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Budgeting for a year in France

By Jean
Reading Time: 4 minutes
budget for a year in france

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France, with its rich culture, excellent education system, and beautiful landscapes, is a dream destination for many international students. However, living and studying in France comes with its own set of challenges, the most significant of which is managing finances. In this blog, we’ll explore how to effectively budget for a year in France, covering all the essential expenses from tuition to groceries.

Tuition Fees

The first and most significant cost you’ll encounter is tuition fees. France offers a range of options from public universities to private institutions. For non-EU students, public universities charge approximately €2,770 per year for bachelor’s programs and €3,770 for masters. Private institutions, on the other hand, can charge anywhere from €3,000 to over €20,000 per year, depending on the course and reputation of the school.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

To offset these costs, explore scholarship opportunities and financial aid options. Many French universities offer scholarships, and there are also government-sponsored scholarships like the Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Program.


Another important cost to consider when preparing your budget for a year in France is your rent. Accommodation costs vary widely depending on the city and type of housing. In cities like Paris, a one-bedroom apartment can cost around €1,100 per month, while in smaller cities, you might find something for as little as €500. University dorms are a more affordable option, typically ranging from €200 to €400 per month.

Consider sharing an apartment with other students. Or opt for student residences. Not only does it reduce costs, but it’s also a great way to make new friends.

Here are some tips and tricks for finding student accommodation in France:

Check out our accommodation partner options here:

Living Expenses

Beyond tuition and accommodation, you’ll need to estimate your future living expenses when planning your budget for a year in France.


Groceries in France can cost around €200 to €300 per month. Shopping at local markets and discount supermarkets can help keep costs down.

Here’s a list of 10 common grocery products in France along with their average prices:

  • Milk: For 1 liter, the price is approximately €1.00.
  • Cheese: The price for 1 kg ranges from €10.00 to €30.00, depending on the type.
  • Bread: A loaf of fresh white bread (about 450g) costs around €1.62.
  • Rice: For 1 lb (about 0.45 kg) of white rice, the average price is €0.95.
  • Eggs: A dozen regular eggs cost about €3.71.
  • Chicken Fillets: The price for 1 lb (about 0.45 kg) is around €5.77.
  • Beef Round: For 1 lb of beef round, the average price is €8.57.
  • Apples: The cost for 1 lb of apples is approximately €1.23.
  • Bananas: For 1 lb of bananas, the price is around €0.91.
  • Tomatoes: The average price for 1 lb of tomatoes is about €1.58.

budget for a year in france

Public transportation is efficient and reasonably priced. A monthly pass can range from €20 in smaller towns to €75 in Paris. If you live close to your school, you might also consider biking or walking.

Health Insurance

Health insurance is mandatory in France. While long-term students are automatically enrolled in the French social security system, which covers most health expenses, you may want to consider additional private insurance. This typically costs around €20 to €50 per month.

Go! Go! France has partnered with WorldTrips Insurance (part of the Envisage Global Insurance Group) to offer you a reliable and comprehensive travel insurance for students and tourists during their stay in France. Check prices and apply here:

Miscellaneous Expenses

In your budget for a year in France, you should also include a dedicated budget for miscellaneous expenses like books, supplies, personal care, clothes, and leisure activities. Approximately €100 to €150 per month should be sufficient for these.

Entertainment and Leisure

France offers a wealth of cultural experiences, many of which are affordable or even free for students. Always carry your student ID for discounts at museums, theaters, and cinemas.

Eating Out

While dining out in France can be expensive, many restaurants offer affordable student menus, particularly at lunchtime.

Saving Tips

  1. Student Discounts: Utilize student discounts wherever possible.
  2. Cook at Home: Eating home-cooked meals is cheaper and healthier.
  3. Second-hand Shops: Buy books and clothes from second-hand shops.
  4. Bike or Walk: Consider biking or walking instead of public transport to save money and stay fit.
  5. Part-time Work: Many students take up part-time jobs but check your visa restrictions and university guidelines before doing so.

These are some of the most efficient ways to prevent your budget for a year in France from spiralling out of control.

Tools/Apps to Budget for a Year in France

Utilizing budgeting tools and apps can make managing your finances easier. Apps like Mint, YNAB (You Need A Budget), or even a simple spreadsheet can help you keep track of your expenses and stay within your budget.


Budgeting for a year in France requires careful planning and smart financial management. By understanding the costs involved and making informed choices, you can make your dream of studying in France both affordable and enjoyable. Remember to explore all avenues for financial aid, live within your means, and take advantage of the myriad of opportunities that student life in France offers.

Studying in France can be an enriching and life-changing experience. With a well-planned budget for a year in France, you can focus on your studies and enjoy all the cultural experiences this beautiful country has to offer, without the stress of financial uncertainties.

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