Top 10 Universities in France for International Students

France is not only a popular tourist destination, but it has also become a prime choice for students as well. After all, the country boasts of rich culture, classic architecture, and delicious gastronomic delights, among many other features. As home to numerous top-notch institutions, France remains a popular option for students who wish to study abroad. In this article, we will discuss the best universities in France for International Students.

Helpful Posts

Related Scholarships

Do foreign students find it satisfying to study in France?

Yes, as surveyed students have given France a score of 8.2 out of 10. This places French universities in the 21st spot amongst 98 destinations.

What do international students take up in French universities?

The most popular courses taken by foreign students in France are Information Technology, Business, Finance, and Computer Science.

How many foreigners are studying in French universities?

About 250,000 international students are currently enrolled in French universities.

What is the most prestigious French university for international students?

PSL Research University is deemed the best university for foreigners who wish to study in France.

Best Universities in France for International Students

1. Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL) Research University Paris

Despite just being established in 2010, PSL Research University has quickly made its way to the top of the local and international rankings. This public institution, which has just been made a university in 2019, has campuses in the Parisian Latin Quarter, Porte Dauphine, and Carré Richelieu.

The university awards undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas through its 11 constituent colleges. These schools specialize in various disciplines, including that of Drama, Engineering, Science, Earth & Life Science, Historical Science, Mathematics, Economics, Law, Management, Political Science, and Arts & Letters, to name a few. As a result of excellency in these programs, Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL) Research University Paris is considered the best university in France for international students.

PSL is also affiliated with 8 associate colleges.

As a globalized university, PSL has ties with foreign institutions such as the University of Cambridge (UK), National Taiwan University, and Hong Kong University of Science & Technology.

2. École Polytechnique

École Polytechnique, which is known to many as simply “X”, is one of France’s most reputable universities. Founded in 1794 by mathematician Gaspard Monge, the former member of the University of Paris-Saclay is now a constituent of the Institut Polytechnique de Paris.

The university, which is based in the Parisian suburb of Palaiseau, offers a 3-year English-taught Bachelor’s degree. By the second year, the students can opt to complete a dual degree.

It also offers a selective diplôme d’ingénieur degree, which is a type of general education that encompasses various fields.

Its Master’s programs cover the fields of Mathematics, Chemistry, Information Systems, Computer Science, Economics, Engineering, Biology, Physics, and other Sciences.

X’s Doctorate candidates are quite internationalized, with 40% of the population coming from various parts of the globe.

3. Sorbonne University

Sorbonne University, a top university in France for international students, was founded as Sorbonne College in 1257. This public research university is currently the result of the 2018 merger between Paris-Sorbonne, Pierre et Marie Curie University, and other smaller institutions. It has a main campus in the Latin Quarter, Jussieu, Maison de la Recherche, Clignancourt & Malesherbes, and the Institut d’Art et d’Archéologie.

The university has 3 Faculties specializing in Science & Engineering, Medicine, and Humanities. The latter covers the specialized disciplines of Musicology, Geography, History, Philosophy, and Languages.

Sorbonne also has an international campus in Abu Dhabi.

4. University of Paris

The University of Paris is the result of the 2019 merger between the institutions of Paris Diderot and Paris Descartes. Despite this modern reformation, the university can trace its roots back to the now-defunct University of Paris, which was established way back in the year 1160.

The university has 3 faculties. One is the prestigious Health department, which was the first of its kind in France. Next is the Faculty of Science, which oversees courses in the fields of Physics, Mathematics, Engineering, Computer Science, Chemistry, Life Science, and Biomedical Science. The Faculty of Humanities & Social Science, on the other hand, governs the studies of Languages, Letters, Arts, Human & Social Science, and Legal & Managerial Studies.

5. Paris-Saclay University

Next in our list of top French universities for international students is Paris-Saclay University, a research university consortium developed in 2019. Although this is the case, its founding goes way back to 1150 as part of the University of Paris. The former University of Paris-Sud is now a collection of public universities, Grandes Écoles, research centers, and faculties.

The Paris-Saclay branch houses the undergraduate school, as well as the Faculty of Science, Sports Science, Polytechnic School, and the Orsay Institute.

The Sceaux campus also includes an undergraduate school, as well as the Faculties of Law, Economics, and Management. It is also the location of the Sceaux Institute.

The Faculty of Pharmacy is located in Châtenay-Malabry, while the Medical School has branches in both Paris-Saclay and Le Kremlin-Bicêtre.

6. Télécom Paris

Télécom Paris, which is short for École nationale supérieure des télécommunications, is a renowned French institute of higher education. Also known as ENST, the Palaiseau-based school traces its roots back to 1878 with the creation of the École professionnelle supérieure des postes et télégraphes.

Engineering students get to embark on multidisciplinary studies for their first year, with specializations done during the second and third years.

It also offers full time (1-year) and part-time (2-year) training for Master’s students.

Télécom Paris also teaches 4 Master’s degrees in conjunction with the University of Paris-Saclay and other institutes. These cover the fields of Multimedia Networking, Data & Knowledge, Advanced Computer Networks, and Industries de Réseau et Économie Numérique.

7. École des Ponts ParisTech

École des Ponts ParisTech, known to many as just “Ponts”, is an educational and research institute located in Champs-sur-Marne, France. It is one of the oldest Grandes Écoles, having been established by Daniel-Charles Trudaine in 1747.

While it was primarily created to train engineers, Ponts now offers courses in Math, Computer Science, Economics, Finance, Mechanics, Transport, Government, Planning, Innovation, and Logistics.

It is well-known for its dual Engineering program, as it provides the student with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Science upon graduation.

It also offers Master’s programs in Engineering, Mathematics, Computer Science, Finance, Sociology, Economics, and City & Transports. Apart from these, the Ponts delivers Advanced Masters and Doctorate degrees as well.

8. École Normale Supérieure de Lyon

École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, also known as ENS de Lyon, is one of the best public universities in France for international students. It focuses on educating scientists, public administrators, professors, and teachers. It is a descendant of two educational institutions, one of which was founded in 1880. Its current organizational structure took form in 2010, following another merger of 2 institutions.

ENS de Lyon has 11 departments separated into 2 campuses. The Monod Campus houses the departments of Chemistry, Biology, Earth Science, Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science. The Descartes branch, on the other hand, has the Schools of Arts, Education, Foreign Languages, Human Sciences, and Social Sciences.

9. Montpellier University

The University of Montpellier is a public research institution based in southeastern France. It was founded in the year 1220, making it one of the oldest continuously-operating universities in the world.

The university has a total of 15 faculties, schools, and 1 observatory. These departments specialize in the fields of Dentistry, Education, Economics, Athletics, Law, Medicine, Pharmacy, Science, Management, Engineering, Business Administration, General Administration, and Technology.

With thousands of foreign students, the university has an International Relations Central Office. This is apart from the separate branches for each faculty/school.

10. Aix-Marseille University

We end our list of top French universities for international students with Aix-Marseille University or AMU, a public research university situated in Provence, France. It can trace its beginnings back to the University of Provence, which was established in the year 1409. The current university is the result of the 2012 merger between the aforementioned university, the University of Mediterranean, and Paul Cezanne University.

The educational institution, which has campuses in Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, offers as much as 600 degree courses. These programs are overseen by its specialized faculties, including that of Law & Political Science, Economics & Management, Health, Science & Technology, and Arts, Literature, Language & Human Science.


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Europe Scholarships Page.