8 Great Schools for Study Abroad Programs in France

Picture strolling daily through the streets of Paris, having a picnic alongside the river Seine, cycling through the vineyards in Bordeaux, and ordering your croissants in the local language. Studying abroad in France will give you the opportunity to do this and so much more!

There are plenty of great universities to choose from if you decide to do an exchange or full degree programme in France. If you’re looking for a top class education, look no further –41 French universities made the cut in the QS World University Rankings 2014/2015. Even better, tuition fees in France are low in comparison to the rest of the continent, and there are plenty of funding opportunities. It’s no surprise really that France is one of the most popular study abroad destinations.

Photo by Trey Ratcliff/Flickr

Photo by Trey Ratcliff/Flickr

Take a look at our choice of the greatest 8 options of universities to attend for your study abroad experience in France:

Ecole normale supérieure (ENS), Paris

Ranked number 1 in France and continental Europe, ENS boasts alumni such as Louis Pasteur, Michel Foucault and Jean-Paul Sartre. The school is small and prestigious, and very competitive to get into, so this one is for high academic achievers. Good news though, ENS is focusing on increasing its foreign students, and offers them an attractive monthly stipend.

Ecole Polytechnique, Paris

Another top ranking university, Ecole Polytechnique was founded during the French Revolution. Located just outside Paris, this eminent school focuses on science, engineering and technology and is renowned for its cutting edge research facilities. Studying at Polytechnique will give you a competitive edge in these fields, not to mention a world-class education.

Sciences Po, Paris

Ever popular for students in International Relations and Political Science, Sciences Po specialises in the humanities, social sciences and international affairs, and is highly ranked worldwide in these subjects. While the school has campuses across France, the main campus is in Paris – the perfect setting to discuss the philosophy of politics.

University of Strasbourg, Strasbourg

Located in the east of the country, in Alsace, the University of Strasbourg is one of the largest in the country with around 41,000 students, of which 20% are international students. The university offers numerous study areas, falling under 5 main categories: Arts, Literature and Languages; Law, Economics, Management, Political and Social Sciences; Social Sciences and Humanities; Science and Technology; and Health. Strasbourg is also on the border with Germany, which makes it a great for anyone looking for weekend trips.

University of Toulouse, Toulouse

Another one of Europe’s oldest universities, the University of Toulouse is made up of a consortium of 4 universities and 17 specialised schools. A wide range of degrees are offered, including health sciences, veterinary, civil aviation and architecture. Located in the Midi-Pyrénées, Toulouse has been voted as the best city in France for students, thanks to its balance of student activities, education and overall quality of life.

The University of Paris (La Sorbonne), Paris

Photo by Ed Yourdon/Flickr

Photo by Ed Yourdon/Flickr

The University of Paris, also called La Sorbonne, is one of the oldest universities in Europe, founded all the way back in the 12-century. It is made up of seventeen universities, with their own campuses and focuses. The wide range of study areas, brought together under the prestigious arch of the Sorbonne, makes this an attractive option for your study abroad programme.

Aix-Marseille University, Provence

Since merging the University of Provence, the University of the Mediterranean and Paul Cézanne University, Aix-Marseille University holds the title as the largest university in the country, with approximately 70,000 students, around 10,000 being international students on 5 campuses. It offers a broad range of subjects, an impressive alumni list, and of course a stunning setting in Provence.

University of Lyon, Lyon

As is common in France, the University of Lyon is comprised of various institutions, with many different study areas. If you’re looking for a cosmopolitan city outside of Paris, and a more welcoming environment for international students, then Lyon is the perfect option. It’s location close to Switzerland, and in the Rhône-Alpes region, makes it perfect for mountain hikes and outdoor adventures, while still offering culture and city-life.


There are plenty of great options to study in France, and not just in the obvious choice of Paris. And, of course, there is no better way to improve your French than by spending a semester in France. To brush up on your français before you go, contact us for French lessons in your area!