The French education system consists of 3 main stages : primary education, secondary education and higher education

At the end of the secondary education (high school cycle), students must validate a national exam called “Baccaulauréat” at the age of 18 years old. Then they can choose to pursue their education on a vocational program or an academic diploma in different types of institutions.

There are 3 levels in the higher education system in France:

  • 1st level called “grade Licence” – Bachelor’s level: 3 years of study
  • 2nd level called “grade Master” – Master’s level: 2 years of study
  • 3rd level called “grade Doctorat” – Phd’s level: 3 years of study


 Specific academic calendar:

Fall semester Spring semester Summer break
From September until December or January From January or February until June From June until August


Holidays (specific to ESA)
All Saints Late October: 1 week
Christmas End of December/early January: 1 week
Winter break February: 1 or 2 weeks depending on the program
Easter April: 1 week