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5 Steps on How to Study in France

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France is one of the top countries for international students. Ranked in the top five throughout Europe, students are impressed by France’s interweaving of cosmopolitan growth and cultural tradition. 

Young and old people alike from around the world can taste authentic food and visit ancient buildings and natural beauty, while simultaneously enjoying the commercial and economic benefits of the prosperous country. 

With a large international population and high-quality schooling, choosing to study in France is the ideal way to start your international education journey.

According to the Financial Times, France has the highest number of ranked business schools in Europe. If you’re considering enrolling in one of these schools, read on for our step-by-step guide to studying in France.

edhec france

#1 Decide what kind of business degree you’re looking for

France follows the common European model of the LMD system (Licence-Master-Doctorat). The three primary types of degrees  are as follows:

  • Licence (L1, L2, L3): An undergraduate degree awarded after 6 semesters, or 3 years, of completed study (considered a bachelor’s degree in the UK);
  • Master’s (M1, M2): A graduate degree awarded following an undergraduate degree after 2 years of completed study;
  • Doctorate: A top degree title awarded after a minimum of 3 years of completed study (8 years total).

In addition to these primary degree programmes, there are also a number of alternative degrees and diplomas offered by public and private French schools alike. Depending on their accreditation, specialised schools offer degrees such as MBAs, engineering diplomas, and specialized master’s. 

All recognized programmes use the European Credits Transfer System (ECTS), meaning credits can be both transferred from or applied to French degree courses. 


Types of Business Degrees Offered in France

Of course, even at the same academic level, not all business schools are created equal. There are numerous different programme titles and specializations to choose from. 

Some of the most common course paths include: 

  • Finance
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Business Administration & Management
  • Supply Chain Management & Logistics 
  • International Business
  • Business Analytics


EDHEC offers innovative online courses and diploma programs that meet the highest academic standards and attract a global following of thinkers and achievers.


#2 Evaluate where you want to live

One of the beautiful parts of studying in France is the vast array of choices between different landscapes. 

If you’re looking for an old-school French experience along the seaside or between ancient vineyards, you can choose a programme along the French Riviera or nestled between the rolling hills of Bordeaux. If you’re seeking a bustling metropolitan experience, look nowhere else than the capital, Paris. If you’re looking for more balance, cities such as Nice and Lyon offer the rich culture and tradition of France while still keeping an urban and international atmosphere. 

Depending on how long the programme course lasts and your goals beyond your studies, choosing the location of where you’ll network, work, and socialise is an imperative part of the decision process. 


#3 Choose the right business school

Choosing the programme which best fits your needs is perhaps the most important part of deciding to study in France. There are many business schools across the country, ranging from large, public universities to small, specialized private institutions. 

Your overall goals, learning needs, desired class size, and level of study are just some of the important considerations to make when selecting which school is the right choice for you

It’s also a good idea to research a school’s international programmes, especially if you’re interested in global business and career opportunities after graduation. A school with comprehensively integrated international initiatives into their programming will not only be able to better assist their international students, but will offer higher chances of international opportunities. 

EDHEC Business School, for example, has generated partnerships with dozens of high-caliber institutions across the world, from the Americas to Africa and across Europe and Asia. With multiple locations and a dedicated International Students Office, it’s clear that EDHEC considers international students a primary focus. 


#4 Find out if you need a visa

If you are already a European citizen, you generally don’t need any sort of visa to study in France. However, if you are coming from any country outside of the European Union, you will need a student visa. 

There are two kinds of student visas: a short-stay visa (up to 90 days) and a long-stay visa (up to a year, renewable.) For those who must sit in on-site entrance examinations, France issues short-stay student visas to foreign students. Upon being accepted into a university, students can then apply to directly convert their visa into a long-stay student visa, without having to return to their country of origin and re-apply. It is recommended to apply at least 90 days before your departure.


#5 Take the leap: Study in France!

Once you’ve decided on your study programme, landed on your school of choice, been accepted, and completed your visa paperwork, all that’s left is to get ready.

Prepare yourself for a new experience in gaining skills, making connections, and building exciting career opportunities for your future!