Challenges That International Students Face in France

France is one of the hotspots for international students seeking an excellent education in any field of study.

Challenges That International Students Face in France

It has been one of the most common choices of students worldwide for many years.

Hence, if you desire to study in France, you are safe, as you can eliminate undue worry since the procedures for application are well established.

However, as with any relocation event, there are common challenges that international students face in France, and we highlight them in this article.

Why Study in France

As we have said, the United Kingdom is one of the most sought-after places for international students seeking quality education.

Students choose to study in the UK for several reasons, and they include:

  1. High-Quality Learning Experience

Universities within France have a history of offering quality education, with the schools ranking at the top of most global universities league tables.

Besides having very conducive learning environments, most universities in France possess highly efficient academia and faculties.

All these parameters make the universities in France an excellent and common choice for international students.

  1. Experience a Unique Culture

International students choose to study in France to experience a culture that differs from the culture in their native countries.

Also, the opportunity to study in France allows international students to observe an environment with an excellent and effective working system governing the country’s various sectors.

  1. Respected by Employers

One of the perks of studying abroad, including in France, is the fact that employers around the world have regard for the certificates from the universities.

Due to the high-quality education students are exposed to in France, employers are assured of getting individuals with the skill set to offer the best in every job.

  1. Cost

The tuition fees of universities in France are far less than those in the US or UK.

  1. Outstanding Research and Development Opportunities

One attraction France holds for international students is the numerous opportunities to be involved in research and development in various relevant sectors.

This is because France is an economic and global world power. Hence, it is highly invested in organizations such as WHO, UN, EU, G7, etc., and their various sub-organizations and NGOs.

Challenges That International Students Face in France.

Studying in France has its perks. However, it does not hide the fact that there are challenges that international students face in France.

These challenges may manifest in various forms and differ from person to person. Here are some of the most common challenges:

Weather Challenges

International students from Asian and African countries are used to hot climates with weather temperatures that are relatively high compared to the climate of France, even in the cold parts of the year.

This challenges students, especially at the beginning of their study period.

Together with a change in time zone, the change in climate puts both mental and physiological strain on the students.

Cultural Shock

We mentioned the pull to experience a new culture as one of the reasons some people choose to study in France.

However, for many international students, this change comes as a shock. As no two cultures are similar, the introduction to the way and manner things are done in France can be world-shaking for some people.

Norms such as greetings, pronunciations, and how people are addressed can present a challenging and embarrassing experience before international students acclimate to the culture.


This is a foremost challenge for many international students, as many come from countries with poorer economies than France.

Most of the cities in France have a high cost of living, making it challenging to live with a student budget.

Furthermore, the universities in France rarely have dormitories, hence adding the burden of rent to students’ finances.

Difference in Academic Style

International students, especially those offering postgraduate courses, may find the difference in the academic style of France and their country of origin overwhelming.

Some foreign students have found studying routine burdensome, with classes that are too long or can be changed without notice.

Some of the class halls are ancient, and lecturers teach without the aid of PowerPoint slides, online notes, and the Internet.

HealthCare Challenges

The Healthcare system in France is very complex and usually poses a challenge for international students.

The language barrier further complicates the problem, and international students are usually prone to ailments due to the new climate and allergic reactions to local foods, etc.

Language Barriers

Another common challenge international students face in the UK is the language issue.

Most international students come from countries where French is not spoken as a first language. Hence, they face communication challenges when they first come to the country.

Due to this barrier, basic things like ordering food, asking directions, or answering questions become a challenge.

There is also the strangeness associated with learning a new language that these students have to cope with. It is quite challenging.

Homesickness and Social Integration

Yes! Homesickness is one of the challenges that international students face in France.

If you have relocated before, you will understand how emotionally straining the experience can be, especially if it takes you far from family and friends.

International students are prone to homesickness as they are in strange environments surrounded by strangers.

Hence, they are very lonely before socializing and befriending other students. This period is an emotional downtime for them and quite a challenge.

Furthermore, they may not be familiar with common social places and norms, which further isolates them.

How to Apply to Study in France as an International Student

The process for applying to study in the United Kingdom follows a very simple guideline

The process includes the following steps:

  • Complete university application
  •  Copies of high school and college transcripts.
  •  A passport-sized photo
  •  Copy of passport
  •  Essay (if asked)
  •  English proficiency results (TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo, etc.)
  •  Certified translation of the birthplace of your parents
  •  Copy of birth certificate
  •  Any other required document, depending on the University
  •  Proof that you can support yourself financially
  •  After admission: A French Student Visa

Scholarships Available for International Students in the UK

Several scholarship opportunities are available to ease the financial challenge of international students in the UK.

Some of them include:

  • 105 MIEM Master Scholarship Program for International Students
  •  ENS Bachelor & Master Scholarship in France
  •  The Emile Boutmy Undergraduate and Master Scholarship Program
  •  The Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Program for Master’s and PhD
  •  French Government Master and PhD Scholarships
  •  Master’s in Materials Science Scholarship Program
  •  Türkiye International Scholarships
  •  Ph.D. Scholarship In Computer Science In Paris


These challenges international students face in France are just experiences that make studying more thrilling.

They can become hilarious stories that people can share about in the future.

Therefore, apply to some of the universities in France as well as scholarship programs to create your own fun experience.

Ensure you share this article with your friends and loved ones. Cheers.

Is France friendly to International Students?

Yes, it is and remains one of the favorite options for international students.

What Are the Problems of Education in France?

The Education sector in France has an inflexible approach to education. Some of the system’s characteristics include the absolute authority of teachers, rote learning, and tough grading.

How Much Can a Foreign Student Earn in France?

7900 EUR per year

Can an International Student Get a Job in France?

Students in France have the right to employment on or off campus. However, there are restrictions for international students. They may not need a specific French work visa, yet non-EU/EEA students must possess a student residence permit before they can work.

What Are the Hardest Things About Learning French?

Some of the hardest things about learning French are the Prickly pronunciation and getting the right accent.

How Long Can I Study in France Without a Visa?

90 days.

Can International Students Stay in France After Graduation?

Yes, only if they have gotten paid employment.

What Is the Age Limit for a Student Visa in France?

Students should be 18 years or older.

Can You Get Citizenship if You Study in France?

Students who complete their studies in France can apply for permanent citizenship or residence if they have stayed in the country for five years.

Can I Take My Family to France on a Student Visa?

The spouses and children of international students can stay in France. However, certain conditions are to be met.

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