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How to finance your studies in France

© Patrick J. Fotolia
Tutition fees are a cost that all families cannot afford. Hopefully, there are many possibilities to help you finance your studies in France.

Grants for foreign students are awarded by the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs. To obtain information about financial support, contact directly the Cooperation and Cultural Action Department (SCAC) of the French Embassy in your country well before you leave.


If you are awarded a grant, the Centre National des Oeuvres Universitaires et Scolaires (CNOUS)  will be responsible for your application and help you to settle.



Different types of grant

Grants allocated by French embassies abroad

  • Study grant: Awarded to students who are enrolled on a degree programme at a French higher education institution.
  • Internship grant: Average duration of 3 to 12 months. Awarded to students undertaking training, advanced training or specialist courses as part of a professional activity. May also be awarded for a short language course or a teaching course (3 months) approved by the French Ministry for Education.
  • High-level scientific course grant: Covers a period of 1 to 3 months. Awarded as part of a high-level programme of cultural, scientific, technical or industrial research and exchange.
  • Social security cover grant: Only awarded in certain countries by the Cooperation and Cultural Action Department of the French embassies abroad. The beneficiaries of this grant are exempt from university registration fees.


Specific MAE programmes

The French Ministry for Foreign Affairs also awards grants as part of specific programmes (the Excellence-Major grant programs, grants for theological studies, and programs co-financed by companies and the MAEE) , which are run by its departments in Paris. They target very specific student profiles.


European funding programme

If you are coming to France with the Erasmus+ European programme, you may be awarded a grant.


Whether you are a French or foreign student, you can get housing benefit.



Other possibilities to finance your studies

Student loans

Foreign full-time students may apply for a bank loan provided that they have a guarantor in France who can meet bank requirements. The amount of the loan depends on the guarantor’s financial resources.

For those resident in France, it is possible to obtain a low interest loan from a bank of up to 15,000€ repayable on a delayed basis. Read more about this State-guaranteed student loan.


Working while studying

  • You are studying at university: Some courses are organised by European Credits Transfer System (ECTS) which gives you the possibility to extend the duration of your studies so that you can combine work with studies more easily.

  • You are employed and wish to continue with studies: You can go for evening or weekend classes. Some universities and institutions such as the CNAM offer this kind of courses. It may be a possibility for you to get a diploma while working.  

  • You can also undertake an apprenticeship.


Crowdfunding your education

This call for generosity allows you to study without getting into debts!