China vs France: Which is the Better Study-Abroad Destination in 2024?

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China vs France

Choosing a study-abroad destination can become a daunting task. You can become even more confused if you have to choose between two equally excellent countries, such as China and France. Both nations boast top-notch universities that offer world-class education and extensive employment opportunities. If you need clarification about selecting China and France, this blog is for you. Buckle up as we are about to end the debate of China vs France for good. We will compare these destinations based on numerous aspects and award +2 points to the one which is better in a specific aspect. Towards the end of this blog, we will compute the total scores and the country with the highest score will win this contest. 

Parameters ChinaFrance 
Area9.597 Million KM²551,695 KM²
CurrencyChinese Yuan (¥)Euro (€)
Total Higher Education Providers3,012Over 3,500 Public and Private Institutes
Total Indian Students Studying23,00010,000
Average Cost of Living¥4,047.3€918.2 – €3,273.8
Average Cost of Studying¥18,249 – ¥72,996 Per Year€600 – €800 / Month
Popular Job SectorsTechnology, Accountancy and Finance, Teaching, Medicine, Marketing, and ManufacturingPharmacy, Psychology, Radiology, Architecture, Journalism, and Healthcare. 
Permitted Part-Time Working Hours24 Hours Per Week 20 Hours Per Week

Top-Ranked Universities: China vs France

Choosing the right university is extremely crucial for you as this decision can either make or break your career. So, let’s compare China and France based on their top universities. 

Universities in China

Here are some of the most prestigious universities in China:

Top Universities in ChinaQS World University Rankings 2024Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024
Peking University1714
Tsinghua University2512
Zhejiang University4455
Fudan University5044
Shanghai Jiao Tong University5143
University of Science and Technology13757
Nanjing University14173
Wuhan University194164
Tongji University216185
Harbin Institute of Technology256168

Universities in France

The table given below shows some of the best French universities:

Top Universities in FranceQS World University Rankings 2024Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024
Université PSL (Paris Sciences & Lettres)24 47
Ecole Polytechnique38
Sorbonne University5975
Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon184
Ecole des Ponts ParisTech192 401–500
Université de Paris236
Sciences Po Paris319501–600
Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne328801–1000
ENS Paris-Saclay7158

Which Country is Better?

The tables above show that most of the universities in China are ranked higher than the universities in France. Hence, we will grant +2 points to China in this round of China vs France. 

Also Read: Top Universities in China

Admission Requirements

Before you jump onto the application process for your desired destination, make sure you are aware of its admission criteria. So, in this section, we will understand the eligibility requirements for the universities in these two countries. 

Admission Requirements For China

One has to provide these listed documents to become eligible for admission into a university in China: 

  • Passport copy
  • Personal statement
  • A photo (passport size)
  • Physical examination form- medical results
  • Official transcripts
  • 2 recommendation letters (should be written and signed by your teachers/professors and contain their contact details)
  • Bank statement
  • Graduation certificate (s)

Admission Requirements For France

The eligibility criteria for admission to the universities in France are listed below: 

  • The applicants must make sure that they are at least 18 years old before applying to the university they wish to enrol in. 
  • Moreover, students need to receive a short-stay visa if they participate in a training program that continues for less than a period of three months. 
  • Candidates will be offered a temporary long-stay visa in case their training course concludes post three months or six months, and they don’t need to do any further paperwork when they finally arrive in France. 
  • Students need to provide a long-stay visa, which is equivalent to a residency permit if their training goes on for more than six months. 
  • The students also have to give the documents mentioned below: 
    • Two passport-size photos
    • If you have enrolled in a course taught in French, you will need a proficiency certificate for the French language
    • Evidence of monetary means for covering all expenses during the period of study
    • Documents that state the arrangement for accommodation during your studies
    • A valid passport and copies of your previous visas if any
    • Air flight reservation/ticket with the date of departure
    • A visa application form for a France study visa
    • Medical insurance can cost around 30,000 Euros yearly
    • Evidence of payment of Visa fees
    • An official Letter of Acceptance/Enrolment from the University in France
    • If applicable, proof of civil status

Which Country is Better?

The above comparison implies that getting into a university in China is easier than getting into a university in Frane. Hence, we will grant +2 points to China in this round of China vs France.

Tuition Fees

Tuition costs are one of the biggest factors that decide whether a country is suitable for you or not. While both China and France boast affordable educational costs, let’s see which one is the cheapest when it comes to studies. 

Tuition Fees in China

The average tuition fees in China as per the websites of the universities in the country are given below: 

Study Program Average Annual Tuition Fee
Undergraduate ¥15,000 to ¥60,000 
Postgraduate¥18,000 to ¥90,000 
Doctoral¥20,000 to ¥50,000 

Tuition Fees in France

The average annual tuition fees according to the websites of French universities are provided in the table below: 

Study Program Average Annual Tuition Fee
Undergraduate €600 – €30,000
Doctoral€380 – €30,000

Which Country is Better?

While several universities in France may charge more fees than in China, most of the French institutes have lower tuition costs than the Chinese ones. As a result, we will award +2 points to France in this round of China vs France. 

Living Expenses

Let’s look at another important consideration for selecting the right study-abroad destination, which is the cost of living. In this section, we will compare China and France based on their average living expenses. 

Cost of Living in China

The living expenses as per Numbeo are given in the table below: 

Monthly Rent ¥2,191.31 – ¥7,900.84
Average Apartment Price (Price per Square Metre)¥33,742.16 – ¥58,250.61
Average Cost of an Inexpensive Restaurant Meal ¥25
Average Transportation Cost (Monthly)¥200
Average Cost of Utility (Monthly)¥584.12

Cost of Living in France

The cost of living in France as per the Numbeo is shown in the table below: 

Monthly Rent €589.50 – €1,408.42
Average Apartment Price (Price per Square Metre)€4,231.83 – €5,813.26
Average Cost of an Inexpensive Restaurant Meal €15
Average Transportation Cost (Monthly)€61.37 
Average Cost of Utility (Monthly)€229.03

Which Country is Better?

The living expenses in China are lower than in France for the most part. Henceforth, we will give +2 points to China in this round of China vs France. 

Also Read: Scholarships in China

Work Permit and PR

Many students study abroad to find employment there and eventually receive permanent residency. So, the ease of gaining a work permit and PR is also a significant consideration one should have while selecting the right destination. 

Work Permit in China

Let’s see how a work permit is awarded in China: 

Eligibility Criteria to Get a Work Permit in China

To apply for a Chinese work permit, you have to submit the documents shown below: 

  • A valid passport,
  • Reference letter,
  • A completed application form, 
  • Medical examination report from an authorized hospital,
  • An approval document for commercial performances,
  • A passport-sized photograph, 
  • TEFL/TESOL certificate authenticated by the Chinese embassy or consulate (applicable only for teaching positions),
  • Registration Certificate of Resident Representative Offices of Enterprises from Foreign Countries,
  • Clean criminal record,
  • Foreigners Work Permit notification letter issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of the PRC, and
  • Issued by the Chinese government authorities for Cultural Affairs. 

To get the notification letter, your employer needs you to provide these documents to the Labour Bureau:

  • Degree or diploma (legalised and authenticated),
  • Your resume, 
  • Proof of at least two years of work experience in the relevant field,
  • Verification of education or professional qualifications,
  • Information concerning any accompanying members,
  • A copy of the job contract,
  • Verification of employment history, and
  • Physical examination record. 

Steps to Apply for a Chinese Work Permit

Follow the steps provided below to receive a Chinese Work Permit:

Step 1: You are needed to have been given a job offer in China

Step 2: Once you have successfully secured a job, collect and prepare all the mandatory documents.

Step 3: Now, proceed with your application by applying for a Chinese work visa at a Chinese embassy/consulate, and pay the needed application fees. 

Step 4: Finally, you will receive your work visa after you are done with your application process. 

The processing time for a Chinese work visa is usually around 4 working days, depending on the number of applications the embassy gets. 

PR in China

You can be awarded a permanent residency visa regardless of your post or employer if you:

  • Earn a salary over ¥600,000 yearly, 
  • Pay your income taxes timely (¥120,000 or more yearly), and 
  • Have worked in Shanghai for more than a period of four years without having any criminal record in the country of your residence.

Work Permit in France

Have a look at the process of obtaining a work permit in France:

Eligibility Criteria to Get a Work Permit in France

The candidates have to fulfil the eligibility criteria given below to be deemed eligible for a France Work Visa. 

  • It is mandatory to have a valid passport. 
  • The applicants need to have been given a job proposal in France. 
  • One needs to have all the required documents that are mentioned in the application form. 
  • The applicants are only allowed to work within the scope of specific work time mentioned in their respective work permits and cannot cross the specified time limit. 
  • One will also be needed to submit the documents mentioned below: 
    • A duly filled France visa application form,
    • CV of the employee,
    • Copies of all education qualifications,
    • A valid passport with expiry at least 3 months beyond the intended duration of stay,
    • A photocopy of the first and last page of the passport,
    • Employer’s reference letter,
    • Company’s appointment letter,
    • Recent colour photographs,
    • Past employment testimonials, and 
    • A detailed description of the type of work to be performed by the applicant in France

Steps to Apply for a French Work Permit

Follow the steps listed below to apply for a France work permit: 

Step 1:  You have to first figure out the type of permit you are applying for, by the job role and duration of employment. 

Step 2: Then, finish the application form for the work permit. 

Step 3: Gather all the documentation that is mandatory for the France work permit.

Step 4: After this, schedule an appointment to provide the Biometrics and required documents at VAC (Visa Application Centre).

Step 5: Then, you are required to wait for the embassy’s decision. 

It takes typically about 5 to 20 working days for the work visa to process once you have provided the documents to the French Embassy/Consulate.

PR in France

If you want to live in France for an extended period, or even permanently, you can be eligible for a France permanent residence permit or French citizenship after five years. This period can be shortened in several situations, such as marriage to or becoming a parent of a French national. 

Which Country is Better? 

The above comparison shows that both France have a more straightforward process to get a work permit and permanent residency as compared to China. So, we will give +2 points to France in this round of China vs France. 

Average Salaries: China vs France

A fresh graduate in China gets an average salary of ¥10,342 per month, as noted by TeamedUp China. The average annual salary of a graduate in France is €39,800 as per WeAreDevelopers. 

Which Country is Better? 

The average salary in France is more than in China, and hence, France will receive +2 points in this round of China vs France. 

Also Read: Part-Time Jobs in France

Other Major Elements

Small considerations like climate and safety are also very important. Let’s look at some other key elements that determine whether a country is suitable for you or not. 


Being in the temperate climate zone, most of the regions in China are cool, but the southern part is hot and the country’s northern part is quite frigid. Coming to France, the country experiences wet winters and dry summers.


China is mostly safe for the internationals, just make sure you are aware of where you are going and follow local rules. Similarly, France is also a very safe nation with serious crimes like murder and narcotics being extremely rare. 

Culture for International Students

International students studying in China report a very gratifying experience. However, they may have to culturally adapt and understand the local language if they want a better experience. Coming to France, the locals are known for being very friendly and welcoming to students coming from overseas. 


After calculating the total scores, we find that China received 6 points just like France. Hence, this competition is a tie.

However, both nations are excellent choices for pursuing education. These countries have a track record of offering top-notch education and a wide range of career opportunities to international students. 


Q1. Why is France friendly with India?

Ans. France and India see each other as significant partners in space technology and applications.

Q2. Is IELTS required in China?

Ans. If you wish to study in China in English, you will have to prove your English proficiency. You can do this by taking the TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test. 

Q3. Is France cheap to study?

Ans. Yes, studying in France is more affordable than most of the other developed countries. 

Related Articles: 

China vs New Zealand: Which is the Better Study-Abroad Destination in 2024?France vs Canada: Which is the Better Study-Abroad Destination?
China vs USA: Which is the Better Study-Abroad Destination?China vs UK: Which is the Better Study-Abroad Destination?
UK vs Ireland: Which is a Better Study-Abroad Destination in 2024?New Zealand VS USA: Which is the Better Option for Studying Abroad?

So, this was all about China vs France. Many Indian students dream of pursuing education in foreign nations due to the exposure and career growth they offer. Consider joining a free counselling session with Leverage Edu if you plan to study abroad

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