique – Ecole Polytechnique offers high-level graduate programs at the master’s level which are mostly taught in English. They focus mainly on the sciences, technology and other STEM fields. Founded in 1794, it’s a historic institution and holds an important place in the French academic tradition. International students who wish to study in an institute with a long-standing history of academic excellence should consider it as one of the better options for higher education in France in English. The following are some of the courses that are taught entirely in English:
- Master’s in the Internet of Things: Innovation and Management
- Master’s in Energy Environment: Science Technology and Management
- Master’s in Economics, Data Analytics and Corporate Finance
- Master’s in Data Science for Business
- Master’s in A.I and Advanced Visual Computing
École Centrale de Lyon – École Centrale de Lyon puts its mission statement as wanting to ‘educate its students to become generalist engineers and multi-disciplined post-graduate leaders in their field’. They offer courses at the master’s level that are mainly focused on sciences with some options in humanities as well. The following are the international Master’s programs offered by the institute:
- Master’s in Aerospace Engineering
- Master’s in Nanoscale Engineering
- M.Sc in Acoustics
- Master’s in Humanities and Social Sciences
The University of Technology of Compiègne – UTC is both a French national university and an engineering school. They offer master’s level courses for international students in engineering and specific humanities fields. Most of the courses are multi-disciplinary and are designed to make sure that international students find them challenging without being intimidating. There are also provisions to make sure that students from outside France find the courses rewarding professionally as well as academically. Most of the courses are given in English and there are options for intensive language courses for students who wish to learn or improve their French language skills. Listed below are some of the courses taught in English at UTC:
- Mechanical Engineering
- Computer Engineering
- Biological Engineering
Want to go to France for pursuing higher studies? Detailed guide to study in France is provided here.
Study in France in English – Things to Consider
Once you have found a course that meets all your academic criteria and a university that offers the same in your choice of language, there are some other things you need to consider before you begin the application process and move to France.
- Program Locations – Outside of the major metropolitan areas in France, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a large number of English speakers. This may not seem like a big deal, but being able to get around in a city when you don’t speak the native language is a difficult prospect. Choosing to study a program in a big city like Paris or Lyon will allow you to get through your daily routine outside the university easily. You’ll be able to find shopkeepers, doctors, cab drivers etc who speak English in the big cities more easily compared to small towns or villages away from the city centre.
- Language of Instruction in the Classroom – Even though you may choose a course that is advertised as being taught in English, sometimes the quality of classroom instruction varies with the faculty. A little research beforehand will allow you to get a general idea of the classroom environment that you’ll be spending most of your time in. Taking a supplementary course to improve your French language skills is a good idea as well, so you can get better at the language while still studying your chosen program in English.
- Housing and Residential Options – You will be spending a large majority of your time outside the classroom and you need to make sure that you are living in an environment that causes you the least communication-related stress on a day-to-day basis! Programs also advertise housing options as being English-friendly; so keep an eye out for them while you are doing the research. A dorm with other international students from English-speaking countries can be a great option as it will allow you to socialize comfortably. It may not seem like much but having friends that share a common language with you makes it easier to adjust to a foreign country.
Study in France in English – FAQs
Q. Can I study in France even though I don’t speak French?
Yes, you can. Universities in France offer specific courses that are taught entirely in English to help attract more foreign students. These courses are designed to ensure that international students are able to keep up with the coursework, while simultaneously improving their French language skills.
Q. What are the top universities that offer courses in English?
Refer to the article above to find a top 10 list of universities that offer courses in English in France. These universities offer degrees at the undergraduate, post-graduate and PhD levels that are taught either entirely or partially in English.
Q. Can I learn French while studying other courses?
Yes, many universities offer supplementary language courses that will help you improve your competency in the French language while you pursue your main academic course. This will allow you to increase your fluency in the French language without sacrificing valuable time from your main academic pursuits.
Q. What cities are the easiest to live in for non-French speaking international students?
Big cities like Paris, Lyon etc are usually filled with people who can speak both English and French. The further away you get from city centres, the harder it is to find English speakers, and getting through normal everyday tasks outside the university becomes extremely difficult. Living in a major metropolitan area will ease your transition into French society as an international student.
Q. Are housing options available for English speakers who are studying in France?
Yes, you can search for international student dorms that cater to English-speaking international students in France. These dorms are a great option for international students as you will be staying with other people who are also new to the country and it will make it easier for you to socialise since you will find other students who are primarily English speakers.