The French connection
France, officially called the French Republic, is the third largest and wealthiest country in Europe. The use of its official language, French, is in vogue in several places in India. We analyze why studying in France is a good choice.
Why study in France?
The quality of French higher education is widely recognized and is based on the “LMD” degree structure — Licence, Master’s, and Doctorate.
A license requires three years of study, a Master’s needs five, and a Doctorate eight years of study and research.
France attracts students from across the world. It is currently the third most popular destination for international students. Yet many prospective students are unaware that fluency in French is not necessary to study in France.
Courses in English are becoming more common, though a little more expensive than ones taught in French. But it is recommended to have a working knowledge of French to make the most of your experience there.
When to apply
The period of enrollment is generally between December 1 and January 31 every year. English language proficiency is tested for all courses taught in English and scores of TOEFL/IELTS are accepted.
For all graduate/ degree courses, one should be at least 18 years of age and have successfully completed 12 years of formal education. Entry to all postgraduate courses will require a Bachelor’s degree.
You have to submit transcripts, resumes, and in some cases, essays, too. Generally while submitting the application, the colleges/universities will only ask for copies of the relevant documents. Once accepted into a program, students will need to send original copies.
University/ college studies begin in September every year. The application deadline for most courses is January end, but students need to check the dates and details before applying to the Universities of their choice. Some deadlines may vary depending on the course and the college applied to.
Popular fields of study are Computer Science, Business Administration, Engineering, and Human Resource Management. Tuition fees in France range between 9,000- 10,000 Euros per year for Bachelor/undergraduate courses and between 18,000-19,500 Euros per year for Masters Courses.
MBA in most colleges ranges between 28,000 and 30,000 Euros for the entire course. The fee may vary college and course-wise. Students can choose their colleges and universities as per their budget.
One must have a passport and obtain a student visa. A long-stay student visa is generally issued for a period longer than six months and enables a student to obtain a one-year residence permit.
A prospective student will need to prove that they have sufficient resources, estimated at a minimum of 500 Euros a month approximately to support themselves without working. This amount varies depending on the city of residence the course of study, lifestyle, and personal expenses.
Most colleges offer scholarships / financial assistance for their international students, though they may have different selection criteria. A scholarship / financial aid application will generally be selected on the basis of a student’s academic record.
Some may even place importance on the consistency and quality of the statement of purpose. Knowledge of French may not be mandatory, but will be considered an asset.
The French government has funding options for Indian students. The Charpak Scholarship program, run by the French embassy in India, helps students get a full/ partial fee waiver at universities, and also some monthly stipend.
The Eiffel Scholarship program, offered by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, covers travel and living expenses, health insurance, and accommodation. It is important to note that scholarships are mostly given to Postgraduate students, even by the French government.
HELP AT HAND
All French universities and colleges have an International student services office or helpdesk to help them settle in and answer any queries. Student services offer assistance with administrative formalities, accommodation, insurance, transport, and cultural life.
Source: This article was originally published in Mid-Day newspaper – PDF File: Study in France
Frequently Asked Questions related to studying in France:
Q1: Why should I consider studying in France?
A1: France offers world-class education, diverse programs, a rich cultural experience, and access to some of the best universities and institutions in the world.
Q2: What are the language requirements for studying in France?
A2: While many programs are available in English, some may require proficiency in French. Language requirements vary by institution and program.
Q3: How can I apply for admission to French universities or institutions?
A3: The application process typically involves submitting an online application, academic transcripts, a statement of purpose, and any required test scores.
Q4: Are there scholarships available for international students in France?
A4: Yes, France offers various scholarships and financial aid options for international students. Check with specific institutions and government programs for details.
Q5: Can I work part-time while studying in France as an international student?
A5: Yes, international students are usually allowed to work part-time during their studies. There are restrictions on working hours, and work permits may be required.
Q6: What types of visas are required for international students in France?
A6: International students typically require a student visa or residence permit, depending on the length of their studies.
Q7: How much does it cost to study in France as an international student?
A7: Tuition fees vary depending on the institution and program. French public universities often have lower tuition fees compared to private institutions.
Q8: Are there English-taught programs available in France?
A8: Yes, many universities in France offer programs in English, especially at the master’s and doctoral levels.
Q9: Can I extend my stay in France for postgraduate studies or employment after completing my degree?
A9: Yes, you can extend your stay for postgraduate studies or seek employment opportunities in France after graduation.
Q10: Are there opportunities to learn the French language while studying in France?
A10: Yes, you can enroll in language courses, and immersion in French culture and daily life will also help you improve your language skills.
Q11: What is the cost of living for international students in France?
A11: The cost of living varies depending on the city and lifestyle, but it typically includes accommodation, food, transportation, and other expenses.
Q12: How do I find accommodation in France as an international student?
A12: Accommodation options include university housing, private rentals, and homestays. Many universities assist students in finding suitable housing.
Q13: Can I apply for a post-study work visa in France after completing my degree?
A13: Yes, France offers a post-study work visa that allows graduates to work in France for a specified duration to gain professional experience.
Q14: Are there opportunities for research and internships in France for international students?
A14: Yes, France has a strong emphasis on research, and many institutions offer research opportunities and internships for international students.
Q15: How can I adapt to French culture and daily life as an international student?
A15: Engage in cultural activities, participate in local events, and make an effort to learn about French customs and traditions to adapt effectively.