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Study in Montpellier, France

Population: 248,252

City Overview

If you are looking for an up-and-coming destination for your graduate program in France, Montpellier is a good place to look, with it being the fastest growing French city over the past 25 years. It is now the 8th largest city in France.

On the sunny Mediterranean Sea it is popular holiday destination with many bustling street markets and places of historical interest.

Montpellier is the third largest city on the French Mediterranean coast after Nice and Marseille.

Education profile

Montpellier has a long and illustrious career in providing graduate study. The University of Montpellier is one the oldest in the world, with it being founded in 1160.

Today the university is succeeded by a PRES (a university consortium) of three universities:
  1. University of Montpellier 1: medicine, pharmacy, law, sport, business
  2. Montpellier 2 University: sciences
  3. Paul Valéry University, Montpellier III: arts, languages and social sciences
It is planned for these three universities to form one institution in the near future, called the University of Southern France, Montpellier.
The city is also home to grandes écoles (literally in French "higher schools") which are higher education institutions in France that are outside the university framework.  These are also available for graduate programs in Montpellier.

These schools are focused in the area of sciences and engineering:

Immigration and visas

If you are looking to study for a postgraduate degree in Montpellier and are an EU citizen you will be accepted onto a graduate program provided you fulfil the following:
  • Are studying in Montpellier 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 Montpellier

Although it is a city offering all the benefits of student life in a cosmopolitan centre, Montpellier couldn’t be better placed for enjoying an outdoor life. It is as well located for the nearby mountains as it is for the beautiful Mediterranean beaches.

Mediterranean living is famed for being healthy and laid back, and that is no different in Montpellier which also offers hundreds of great bars and restaurants to help you enjoy it.

With hot summers that last well into October, it is a happy place to live in what is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the region.

As with many European cities life in Montpellier is multicultural and liberal with an open attitude to all races and religions.

Each summer the city hosts a festival of opera and other music called the Festival de Radio France et Montpellier with around 150 classical music events. Montpellier has two large concert venues Le Zenith Sud (7,000 seats) and L'Arena (14,000 seats).

The cost of living as a student in France can be quite high, but Montpellier is a cheaper option than the capital Paris, and is definitely worth the cost.

Working In Montpellier

If you are a postgraduate student from inside the EU you are entitled work in Montpellier 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 there are many available options to help suit your requirements and budget.

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

Montpellier enjoys a Mediterranean climate with mild, humid winders and hot, mostly dry summers. The coldest months are December, January and February with July and August being the hottest.

What to do next

Are you interested in studying a graduate program in Montpellier? If so, you should sign up for our Free Application Service. We'll provide you with tailored information, courses to suit you and the option to apply online for the graduate program you want.