Higher education in France
With more than 3500 private or public establishments, the French higher education system provides a wide range of opportunities for French and foreign students.
75% of foreign students moving to France for their studies enroll in a university. Funded by the French state, universities deliver national diplomas: “Diplômes Universitaires de Technologie” (2-year degree), Licenses (3-year degree), Masters (5-year degree), and Doctorates (8-year degree).
Universities also deliver their own diplomas, such as the “Diplômes Universitaires et Interuniversitaires” (DU/DIU), and the Master of Science (MSc – 5-year degree).
Top business and engineering schools
20% of foreign students moving to France for their studies enroll in a top business or engineer school, which are either public or private. These schools deliver national diplomas of 5-year degree level. Admissions in top business or engineering schools are highly selective and require a previous two-year attendance at a preparatory school. Yet, for several years, it is possible to attend a top business or engineering school by attending a “DUT” (“Diplômes Universitaires de Technologie”) or a “BTS” (“Brevet de Technicien Supérieurs”).
Specialized schools and institutes
With more than 3000 public or private higher education establishments in various fields (Cinema, journalism, design, political sciences, health…), specialized schools and institutes are an interesting alternative. The studies usually last from 2 to 5 years.
Art & applied art schools
Attached to the Ministery of Culture or the Ministry of Higher Education, Art and Applied Art schools deliver education programs lasting from 3 to 5 years depending on the academic curriculum. These schools are public, highly coveted, and provide renowned artistic courses in various fields.
Universities and english courses the côte d’azur
There are more than 40,000 students attending a higher education school, either public or private, on the Côte d’Azur. English courses are largerly taught in the region. Many courses are partially or fully taught in English at the Université Côte d’Azur (UCA).
UCA also delivers MScs in English to foreign students in particular. Yet, some MScs may be partially held in French. It is therefore advised to ask UCA for further information depending on the MSc chosen.
Visas and entry requirements for foreign students
For foreign students
Are you moving to France for your studies? You will need to follow several administrative steps to prepare your stay. Whether you are a free-mover or following an exchange program, the legal steps are the same.
A visa is not required if you are from the European Union or the European or Swiss Economic Area. Yet, a visa is required if it is not the case.
There are several visas in France. The visa VLS-TS (Long Séjour Valant Titre de Séjour or long-stay visa) allows to study in a French university for at least 4 months and 12 months at most. This long-stay visa can be renewed if the visa holder applies for a resident permit two months before the visa expires.
Find out more about the steps to follow to get your visa and study in France.
Public student residences by crous
The CROUS (« Centre Régional des Œuvres Universitaires et Scolaires ») is a public establishment which aggregate student administrative services, housing, restaurants, and cafeterias.
The CROUS student residences provide equipped and secure housing for students. In addition to being affordable, these accommodations are furnished and equipped with the Internet.
Students receiving a scholarship based on social criteria are given priority when requesting an accommodation in a CROUS residence.
There are 13 CROUS residences on the Côte d’Azur which are spread between Nice and Sophia Antipolis. Learn more about the location and availabilities of these residences.
Private student residences
Besides the public student residences by CROUS, there are some private student residences on the Côte d’Azur, which are located near the universities and public transports.
These residences are run by private operators and adapted to meet the needs of students. Usually, the private student residences offer higher quality services than public student residence by CROUS but turn out to be more expensive. Application fees may also apply for some residences. Therefore, we advise you to be well informed in advance to avoid any surprises.
Locaziv is a service launched by the CROUS and is listing housing availabilities for students on the Côte d’Azur.
Studapart is a service launched by the Université Côte d’Azur and is listing student housing availabilities on the Côte d’Azur throughout the whole year.
Learn more about the other student housing solutions on the Côte d’Azur.
Student housing financial assistance
Housing financial assistance is reserved for people living in France. The Family Allowances Fund (“Caisse d’Allocations Familiales” – CAF) provides an aassistance fitting your needs according to your financial situation, the profile of your accommodation and the composition of your household.
Students living in France can also request a housing financial assistance granted by the CAF.
A calculation simulator is available on the CAF website to help you evaluate the amount that you could be granted.
Student transport and travel options
Transports for students
There is a lot of public transport on the Côte d’Azur offering student discounts. The Lignes d’Azur bus and tram network provide student fares and special rates for those under 25 traveling in the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropole area. The Envibus network serves the Sophia Antipolis bus lines and offers student discounts as well.
The SNCF offers some discount cards including regional student discounts. The “Zou! Etudes” discounts offer unlimited rides for students or great discounts between their home and their university.
Universities are learning, meetings and exchanges environments, offering students the possibility to join an association. Many student organizations specializing in different areas such as culture, cooking, and sports are available on the Côte d’Azur.
Please find below some of the most active student’s associations based on the Côte d’Azur Territory.
Finding an internship
In France, students have the opportunity to complete an internship in a company. This internship is supported by a tripartite agreement between the intern, the company, and the university or school. It allows students to immerse themselves in a company and apply the skills they have developed during their university years.
Although there is no minimum duration in France, internships cannot last more than 6 months legally.
Wages are not mandatory for internships lasting less than 2 months. If the duration is superior than 2 months, the intern must earn an income. The amount of this income must appear in the internship agreement and cannot legally be less than 3.75€ per hour worked.
Assistance and useful contacts
Useful links and contacts for your studies on the Côte d’Azur :