The pair had been due to return home within weeks
Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez, both 23, were "bright, talented and engaging young men with brilliant futures ahead of them," the Old Bailey was told.
But instead their lives were ended in a shocking orgy of violence carried out by two men, Dano Sonnex and Nigel Farmer - who have both been found guilty of their murders.
The victims, both biochemistry students at the University of Clermont-Ferrand, were in London on three-month placements at Imperial College when they were killed.
"They were dearly loved by their families and friends. Neither of them had an enemy in the world," prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC said.
Mr Bonomo, from Velaux, near Marseille, and Mr Ferez, from Prouzel, near Amiens, were working on a research project into chains of protein within DNA and had been due to return home within weeks.
Both men were experienced travellers and were active in their university's union and clubs.
Claude-Gilles Dussap, the director of Polytech Clermont-Ferrand, said Mr Bonomo had been president of the student union for a year, organising extra-curricular activities and events.
"We had absolutely no problems with them, and we were sure they were in a position to find a professional position without any problems anywhere in the world," he said.
"They were mature, sensible, very well-tempered."
Mr Ferez - who was living in Thornton Heath and had been visiting his friend when they were killed - had a sister aged 22 and brother aged 11, while Mr Bonomo had a younger sister aged 10.
Mr Bonomo was engaged to his girlfriend Marie Bertez, with whom he had entered a civil partnership.
She had been due to return from France the day after he was killed.
He had told her he "could not wait" to see her, the court heard, and had said he was "so happy" that she was due to see him.
Ms Bertez wrote a tribute to him on the social networking website Facebook.
She said: "I will never stop thinking about you for a second. I had 10 months of a happiness I had never experienced until then.
"Today you are gone. I will try to be as good as you always wanted."
Mr Ferez's parents, Francoise Villement, 46, and Olivier Ferez, 47, and Mr Bonomo's father, Guy Bonomo, 45, attended the court case.