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Study in Bordeaux, France

Population: 239,642

City Overview

The city of Bordeaux in south western France has the local nickname of "La Belle Endormie” (Sleeping Beauty in English) which references the walls of the old inner city which has been made black by pollution.  Modern Bordeaux can definitely be said to be wide awake, after much renovation, it is a vibrant, cosmopolitan centre perfect for postgraduate study.

Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River, which feeds into France’s Atlantic coast, and is also the capital of the world’s wine industry producing 960 million bottles of wine each year.

It is also classified as a "City of Art and History”, with 362 historic monuments and attractions only Paris has more and Bordeaux has one of largest remaining 18th Century architectural urban areas meaning that studying in Bordeaux you will be literally living in history.
Bordeaux offers a large number of cinemas, theatres and is the home of the Opéra national de Bordeaux. There are many music venues of varying capacity. The city also offers several festivals throughout the year.

Education profile

There are many places to study a graduate program in Bordeaux. The University of Bordeaux is an is association of higher education institutions in and around the city. First formed in 1441 it is one of Frances oldest universities and now accommodates approximately 70,000 students on one the largest campuses in Europe.

The University of Bordeaux is divided into four:
  • The University Bordeaux 1 (Maths, Physical sciences and Technologies).
  • The University Bordeaux 2, Bordeaux Segalen (Medicine and Life sciences)
  • The University Bordeaux 3, Michel de Montaigne (Liberal Arts, Humanities, Languages, History).
  • The University Bordeaux 4, Montesquieu (Law, Economy and Management).
  • Institut of Political Sciences of Bordeaux. Although technically a part of the fourth university, it largely functions autonomously.
The city also has many private and public institutions that run postgraduate programs, these include:
Engineering schools:
Business and management schools:
  • IUT Techniques de Commercialisation of Bordeaux (Business School)
  • Bordeaux école de management (Bordeaux Management School)
  • EBP International

Immigration and visas

If you are looking to study for a postgraduate degree in Bordeaux and are an EU citizen you will be accepted onto a graduate program provided you fulfil the following:
  • Are studying in Bordeaux for more than three months.
  • Are enrolled at an accredited university or institution.
  • Have proof of sufficient funds to cover your graduate program in France for its duration.
  • Have health insurance cover.
Non-EU students will need to apply for an extended-stay student visa, with residency permit (VLS-TS).

When a VLS-TS visa is issued, students will be given an official form that they must present to the French office of immigration and integration (OFII)

A VLS-TS holder must, upon arriving in France, send to the OFII by registered mail (return receipt requested):
  • The official form received from the consulate that issued the visa.
  • A copy of passport pages showing the visa holders identity and the stamp indicating entry into France (or into the Schengen area).
You can find out more about visas at Campus France -

Life in Bordeaux

Student life in Bordeaux has everything you would expect from a thriving European cosmopolitan city, with all the trappings of western living – good shopping, a packed nightlife and a variety of historical sites and museums, to keep you entertained.

People in Bordeaux are able to combine their city living with that of beach living, with many of the sunny, breathtaking beaches of the Atlantic coast being less than an hour’s drive away.

The cost of living in Bordeaux whilst not as cheap as other parts of France is, for a major city, a reasonable place to live. It is on the whole around 26% cheaper than Paris while having many of the same benefits as the capital.

Working In Bordeaux

If you are a postgraduate student from inside the EU you are entitled work in Bordeaux provided the institution you are enrolled at provides access to the student social security scheme.

For other foreign students, since 2007 the student residence card has replaced the need to get temporary authorisation to work in France. Foreign students can also work up to 60% of the statutory annual work time, the equivalent of a maximum of 964 hours per year. 


Generally student accommodation in France is considered expensive but it in Bordeaux it is widely available and often at a very affordable cost.

There are two main types of accommodation while studying:
  • University accommodation – such as halls of residence
  • Private accommodation – House and flat rentals
University accommodation is in very short supply, so most students end up living in private accommodation. The number of private student residences is on the increase, making it easier to find student accommodation in France.

CNOUS CROUS (the student social support service) and is usually reserved for government scholarship holders.

Campus France can help you with problems you might have with student housing in France, such as locating and reserving accommodation.

Weather and Climate

Bordeaux is considered to have an oceanic climate, but it’s far warmer summers and milder winters make it different from other places with this climate. It’s climate would be considered Mediterranean if it wasn’t for the high rainfall during summer.

What to do next

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