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> INTERNATIONAL > Going abroad

Studying abroad

The ENS offers its pupils and students several options for studying abroad during their time at the School. Both humanities and sciences students can go abroad as language assistants, students, or for work placements etc. Various financial systems exist to help them. If they go abroad as a student, they can study within the network of partner universities, either as part of a bilateral exchange or, in Europe, as part of the Erasmus exchange programme.

Network of bilateral exchanges and Erasmus agreements

Réseau des échanges bilatéraux et accords erasmus

Studying as part of a bilateral exchange

A number of bilateral exchange agreements open the doors of foreign universities to ENS students, assuring them a warm welcome and excellent academic training: Harvard and Princeton, Oxford and Cambridge, Berlin, Pisa or Bologna, Mexico, Tokyo and Seoul, New Zealand and South Africa. Negotiations are currently taking place to increase and diversify existing agreements, particularly those with the United States, China and Japan (exemption from student fees and the provision of grants).
Under this system students attend the foreign university for a semester or an academic year.

List of partner universities for bilateral exchanges.

For a description of the posts available and for access to year and semester abroad reports, go to the intranet (“International” section)

ERASMUS programme

ERASMUS charter of Higher Education 2014-2020

ERAMUS charter: strategy of the ENS 2014-2020

31 countries are involved: the 27 members of the European Union, plus Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Turkey. Institutions accepting students must hold a SOCRATES/ERASMUS university charter. The ERASMUS agreements link the institutions in chosen disciplines represented by a scientific coordinator.

To study abroad under the ERASMUS programme the applicant must:

  • be a student of the ENS enrolled for an ENS Master’s (the only standard and straightforward situation for an ERASMUS placement)
  • exceptionally: be an ENS student enrolled for the ENS diploma.

Please note:

  • A student who is enrolled for a Master’s at a university and for the ENS diploma and who arranges an Erasmus period abroad through the ENS cannot use the course followed and the exams sat abroad for validation of his/her Master’s at that university. ECTS obtained abroad can only be used for validation of the ENS diploma.
  • Periods abroad under Erasmus are not possible in the CST (unpaid study leave) year, the work placement year abroad, or as a pupil not studying for a diploma.
  • It is, of course, essential that the ENS has an agreement with the university in which the student is interested.
  • ERASMUS students may receive an allowance of 150€ per month, in addition to grants obtained on the basis of social criteria.
  • The ERASMUS allowance will not be in addition to other allowances granted from European funds.
  • For a period abroad starting in the first semester of the year, the application process must be started in March of the preceding year.
  • For a period abroad starting in the second semester, it is advisable to start the application procedure in October. The administrative formalities involved are described in the “Planning your stay abroad” section).

In certain situations, new partnerships may be set up to respond to a specific request from the humanities or sciences departments of the ENS.

The request must be sent to the Department of International Relations at least six months before the planned departure for the establishment in question.

Consult year and semester abroad reports via the intranet. (“International” section.)


ITALY Programme (Pise, Bologne, Lecce, Sienne)

Scuola Normale SuperioreThe first agreement between the ENS and its partner in Pisa, the Scuola Normale Superiore, founded by Napoleon, was signed in 1988. Since then, the School has signed new agreements with prestigious Italian institutions, notably with the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa and the Collegio Superiore in Bologna.

Thanks to its exchange agreements with the ENS, the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa is currently the Italian institution that produces, proportionally, the largest number of doctorates jointly supervised with France.

Every year about 130 students and pupils come to France or go to Italy under these agreements. Working at the meeting point of two different but complementary intellectual training systems, Martine Bismut, the School’s representative at the Scuola Normale since 1998, guides the students who come to her and eases their integration into a different cultural tradition.

Contact :




COLUMBIA Programme

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Since January 2012, the ENS strengthens its ties with Columbia University in New York thanks to a new program.
10 students from the ENS can study for one semester (spring semester from January to May). They are granted the status of "non-degree visiting graduate students" and may take courses at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. See the website of the GSAS:

Each exchange student chooses his courses (usually 4 courses during the semester). He has access to the library and its services, is exempt from tuition fees and social security. Columbia University assists foreign students in establishing a visa. They must apply for a "Visa Columbia University Certificate" (Form I-20 or DS-2019) to be applicants for a visa (F-1 or J-1) to go to the United States.

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