Studying in France? A Guide for Canadian Students

Studying in France? A Guide for Canadian Students

Thinking of studying in France as a Canadian student? Embarking on an educational journey in a vibrant and culturally rich country like France can be an exciting and enriching experience. 

From its world-renowned universities to its diverse academic programs and picturesque landscapes, France offers a multitude of opportunities for Canadian students seeking a high-quality education abroad. In this guide, we will explore the benefits of studying in France, discuss the unique academic environment, highlight the cultural immersion opportunities, and provide valuable insights into the cost of studying and living in this captivating country. Whether you aspire to learn French immerse yourself in Europe's rich history, or explore new academic horizons, studying in France can open doors to a world of possibilities. Let's delve into the details and discover why France might be the perfect destination for your educational aspirations.

Cost of studying in France

As a Canadian student studying in France, you may fall into the non-EU/EEA students category, which typically has higher tuition fees than EU/EEA students. Here are some estimates of the costs involved:

Tuition fees: The tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students in France can vary depending on the institution and the program of study.  However, tuition fees can vary significantly between different universities and programs, so it's important to research and contact specific institutions for accurate information.

Living expenses: The cost of living in France can vary depending on the city and your lifestyle. Major cities like Paris tend to have higher living expenses compared to smaller cities. 

Accommodation: The cost of accommodation can vary depending on the city and the type of accommodation you choose. Some universities also offer on-campus housing options, which may have different pricing.

Health insurance: As an international student, you will be required to have health insurance in France. The cost of health insurance can vary depending on your age and coverage.  

It's important to note that the actual costs can vary. Additionally, scholarships, grants, and part-time job opportunities may be available to help offset some of the expenses. It's advisable to research specific universities and programs you are interested in and contact them directly for accurate and up-to-date information regarding tuition fees and other expenses.

Guide on applying to a French University as a Canadian Student

To apply to a French university as a Canadian student, you will typically need to follow these steps:

Research universities and programs: Start by researching French universities and the programs they offer. Consider factors such as the program's curriculum, language requirements, location, and the university's reputation. Websites like Campus France ( can provide valuable information about universities and programs in France.

Check admission requirements: Review the admission requirements for the specific program you are interested in. Typically, you will need to provide documents such as your academic transcripts, diplomas, a statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, and proof of language proficiency (usually French or English). Check if you need to take any standardized tests like the Test de Connaissance du Français (TCF) or Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Apply through the online application platform: Many French universities use an online application platform called "Studying in France" (Etudes en France) available on the Campus France website. Create an account and follow the application instructions. Fill in your personal information, and educational background, and upload the required documents.

Pay application fees: Some universities may require you to pay application fees. The fees can vary depending on the university and program, so check the specific requirements and make the payment if necessary.

Submit application and await response: After completing your application, submit it through the online platform. You will receive an acknowledgment of receipt. The university will review your application, and you will be notified of the admission decision directly by the university or through the online platform.

Secure student visa and accommodation: If you receive an acceptance letter, you will need to apply for a student visa at the nearest French embassy or consulate. Provide the necessary documents, including your acceptance letter, proof of financial resources, and health insurance.  

Why study in France?

Studying in France offers numerous benefits and opportunities that make it an attractive choice for international students. Here are some reasons why studying in France can be a great option:

High-quality education: France has a long-standing reputation for providing high-quality education. The country is home to prestigious universities, renowned research institutions, and top-ranked programs across various fields. French degrees are recognized globally, offering excellent academic credentials and enhancing your career prospects.

A diverse range of programs: France offers a wide range of academic programs, from humanities and sciences to engineering, business, arts, and more. Whether you're interested in traditional disciplines or emerging fields, you can find programs tailored to your interests and career goals.

Affordable tuition fees: Compared to many other study destinations, France offers relatively affordable tuition fees, particularly at public universities. This makes it an attractive option for students seeking quality education without exorbitant costs. Additionally, there are scholarship opportunities available for international students to help support their studies.

Research and Innovation: France has a strong focus on research and innovation, with significant investments in scientific advancements and technological development. Studying in France allows you to be part of groundbreaking research projects and collaborations.

Best French places to study

France is home to numerous cities and regions that offer excellent study environments. Here are some of the best French places to study:

Paris: As the capital and cultural hub of France, Paris is a popular choice for students. It boasts prestigious universities like Sorbonne University, Sciences Po, and École Normale Supérieure, along with renowned art and design schools. Paris offers a vibrant academic atmosphere, a wealth of cultural attractions, and diverse career opportunities.

Lyon: Known as the gastronomic capital of France, Lyon is also a top destination for education. It has several renowned universities, including the University of Lyon and École Normale Supérieure de Lyon. Lyon offers a balance of historical charm, a dynamic student life, and a thriving arts and music scene.

Toulouse: Toulouse is a major center for aerospace, technology, and engineering studies. It is home to the prestigious University of Toulouse and the Toulouse Business School. The city offers a welcoming environment, a youthful atmosphere, and a blend of modernity and history.

Bordeaux: Located in the famous wine region of southwest France, Bordeaux is known for its excellent universities and research institutions. The University of Bordeaux and KEDGE Business School are highly regarded institutions in Bordeaux. Students can enjoy the city's vibrant cultural scene, historical architecture, and proximity to beautiful vineyards.

According to global university rankings¹, the top universities in France are Université de Paris, Université Paris Saclay, Aix-Marseille Université, Université Grenoble Alpes (UGA), Université de Montpellier, Université de Strasbourg, and Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier.

Choosing the Right Exchange Service Provider   

In case you are interested in pursuing your studies in France, it is important to note that only the EUR currency is accepted there. While banks do not offer good exchange rates, MTFX, on the other hand, offers Live Exchange Rates that come with lower fees and transparent pricing, without any hidden charges.

Planning to study in France?

Paying for your education online

If you're living and studying in France for a considerable time, finding affordable ways to transfer money internationally is well worth it. For instance, if you want to avoid the above-average fees that your bank will charge, all you have to do is register your MTFX account.

The MTFX platform is accessible 24/7 and allows secure, automated payments. You can also enjoy competitive exchange rates of 3-5% lower than the banks. This translates to savings of $1,500 for each $30,000 you move across borders.  

TIP: Use the currency converter to check the CAD/EUR exchange rate before initiating each transfer.

Open an account today and enjoy competitive exchange rates, low transfer fees, and quick, easy international money transfers.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are some things international students are often surprised to learn about France?

International students studying in France are often surprised to learn several things about the country. Here are a few examples:

Work-Life Balance: France is known for its emphasis on work-life balance. Many businesses and institutions prioritize leisure time, vacation days, and shorter work hours. International students may be pleasantly surprised to experience a culture that values relaxation and leisure alongside work commitments.

Academic System: The French academic system may differ from what some international students are accustomed to. The educational approach in France often involves a more structured and theory-based teaching style, with an emphasis on academic rigor and critical thinking. The grading system may also vary, with a numerical scale instead of letters or GPA.

Extensive Social Benefits: France has a robust social welfare system that provides extensive benefits to its residents. International students may be surprised to learn about benefits such as subsidized healthcare, student housing assistance, affordable transportation options, and cultural subsidies, which contribute to a more accessible and inclusive society.

How can I manage the cost of living in France?

You can always find bargains for university students if you know where to look.

  • Use a foreign exchange service like MTFX to send money from Canada to France and avoid expensive exchange rates and transfer fees.
  • You can work while studying and earn extra money on the side.
  • Explore various scholarship opportunities. 

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