Cost of Living in France – France is globally known for its exceptional quality of education especially in the domain of arts, humanities, social sciences and business and management. Some of the top courses to study in France in these programs are the most highly ranked in the world. Apart from the quality of education, the unique student life and low tuition costs in France are other reasons why France is a popular destination for international students.
For the students seeking postgraduate or undergraduate education in France, the cost of living in France is a major aspect of consideration. Although the tuition fees in most French universities are considerably low or standardized by the government, the cost of living in France is considerably higher than in other countries. Therefore, before a student seeks admission to a French university, he or she must take into account the various living expenses in France that may be incurred throughout the duration of study in France.
Top Universities for Education in France
Some of the best universities in the world are located in France, providing commendable programs in various domains such as business and management, social science, performing arts, mathematics etc. These programs are highly sought after for education in France and are offered by the top French universities. Some of the best universities for students who want to study in France are:
Top Universities to Study in France
QS World Ranking
PSL Reasearch University (Université PSL)
Sorbonne University (Paris 4)
École Centrale Paris (CentraleSupélec)
École Normale Supérieure de Lyon
University of Paris-Sud (Université Paris-Sud)
École des Ponts ParisTech
Université Grenoble Alpes
Paris Diderot University (Université Diderot Paris 7)
Top Student Cities for Education in France
France is home to some of the best student cities in the world such as Paris and Lyon which are ranked at 5 and 42 in the QS World Best Student Cities ranking. These cities are home to some of the best universities for education in France and also provide a unique and immensely sought after student life for students who want to study in France. The average cost of living in France in the top French student cities varies and is highest in more populated cities like Paris and Lyon and comparably lower in smaller cities like Lille.
The average cost of living in France for some of the top French student cities is:
Top French Student Cities
Notable French Universities
Ave. Cost of Living in France
PSL Research University, Sorbonne University, CentraleSupélec , HEC Paris
École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Institut National des Sciences Appliquées (INSA) de Lyon, Jean Moulin University Lyon 3
Paul Sabatier University, Toulouse 1 University Capitole, University of Toulouse-Jean Jaurès
Nice Sophia Antipolis University, IAE Nice, Institut européen·European Institute
Paul Valéry University of Montpellier, University of Montpellier
University of Grenolbe-Alpes, Grenoble École de Management, Pierre Mendès-France University
Université Lille 1, Lille 2 University of Health and Law, Centrale Graduate School, ESC Lille
Cost of Living in France for Students
The cost of living in France is a major aspect of consideration for students who want to study in France. Paris, being the best of the top French student cities is also one of the most expensive cities worldwide and therefore has a high cost of living in France. Apart from Paris, other French student cities are also considerably more expensive than most student cities in other countries with the average cost of living in France being approximately 200% higher than in Indian cities.
1. Rent and Residential Costs
The cost of living in France for rent and residential costs is generally the highest factor which affects any student’s living expenses. These housing costs are generally higher in large cities like Paris and Lyon and the average rent for a student is in the range of €650 – 800 per month.
Additionally, apart from the rental living expenses in France, students are also required to pay for basic utilities such as water, electricity and heating. The monthly cost for utitlities for a single student is €100 per month and varies with the city of residence. Students can save up on the cost of living in France in residential costs by renting shared flats with other students or applying for housing accommodation through their university of study in France.
2. Food and Drink
In terms of food and drink, the cost of living in France tends to be higher than other countries especially considering food at extravagant restaurants and cafes. The living expenses in France for eating out are generally lower in moderately sized cities like Toulouse but are considerably high in popular tourist cities like Nice and Paris. The average cost of living in France in food and drink for the top French student cities is:
Living Expenses in France for Food and Drink
Type of Expense
Meal (inexpensive restaurant)
Meal (mid-range restaurant)
Domestic Beer (0.5 l)
Imported Beer (0.33 l)
Soft Drink (0.33 l)
Water (0.33 l)
Cost of living in France in terms of clothing tends to be comparable to that of other countries, although the cost for designer brands and labels is on the expensive end. Living expenses for clothing are similar for the top French student cities for generic chain store items like Zara, Nike etc. The average cost of living in France in clothing for the top French student cities is:
Living Expenses in France for Clothing
Type of Expense
4. Transportation Costs
The cost of living in France in terms of transportation costs varies significantly with the city in concern. Smaller and less populated cities like Nice have lower living expenses for students taking public transport. On the other hand, public transport in larger French student cities like Lyon and Paris are more expensive. Students generally save on transportation costs by walking or traveling by bicycle if the distance can be easily covered.
The average cost of living in France in transportation for the top French student cities is:
Living Expenses in France for Transportation
Type of Expense
One-way ticket (public transport)
Monthly pass (public transport)
Gasoline (1 l)
5. Medical Expenses
The cost of living in France for medical expenses is generally affordable for students who want to study in France. The average cost for a short visit to the doctor in a majority of the top French student cities is around €25. The expenses incurred for basic medication such as cold medicine for a week or a box of antibiotics is in the range of €5 – 7 and is affordable for students seeking education in France.
The living expenses in France for entertainment are nearly the same for all the top student cities in France. Apart from traditional forms of entertainment like the cinema, there are a lot of other popular options for students who want to study in France. These include the various sightseeing opportunities in cities like Paris and Lyon as well as the multitude of museums and exhibitions. Many students pursuing education in France also receive student discounts at various tourist destinations.
The average cost of living in France in entertainment for the top French student cities is:
Living Expenses in France for Entertainment
Type of Expense
Fitness Club Membership