9 Reasons to Study Abroad in France

France is among the top destinations for students who want to study abroad. Check out our guide to learn why.
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  • Approximately 370,000 international learners studied in France in 2021.
  • There are many different places to study in France, from large cities to small towns.
  • Studying abroad in France can broaden your worldview by introducing you to new cultures.

During the 2020-21 academic year, around 370,000 international students participated in study abroad programs in France.

The popular European country offers a variety of places to study abroad, such as the cosmopolitan city of Paris and the college town of Aix-en-Provence. Thanks to high-speed TGV trains, students can travel throughout France with relative ease.

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Ready to Start Your Journey?

Read on for nine reasons to study abroad in Paris or anywhere in France.

1. You Get to Experience French Culture

French culture, including its cuisine, art, films, attitudes, and lifestyle, is renowned worldwide. You can visit pastry shops and enjoy long meals at restaurants or with host families. You can also see beautiful works of art in countless museums and top-notch films at local cinemas.

Exploring French culture can help you develop a more worldly perspective and broader appreciation for different cultures. French culture in particular has had a significant influence on the world, so it's worth immersing yourself in French life.

2. There Are Plenty of Programs to Choose From

Since there are many places to study abroad in France — including major cities like Paris and Lyon, German-influenced cities like Strasbourg, and university towns like Aix-en-Provence and Tours — there's no shortage of study abroad programs to choose from.

To narrow down your choices, ask yourself a few questions: Where do you want to live? Would you rather live in a dormitory or with a host family? Your answers can help you pick the right program for you.

3. You'll Receive a High-Quality Education

While college courses in France operate differently from what you might be used to in the United States, France is renowned for its high-quality education system.

If you study abroad in France, you may be able to enroll in French universities in cities like Paris, Strasbourg, Tours, and Aix-en-Provence. This allows you to learn French firsthand and immerse yourself directly in French culture.

4. You Can Learn French in an Immersive Environment

Especially if you enroll in a program that allows you to take courses at a French university or live with a host family, you can learn French in an immersive environment while studying abroad. Immersion is often considered one of the best methods for language learning and is among the main reasons studying abroad exists.

Mastering French offers several benefits. French language skills can boost your resume for one. Plus, after graduation, you may be able to work at a French company.

5. You Can Eat Authentic French Cuisine

When people think of France, food is often one of the first things that comes to mind. French cuisine is broad, encompassing street food like kebabs, sweets like pastries, and delicacies like escargot.

Studying abroad in France can help you broaden your palate and discover new foods. French cuisine maintains a sterling reputation and influences how people cook around the globe.

6. You Can Travel Around Europe With Ease

In addition to traveling across France on the TGV, it's easy to travel across Europe by train or plane. Cheap flights on Ryanair make seeing the rest of the continent accessible for study abroad students.

France's central location in Europe allows travelers to easily hop from place to place. France borders Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany, among other countries, all of which are worth exploring.

7. You Can Explore a Variety of Beautiful Landscapes

France boasts a variety of beautiful landscapes. And thanks to the ease of travel within the nation, you should be able to see many of these natural wonders over the course of a semester or year abroad.

Popular places to visit include Calanques National Park and the Dune of Pilat. The entire country features sunny beaches, snow-capped peaks, and tranquil lakes. Seeing France's nature can help you further immerse yourself in the country and the culture.

8. You Can Explore Stunning Cities

Because France is a much older country than the United States, it also boasts a greater diversity in architecture, including the Louvre Pyramid, the Eiffel Tower, and Notre-Dame in Paris. Various chateaux throughout the countryside provide rich histories alongside stunning views.

Each French city also boasts noteworthy plazas, cathedrals, and parks, which blend ancient, Renaissance, and modern styles of architecture.

9. You Can Visit Renowned Landmarks

Given its breadth of architecture and history, France houses a large number of historical landmarks. Among many other sites, make sure to see the Eiffel Tower, Mont Saint-Michel, Versailles, and the Monet Gardens at Giverny.

Paris is a world-renowned cultural site with significant global importance. You'll gain a broader sense of the world around you by visiting the City of Light.

Frequently Asked Questions About Studying Abroad in France

How much does it cost to study abroad in France?

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While the cost of studying abroad in France varies by location and program, you should expect to spend $10,000-$15,000 for the entire experience, if not more, especially if you decide to study in Paris.

If you study abroad through your current school, you may just pay normal tuition and fees for a semester or year. Research each prospective program to determine total costs.

Where should I study abroad in France?

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Where you should study abroad in France depends on the type of study abroad experience you want. If you prefer a cosmopolitan city and a classic French experience, you'd probably like studying in Paris. If you're looking for a student environment, you might seek out a city like Lyon or Strasbourg or a university town like Aix-en-Provence or Tours.

In addition to location, consider whether you want to live in a dormitory or with a host family. These two experiences differ greatly, and your choice can have a major impact on your stay in France.

What are the requirements to study abroad in France?

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In general, to study abroad in France, you must complete all the requirements for a student visa. To begin the visa process, you'll need to have a valid passport, compile several relevant documents, and visit a French consulate on U.S. soil.

Requirements vary depending on the program, so make sure to do your research. You should also check your program's website and consult with program staff so that you do everything you need to get your visa.

Feature Image: Westend61 / Westend61 / Getty Images

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