The best international schools in Paris


The city of light is incredibly cosmopolitan. Besides being one of the most-visited cities in the world, Paris’ residents are quite international. Paris is a melting pot of cultures, languages, and cuisines from all over the world!

Boasting well-known international schools and dreamy study abroad options, Paris is one of the biggest student cities in Europe. There are over 60,000 foreign students in Paris; all discovering their own vision of the city. In my opinion, it’s hard to think of a better city to study in! Here’s my guide to the best international schools in Paris.

1. The American University of Paris

Photo courtesy of AUP – Sourced from their website

Situated in the heart of the 7th arrondissement, AUP is a fully-accredited international university in Paris. And international is no understatement. With a staggering 102 nationalities comprising a student body that speaks 70 distinct languages, AUP holds the title of ‘most diverse university in Europe’.

There are just over 1,200 students at AUP, split into undergraduates, graduate students and exchange programs. There’s a strong libreal arts background here as well as a serious commitment to an ‘American style’ education. Students generally spend two years studying ‘pre-requisite courses’ and discovering their interests before declaring a major or minor.

And the school’s student life more than makes up for the decidedly urban campus. Extracurricular activities like sports, student government, and school clubs abound.

Read my article all about the American University of Paris here.

2. Sciences Po

Photo courtesy of Sciences Po Paris – Sourced from their website

Easily one of the more prestigious schools on my list, Sciences Po is known worldwide for its top-notch humanities and political science programs. There are several campuses across France, but the main one is located in one of Paris’ most charming neighborhoods: Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

Known for being the center of the Paris literary movement (and the place to be during the jazz age), Saint-Germain-des-Prés is quintessential Left Bank Paris. With institutions like Les Deux Magots Café, Shakespeare and Company bookstore, and the  No surprise that one of the best international schools in Paris is headquartered here. And of the school’s nearly 15,000 students (across France) half are international!

Sciences Po offers both undergrad and graduate programs; it’s also one of the most popular ERASMUS programs. Admission is tough though, and school fees are higher than for public universities in France. So if you have your sights set on this one, it will be hard but rewarding.


3. La Sorbonne

Photo by MBZT on Wikimedia Commons

When people think of universities in Paris, the Sorbonne is often one of the first to come to mind. Dating back to 1283, la Sorbonne is one of the oldest universities in the world. Situated in the historic Latin Quarter, not only is la Sorbonne the city’s oldest university, it’s also one of the best international schools in Paris.

La Sorbonne has different campuses spread out across Paris; most focusing on different subject areas from humanities and social sciences to law and medicine. La Sorbonne actually has the largest language department of any university in France; making it popular with international and exchange students. All in all, la Sorbonne has around 60,000 students, over 12,000 of whom are international.

4. Parsons Paris

Photo courtesy of Parsons Paris – Sourced from their website

Parsons Paris, or The New School is an American art design school located in the city’s historic 1st arrondissement. Founded in 1921, this was the first American art school in Paris. Today, Parsons Paris boasts prestigious rankings in art and fashion design fields, making it a dream for art students all over the world.

Parsons Paris offers undergraduate, graduate and summer programs to a group of carefully-selected international students. Community and hands-on learning are a big part of the academic experience at Parsons, and what better pace to study art, fashion, or design than Paris?

5. HEC

Photo courtesy of HEC Paris – Sourced from their website

A self-described world-class business school, HEC is the crème de la crème of French universities. Famously hard to get into, and the programs even more rigorous to complete; HEC has an unwavering reputation for excellence all over the world.

Located just outside the Paris borders, HEC draws the brightest minds in business from France and all over the world. This school is one of the most selective in the world, but an education there is said to be more than worth it.

HEC offers both undergraduate and graduate programs, and international students make up nearly half the student population. Most French presidents and business people have been educated here, and the tradition continues.


Well, now you know a bit more about the best international schools in Paris. Good luck!

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