What’s It Really Like To Be an International Business Student in France? | Student Reviews & University Rankings EDUopinions

What’s It Really Like To Be an International Business Student in France?

21/05/2024

France has always had a reputation for vigorous academic programmes. This year, HEC Paris topped the global rankings for Master’s in Management degrees, while three other French business schools made the top ten. Students are seeing these promising rankings as a sign to study business in France. For example, between 2016 and 2021, the number of international students in French business schools increased by 104%. But if you’re considering becoming an international business student in France, what does the reality actually look like?

On EDUopinions, we have hundreds of verified university reviews from international business students in France. These reviews detail what international students think about their courses as well as the experience of being an international student in France. By looking at these reviews, you can get a better idea of what awaits you as an international business student in France.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some interesting reviews from students in France. From insights on the real experience of being a student to tips for future students, this is everything you need to know about being an international business student in France!

Want to study in France?
Click here

What is the reality of studying business in France?

1. You might experience culture shock

Moving away from your home country to study can be really exciting, but there’s also a chance that you’ll come up against unexpected problems. One of these is ‘culture shock’, where you’re surprised by cultural aspects of your new home.

Some international business students in France have said that they’ve experienced culture shock when moving from their home country to study in France. One of these aspects is the bureaucracy of student life in France, where administrative tasks can take a significant amount of time. Other culture shocks reported by students in France include shops not being open on Sundays, the number of protests, and differences in food culture.

Student Review

International Marketing ...
and Business Development
Abhijeet
Abhijeet
Student Life

I would say the student life is not easy in Paris specially when you coming from a totally different culture. The French administration is very slow. So, if you have decided to come to France you need to think as you are still in 2000 in terms of administration other than this you are going to enjoy the city and will meet amazing people and teachers.

Programme: International Marketing and Business Development
Degree: Master's
Graduation: 2023
Campus: Paris
Professors
Internationality
Career Prospects
Value
Location
Student Life
Facilities
Accommodation

2. You’ll be in a diverse cohort

France might feel loyalty to its historic culture and food, but that doesn’t mean that the country isn’t multicultural. In 2018, almost 10% of the population of France were foreign nationals, and every single international person in France brings their own culture to the cities and towns.

But diversity isn’t limited to local communities – business schools in France are also highly international. They attract students from around the world, and in fact, many business schools report higher numbers of international students than domestic. For example, HEC Paris’ MBA programme features 93% international students.

Student Review

Business Administration
Polo
Polo
Bachelor

It’s more international than I expected. There are students from all over the world who speak good English so there’s no problem within daily conversation. Also the french people I met so far are nice though sometimes we cannot communicate well.
The school life so far goes quite well, I haven’t had much courses yet but classes are okay. The course registration process is a mess though but the campus and the facilities in classrooms are of good quality.

Programme: Business Administration
Degree: Bachelor's
Graduation: 2023
Campus: Lille
Professors
Internationality
Career Prospects
Value
Location
Student Life
Facilities
Accommodation

3. There’s lots of culture to explore

When you think of France, cities like Paris and Lyon might be the first to come to mind. In reality, there are business schools in every corner of France, and a breadth of culture, history and cuisine to discover.

In the Financial Times Master in Management top 20 alone, there are French business schools situated in Paris, Lyon, Cergy, Nice, and Lille. As an international student at a French business school, you’ll have the opportunity to learn French and immerse yourself in French culture – which will come in handy if you want to pursue a career in the country.

Student Review

Agribusiness Management
avatar
Anonymous student
Multicultural hub with a lot to do!

This university is in the western part of France. Which makes it less crowded and easier to assimilate. There is a rich community of Asian, Central, and South American International students. The classes are well spaced with most ending around 4 pm allowing students to go and experience the rest of the town. You can adventure at The Commercial center, watch the wooden elephant (which is a big highlight), watch live rugby and football games at the stadium as well as take part in different curricular groups like dance, football, sailing, etc. Very great place to come if you want a taste of European student life

Programme: Agribusiness Management
Degree: Master's
Graduation: 2024
Campus: Nantes
Professors
Internationality
Career Prospects
Value
Location
Student Life
Facilities
Accommodation

4. It might be expensive

France isn’t known for its cheap lifestyle. Compared with some of the more affordable countries to study in Europe, it can get pretty expensive to be a business student. This is particularly true if you’re going to study in the larger cities like Paris or Lille.

With this in mind, it’s important to be realistic about how much money you’ll need to study in France. Keep in mind that, as an international student, you may need to prove that you have sufficient savings or income to support yourself as a student. If you’re committed to studying in France and want to supplement your income (in order to explore the culture!), then you may be able to get a part-time job.

Student Review

Business Management
avatar
Anonymous student
Cultural experience

I have met the most competent and diverse batch in this school. These people not only thrive on their own but also makes sure that you are doing it with them. The professors will take your had and walk you through all milestones and make sure you are not left behind. I have found their extracurriculars extremely engaging. There was always a room to have social life after academic life. The only hindrance is the location of the school, it is slightly outside city and living in city is expensive.

Programme: Business Management
Degree: Master's
Graduation: 2019
Campus: Paris
Professors
Internationality
Career Prospects
Value
Location
Student Life
Facilities
Accommodation

5. You’ll be prepared for your future career

French business schools top the tables globally, so it’s no surprise that students praise their facilities and quality of teaching. At top-quality business schools, you don’t need to worry about not being prepared for your future career, or not having the skills to succeed.

As an international business student in France, you’ll encounter plenty of opportunities to put skills in practice for your future career. Many business schools in France are classed as Grande Écoles: specialist schools that offer students practical training in their chosen subjects. This means networking opportunities, internships, and chances to participate in exchanges at other top business schools worldwide.

Student Review

MBA
avatar
Anonymous student
a top rated MBA, it really is

Just graduated and I just want to say how amazing my journey so far has been since I started at INSEAD. The school offers some of the best lecturers to help you learn everything you might need in the modern business world. The school has a variety of facilities to offer and there is something for everyone here. I made a whole bunch of friends and I met so many more amazing people throughout my life here. Meeting people from all over the world and being exposed to such a diverse student community was unreal to me.

Programme: MBA
Degree: Master's
Graduation: 2022
Campus: Fontainebleau
Professors
Internationality
Career Prospects
Value
Location
Student Life
Facilities
Accommodation

Tips for International Business Students in France

1. JOin student Clubs and extracurriculars

You might think that you’ll get by as an international business student in France just going to events with your degree cohort and exploring your local area. But really, the best way to make the most of your experience is with other student groups. Here, you’ll make connections with people outside of your degree programme – possibly with others who are studying subjects very different to business.

Not only is it handy to know professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds in your future career, but joining extracurriculars with enhance your study abroad experience in other ways. You’ll gain additional skills in communication and teamwork, and follow passions outside your studies.

Accounting
Glenn
Glenn
IE
Balanced Academic Life!

The American University of Paris combines the pleasures of Parisian living with a rich and well-balanced academic life. While studying abroad, students are given a solid support network as well as safe lodging in genuine flats via the institutions. Through clubs and outings, there are numerous opportunities to get engaged with your school and community. The financial aid office is very helpful, and there are several ways to get assistance.

Programme: Accounting
Degree: Bachelor's
Graduation: 2024
Campus: Paris
Professors
Internationality
Career Prospects
Value
Location
Student Life
Facilities

2. Embrace your network

Your network at business school or university is the key to your future. The people you meet during your studies turn into your support network when you’ve left behind professors and faculty teams. So, take your time to get to know your cohort, and participate widely in networking opportunities across your institution.

In France, where business schools are very multicultural, learning from others through networking can help you gain new perspectives and enrich your learnings from the classroom.

Business Administration ...
and Management
Garvita
Garvita
IN
Diverse environment

EDHEC Business School is a fantastic university that fosters both personal and professional growth for individuals. At EDHEC, you have the opportunity to work with a diverse group of people and gain a wealth of knowledge

Programme: Business Administration and Management
Degree: Master's
Graduation: 2023
Campus: Lille
Professors
Internationality
Career Prospects
Value
Location
Student Life
Facilities
Accommodation

3. Learn some french

As with any international study, your experience is going to be more seamless if you know the local language. As much as you might be learning in English in the classroom, you’ll still have to navigate French in other parts of your university experience and as you explore the local culture.

So, start your language-learning journey as soon as you know you’ll be heading to France. There are plenty of free language-learning apps, such as Duolingo, that can give you a head start. At university, you might even explore French language classes as part of your studies.

Business Management
Harish
Harish
IN
The curriculum and the opportunities given

The university is so great and the opportunities to explore are so much. As long as there is the hunger to learn and explore you can always thrive for more. Since it’s in France it would definitely beneficial if you would know the Native language, else it might be a little hard overall in terms of job search.

Programme: Business Management
Degree: Master's
Graduation: 2025
Campus: Lille
Professors
Internationality
Career Prospects
Value
Location
Student Life
Facilities
Accommodation

Conclusion

France is a beautiful country, with incredibly vibrant countries, an attractive language, and plenty of career options for business students. But it helps to know what the reality of being an international business student in France is before you’ve got there!

After reading the experiences of other international students in France in this article, we hope you have a better idea of what awaits you in France. To summarise – it’s important to brace yourself for culture shocks, but also embrace the opportunity to learn from diverse people during your studies.

If you’re looking to get a head start in your business career with a degree at a French business school, read our article on 5 ways to increase your earnings potential while at business school.

Get help choosing a university
Click here
Featured Content
Written by
Abigail
Abigail is a freelance writer specialising in higher education. She has lived in London and the Netherlands, and has a Masters degree in American Studies.

Recent Posts

Get our experts advice for free.
Contact us.
This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Review our Privacy Policy for more details.
Close