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Study in Paris, France

Population: 2,230,000

City Overview

What more can you say about Paris? The city of love, the home of the Eiffel Tower and philosophy has probably had more clichés written about it than any other city.

However, some of the clichés are true. This is a city of wide boulevards and spectacular architecture. Students really do spend their time discussing love and life in cafes (often accompanied by copious amounts of wine) and the nightclubs really are naughty.

But there is a lot more to Paris than just these stereotypes. Scratch beneath the services and head into the city’s alleyways and there is a whole new world to discover. Studying a graduate program in Paris will be your ticket to enter this world.

Education profile

Paris is one of the world’s great providers of education, with the largest concentration of university students in Europe. With a mixture of public universities and grandes ecoles, there are plenty of places where you can study a graduate program in Paris, including:
Graduate programs in France fall into three main categories:
  • Taught Masters (MAs/MScs/MEng)
  • Research Masters (MRes/ MA by Research)
  • Doctorates and PhDs
Taught Masters are postgraduate courses that follow a similar pattern to undergraduate study, with lectures, seminars and tutorials. You will be expected to research topics yourself and take and independent approach to studying.

Research Masters are often seen as pre-cursor to a PhD. You will research a particular topic independently and focus on improving your research skills to produce a dissertation or final projects.

Masters programs in France generally last between 1-2 years, with PhDs taking up to four years to complete.

Immigration and visas

EU citizens are permitted to take a graduate program in France providing they fulfil the following:
  • Are studying in France 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 looking for a graduate program in Paris 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).

Life in Paris

Paris has more familiar landmarks than anywhere in the world, and a very distinct way of life. Students in Paris get to work and study alongside some of the world’s leading academics, learning in small classes and paying some of the lowest tuition fees in Europe.

Paris has an amazing social scene and is one of the most liveable cities in the world – but this comes at a cost. Once you’ve exhausted the tourist scene and attractions, you will find that the city has plenty to offer locals as well as tourists. From pop-up art galleries to neighbourhood cafes, this a great city to be a student.

Working in Paris

Paris has one of the highest GDPs in the world and is a powerhouse of European economy. Its economy is so successful, that if it was a country, it would have the 17th largest economy in the world – larger than the national output of Turkey.

Paris has recently shifted its economy towards high-value service industries such as finance and IT, although it still does not specialise in a particular industry in the way Los Angeles does with entertainment services or London does with finance. Despite this, Paris is still a major centre of manufacturing, especially in the car, aeronautics and electronics industries.

As part of the EU, workers in European Union countries are free to move work in Paris without a visa and the city has a high level of expats, particularly in the business district.


Paris is one of the more expensive cities in which to be a student, so most postgraduates will choose to live in university accommodation to save money and get to know fellow students. However, if you do decide to go private, you should do your research into the type of arondissement (district) that you want to live in. Be aware that most Parisians refer to arrondissements simply by their number.

Many students choose to live in studio apartments, which often come complete with table and kitchenware. Some popular districts in Paris for students are:
  • Latin Quarter
  • Marais
  • Bastille
  • Montparnasse

Weather and Climate

Paris has a climate typical of Western Europe, with warm and pleasant summers and cold, frosty winters. Summer time is at its hottest between July and August, when temperatures reach 25C. Sunshine is scarce in winter, when temperatures struggle to get above 5C. Although not a rainy a city, Paris is known for sudden, intense showers.

What to do next

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