Studying in France enriches one’s cultural and social experience. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you do not want to miss out on. With its attractive cost of tuition and top-notch education system, it is no doubt why many international students come and study in the country. Several reputable public universities can be found in France, which is why it offers more affordable tuition fees for local and international students compared to other countries.
If you wish to study nursing in France, you will be satisfied with the facilities and outstanding curriculum of nursing schools. You can study three levels of education in France: license, master, doctorate. License is also known as bachelor’s or undergraduate degree which is usually completed in three years. The master’s program is also called a master’s or graduate degree that lasts for two years. For further studies, you can pursue a doctorate degree for three or four years.
So if you have decided to study nursing in France, you better learn and brush up on your French skills because you will surely need them. You will find in this article a detailed outline of how to study nursing in France.
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1. Know the prerequisite of becoming a nurse in France
Are you a registered nurse already and seeking a nursing career in France? If yes, you will need to study nursing in France for only one year because of the 2009 reform. Afterward, you have to pass the French nursing licensure examination. However, working and studying in France heavily requires that you know the French language proficiently.
If you are not yet a nurse and you want to study nursing in France, you will have to complete a three-year bachelor’s program in an accredited university or nursing school. According to oecd.org, you need to pass an entrance examination at the Institut de Formation en Soins Infirmiers (IFSI) before you can take part in the three-year nursing program.
Afterward, you can further your education by studying for a master’s degree specializing in different fields such as pediatric nursing, O.R. nurse, nurse anesthetist, and more. You need to have two years of work experience before you can apply for a master’s degree.
An example of a nursing school that offers a bachelor’s degree in nursing is IFSI Diaconesses de Reuilly. They have a competitive program where only 80 students are accepted in the program that is completed in three years for 180 ECTS. If you wish to continue with a master’s degree, Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University (UVSQ) offers a two-year master’s degree in nurse anesthesiology with four semesters.
2. Gather information about Nursing Schools in France
When researching a nursing school in France, their websites are mostly in French. It is a good thing Google has a translation tool where you can translate French in your native language to help you navigate. Several elements should be considered when deciphering which is the best nursing school in France. A good nursing school should help you sharpen the physical and mental abilities that are needed for a nurse. Thus, these nursing schools in France should have a good curriculum for theoretical and practical courses, along with its facilities.
Moreover, the school size and environment are something to think about whether it fits your cup of tea. You will be studying in these nursing schools in France for three years, so it is best to be in a school where you are most comfortable. Lastly, the location of the nursing school will help you decide if you will study with those schools. You will have to choose between the city or the countryside, which then your budget comes into the picture. Generally, living in the city is more expensive as compared to the country. If you are looking for a more budget-friendly environment, the countryside is much better.
3. Meet French Proficiency Requirements of Studying Nursing in France
France is known to be a country where English is not a common language. That is why your entire stay in France is highly reliant on being proficient in the French language. Plus, before you can enter a French nursing school, you are required to learn French first.
At the University of Paris, they will require you to take a three-hour French examination to assess your writing and speaking French level. Thus, at most nursing schools, you will need to pass similar tests before studying nursing in France. However, if you come from a country where French is spoken, you are exempted from this test.
4. Prepare Financially to Pay Tuition Fees and Living Cost
After meeting all the mandatory admission requirements, you also have to prepare for the total cost of your tuition fees and overall stay in the country. Securing more than enough income and providing financial proof to the school and immigration will help approve your application faster.
Of course, your acceptance will still strongly depend on your educational qualifications. Aside from the cost of studying nursing in France, you also have to consider the cost of living in France. France is widely known to make you dig deep into your pockets.
If you choose to live in a center like Paris, you can expect to provide a larger budget. Depending on your location and lifestyle, the total expenses for a month can range from USD 2,000 to USD 3,000, which already includes your rent, food, utilities, transportation, and other personal expenses.
Moreover, the cost of tuition fees per academic year in French universities and colleges can vary from USD 3,370 to USD 10,000, whether it is a university or community college. At the Institut de Formation Interhospitalier Théodore Simon (IFITS), the cost of tuition is EUR 3,050 or approximately USD 3,710. However, if you meet certain conditions of the school, the tuition can be lowered.
5. Submit Your Application for Nursing
Once you have researched a nursing school, you can start fixing your documents for qualification assessment. Most universities have the same requirements but make sure to check with the nursing school with their specific requirements. French universities usually require candidates to register on their school website and submit the required documents, whereas some require you to register at Parcoursup, a national platform in France designed for freshmen college students for pre-registration.
To study nursing in France, some common mandatory documents are your high school diploma, language proficiency certificate, passport, and application form. However, other specific requirements are not mostly stated on the websites, so you have to contact them directly because each nationality has different requirements for submission.
For example, the University of Paris requires students to follow the Parcoursup system. For non-EEA students, step one requires a green or white application form to be submitted, which can be found here. Some documents required are a foreign secondary school diploma, application for admission, witness sheet, university response, proofreading tests, and receipt.
6. Submit your application to French Nursing Schools
After completing and submitting all the documents, all you need to do is wait patiently and hope for good results. Normally, you will receive an acceptance letter from the university of your choice. After which, you have to respond within a week to let them know whether or not you accept their offer.
The school will then ask for an initial payment of your tuition fee and you can proceed with your student visa to be able to study nursing in France. You can find a sample step-by-step process of the application process at the University of Paris website.
7. Prepare your student visa
The last step involved in studying nursing in France is your student visa processing. It is highly advisable to prepare this at least three months before your expected departure date to give you ample time to process it. A student visa usually takes three weeks to process before you can get your passport with a visa sticker.
To learn about the specific requirements for each country, you can visit this French government website for complete details. A French student visa usually costs around USD 60 to USD 100. Some common requirements are a language proficiency certificate for French and English, receipt of visa payment, completed visa application form, passport, passport ID photos, acceptance letter from a French university, proof of income, flight itinerary, and overseas health insurance.
8. Prepare Your Flight and Accommodation
Once everything is finished, you will need to get your plane tickets and decide where you are going to live!
I hope that this article on studying nursing in France was helpful. You can also find more information on different European universities and scholarship opportunities on the Europe Scholarships Page!