Get your Business degree in France and you can combine world-class management education with the French joie de vivre - joy of life. Read on to learn all you need to know about business schools and study options:
“Business” is a broad area that includes all kinds of subjects. French business schools offer virtually any discipline in English; either as a standalone programme or as a specialisation. For example:
Considering France’s impressive wine and spirits industry, some business schools also offer unique programmes specifically for this sector. Look for “Wine Management” or similar names.
While there is a diverse range of study options in English, it’s important to know that most available programmes are actually at the Master’s level.
If you are looking for a Business Bachelor’s programme in English, there are not that many options in France. Or rather: If universities offer a Business Bachelor, they often group a lot of possible specialisations into one programme. So you might find a “Bachelor in Management”, but then you can cover your desired discipline through electives.
France is home to many of the best business schools in Europe and, in fact, the world. Business school rankings are one indicator in support of that claim. Such rankings are certainly neither flawless, nor always applicable to an individual student’s requirements and goals. But there’s a certain element of a “self-fulfilling prophecy” as company recruiters rely on them, among other factors.
One popular ranking is that of the Financial Times (FT). In 2020, out of the 90 best business schools in Europe, 22 were based in France or had branch campuses there. No other country had that many in the league table, not even the UK. Here are the top 10, as ranked by FT:
|Rank in France||Rank in Europe||Business School|
|3||6||Essec Business School|
|4||8||ESCP Business School|
|5||14||Edhec Business School|
|6||20||emlyon Business School|
|7||28||Grenoble Ecole de Management|
|8||34||Kedge Business School|
|9||39||Neoma Business School|
|10||45||Audencia Business School|
Good business schools strive to receive accreditation by external authorities. The most reputable accreditations are those provided by AACSB, AMBA and EFMD/EQUIS. Any one of them is a seal of high educational quality; securing all three is typically referred to as the “triple crown”.
And like with rankings, this is where France can shine: It is home to more triple-accredited business schools than any other country in Europe except the UK.
For example, these schools are accredited by AACSB, AMBA, and EFMD/EQUIS:
For an overview of all “triple crown” business schools in France and elsewhere in Europe, check out our full list of triple-accredited business schools and university faculties.
Attending business school is generally not cheap; even in France, which is otherwise known for low tuition fees. But as an investment in your development and your future opportunities, expect a high ROI that makes it worth it!
Considering their reputation, most French business schools are also relatively affordable when compared to those in other European countries. At highly ranked institutions with reliable accreditations, the typical tuition fees are:
Top-ranked elite institutions like HEC Paris or Insead, on the other hand, charge substantially higher fees.
Here is an overview of fees at some of France’s most popular business schools:
|Business School / University||Tuition fees per year|
|Audencia Business School||
|emlyon Business School||
|PSB Paris School of Business||
|TBS Business School (formerly Toulouse Business School)||
You do not need to speak French to study in Business in France. Of course, knowledge of the local language is always helpful - anywhere in the world! But you have so many study options in English that you can easily get by, even if all you can say is bonjour, baguette and merci.
Things may look a bit different when you want to stay and work in France after graduation. Solid knowledge of French will definitely help you when applying for jobs; in fact, it may be extremely difficult to land a promising position without any French skills.
If you want a statistic on it: The EF English Proficiency Index ranked France 23rd in Europe, with “good proficiency” and an upward trend.
Even if you choose to study in English, use your time to learn French. Not only will you make the most of your time in France. The language is also widely spoken around the world and will be of use to you in lots of other countries around the world!
While France is Paris-centric in many ways, there are other important business and industry hubs that you should consider - especially with an eye on the next steps of your career. Here are a few ideas:
Getting an education in France is usually the ideal gateway to also finding a job and starting your career in the country. Business schools are good at supporting you - after all, it’s in their best interest that their graduates are successful! There will be career fairs and events; and some programmes even have internships embedded in the curriculum, sometimes mandatory, sometimes as an optional addition.
France generally welcomes qualified expats. EU citizens don’t need a visa to stay. Graduates who are citizens of countries outside the EU either need a job to obtain a residence permit; or they need to apply for France’s version of a post-study work visa, the APS (for "Autorisation Provisioire de Séjour" - Temporary Residence Permit). The APS allows you to search for employment for up to 12 months.
At the risk of providing a less-than-satisfactory answer, typical salaries are hard to generalise. They depend on several factors like:
As a rule of thumb, you should expect that a degree from a high-ranking business school will enable you to earn more money later on. After all, higher alumni salaries are a ranking factor; so, one reason for that school ranking higher was that employers are willing to pay its graduates more money.
Among the many destinations where you can go to business school, France is possibly one of the best choices. Let’s revisit the top reasons
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