Study in French Polynesia

French Polynesia is an overseas French collectivity in the South Pacific Ocean comprising of more than 100 islands. French Polynesia is divided into the Marquesas, Austral, Gambier, Society, and Tuamotu archipelagos which are known for their coral-fringed lagoons and overwater bungalows.

There are also several white-sand beaches, and black sand beaches, towering mountains, and waterfalls. French Polynesia is a great study abroad destination with a lot more to offer beyond its mesmerizing beauty.


French Polynesian education is modeled on the French education system but is slightly different to suit each territory. Education is compulsory from age 6 to 16. Higher education in French Polynesia can be attained at the University of French Polynesia.

There is one major university in French Polynesia which is the University of French Polynesia. This university offers several programs leading to internationally recognized degrees.

Most courses are conducted in French, and there are also a few programs that are conducted in English. French proficiency is usually a requirement for courses conducted in French.

The University of French Polynesia accepts international students in several programs including sciences, legal studies, Public Administration, Law, Economics, and management, tourism, and international resort management, Law of Economic Activities, management, Environmental Law, Labor Law in French Polynesia, Judicial Studies, Accounting, Business Creation, and Management, E-Business, Human Resource Management, History, and Geography, French Literature, Medical Studies, Computer Science, physics, and chemistry, and Biology, to mention but a few.

The adult literacy rate in French Polynesia was estimated at 98%. While the male literacy rate is 98% and 98% for females.

Important things to note

These are a few things to take note of before you go out and about in French Polynesia.

The money-the official currency of French Polynesia Is the Pacific Franc (XPF or CPF), which is pegged to the Euro. The Euro and the US dollar can also be used and exchanged at the banks.

Bank/ Credit Cards- Cards are accepted at major handicraft stores and large hotels. Credit cards are accepted at hotels, restaurants, and other major establishments but not in some small establishments, and resorts that demand payments in cash. These include visas and MasterCard.

ATMs- these can be found in most parts of French Polynesia, and some major credit cards are accepted. Major credit cards include Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus, or Maestro. Some post offices are also equipped with ATMs.

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About French Polynesia

French Polynesia is an overseas collectivity of France in the South Pacific Ocean and is its sole overseas country. French Polynesia is made up of around 118 islands, and 67 of these are inhabited It has a total land area of 4 167 square kilometers.

French Polynesia is divided into five groups of islands namely the Society Islands archipelago, the Tuamotu Archipelago, the Gambier Islands, the Marquesas Islands, and the Austral Islands.

It was declared a French Protectorate on the 9th of September 1842, became an official French Territory on the 27th of October 1946, was afforded Collectivity status on the 28th of March 2003. It finally received country status on the 27th of February 2004.

As of 2020, the country had a total population of 280 500, and a population density of 80.7 people per square kilometer. The capital city is Papeete, located on the island of Tahiti. The Urban to rural population as of 2018 was 61.8%, and 38.2% respectively.

Ethnic groups

The ethnic composition of French Polynesia comprises 66.5% Polynesians, 7.1% mixed Polynesians, 9.3% Demis, 11.9% Europeans, and 4.7% East Asians.


The official language of French Polynesia is French. This is also the language of instruction in universities, except for a few English-taught courses.

Recognized regional languages include Tahitian, Austral, Raivavae, Rapa, Mangareva, Tuamotuan, and Marquesan. The 2017 census showed the following: 73.9% spoke French, 20.2% Tahitian, 2.6% Marquesan, 0.2% Mangareva, 1.2% Austral Languages, 1% Tuamotuan, 0.6% Chinese, and 0.4% other

Did you know? Facts about FRENCH POLYNESIA

• It is made up of 118 islands, and 5 archipelagoes.

• French is the official language

• French Polynesia exports pearls, and vanilla.

• The Tahitian alphabet has 13 letters

• Letterboxes outside homes are actually for bread delivery, mail is collected personally at the post office.

• The word “Tattoo" comes from Tahiti. It originates from the word Tatau and was used as a symbol of wealth, tribe, family group, or rank.

• There are no poisonous snakes in French Polynesia.

Must see places in FRENCH POLYNESIA

Lagoonarium de Morea

This is a snorkeling park offering boat trips to a shallow offshore is home to hundreds of marine life including stingrays, blacktip reef sharks, angelfish, moray eels, and so many more. This is open every day from 8 am to 4 pm. You can enjoy swimming with hundreds of fish, and other marine animals in a protected environment. Visitors can also get to feed the sharks and other fish.

Faarumai Waterfalls

this is a waterfall cited in the village of Tiarei. There are 3 cascades that people can view and enjoy, and these are the Vaimahutu, Haamarere Iti, and the Haamarere Rahi.

These are only short hikes apart, and visitors can enjoy both the view of the falls and the hikes as well.

Belvedere lookout

This is a picturesque observation deck in Moorea-Maiao, offering stunning views of the mountains, the Cook, and opunohu bays, and vast agricultural fields. It offers panoramic views of Moorea and surrounding areas. Travelers can make their way up Mount Tohivea to access this lookout.

You can access it by car or a scooter or bike as well. This lookout offers panoramic views of Opunohu valley, and its terraced pineapple plantation, Mount Rotui, and offers travelers the chance to take beautiful photographs of this magnificent vista. You can get some snacks, and souvenirs at the stands available on the lookout.

Bougainville park

This is a quiet, and peaceful tropical oasis in Papeete. This a perfect place for a picnic, and time out with friends or family. It offers a very serene, and tranquil atmosphere. There is also a kid’s playground, and art displays, cultural, and floral displays.

Museum of Tahiti and the Islands

This is a museum located in the village of Punaauia, featuring some Tahitian artifacts of the Islands' history. It was established in 1974 to preserve, conserve, and restore Polynesian artifacts, and cultural practices.

About French Polynesia's Economy

French Polynesia uses the CPF Franc as its main currency. Tourism is the country’s main economic activity, contributing about 13% to the country’s GDP. French Polynesia has a developed economy with the service sector contributing about 75% to the GDP.

Before the arrival of the French, the economy was mainly based on subsistence agriculture but nowadays it focuses more on commercial agriculture with exports of oranges, copra, coffee, cotton, and vanilla, to mention but a few. The nominal GDP was estimated at $6.163 billion as of 2018.

GDP per capita for 2015 was estimated at $17 000, and GDP contribution by sector showed:

• Agriculture 2.5%

• Industry- 13%

• Services- 84.5%

The services sector as of 2015 was the largest employer with 68%, followed by the industrial sector with 19%, and the agricultural sector with 13%.


Main industries in French Polynesia include tourism, pearls, agricultural processing, handicrafts, and phosphates.


Exports in French Polynesia were estimated at $130 million as of 2015, according to the World Bank, and its major exports included coconut products, cultured pearls, mother of pearl, vanilla, and seafood, to mention but a few. Main export partners include Japan, Hong Kong, France, Kyrgyzstan, and the united states of America to mention but a few.

Its imports were valued at $1.527 million as of 2015, according to the World Bank. The main products included fuels, foodstuffs, and equipment to mention but a few.

Its main import partners included France, the united states of America, China, New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore to mention but a few.

Why Study in French Polynesia

Affordable Tuition Fees in French Polynesia
Tasty dishes and cuisines

There is a lot of dishes and cuisine that you can get to taste in French Polynesia. There is a blend of local or traditional Polynesian, Asian, French, and other international cuisines which make French Polynesian cuisine a "must taste".

Affordable Accomodation in French Polynesia
Explore the beauty

There is plenty to see in French Polynesia in terms of the landscape, the archipelagos, swimming in the lagoons, the overwater bungalows, and the belvedere lookout provides a great view of Moorea and surrounding areas.

International Environment in French Polynesia
Interaction with other international students

Studying in French Polynesia affords students the chance to interact, exchange and familiarise with other foreign students.

Great Weather in French Polynesia
Site Seeing

There is plenty to see in French Polynesia in terms of the landscape, the archipelagos, swimming in the lagoons, the overwater bungalows, and the belvedere lookout provides a great view of Moorea and surrounding areas.

Scholarships in French Polynesia

There are plenty of scholarships are available for students studying French Polynesia.

Students can apply for any scholarship for which they fit the criteria, including merit-based scholarships, sports scholarships, engineering scholarships, law scholarships, medical scholarships, and grants, to mention but a few.

French Polynesia Student Visa

Travelers from European Union countries usually do not require a visa for stays up to 3 months from the time of arrival. Foreigners can get a visa at the nearest French embassy or consulate.

No visa will be issued on arrival and applicants must do so in advance. On arrival, travelers from non-EU countries need to apply for a residence permit for a stay of more than 3 months.