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About France

France is one of the leading hosts of international students. French higher education attracts students from all over the world, with a large representation of students from francophone North African countries.

Fast Facts: France

There were over 309,000 international students in France during the 2015/16 academic year.

The top five places of origin for in-bound international students in 2015 were Morocco, China, Algeria, Tunisia and Italy.

Source: CampusFrance


Inbound/International Student: The Ministry of Education, Ministry of Higher Education and Research, France defines an international student as an individual with a foreign citizenship enrolled in a program at a French higher education institution for at least one year to receive an officially approved national degree or university diploma (full-degree/qualification). These students include non-French citizen legal residents of France and those who received their secondary diploma in France. France awards both short-stay student visas (three months) and long-stay student visas that is renewable with a residence permit (one year).

Foreign Student: France does not differentiate between international and foreign students.

Outbound Student: A French student who pursues a full-degree in another country. The definition excludes language study abroad or short-term/quarterly exchanges.

Higher Education Institution (HEI): French higher education bodies include universities, polytechnics, university training institutes (teacher in elementary schools), the higher technical sections, preparatory classes for business/management/engineering schools, engineering schools, management and business schools, paramedical and social schools.

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