A student who receives a scholarship during his studies needn't seek out a providential "guarantor" in France or find a part-time job to make a living. You should first contact the competent authorities in your home country - your university, the Ministry of Education... to find out about the scholarships awarded by your government. The amount of these scholarships varies greatly from one country to another.
Scholarships awarded by the French government (before departure)
These come from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and your country must have signed a bilateral cooperation treaty with France. Whether you live in France or in your home country, the scholarship application must be made through the cultural and scientific advisors at the Embassy or Consulate of France in your country. Few scholarships are awarded for international students at the Licence level. Priority is given to students carrying out doctoral level studies, preferably in scientific or technological fields. No need-based scholarships are awarded by the French government - the only criterion is the student's academic merit.
National Scholarships for Students Not Participating in Exchange Programs Building E, Office 07 Phone: 33 (1) 40 97 47 78
Need-based scholarship (application at Paris Ouest)
To qualify for this type of scholarship, students must meet criteria of nationality, age and academic standing :
- Nationality: The following students are eligible: French students; Andorran students ; refugees or stateless persons who are holders of the OFPRA card; international students who are citizens of one of the member states of the European Union; in certain circumstances, international students whose mother or father is an EU citizen; international students whose household for tax purposes has been located in France for at least two years and who have a temporary residency permit or a resident's card.
- Age: Students must be less than 26 years old at the time of their first application for Licence level studies. After the age of 26, students must not interrupt their studies in order to continue receiving scholarship funding. These age requirements do not apply to handicapped students.
- Academic Standing: students must be enrolled in Licence or Master's level studies in a course of study that is accredited for university scholarship recipients and must advance through the course of study at a normal rate of progression. This scholarship is given according to need ; it is a type of "family allowance" which makes it possible to pay university fees. The financial resources and obligations of the family or the student are taken into account.
The eligibility for a scholarship is calculated according to the total gross income of the previous year. Scholarship status exempts students from enrollment and social security fees. This exemption is effective immediately on enrollment for students with a conditional scholarship notification document. Otherwise, students must apply through their registration office to be reimbursed for their fees once they've received their definitive scholarship papers. Scholarships are awarded for one year and renewal is never automatic. The initial scholarship application or applications for renewal is to be completed online after January 15 of the year preceding enrollment. Students will receive a "student aid application" (DES or dossier social étudiant), which will have to be filled out or corrected and returned to the Versailles CROUS as quickly as possible.
Grants for Master's studies
These scholarships are limited in number and awarded based on academic criteria (age, length of the course of study, quality of the application file) ; scholarships for agrégation students (those preparing a competitive exam for teachers) also take into account financial need. These grants can be awarded to refugees or stateless persons holding the OFPRA card, international students whose housefold for tax purposes has been located in France for at least two years, and, in certain circumstances, citizens of the European Union. Doctoral students are never exempted from paying university and social security fees at the time of administrative enrollment. However, once they have been awarded a grant, they are entitled to be reimbursed for those fees. The request is to be made at the beginning of the school year in September, as soon as the student has registered with the Paris Ouest scholarship office.
Master's Scholarship for International Students from the Conseil Régional d'Ile-de-France
The Ile-de-France region offers the possibility of obtaining a scholarship for the Master's (M1 and M2) to foreign students having applied for enrollment in M1 or M2 at Paris Ouest.
The regional scholarship is open to students wishing to complete an entire Master's course of study (M1 and/or M2). Thus:
students enrolling at the M1 level at Paris Ouest will be able to pursue the second year of the Master's (M2) and have their scholarship renewed
students enrolling at the M2 level will receive regional funding for only one year.
Preference is given to students from the following priority cooperation zones:
Africa Ø Kayes region (Mali) Ø South Africa (whole country) Ø Dakar region (Senegal) Ø City of Antananarivo (Madagascar) Ø City of Nouakchott (Mauritania) Ø Greater Casablanca region (Morocco)
Latin America and North America Ø City of Montreal (Canada) Ø Chili (whole country) Ø Brazil (whole country)
Asia Ø City of Hanoi (Vietnam) Ø India (whole country)
Middle East Ø City of Beyrouth (Lebanon)
CEE Ø City of Budapest (Hungary) Ø City of Warsaw - Region of Masovia (Poland)
CIS Ø Russia (whole country)
Applications are to be picked up and returned between January 1 and March 21.
NB: Erasmus students are not eligible for this scholarship.
Eiffel scholarship for Excellence
The Eiffel Scholarships for Excellence program was launched in 1999 by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs to support the international recruitment efforts of french institutions of higher learning in a context of increased competition among developed nations to attract elite international students. In 2005, this program was completed with the Eiffel Doctorate program, aimed at high level doctoral candidates. In order to provide greater clarity, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs has now decided to combine the two programs into one offer.
The new Eiffel program provides funding for :
Master's level studies or an overseas study period of ten months within the structure of a co-directed dissertation (preferably the second or third year of doctoral studies).
The objectives of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Eiffel Excellence Program remain unchanged. The primary objective is to train, in French institutions of higher learning, future foreign decision-makers in the public and private sectors in the three priority fields of science, economics, management, law and political science.
All applications must be approved by the pedagogic director of the student's academic program and forwarded to the International Relations department before December.
A research grant is a salary paid by the Ministry of Research within the structure of a fixed-duration work contact (CDD) of three years which allows students to dedicated themselves fully and exclusively to their research work in preparation for their dissertation. Applicants must : be French (or pending naturalization) ; be citizens of the European Union ; have completed the M1 (research option) in France ; have obtained an equivalent diploma in a country having signed the accord on the European Higher Education Area. Students must be less than 25 years old. Waivers are possible for students who are less than 30 years old on January 1 of the year of their application, upon presentation of an explicit and justified request from the director of the doctoral school. Applicants must have fulfilled their military obligations, or have a two-year deferment. Applications must be presented by doctoral studies directors. Independent applications have very little chance of acceptance.
In addition to these sources, international students can apply for scholarships offered by certain international organizations (UN, UNESCO, WHO...) or by foundations, companies, etc. These scholarships, which are for both French and international students, aim primarily at funding doctoral research.