best french universities for international students
Located in the heart of Paris, the Sorbonne is a public research university founded in 1257. It is one of the oldest universities in Europe and has been associated with some of the brightest minds in history, including Thomas Aquinas, Ernest Hemingway and Victor Hugo. The university is also part of the Sorbonne University group, which includes Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC) and Jean Monnet University. It boasts over 2,700 researchers and 3,000 teachers as well as thousands of international students studying a variety of degrees across a wide range of disciplines.
Paris-Sorbonne University has two campuses: one located on the Left Bank at 13 rue de Santeuil in Paris’ 5th arrondissement (near Notre Dame), and one located on the Right Bank at 11 place Paul Painleve in Paris’ 6th arrondissement (near Saint-Germain-des-Pres). The main campus is located on Boulevard Saint Michel near Luxembourg Gardens.
Lyon II University
Lyon II University offers humanities programs and is located in Paris. The school has around 6,000 students. Classes primarily run from September to June and instruction is delivered in French. Average tuition fees are around €200 to €600 ($250 to $750 USD) per year.
Sciences Po, Paris
Sciences Po is a selective research university. In 2015, it had an endowment of €606 million. Sciences Po is a member of several academic consortia. Its alumni include many prominent politicians, including former French President François Mitterrand and former President Nicolas Sarkozy, as well as several heads of state or government outside France, such as Felipe Gonzalez (Spain), Jens Stoltenberg (Norway) and Tony Blair (UK).
Sciences Po is a member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), a group of twenty-one prominent research universities that was created in 2002 by eleven multi-faculty research universities to promote excellence in European research and education.
Université Paris Diderot – Paris 7
This is one of the younger universities in Paris, having been founded in 1971. It has a student population of 30,000 and ranks among the top 300 universities in the world. The university ranks within the top 100 universities in the world for arts and humanities, which is not too shabby for an institution only a few decades old.
If you become a student at this university you will be joining a distinguished group. This university is part of the University of Paris and its alumni are incredibly impressive. Notable alumni include actor Daniel Auteuil, who has starred in French films like Caché as well as international blockbusters such as Mission: Impossible (with Tom Cruise).
Pierre-and-Marie-Curie University, also known as the University of Paris VI, was founded in 1971. It is located in the heart of Paris, France and currently has an enrollment of nearly 11,000 students. The university specializes in mathematics, information technology, and physical sciences but also offers programs in humanities, social sciences, and life sciences. Pierre-and-Marie-Curie University is a constituent college of the Sorbonne University.
If you want to explore the rich history that surrounds you as a student at Pierre-and-Marie-Curie University (UPMC), consider taking advantage of the cultural center on campus. Here you can find more than 200 events a year related to cinema and audiovisual arts from around the world.
University of Strasbourg
Location: University of Strasbourg is situated in north-eastern France, a mere 45 minutes away from the German and Belgian borders. It’s the perfect location to study French and take advantage of a diverse range of opportunities at hand, including both historical and modern subjects.
Rank: The University is ranked just below the top 20 in France and just above the top 60 in Europe. When it comes to subjects offered, Strasbourg’s departments are among the best in their field as well as some of the most innovative. They offer courses including history, literature and language, law and political science, economics, physics and mathematics (maths) or computer science.
Courses: There are more than 40 different undergraduate degrees on offer at the University with many options for international students such as Erasmus agreements (studying with an Erasmus partner university). In addition to this there are also one year studies for non-EU students or exchange programs for EU students looking for something shorter than 5 years without going abroad. Courses include everything from languages to medicine to politics
Paris School of Economics PSE
Paris School of Economics (PSE) is one of the top universities in France and in Europe. It was founded in 2006 when some professors from Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University decided to create a new economic department. Today, PSE is ranked 1st in France and 12th worldwide by the Shanghai Ranking and it’s known as an international hub for economics, social sciences, mathematics, and statistics. The university offers bilingual master’s programs in English and French as well as doctoral programs that are fully taught in English.
Students who attend PSE can benefit from its international faculty who come from leading universities all over the world. PSE also has several research partnerships with institutions such as IZA Institute of Labor Economics or ILO International Labor Organization; thanks to these collaborations, students at the university have access to great internships at both private companies and public institutions like OECD or UNICEF.
Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon
ENSL is a public research university located in Lyon, France. As part of the Ecoles Normales Superieures, this school is considered to be one of the highest-ranking educational institutions in the nation. Students who want to get a job as a professor or researcher will find that this school has an excellent reputation for research in physics and mathematics, with plenty of opportunities for international students.
École Polytechnique (Ecole Polytechnique or L’X)
One of the most prestigious universities in France, École Polytechnique has an international reputation for excellence. It was founded in 1794, making it more than 200 years old!
This school is part of France’s Grande École system–a handful of elite schools that are considered to be some of the best in the country. Every year, about 4,000 students apply to attend one of these top-tier institutions, but only about 3% make it into their chosen school—and Ecole Polytechique is particularly selective.
You won’t pay tuition fees to attend any French university (foreign students are treated like locals), but you will have to contend with a competitive application process. Because this is such a popular school, Ecole Polytechnique accepts only a very small number of international students each year.
Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris (ENS Paris)
Established in 1794 as a research university, ENS Paris has a special training program for teachers that is considered one of the best in France. ENS Paris is located in the Latin Quarter of Paris, making it an excellent option for students who want to combine their studies with visits to French landmarks. ENS Paris is a public institution and thus much more affordable than other prestigious universities in France.
Choose the right university to study in France.
The first step is to choose the right university to study at in France. When making this decision, it is important to consider what you hope to get out of your academic experience. What type of environment are you looking for? What courses interest you the most?
Great universities come in all shapes and sizes — large and small, urban and rural — so there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to choosing the right institution. The most important thing is that you find a school that fits your needs and interests.
If possible, consider studying in a location where English is widely spoken as this will make settling into university life easier. You should also look for a university with a good reputation among employers, both in France and internationally.