Finance your studies / Scholarships

How to finance a study project in France

Scholarships offered by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs

Scholarships available at French embassies abroad

French government scholarships are allocated by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs for studies, training courses and language courses in France. The majority of scholarships are awarded by the Cooperation and Cultural Action Departments (SCACs) in French embassies and consulates general abroad. Whatever their country of residence, applicants should therefore directly contact the SCAC in their country of origin, before their departure and sufficiently ahead of time, to obtain comprehensive scholarship information on eligibility criteria, selection timetable and required application content.

For further information
Please contact the SCAC of the French Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence

There are several categories of scholarships: study scholarships, training grants and high-level science scholarships.
For further information on the various scholarships

Specific programmes

The French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs also awards scholarships under specific programmes directly operated by its services in Paris (Directorate-General of Global Affairs, Development and Partnerships (DGM), DGM’s Cultural, Academic and Research Cooperation Directorate (DCUR), Higher Education Department, Student Mobility Operators’ Steering Unit).

Eiffel Excellence Scholarships

The Master component of the Eiffel Excellence Scholarship programme was launched by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs in January 1999. It is intended to support student recruitment internationally by French higher education institutions amid growing competition among developed countries to attract the elite of foreign students.

This scheme was supplemented in 2005 with the Doctorate component for high-level doctoral students.

With a view to enhanced clarity, the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs has decided to merge the Programme’s two components under a single call for proposals. There is, however, a separate application form for both components.

The Eiffel scholarship programme provides funding for:

  • Master level courses,
  • a ten-month mobility programme under dual enrolment or joint thesis supervision (preferably in the second or third doctoral year).

The objectives of the French Ministry’s Eiffel Excellence Programme are as follows:

  • to train aspiring foreign policy-makers from the private and public sectors in French higher education institutions, in three priority study areas: the sciences, economics and management, and law and political science;
  • to encourage applications by students from emerging countries, especially from Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and the new EU Member States and, at doctoral level, from industrialized countries.

The Eiffel Programme is a tool open to French higher education institutions in their search for the best foreign students. Applications are submitted solely by French institutions. Those which present applicants undertake without fail to enrol them on the requested course if they are awarded an Eiffel scholarship.

The French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs has entrusted the management of the Eiffel Programme to:

Campus France
28 rue de la Grange-aux-Belles
F-75010 Paris
Tel.: +33 (0)1 40 40 59 30

All practical information is available on the Campus France website:

French Foreign Ministry’s presentation of the Programme in English (PDF, 396 KB)

Eiffel Excellence-Major Scholarships

The Excellence-Major Programme, which was jointly established by the Directorate-General for Global Affairs Development and Partnerships (DGM) of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE), as part of the policy for promoting French higher education. The Programme is intended for the best foreign students at French educational institutions abroad (list drawn up by Order of 4 June 2010) wanting to study in France at higher education level.

Excellence-Major Scholarships are a tool for promoting French higher education as part of French cultural and cooperation policy abroad.

They are designed to encourage student mobility and a channel for cultural diversity as supported by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and AEFE via the network of French educational institutions abroad.

These scholarships are awarded solely to foreign Baccalaureate holders having graduated from a French lycée, for admission to selective higher education programmes.
The Excellence-Major Programme contains two components: the first one, which is financed by AEFE appropriations, offers foreign students from French lycées abroad who have passed the Baccalaureate with special distinction or distinction (mention très bien ou bien) a two-year scholarship to enrol on preparatory classes or a first cycle of university studies in France. The second component, based on French Foreign Ministry appropriations, finances three additional scholarship years to enable those students to continue their studies at the Grandes Ecoles or at university up to Master level (i.e. Baccalaureate plus 5 years).

For further information [in French only]

Scholarships in Theology (call for applications 2015)

The Theology Scholarship Programme is intended for students wanting to study theology at French higher education institutions. The Programme offers scholarships to French-speaking students, first and foremost to members of religious orders and the clergy, at Master and Doctorate level (possibly at Bachelor level by special dispensation when the applicant comes from a country lacking the necessary infrastructure locally).

Applications from students studying abroad have priority over those from students already living in France.

Nationals of the European Union and North America are not eligible for this Programme.

Description of Programme
List of documents to provide
Theology Scholarships File

"Quai d’Orsay/Entreprises": co-financed scholarship programmes

As part of its policy of attractiveness and for promoting French higher education, the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, through the "Quai d’Orsay/Entreprises" programme, has signed public-private partnership agreements with big French companies, designed to encourage and develop the reception of foreign students in France from the best institutions in their countries of origin.

Presentation of programmes
TOTAL/MAE Programme
GDF SUEZ/MAE Programme (calls for scholarship applications 2014-2015)

Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research (MENESR) Scholarships

Depending on their nationality or status, certain foreign students can also request assistance from the French Ministry of National Education, in the form of travel grants, means-tested scholarships and financial assistance for doctoral studies.

For further information: Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research

Scholarships available under European programmes

The European SOCRATES/ERASMUS and LEONARDO programmes enable the allocation, under projects presented by institutions, of aid for mobility of students who are studying or in training in another EU country.

For further information

The Socrates and Leonardo da Vinci programmes are promoted in France by the Socrates-Leonardo da Vinci Agency.

For further information

University Agency for Francophonie (AUF) Scholarships

The University Agency for Francophonie (AUF) offers programmes of action for students, teaching staff and researchers.

For further information

Scholarships offered by international institutions, non-governmental organizations and foundations

For further information
Trilingual Guide (in English, French and Spanish): "Study Abroad" guide published by UNESCO.

For the financing of doctoral and post-doctoral studies: le guide de l’Andès, association française des docteurs

French local government scholarships

Regional Councils and other local government authorities offer mobility scholarships to foreign students. For further information, please contact directly the General Council or Regional Council of the region where you want to pursue your studies.

Directory of Local Government Authorities

Foreign Government Scholarships

Certain countries grant scholarships for studying abroad. Students can get information from the Ministry of Education in their countries of origin or from the scholarship authority.

Scholarships proposed by various bodies

This section is updated by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs when informed by other bodies.

Updated: December 2014