France vs. Germany: Battle of the Best Study Destination for Students!

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France vs Germany

When it comes to studying in Europe, both France and Germany have earned a stellar reputation in the educational sector. If France is crowned as the best European destination due to its compelling universities, architecture, quaint cafes and fashion houses; then Germany is known for offering free education to international students, technological prowess and an age-old tradition that has led to its transformation to modern metropolises and has rightfully earned the name of the “Land of Poets and Thinkers”. Find out which is better France vs. Germany for an international student!

Top Universities in France

France has over 43 universities listed among the top world higher institutions. Here are the QS World University Rankings 2024 for Top Universities in France:

Name of UniversityFrance RankingQS Global Ranking 2024
Université PSL (Paris Sciences et Lettres Research University)152
Ecole Polytechnique (ParisTech)268
Sorbonne University383
École Normale Supéri€e de Lyon5161
Sciences Po Paris=6242=
Ecole des Ponts ParisTech=6275=
Université de Paris (University of Paris)8275=
Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne9287=
ENS Paris-Saclay10291=

Universities in France Accepting GRE

Top Universities in Germany

Germany is known for imparting free education as well as being the home to world-renowned universities. Here are the QS World University Rankings 2024 for Top Universities in Germany:

UniversityGermany RankingQS Global Ranking 2024
Technical University of Munich150
Heidelberg University263
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich364
Free University of Berlin4127
Humboldt University of Berlin 5=128
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology6136
Technical University of Berlin7159
RWTH Aachen University8165
University of Freiburg9172
University of Tübingen=10=177

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Top Courses in France

Moving on, we talk about some of the top courses that are being offered in France vs Germany. The subjects that are in the greatest demand among international students include:

Top Courses in Germany

The subjects that hold the most prominent value include the likes of :

  • Engineering
  • Business Management
  • Humanities
  • Maths and Computer Science
  • Fine and Applied Arts
  • Social Sciences
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Natural Sciences
  • Architecture
  • Business and Economics
  • Psychology

Eligibility Criteria to Study Abroad

If you are planning to study in France vs Germany, you need to keep a few things in mind.  First and foremost is the general eligibility criteria that must be kept in mind while applying for a course in either country:

Eligibility Requirements for France

Prospective DegreeRequired Qualification
Bachelor’sClass 12th certificate with at least 60% marks in the required subjects.
Master’sApplicants must have scored a minimum of 55% in their bachelor’s degree.
PhDA five-year bachelor’s and/or a two-year master’s degree in a relevant area of study, with a good score on the language proficiency test. 

Eligibility Requirements for Germany 

Prospective DegreeRequired Qualification
Bachelor’sClass 12th certificate with at least 50% marks in the required subjects.
Master’sThree or four-year undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline and subjects with the minimum percentage of marks as set by course and/or university standards.
Note: Check official university websites
PhDA bachelor’s and/or master’s degree in a relevant area of study
*The specific eligibility requirements may differ as per the course and university you have selected

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Documents Required

Both countries require students to prepare a bunch of documents during the application. Here is a comparison of documents needed when deciding between France vs Germany:


  • A transcript/record of your previous studied courses
  • A scan of your passport and birth certificate
  • CV/Resume
  • Entrance exam scores as per the university requirements
  • Evidence of scholarship or funding (if any)
  • Statement of Purpose 
  • Portfolio and writing essays (as per the university guidelines)
  • Letter(s) of Recommendation
  • Proof of Language Proficiency (English – IELTS, TOEFL or French – TCF, Le TEF, DELF, DALF) 

Also Read: TCF vs TEF: Which is Better?


Visa Requirements 

Visa requirements tend to differ in France and Germany. Both countries offer different types of visas for a plethora of travel requirements like study, leisure, work, etc


France offers two types of visas to students – the Short Stay Visa (for a period of less than 90 days) and the Long Stay Visa (for a period of over 90 days).  

  1. Short Stay Visa – These are governed by the EU regulations and allow you to stay up to 3 months in the 26-country Schengen zone. Holders of this Short Stay Visa are authorised to enter France for the purpose of appearing for an entrance examination or interview at the French university. If you’re successful, you may apply for a Long Stay Visa without having to return to India
  2. Long Stay Visa – The Long Stay Visa is valid for a period of between 3 months and one year.


Germany offers three types of visas to Students – the German Student Visa, the German Student Application Visa and the German Language Course Visa. 

While applying for a visa to study in Germany, it is important that you know about the types of study visas available for different purposes. There are mainly three types of German Study Visas, i.e.

  • German Student Visa: A standardized student visa for those applying a full-time programme to study in Germany
  • German Student Application Visa: This type of German study visa is for those who are going to Germany to carry out the admission process in person. A German Student Application Visa does not apply for those wanting to study in Germany but for those visiting it to complete their admission process in a certain shorter time duration. It is mainly issued for 3 months but can be extended to another 6 months during which you can obtain the acceptance letter and switch to a student visa afterwards.
  • German Language Course Visa: This German study visa is for those planning to pursue a German language course in Germany.

France vs Germany Cost of Living

Here is the living cost, accommodation and general expenses for students living in its most popular cities like Berlin and Paris:

ServiceGermany (Berlin)France (Paris)
Utilities per Month (including the Internet)€667-€952 (INR 56,780-81,042)€879-€1220 (INR 74,827-1,03,856)
Meal for a Single Person€10 (INR 851)€14 (INR 1,191)
Local Public Transport€3 (INR 255)€1.90 (INR 161)
Taxi Tariff/km€2.15 (INR 183)€1.60 (INR 136)
Utilities per Month
(including the Internet)
€270.86 (INR 22,984)€207.69 (INR 17,621)
*The above-mentioned costs are the average expected costs of the services. The rates can vary on the basis of the city you choose to live in. Further, the location of your accommodation also affects the rates, with the city centre being more expensive than the outskirts of the city.


It is estimated that the average international student will need to have around INR 6 to 8 lakhs to survive while attending a French university. The average tuition fee may vary from about INR 6 to 15 lakh per year depending upon the course and the university. However, if you’re looking for colleges at a lower cost, it is recommended to compare your options before you apply.

Must Read: 10 Things You Should Never Do in France as a Student


In the case of Germany, the tuition fee can vary on the basis of the type of university. The annual tuition fees at Public Universities can be between INR12,000 – INR1,30,000 while for Private Universities it can go up to INR 28,00,000. The Accommodation and Utilities can cost you about INR18,721 – INR46,000 per annum. 

Part-time Work Opportunities

Both countries allow international students to take up part-time work opportunities to lessen the financial constraints and gain work experience. Here is a comparison of France vs Germany in terms of work opportunities for international students:


In the case of France, International Students can work for a maximum of 964 hours in any given year provided that they fulfil the following criteria

  • The university they are working for does not have any objection to the work
  • The student possesses a valid residency permit and would not require temporary employment authorization as the residency permit has an inbuilt clause for the same.

All students in France enrolled are eligible to work in France regardless of their year or programme as they have a right to work in France. Courses with inbuilt internships may not allow part-time work and it is better to check with your university regarding the same, Some popular part-time student jobs in France are:-

  • Academic Assistance
  • Waiting Staff at Cafes and Restaurants
  • Employed in Markets
  • Babysitting/Nanny Jobs
  • English Tutor
  • Museum Jobs
  • Tour Guide
  • Hotel Work
  • Bar Work
  • Retail Work
  • Blogging 
  • Volunteering 
  • Work at Disneyland

The minimum hourly wage is about €7.61 approximately and hence cumulatively a student can earn up to €7900 per year.

Also Read: Part-Time Jobs in France


A foreign student is allowed to work up to 120 full-time days (or 240 half-days) in a year without the need to obtain permission from the German employment authorities. This legally allowed number of working days also includes voluntary internships, and they are not allowed to freelance.

Student life in Germany entails a great balance of work and study; students get ample opportunity to study and work in the country. Some popular part-time jobs amongst international students are 

  • Academic assistants
  • Library supervisor
  • Literature researcher
  • Tutorial Assistant
  • Waiting Staff
  • Courier
  • Babysitter
  • Bartender
  • Dog walker
  • Cashier
  • Writer
  • Tutor

The minimum wage is 8.80 euros per hour and they can earn more depending on their work. Usually, the wages are higher in big cities but the cost of living is also considerably high. Students earning 450 euros per month or less than that are exempted from paying taxes. In industries like production, academic institutions, and trade fairs, the pay per hour is typically higher than the minimum wage that has been set.

Post-Study Work Visa

Another prominent difference between France vs Germany is the duration of Post post-study work visas offered by the countries. Let’s find out the difference:

Career in France

In France, the Post Study Work provides the student a period of 2 years after the completion of their course to find a job. It allows them extra time to find a permanent residence, pay off student loan debts or enhance their resumes. France is one of the most trusted destinations for students who wish to explore the work culture of the country and is the home to many international startups. 

Job Prospects in France

  • Computer Science and IT Jobs
  • STEM professionals 
  • Business and Management Jobs
  • Hospitality and Tourism Jobs
  • Health and Social Care Jobs
  • Jobs in Retail and Wholesale Trade
  • Jobs in the Manufacturing Industry

Career in Germany

Germany allows students to apply for an 18-month residence permit to look for a job after graduation and they can do any kind of work during this time period. They require a passport, proof of completion of studies, health insurance documents and proof of funds that they can support themselves financially. This period begins as soon as one finishes their final examination. Following securing a job, you can apply for an EU Blue Card or a German residence permit. The Blue Card will enable you to work in other countries as well.

Jobs Prospects in Germany

  • Computer Science and IT Jobs
  • Healthcare Workers
  • Jobs in the Retail Industry 
  • STEM Professionals
  • Software Developers
  • Account Manager
  • Production Assistant
  • Architect
  • Economist

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Student life and Culture

France and Germany are student hubs with tremendous opportunities for networking, and exploring divine monuments as well as a unique and unforgettable culture. From Oktoberfest to the Parisian Festival of Lights, every international student can blend in and explore a new lifestyle.


The culture of France has been shaped by its geography, historical events, and foreign and internal forces and groups. France, and in particular Paris, has played an important role as a centre of high culture worldwide.

Must Read: Explore International Student Life in France!


Germany is known for its long and rich history, one that has put it at the forefront of European thought, politics, and art for thousands of years. This history has shaped a culture that combines predominantly Christian values with literature, art, philosophy, logic, reason, and, of course, a love of beer and sausages. The country has its own language and values that make studying here exciting and sometimes shocking!

Best Cities in France and Germany

Here are some of the most student-friendly and accessible cities in Europe’s most populous countries:


France is a country with phenomenal cities that are ideal for international students to pursue their studies. Top destinations in France include:

  • Paris,
  • Lyon,
  • Grenoble,
  • Nice, and
  • Toulouse


Studying in Germany is an ideal experience for an international student, as the country has a lot to offer. While every place in Germany has excellent universities, some of the most popular cities include the likes of:

  • Munich,
  • Berlin,
  • Stuttgart,
  • Dresden,
  • Frankfurt, and
  • Aachen.

Must Read: Explore the Best Student Cities in Europe for 2022!

Confused about which country to choose between France vs Germany? Worry not! We at Leverage Edu are ready to provide you with expert guidance and help in choosing the country, university, and programs that are best fit for you and your career goals. Reach out to us, and take up the free 30-minute session today!

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