As of 2015, there are 310,000 international students studying in France, making it the 4th most popular study-abroad country in the world.
The most popular field of study for international students is languages, arts, and humanities with a total of 71,535 students studying abroad in this area. This field includes studying French as a foreign language, which provides several benefits as the sixth most spoken language in the world.
There’s no other place where you can enjoy studying the French language and culture but in France. While Paris seems to be the top place to study with a total of 59,179 students, it can be the least ideal place for students on a budget.
So where else can you go to study besides Paris? Here are the other best cities in France to learn French:
The Alpine city of Grenoble has always been in the top three best student cities in France. It is large enough to offer various opportunities for students without being too crowded. Students who dream to have a daily sight of the French Alps will surely enjoy it here.
Lyon is another leading student city in France, and students may consider here instead of Paris. It is France’s third largest city, but is much more relaxed and friendlier than the tourist-y capital. This city has fewer English-speakers which can be a great advantage for those who want to practise French at a faster pace.
“The Pink City” of France, Toulouse, is an ideal pick for students who want to have a laid-back student life without sacrificing the quality of education they are getting. Toulouse’s location in the south makes its weather good for those who want to avoid chilly winters. From the city, you can easily reach the Mediterranean beaches or the ski slopes of the Pyrenees in around an hour.
If you want to experience living peacefully in a small town while still having a comfortable city life, choose Rennes. This city in Brittany has a small-town charm, but is lively enough for international students. Those who love to spend time with nature can enjoy the city’s numerous parks and gardens. Moreover, Rennes has a rich history in arts and culture that you feel right away once you set foot on its mosaic floors.
Go back in time once you wander around the narrow medieval streets of Montpellier. Antique shops, tearooms, and private courtyards hide around its streets making it a huge museum for students who want to keep themselves curious about the city even while studying. You can get a feel of the Mediterranean atmosphere and culture while practising your French.
Nantes is a highly recommended city for those who want to seriously integrate themselves with French language and culture. It is not a huge city yet it offers a good list of quality universities that can help you master French and even help you get to the next level of study.
Angers comes below Paris when it comes to the top list of best student cities. You may not even have known about it until now. However, this city in the Loire Valley can be the best choice for students who want to polish their French to its purest form. It is still considered a university city so you won’t have trouble meeting other international students.
There is certainly a lot more to discover and learn in France. Paris is definitely a good place to start in exploring a bit of French living. However, there are cities with their own unique look and feel that can capture your heart while feeding your brain with the best lessons in practising the language.
You can certainly start your school search based on what you’re looking for in a city. To make your hunt easier, you can start by checking out this directory of FLE-certified language schools in France.
If you want to study in France then visit our dedicated France page for information about student visa requirements, financial assistance and even student accommodation, along with a list of all the universities in the country.