The costs to study and live in Paris
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The costs to study and live in Paris

The costs to study and live in Paris

If there’s a place where the art of living still exists, it’s Paris. Living in the sense of enjoying the finer things in life, where time and money is secondary to having the best meals, drinking the best wine and immersing in the best the city has to offer in terms of art, shopping and nightlife.

No one escapes the lure of the L’Art de Vivre, not even students.

For the student on a budget, this can pose a constant dilemma. To strike the perfect balance between avoiding bankruptcy and getting the most out of what could be the best study abroad experience the city can offer, a little planning helps.

Campus France estimates an average annual investment of EU14,000 (US$16,290) per student. Here’s our simple breakdown of how much everything is going to cost as an international student in Paris:

1. Tuition fees


The state funds most of France’s higher education institutions. This explains why tuition fees are relatively low compared with the rest of Europe (ahem, like the UK).

Nonetheless, there is usually a nominal fee charged. According to Times Higher Education, the average fees are €189 per year for a bachelor’s degree, €259 for a master’s degree, €393 for a PhD and €611 to attend an engineering school.

In addition, there may be administration charges levied as well, though still lower compared to other countries like the UK. Fees also go higher at its selective private grandes écoles, grands établissements, and private institutions that teach engineering, management or business.

2. Visa

A study visa costs EU99 for international students (ie. those not from the EU/EEA). There may be some variations based on your nationality.

3. Accommodation

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Rent may be higher in areas that are quickly gentrifying like Montmartre. Source: Shutterstock

According to Expatistan, the average monthly rent for 900 sq ft furnished accommodation in is €2,636 for an expensive area and €2,130 for a normal area.

Meanwhile, the average monthly rent for a 480 sq ft furnished studio is €1,560 for an expensive area and €1,100 for a normal area.

Utilities in both areas cost from €109-179 and monthly internet 8 Mbps (one month) costs €23.

4. Food

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Liberte, Egalite, Gastronomie? Source: Shutterstock

Eating out costs, on average, €14 per meal at an inexpensive restaurant and €27.50 per meal for a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant. A McDonald’s combo meal costs around €8 while a regular cappuccino costs €3.24, according to Numbeo.

In terms of groceries, a one-litre bottle of milk costs €1.30 while a loaf of white bread is €1.60.

5. Transport

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Transit in Paris is convenient, though rule-breaking and impoliteness are reportedly common. Source: Shutterstock

A monthly transport pass regularly costs €75. For students, however, an annual transit subscription in Paris is charged at €342. Cycling will be significantly cheaper – an annual self-service bicycle subscription at the student rate is €19-29.

The city’s location makes it a good base point to explore other European cities at relatively affordable prices, such as London (€100-150 return on the Eurostar), Marseille (€140 train return) or Barcelona (€150 plane return).

6. Fun

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Gaze in wonder at Claude Monet’s Water Lilies at the Musée de l’Orangerie. Source: Shutterstock

There’s no shortage of entertainment in this European city. Cinemas charge an average of €11 per ticket while fitness clubs charge €48.35 for a monthly pass.

Students get a subsidised rate to visit the city’s acclaimed museums – The Musée Picasso charges €12.50 for tourists, but €11 if you’re a student (pro tip: visit on Sunday because it’s free). Other museums like the Musée National du Moyen-Age-Thermes, Centre Pompidou, and Musée de l’Orangerie have subsidised rates for students as well.

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