Several possibilities exist for foreign students eager to study at the ENS, whether for a few months or a few years.
The ENS offers, before the start of term, a 2 weeks intensive course of French language and cultural activities (accommodation is provided by the ENS). All through the year, weekly courses of different levels are available.
Foreign students can join the ENS by applying to the admission exam in Sciences, or Humanities and Social Sciences. European students can embrace the status of civil servant trainee, offering a salary and an accommodation on the campus. In this highly competitive admission process, all students are expected to meet the best French language standards.
Foreign students can also be admitted upon written application and interviews, in order to prepare the ENS Diploma during 2 or 3 years. The main differences in status with the students integrated by way of admission exams, is that students preparing the ENS Diploma are not considered civil servant trainees, therefore implying that they will have to finance their studies and most probably their accommodation.
The International Selection, as its name implies, is open to foreign students only. Each year 25 students divided evenly between Sciences and Humanities are allocated a scholarship to prepare the ENS Diploma during a 2 or 3 years stay. They benefit from accommodation on the ENS campus.
The ENS is part of an international network of colleges, universities and other academic institutions therefore hosting for a year foreign students taking part in exchange programs.
Students can also study for a shorter time at the ENS through the Erasmus network, or in the continuation of a European curriculum.
Finally the ENS offers the opportunity of a double guidance for PhD foreign students with their university of origin.