France: a destination of choice for foreign students

While France is the world’s leading tourist destination, it is also attracting more and more foreign students, with over 400,000 foreign students. France now welcomes as many or more foreign students than before the Covid-19 global health crisis. While Anglo-Saxon universities are not lacking in attractiveness, France succeeds in attracting students through low tuition fees and quality education for foreign students.

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Why does France attract international students?

France has many advantages that make it one of the most attractive countries in terms of education, living environment and culture:

  • France is world-renowned for the quality of its higher education. It is the leading French-speaking destination in the world for international students.
  • The French government provides substantial funding and facilitates access to research: studying in France is less expensive than in other destinations and numerous grants are available
  • There are several scholarship programmes that allow students to finance all or part of their studies in France
  • An attractive destination for international students: universities and schools are generally located at the heart of cultural and social life.

What are the countries of origin of foreign students in France?

Traditionally, students from the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa are the most numerous. They come mainly from 5 countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Cameroon and Senegal. This trend can be explained by the historical links between France and Africa, but also by the desire of young Africans to receive a high level of education.
The largest increases in 2022 are for students from Lebanon, Spain, Italy, Germany and the USA. However, 6 African countries appear in the top 10 of countries of origin: Morocco with more than 46,000 students and Algeria with more than 30,000 students. Next are Senegal, Tunisia, Ivory Coast and Cameroon.

Of the mobile students who come to France each year:

  • 32% are from North Africa and the Middle East
  • 24% come from sub-Saharan Africa
  • 20% from Europe
  • 16% from Asia and Oceania
  • 8% from the Americas

The majority are enrolled in university (69%), business school (13%) or engineering school (8%).

What health insurance for foreign students?

  • If you are a student of French nationality, you must join the French Social Security system on arrival in France by completing and returning the “Demande ouverture des droits à l’Assurance Maladie” form.

You will be asked for the following documents: proof of residence for 3 months, school certificate, passport or identity card, birth certificate and bank details.

  •  If you are a student without French nationality, you must register with the French social security system when you arrive in France by clicking on the following link.

The necessary documents are: your school certificate, your passport or identity card, your student visa and residence permit (for non-EU nationals) and a French bank statement.

To come and study in France, it is essential to take out Schengen visa insurance or long-stay visa insurance beforehand, which will help you with visa formalities. If you are a foreign student and wish to study in France, you can request a quick and free quote for your insurance in France on the Mondassur website.

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