Students from many European countries and global countries are not required to provide a visa for periods of stay of less than 90 days, however if a longer term stay is required then you will need to apply to the French consular authority for a visa to enter the country.
French long-stay visas are valid for periods between 3 months and one year, meaning each year it will need to be renewed if you are planning on studying for longer than a year. Your University will be able to offer support services for this for international students.
If you are studying with the benefit of a public study grant from scholarship agencies, the EU or from French public study grants then there is no charge for the visa, but if you are coming to study without these there will be a fee.
There are plenty of private student accommodation agencies that will be able to find appropriate student accommodation that is within your budget and for your time period.
There is also the option of University residence which can often be cheaper than going to private companies but there may have to be more compromises made on facilities and location.
France has a large student population with many Universities meaning that most large cities will be accustomed to student living and may even have designated student areas with plentiful accommodation.
For citizens of the EU the process of applying to a French University is as simple as filling out the application form which can be found on the institution’s websites or collected in person.
There may be supporting documentation that is needed such as certificates or proof of qualifications to demonstrate that you are suitably qualified for the chosen programme.
For non-EU citizens Universities also require copies of your passport as well as a photograph, along with proof that you have obtained the required visa for your stay in France.
Some Universities require an entrance essay to be submitted, especially if the programme is is in specialism, to prove that you have the correct knowledge of the subject.
French tuition fees vary depending on the cycle of study you want to complete (Bachelor’s, Masters etc) along with whether you wish to study at a public or private University.
For entry level studies at public Universities (Bachelor’s) it costs €189.10 p/year, Masters-level programmes cost €261.10 p/year and PhDs €396.10 p/year. This is just the base levels of fee and certain programmes may also require additional fees, such as engineering or medicine.
Private Universities in France are significantly more expensive with fees ranging from €1,500-€6,000 p/year depending on your level of study and chosen school. Business schools often charge more with their tuition fees ranging between €4,500-€7,000 p/year.