As an international postgraduate you’ll benefit from France’s low tuition fees and have access to a wide range of funding. There’s a reason France is one of the world’s most popular study abroad destinations – and it’s not just the cheese and wine!
EU citizens will be eligible for some of the same funding options as French nationals. These include a selection of government-backed student grants and loans described below (subject to residency requirements).
There are also various other funding schemes and exchange programmes, specifically designed to attract and support international postgraduates at French universities.
Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Programme
The Eiffel programme is a prestigious scholarship scheme, designed to attract the best international postgraduates to study in France. It awards a variety of funding at both Masters and PhD level, including bursaries for complete degrees, as well as support for periods of study mobility.
Eiffel funding for Masters programmes in France is available for people who are 25 or under. It’s targeted at four priority subject areas:
- Economics and Management
- Political Sciences
You’ll need to be a non-French national in order to apply for an Eiffel scholarship. You’re not eligible for Eiffel funding if you’re receiving another form of French Government scholarship.
Successful Eiffel scholars receive a monthly allowance of €1,181 and may also receive a housing allowance. Funds are intended to offset living costs and cannot be used for tuition fees. You’ll also receive travel expenses to and from your university in France, as well as health insurance cover. You could receive funding for up to 24 months, depending on the length of your Masters.
Applications for Eiffel funding are usually made via French institutions, who will nominate the most promising international postgraduates for the scholarships. More information is available via the Campus France website.
The Agence Universitaire de la Francophone is a network connecting different French-speaking higher education institutions around the world.
If your home country is a member of the AUF, you may be eligible for a Masters scholarship. These support students to study for part of their degree in another AUF member country, including France itself. Funding is normally available for up to 10 months. See the AUF website for more information.
Entente Cordiale scholarships
Entente Cordiale scholarships fund study exchanges between France and Britain. British students can receive a scholarship from the Franco-British Council to study in France for three to six months.
Entente Cordiale funding is available in all subject areas and no age limit applies. The selection process is highly competitive, however. You will need to provide evidence of a strong academic record, while also demonstrating your intention to further Franco-British relations through your Masters and subsequent career.
You’ll also need to show that you have a good grasp of the French language.
If successful, you’ll receive a €700 monthly stipend towards your postgraduate studies.
Further information and details of application procedures are available from the website of the Franco-British Council. The deadline is usually April for Masters beginning in the following academic year.
France is divided into 22 separate administrative regions (plus five other overseas regions). Each of these has a degree of autonomy in organising local higher education. This can extend to the provision of funding initiatives, with some Conseils Regional offering scholarships to attract international postgraduate students.
The best way to investigate the availability of regional scholarships is to visit the website of the Conseil Regional for the region in which you wish to study your Masters.
Funding from French universities
Universities in France will usually offer their own funding to attract and support Masters students. The best way to find this is to first identify a suitable Masters programme and then inquire about funding from the university responsible. You can get started by searching for a French Masters in our course listings – all programmes provide contact details for further inquiries.
You can also see a useful list of French university scholarships on Campus France’s bursary database.
Grants from French embassies
Various forms of funding for international postgraduates are offered by French embassies and consulates. Some are means-tested grants to assist with living costs and accommodation. Others are targeted at specific study programmes and subject areas.
The best way to investigate the support that may be available to you is to contact a French embassy or consulate in your home country. More information is available from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
French government support for Masters students
Means-tested grants are available to French students on Masters programmes, as well as some international students. They are awarded by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research.
These are the circumstances in which an international student may be eligible for a grant from the French Government:
- EU / EEA nationals who have previously been employed on a permanent basis in France (either full-time or part-time)
- EU / EEA nationals who can prove a good degree of integration into French society
- Other nationals who have lived in France for two years, with their tax residence also being France for two years
- Students with refugee status
You’ll also need to be under 28 on 1 October of the year in which you apply for a grant.
Grants from the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research are intended to assist you with maintenance costs, but they also entitle you to a fee waiver.
These grants are means-tested. The amount you receive will depend on your financial circumstances and will consider factors such as your family income.
The current maximum is €5,679 per year, awarded to students with significant financial difficulties. Others will receive smaller grants, or simply be awarded a fee waiver. You can check how much you might receive using the CROUS website’s grant simulator.
Applications for grants are usually made via universities. More information is available at the Campus France website.
Loans for Masters students
Students in France can also apply for loans to help cover their study costs. These are funded by private banks, but managed according to guarantees from the French Government.
Like grants, loans for Masters study in France are only available to students under 28 years of age, with French nationality or EU citizenship (and corresponding proof of residence in France). Unlike grants, loans are not means-tested and are awarded without respect to your financial background.
Loans are available up to €20,000, with interest rates determined by the issuing bank.
You can find out more on the French Government’s website (in French!).
Erasmus+ Masters funding in France
International students can benefit from funding opportunities offered by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ programme.
Erasmus+ Masters funding helps support international study and exchange. It funds Joint Masters Programmes (offered by international university consortia) as well as shorter periods of study abroad. The Erasmus+ programme also offers loans to Spanish, Turkish, Croatian and Romanian nationals who want to study in France, as well as Italian students residing in the region of Emilia Romagne.
For more information, see our comprehensive guides to Erasmus+ Masters funding.