Estimated Expenses

Estimated Expenses

Here’s a sample monthly budget. The figures below should give you a good idea of what it costs to live in France from day to day.

  • Small apartment (private) : 450 Euros
  • Room in university residence : 240 Euros
  • Studio flat in university residence : 405 Euros
  • Food and meals : 200 Euros
  • Price of a meal ticket in the University restaurants : 3.10 Euros
  • Health insurance : 40 Euros
  • Local Transportation : 31 Euros
  • A walk along the Rhône and in the Beautiful Parc de la Tête d’Or: FREE!!

A budget of around 800 Euros per month will cover your accommodation, food, transport and cultural activities.

For students, an accommodation grant is available from the 2nd month of their stay.

The “Carte de séjour” will allow foreign students to work for a maximum of 20 h per week. 
No further work permit is required.

According to French law, any foreign student wishing to study in France must be able to prove that they have sufficient resources, estimated at a minimum of €615 a month (€7,318 a year), to support themselves without working. This is, in fact, a bare minimum. The amount of money you are likely to need to live on for a month is closer to €700-850 outside of Paris and €1,100 in Paris, where rent is higher, not to mention the additional expenditure you will require for the first month, making the total for that month more like €1,700.

Annual tuition fees

Public institutions

According to the Agence Française pour la Promotion de l’Enseignement Supérieur ('French Agency for the Promotion of Higher Education'), Campus France, the following annual tuition fee amounts were set for the 2012-2013 academic year:

  • €181 for undergraduate students
  • €250 for post-graduate students
  • €380 for PHD students
  • €596 for students of engineering schools

Private institutions

The cost of enrolling at this type of establishment is higher, particularly in the case of business schools, ranging from €3,000 to €10,000.

Student benefits

Students in France enjoy a variety of preferential rates when it comes to food and accommodation, travel, studying, education and entertainment, including the following:

University halls of residence and restaurants public transport libraries cinemas and museums

Monthly expenditure

The CNOUS (‘French National Centre for University and School Affairs’) has estimated the following budget for a single student not living in halls of residence:

Rent (including additional charges) €300-400

  • Food €230
  • Transport €35
  • Upkeep €35
  • University supplies €50
  • Culture €45
  • Leisure €30

The total per month is estimated at €725-825.

Expenditure to allow for in the first month

You can expect to spend around €1,700 during your first month living in France, broken down as follows:

  • Rent €400 (€200 in halls of residence)
  • Housing bond €400 (1 month's rent)
  • Annual home insurance €50
  • Enrolment fees €180-596
  • Social Security membership €203
  • Membership of a health mutual €70-285

In addition to this budget of €1,700 estimated by the CNOUS, you might also be required to pay certain utility charges such as gas, electricity, telephone, etc.

Accommodation expenses in towns, especially private lodgings, vary from 300 to 600 Euros per month. In the university residence halls, the expenses vary from 100 to 150 Euros per month.

Food, transportation and pocket money would amount to between 350 to 500 Euros per month.

  • Milk (regular), 1 liter EUR 1.00
  • Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) EUR 1.20
  • Rice (1kg) EUR 2.00
  • Eggs (12) EUR 2.73
  • Apples (1kg) EUR 2.50
  • One-way Ticket (Local Transport) EUR 1.40
  • Internet (6 Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) EUR 30.00

The cost of living as a student in France


The cost of living is higher in Paris than in other French towns (at least €130 more per month)

To cover the cost of living in private accommodation in France, you need monthly revenue of €1,200 (minimum wage) but as a student, you have access to university halls of residence and restaurants.

These lodgings receive state subsidies and the cost to students is therefore upwards of €770 (€350 for food, €320 for lodgings in university residence (with APL aid) and €100 for extras).

Students studying in France benefit from a state support for living, estimated to 500 Euros per month, regardless of nationality.

You will therefore require a minimum of €8,000 per year to live in France with student status, but these costs may be covered by grants.

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