Study in France
The French Republic, or République Française, is located in western Europe. It also has a few overseas colonies in South America, French Guiana, some islands in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans. France is the only country in the world that has 12 time zones. France isn’t just about the mystique of Paris or the luxury of Cannes. It is a country that has a poetic landscape that stretches from the endless vineyards in Bordeaux to the dreamy Alps. To bring home the experience; they have fantastic food along with a rich history of arts.
Why study in France?
France hosts the largest international student population after the USA and the UK. French universities are renowned for their high quality and specialised education. France is one of the few countries where the rights of international students are similar to those of French and other European Union students.
The other benefits of studying in France are-
- The availability of varied options for international students- French universities teach a large portion of their courses in English. International students wanting to study in France have a plethora of courses to choose from. The courses mostly cover every possible speciality.
- Foreign students get similar package deals and rights as domestic students. This means they have easy access to transport, health, housing, entertainment, sport and other advantages for a comfortable living. Each university had their own departments such as health where students can visit for their check-ups and to top that, some visits are free. Apart from this, there are round the year discounts and offers for international students who can avail these benefits at their convenience.
- Paris is a thriving ground for technological innovators and startup enthusiasts. Startup enthusiasts from across the world come here for seed investment. This translates to fabulous and exciting career options for students graduating from France.
- France has fostered intellectual scientists, researchers and microbiologists from as early as the 19th century. The National Centre for Scientific Research supports many students and researchers.
- The tuition fees for public universities are decided by the government. This makes them quite affordable and reasonable. Even private colleges aren’t very expensive.
- France is the 7th richest country in the world. This makes the scope for careers and employment immense
- French is the third most commonly spoken language in the world. This makes picking up some French while studying a powerful career move for international students.
France has a lot of flexibility in educational choices. It gives students the options to choose the education they want.
The options available are the following:
Vocational diplomas- These are the DUT (diplôme universitaire de technologie) and BTS (brevet de technicien supérieur). DUT is awarded by schools and BTS by universities. These are 2 year technology courses. They can be extended for one year and earn the license professional or “licence professionnelle”.
Universities- They offer degrees to students in various academic, professional and technical subjects. It is awarded to students who have received their ‘baccalaureat’ or equivalent senior secondary education. The degree is of three types:-
Licence- It is a 3-year bachelor’s degree
Master- it is a 2-year master’s degree
Doctorat- 3 years additional degree. In France, doctors are obligated to do a doctorate.
“Grandes écoles”- some of the public and private institutions which offer a 3-year specialised field of study in fields of engineering, public administration etc are ‘Grandes Ecoles. Entrance to these courses is based on competitive exam scores. It is often preceded by a 2-year preparatory course. The students here graduate with a master’s degree.
Specialised schools- They offer art, architecture, socialism, tourism degrees. The course awards either a licence or a master degree.
For undergraduate courses in French universities, a desiring candidate must have:-
- A high school diploma or the equivalent.
- The French baccalaureate or degree equivalent to this.
- A pass certificate of the University admission examination from the home country.
- IELTS/ TOEFL scores.
For postgraduate courses, a desiring candidate must have:-
- A Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent degree diploma in the same stream.
- Scores of competitive tests GRE, GMAT, SAT, etc.
- Competitive score from Grandes Escoles for admission there
- The certified academic transcripts for the UG degree.
France is known to be a country which offers a speciality in almost all fields. They have a track record of being some of the well researched and vocational oriented courses. Having said that, these courses are quite popular compared to others with International Students-
- Management and Organisation in France
- Fashion and Luxury Goods in France
- Political Science in France
- MBA degrees in France
- Microbiology and biotechnology in France
France promotes its education. It is extremely welcoming towards international students. Despite setting affordable tuition fees in their universities, they offer great scholarship and funding options. Some of the popular scholarship grants are:-
Eiffel Excellence Scholarships
This grant is available for undergraduate and postgraduate students. The scholarship is funded by the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs. The quantum of the grant is a fully-funded program, with all costs covered and processing fees.
ENS International Selection Scholarships
This scholarship is awarded to postgraduate students in the field of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences. The quantum of scholarship is fully funded programs of 3 years.
Emile Boutmy Scholarships at Sciences Po University
This scholarship is awarded to International students by Science PO university studying at any level of education. It is a fully-funded grant.
France Government Scholarship
This scholarship is available to students pursuing masters and doctorate programs. The scholarship is funded by the Government of France. The quantum of the grant is a fully-funded education.
The cost of living in France is higher than in other countries in Europe. But by understanding your spending habits, lifestyle and budget it is possible to find an affordable standard of living. Some of the costs for living in France are-
The new tuition fees for international students in government universities are
- 2,770 euros per year for Bachelor’s (Licence) programmes,
- 3,770 euros per year for Master’s programmes,
- 380 euros per year for Doctorate (PhD) programmes – the same amount as for Europeans.
Fees for students in Grandes Ecoles, or private institutions range from 3,000 to 20,000 euros per year.
Accommodation of students
- In student halls- 200-400 Euros per month
- Rented Apartment- 400- 800 Euros per month
- Host family- 200 -800 Euros per month
- Food costs- 200-300 Euros per month
- Transport costs- 30- 75 Euros per month
- Health Insurance- 20-50 Euro per month
- Long stay application form for the duration of more than 90 days
- Two passport size photographs
- A copy of Passport
- Cover letter explaining the study project and a CV/Resume
- Letter of registration from the academic Institution
- A printout of your CampusFrance NOC
- Proof of funds – tuition fees + a minimum of 615 Euros/month, for the complete academic term
- OFII form (Office Francais de Immigration et de Integration)
- Copy of your round-trip airline ticket (if you are studying for six months or less) or a one-way ticket if you are studying in France for more than six months)
- Proof of medical insurance with coverage valid in France
- Copy of the CV
- Proof of residency in France such as a lease, electricity bill, title of a property, etc. for a minimum of three months or a hotel reservation
- Copies of the degree and academic diplomas, certificates
As discussed, the choice for a speciality to study is immense. This opens up a variety of career opportunities for international students. Some of the popular fields where International students apply are:-
- Computer Science and Information Technology- These are extremely popular global sectors. The opportunities for these in France are higher because of the rich startup culture.
- Pharmacy companies and medical research- The microbiology and biotechnology courses here are unparalleled. The research instu=itutes and pharmacy companies looking for the same are also too many.
- Hospitality and Tourism- Tourism makes for 10% of the total GDP for France. This sector is not just booming, it also is always on the lookout for skilled labour.
- France is a global hub for some large industries. It also houses major fashion brands. The need for skilled management and marketing executives is always there and the potential for students to capitalise on it is high.
- Aerospace Engineering- One of the highly specialised fields, aeronautics and aerospace engineers are much in demand.
Part-time work opportunities
France is an exceptional country to study in and has an affordable tuition fee, but the cost of living could be a little high, especially if you are living in top tier cities. To augment their finances and gain considerable working experience while having an opportunity to network and connect, students prefer to work part-time along with their education.
The conditions that need to be adhered to while working part-time are-
- An international student is allowed to work for a maximum of 964 hours in any given year. This is valid only if-
- The university allows students to work
- It is expressly allowed in their course
- The student has valid residency permits
- The course doesn’t have internships as a part of the curriculum
Irrespective of any course, whether language or doctorate, all students are allowed to work if the abovementioned conditions are fulfilled.
France has a minimum wage rule for working students. The minimum hourly wage rate €9.76 per hour (before taxes).
Those who are pursuing a 6-month program are allowed to work for 472 hours.
The jobs that are commonly available to students are-
- University jobs- assistantship, marketing or internship or something similar.
- Wait staff and support staff at cafes and restaurants
- Jobs at malls, supermarkets
- Part-time carers, nanny
- Office assistants, trainees, temp workers
Effective from 2021, Students who have freshly graduated in France with a bachelor’s degree are not allowed to stay back and seek employment. Fresh graduates with a master, doctorate or a similar professional degree are allowed for a period of 12 months.
For residing in France, the students need to apply for a provisional residence permit marked “Recherche d’emploi ou Création enterprise”. This permit is issued only once and is non-renewable.
The position being sought must be the students’ first professional experience in France and should be related to their academic background. A change of status must be applied for 2 months before this permit expires.
Any international student who leaves France immediately after their master’s degree or equivalent is complete can take advantage of this residence permit within 4 years from the time of its issuance.
Life & Culture
French culture is one of the most enriching experiences. The environment is interactive and brings people from multi-cultures together. Universities organize shows and hold conferences, seminars, parties and sporting and other outdoor activities as part of the student lifestyle.
France iconises the saying all work and no play makes jack a dull boy. There is so much downtime and leisure activities possible in France. Cinema, music, food, sports are all plentiful and available in abundance here. Life here is never stagnant or boring. Students can find a summer job at a vineyard and learn about wines while soaking in the sun.
Did you know that the word culture itself originated from France? French culture is derived from Celtic and Gallo-Roman times. French are very passionate people and take deep pride in their heritage.
The French people have a motto of “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité. They place extreme importance on equality and togetherness. The French are the embodiment of romance and love. This is easily visible through their poetry, fashion, architecture and lifestyle.
French cuisine is a work of art, is rich and is generally a meal to be savoured and enjoyed. Frace is the home to haute couture.
France is the most popular travel destination in the world. It has 37 world heritage sites. It is a land of mystique, love and history.
- Basilica of Sacred Heart of Paris
- Pont Du Gard Bridge, Nime
- Arc De Triomphe, Paris
- Eiffel Tower
- French Riviera, also known as Côte d’Azur
Other Popular Countries
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