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3 Finance Tips For Studying Abroad In France

3 Finance Tips For Studying Abroad In France main image

Sponsored by Montpellier Business School

France is one of the most popular study destinations in the world – and it’s not hard to see why. But before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s important to consider one of the most important aspects of studying abroad – your finances.

Careful planning is very much needed – so we’ve teamed up with Montpellier Business School to come up with three finance tips for studying abroad in France.

Plan your budget properly

This may seem like the obvious starting point, but it’s easy to simply add up a few estimates in your head and be done with it. There are also a number of things you may overlook when it comes to planning your budget and living costs. Bills aren’t always included in the cost of your accommodation, and what about travel costs?

If you’re thinking about studying in France, you probably already know that living costs are higher in the country’s capital than in the provinces. For example, costs are 30-40 percent lower in Montpellier in southern France.

If you choose to study your degree here, Montpellier Business School recommends the following budget for students who plan to study abroad in France:

  • Accommodation: €400 – €600 per month
  • Transportation: €25 – €30 per month
  • Miscellaneous: €200 – €300 per month

You should also bear in mind that expenses will be higher in your first month as a result of one-off costs, such as temporary housing (if necessary), public transport passes, health insurance and so on.

Opening up an international bank account will also help you manage your daily expenses as well as enable you to pay your bills.

Vanessa is an international student from Mexico, who’s currently studying the Master in Management degree at Montpellier Business School. We asked her how she prepared her budget and finances before moving to the south of France for her studies. 

“I asked Campus France in Mexico about the financial costs of living in France, based on that I saved some money, but it wasn’t until I received information from Montpellier Business School’s International Students Office that I had a clear idea of the living cost in Montpellier,” she said.

“In my budget I also included all the administrative costs related – such as the Campus France fee, translation of documents, as well as transportation costs of flights and trains.”

Find out if you can apply for scholarships or financial aid

Scholarships aren’t just for high-achieving students – and it’s not just universities and schools that offer scholarships, grants, bursaries and special funding. For example, the French Government and French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs allocates a number of grants to international students, including:

  • The Eiffel Excellence Scholarship with Campus France
  • Needs-based scholarships (based on social criteria)
  • Mediterranean Youth Mobility Scholarships

To find out more about these you can visit your local French embassy.

Erasmus scholarships for exchange students, merit-based scholarships and various international scholarships are also often awarded by universities and business schools. At Montpellier Business School, extended payment options are available along with individual scholarships up to the value of €2,000.

We also know that some costs such as housing can be a little bit on the expensive side. The good news for international students looking to study in France is that, much like domestic students, you’ll be able to benefit from Housing Financial Support (called “APL”) from the French government. Montpellier Business School can help you with this too.

Check if your school or university offers finance advice and guidance

When you get to your university or school, you want to know you’ve also got access to financial support and guidance should you need it. At the beginning of each academic year before classes commence, some universities and schools run orientation programs for international students to help them get settled in and help with any worries or concerns they may have – finance queries included!

International students at Montpellier Business School can take part in several administrative workshops organized by the International Students Office, on topics such as “how to open a bank account”. Also, thanks to the school’s banking partners, international students can open a French bank account before they even step foot in the country!

Vanessa also spoke to us about how the school’s International Students Office was a big help in helping her get set up before she even left Mexico. She said: 

“A lot of students feel anxious and lost, especially because they don’t speak French. The guidance provided by the International Students Office helps students through the different steps of the journey, from the budget and documents needed before their arrival to the administrative process once they are in the country (such as opening a bank account, finding a house, [setting up an] electricity account, obtaining a titre de séjour (residence permit).

“The information provided by MBS’ International Student Office regarding the budget and financial support was really helpful as I didn’t know about them before. The information was punctual, clear and especially helpful as it reduces a bit the financial burden.  

“A lot of international students keep the International Students Office as the main key contact at school, because it guides us not only before or during the academic year, but also through the future steps, like administrative processes we must handle after graduation,” she added.

So, remember to give yourself enough time to research your options, plan your budget and apply to any scholarships and grants you may be eligible for!

Mel K & Tadiwanashe Z saved this
Written by Stephanie Lukins
As the Head of Sponsored Content for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com, Stephanie creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. She attended the University of Portsmouth where she earned a BA in English Language and an MA in Communication and Applied Linguistics.

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