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Target audience

AudienceStatutory refugees, Beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, Stateless people, Beneficiaries of temporary protection
Level of FrenchB2, C1, C2


Be in possession of a residence permit or a receipt
Have a end of high school level

Where is it?

Become a physiotherapist with a non-EU diploma

Updated on il y a 6 mois

What is it?

As physiotherapist diplomas outside the European Union are not recognized in France, you have to start your studies again to have a French diploma and be able to practice.

The training to obtain a state diploma in physiotherapy lasts five years (a first university year then four years in an institute) and takes place between theoretical courses and practical internships.

If you have already been a physiotherapist in your country, you can benefit from a specific procedure to enter a training institute and then have study relief (see step 1).

There are 47 masso-physioitherapy training institutes, private or public (see the list by clicking here). The cost of studies ranges from €170 to €9,300 per year depending on the institute. The average cost is €4,500, but aid is available (see step 2).

You must have at least a B2 level of French.

How to do it?

To enroll in an institute preparing for the state diploma of physiotherapist, you must first have completed a university year in:

  • the field of science, technology, health (including in particular the PASS and the LAS)
  • OR the mention sciences and techniques of physical and sports activities (STAPS).

If you have validated a first year of university in another field, you must have obtained at least 10 ECTS credits in teaching units relating to the field of health.

To apply to a university, you must register on Parcoursup.

After one academic year, you must enroll in a training institute for the continuation of your studies. The documents to be provided to apply depend on the institute. For more information, you must contact the institutes of your choice.

Good to know : All supporting documents to be added to your registration files must be written in French or translated by a certified translator.
> To read: the sheet "Requesting the official translation of a document"

A common special procedure exists for people who have already graduated:

If you have a physiotherapist diploma or other title or certificate allowing the exercise of the profession of physiotherapist obtained outside a member state of the European Union, you can apply to the Institutes by a special procedure and obtain tuition exemptions.

For that it is necessary to:

  • Submit an application file to the institutes of your choice. You will find by clicking here the list of documents to be given.
  • Take the eligibility test: a written and anonymous test with the study of a clinical case related to professional practice.
  • Take the admission tests, if you are declared admissible by the jury: an oral test and a practical situation.

The training is divided into two cycles of two years:

  • the first cycle is devoted to the fundamentals, to the engineering of physiotherapy and to transversal knowledge (English, methodology, for example)
  • the second is more professionalizing (in-depth study of the previous themes and preparation for the practice).

At the end of the state diploma, you will obtain 240 credits from your institute training and 60 credits from your previous university year.

Funding: there are several scholarships to fund your studies:

  • Scholarships can be requested from the local Mission if you are under 25 years old.
  • If you have already worked, you can get help from Pôle Emploi.
  • The Region can also fund a monthly grant for paramedical professions. For Île-de-France, you will find the necessary information here.
It is also possible to sign a study allowance contract with a public hospital service. This allows you to have a monthly scholarship in return for a commitment to serve 18 to 30 months within the hospital with which you sign the contract. You can find more information and other alternatives by clicking here.

What happens next?

After obtaining your diploma as a physiotherapist, several possibilities are available to you.

You can practice as a self-employed person or as an employee and specialize in sports or thalassotherapy, for example. In a single or shared practice, in a public or private health center, physiotherapists often work with other health professionals (doctors, educators, occupational therapists, etc.).

In hospitals, after a professional experience of four years, you can prepare the diploma of health executive in one year or that of director of care, in two years.

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