8 Cheap Universities in France for International Students

Aspiring for a prime education from prestigious universities is normal and everyone has the right to have one. In France, many universities offer a wide variety of specialized degrees and programs that will cater to your dream profession. However, not all universities are accessible to many students, especially international students, due to their expensive tuition fees and costly living expenses near them.

Even though these universities have high-developed facilities and laboratories, they are not the only institutions that can give superior education to international students. There is no need for your worries because here, cheap universities in France that anyone can afford are compiled along with their tuition fees and cost of living.

Cost of Studying in France

Compared to other countries, living in France is relatively higher because of the progress it has made and the excellent economic state they have. The monthly living expenses a student can have ranged from 1800 USD to 2100 USD depending on your housing rent.

Furthermore, the average tuition fees in France range from 3300 USD up to 4500 USD yearly depending on the program you got. In total, the cost of studying in France annually is about 24000 USD to 30000 USD.

Are Universities Free in France?

Public universities in France offer nearly free tuition fees for its French citizens and other European students. However, completely free education in the country is still being processed due to the limitation of the country’s budget. Thus, in the current time, no university in France is offering free education even for native students. On the other hand, native or domestic students are classified based on their economic status and they will be able to receive discounts for their tuition fees depending on their classification. Meanwhile, international students pay fully for the universities’ tuition fees unless they got a scholarship.

What are the languages of instruction for universities in France?

All the universities in France are mostly taught in French. In some universities, there are rules that you must be able to speak French if you want to have discounted tuition fees. The reason for this is because the mass of their faculty speaks native French and the discussion between the professor and the students will be easier.

However, some of them, like the University of Paris and the University of Burgundy, offer separate English programs or degrees specially catered to international students. These universities consider their international relations and want to expand their horizons by reaching out to other international universities.

Cheapest Universities in France

1. Université de Paris (University of Paris)

  • Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: €170 – €540 ($201 – $637)
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: €170 EUR – €540 ($201 USD – $637)
  • Tuition Fee Link

As the leading public multidisciplinary university in France, the University of Paris has been hospitable and generous to its students, including foreign or international students. Their international standing has been recognized and they have built good relations with other privileged academic partners around the world. For this reason, many international students have been applying and have been allowed to get their degrees in this university.

Also, as the cheapest university in France, the University of Paris currently has more than 61000 students both domestic and international. This proves that tuition fees are the main reason for a university to be accessible aside from the quality of education they provide.

2. University of Burgundy

  • Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: €172 EUR – €608 ($203 USD – $717)
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: €256 – €844 ($302 – $995)
  • Tuition Fee Link

The University of Burgundy has been founded long before the end of the French Monarch in 1772. Since then, they have been strengthening the relations of the university with international ties and made it as the core component to remain an active institution in France. Countries from Asia and Eastern Europe have been the priority of their external relations because many institutions from those countries specialize in their scientific interest. So, students from these countries who want to pursue their studies in France could get better chances of studying at this university.

3. Université Montpellier (Montpellier University)

  • Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: €180 EUR – €700 ($213 USD – $826)
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: €180 – €700 ($213 – $826)
  • Tuition Fee Link

Montpellier University is one of the cheapest universities in France and has more than 50,000 enrolled students, including international students. Being an international intensive-research university, Montpellier has been seeking students throughout the world who want to pursue research-related studies, especially in Ecology in which they globally ranked first. Moreover, it has been actively participating in international collaboration agreements particularly on student exchange programs so check the universities at your countries if they are part of these collaborations.

4. Université de Strasbourg (University of Strasbourg)

  • Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: €184 EUR – €610 ($217 USD – $720)
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: €256 – €391 ($302 – $461)
  • Tuition Fee Link

The University of Strasbourg has the greatest number of international relations from any other university in France. It has connections to over 400 institutions in Europe and an additional of 175 institutions around the world. With these external connections, they have made adjustments to their degree offerings with an increase to 60 dual degrees in partnership with different international universities. The university specializes in the research on natural sciences and has been leading along with its 72 research units.

5. Université D’Orleans (University of Orleans)

  • Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: €283 EUR – €601 ($334 USD – $709)
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: €402 – €633 ($475 – $747)
  • Tuition Fee Link

Along with the University of Paris, the University of Orleans has also been characterized as multidisciplinary with three huge faculties, four University Institutes of Technology, and one engineering university school.

Having over 2000 currently enrolled international students, the university’s international focus continuously gets more stable and stronger. At this affordable university in France, research has been the connection of the university to international students and the reason why many want to pursue their abroad studies here.

6. Université Jean Monnet (Jean Monnet University)

  • Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: €550 EUR – €1,650 ($648 USD – $1,942)
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: €550 EUR – €1,650 ($648 USD – $1,942)
  • Tuition Fee Link

Jean Monnet University specializes in offering health courses for all students. Even being a small university having only up to 19,000 students, the university never lacked and never got behind in terms of providing prime education and attaining achievements. Medical research achievements and studies, for example, made the university to be an academic site of excellence.

However, for international students, courses about the economy, culture, and social ecosystem are popular. With over 400 international agreements, the university is open and accessible for international students who want to pursue their studies with them.

7. École Centrale de Lyon

  • Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: €3,770 EUR ($4,449 USD)
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: €2,513 EUR – €3,770 ($2,966 USD – $4,449)
  • Tuition Fee Link

With more than 150 years of experience in providing education particularly in engineering, École Centrale de Lyon has been the institute that produced many international generalist engineers and leaders. The realization of globalization 45 years ago has made this affordable university in France much stronger than its previous traditional practices in teaching.

Currently, international students that are taking some of their degree programs are small in number at 307. However, they have been stable in making connections and relations with other countries now having 130 international agreements. The history and the experience of the university is the reason why it still exists so if you want to have the rich historical experience, enroll at this university.

8. Sciences Po

  • Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: €10,700 EUR ($12,593 USD)
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: €14,700 ($17,301 USD)
  • Tuition Fee Link

From all the cheapest universities in France, Sciences Po is the least cheap particularly for international students yet still cheap compared to other private universities. This system is only applicable for foreign students because the university adopts a bracket rule for their local students depending on their family’s annual income.

Nonetheless, the university has been progressing particularly in its international reach with nearly half of its total students are international students. Over 150 countries from the world are represented by these students along with the world’s leading institutions. Also, financial assistance from the university is given to one out of every four students enrolled including international students. Even though they have relatively high fees, they make sure that financial constraints will not be a problem in studying.


I hope that this article on the cheapest universities in France was helpful! If you are interested, visit the Cheap Universities Category!