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Breakdown of the monthly expenses you can expect as a student in France

By Jean
Reading Time: 3 minutes
monthly expenses breakdown france

Studying in France offers international students a rich cultural experience and high-quality education. However, managing finances is crucial to ensure a smooth and enjoyable stay. Here’s a detailed monthly expenses breakdown you can expect as a student living in France.


Accommodation is typically the largest expense for students in France. The cost varies significantly depending on the city. For those on a tight budget, student dormitories are the more affordable option. Shared apartments are also popular. For those looking for more privacy, private apartments are available, with many studios on the market. However, independence comes at a cost, so expect to pay more than if you lived in a dormitory or shared house.

Discover superb furnished apartments, studios, shared houses and student residences for rent! Book your accommodation in France 100% online with our accommodation finder here:

monthly expenses breakdown france

Food and Groceries

Food expenses can be managed effectively with a bit of planning. On average, students spend about €150 to €300 per month on groceries. Shopping at local markets and discount supermarkets like Lidl and Aldi can help reduce costs. We’ve put together the best places to shop on a budget here:

Dining out is a part of the cultural experience, but it can be expensive. An average meal at an inexpensive restaurant costs about €12 to €20, while dining at a mid-range restaurant can cost between €25 to €50 per person.


France has an excellent public transportation system. A monthly public transport pass in Paris costs about €75, while in other cities like Lyon, Marseille, or Toulouse, the cost ranges from €30 to €60. Many cities offer student discounts, so be sure to inquire about these options.

monthly expenses breakdown france

Health Insurance

France is often said to have the world’s best healthcare system. Every resident can benefit from it for free. So, if you plan to study in France with a student visa, you will benefit from this system for free as well. Healthcare services are generally free at the point of use, and most medical costs are covered. For expenses that are not covered, most people are enrolled in a private health insurance, known as “mutuelle” which covers these fees. Nowadays, more and more employers are paying 50% of this mutuelle for their employees.

Mobile Phone and Internet

Staying connected is essential. Mobile phone plans in France are relatively affordable. For about €10 to €30 per month, you can get a plan with sufficient data, calls, and texts. Companies like Free, SFR, and Orange offer competitive packages.

Internet costs for those living in private accommodation range from €20 to €40 per month. Some student residences include internet in the rent, so this is worth considering when choosing your accommodation.

monthly expenses breakdown france

Leisure and Miscellaneous

Leisure activities are an essential part of student life. Budgeting around €100 to €200 per month for entertainment, socializing, and cultural activities is reasonable. Many museums, cinemas, and theatres offer student discounts. Taking advantage of free or low-cost activities, such as university events and city festivals, can also help you enjoy your time in France without overspending.

Monthly Expenses Breakdown Estimate

Wondering how much does it cost to live and study in France? Use our cost of living calculator to find out! Get an estimate here:

Use our cost of living calculator to estimate how much money you will need during your stay in France. Please note that these figures are estimates based on averages, and your actual cost of living will vary depending on your location in France, the school you attend, the duration of your studies, your accommodation, lifestyle, and spending habits.

monthly expenses breakdown france

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